Category Archives: Meats

Saturday’s butchering fills freezers for another year

We butchered three hogs on Saturday. One of the hogs we butchered is for Timothy and Elizabeth. We raised an extra one to give to them.

This week the Eichers made pon hoss, a fried dish made from leftover hog meat.
This week the Eichers made pon hoss, a fried dish made from leftover hog meat.

We had plenty of good help, which made the workload lighter for everyone. The meat was cooked off the bones and used to make pon hoss, a fried dish made from leftover hog meat. We had enough to make 12 gallons of pork broth into pon hoss. The lard was rendered, making around 18 to 20 gallons of lard. The sausage was put through the grinder and seasoned with different kinds of seasonings. Then everything was packaged and put in the freezers. We still want to make summer sausage, using venison sausage and pork sausage. We add the pork sausage so it doesn’t get so dry.

We made a breakfast casserole on Friday evening so it was easy to put in the oven on Saturday morning. The men and boys started with the butchering at 4:00 a.m. All three hogs were really big—we guessed roughly around 500 pounds each. After the men had the hogs dressed, they all came in to eat breakfast.

The Eichers and their butchering helpers enjoyed a lunch of pork tenderloin on Saturday.
The Eichers and their butchering helpers enjoyed a lunch of pork tenderloin on Saturday.

Our noon meal was a little later. On the menu: fried pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken noodles, dressing, corn, hot peppers, lettuce salad, pasta salad, cheese, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, banana cake, brownies, chocolate chip bars, hoho cake, and ice cream.

It was a long hard day, but I am so glad to have the freezers filled for another year. And the boys are glad to have fewer chores out in the barn.

Timothy is still on crutches and off work yet. His foot seems to be in the healing process and he doesn’t have too much pain if he stays off his feet.

Last night son Joseph, 13, hurt his knee and leg. He was pumping air into a cold basketball and it blew up, knocking him back. His knee and leg are all bruised, and he can’t put weight on his leg. We have an appointment at the doctor this afternoon. Sure hope it’s not broken, but we will need to get an X-ray to determine that. Joseph learned a lesson: don’t pump up a cold basketball. Luckily it didn’t hit his head. I heard it blow up from the house and thought it was a gun being shot off.

Schools in the area are closed today, as we were dumped on with around eight to ten inches of snow. This was a good thing for Joseph, since he couldn’t have gone anyway. Daughter Susan, 20, is off from the factory until Tuesday. I am glad for her help. Son Benjamin, 16, is also home from work today as his driver didn’t want to drive in this snow. He has been busy all morning, shoveling out walks and the driveway. The snow is really heavy, so he’s going to be glad for a rest when he’s done.

We are doing the chores for my sisters Susan and Verena. They will be gone for ten days, staying with some friends in Ellenton, Florida, not too far from Sarasota. They picked a good week to be in Florida!

Recently our friends Jim and Ruth and their friend Sue invited our family, Jacob and Emma and family, and sisters Verena and Susan over to Jim and Ruth’s cottage by the lake. Ruth and Sue showed us all how to do CPR. Everyone had a chance to try it with the equipment Ruth had. We appreciated the time they took to show us and also for treating us to pizza and snacks. With all our horses and buggies, Jim and Ruth had to tie a rope from one tree to another to have room to tie all our horses. It is so good for everyone to know

how to do CPR. We also appreciated one of the local EMTs, who joined us and showed us more things to do in an emergency situation.

This week I’ll share a recipe for pork chops. God bless everyone! Stay healthy!

Glazed Pork Chops

6 pork chops
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon water

Place chops in a shallow baking dish or cake pan. Do not stack or overlap chops. Make a paste from the rest of the ingredients and spread over chops. Bake uncovered in a 250-degree oven for one hour, then 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn chops once after baking 45 minutes and spoon some of the mixture in the bottom of the pan over each chop.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Remembering an Amish father’s legacy of faith and work and reading

If my dad were still living, he would turn 85 years old today. But God had other plans, and Dad passed away in May 2000, at the age of 69. Every year on his birthday we still remember what day it is.

My dad left me a legacy of wonderful memories and of precious love. My dad was quiet in a group, but if you knew him, you would find him cracking a few jokes and find he had a sense of humor. Dad grew up in a family of 13 children. He was the third oldest. There were three girls and ten boys. Dad found out early in life how to work, and it stayed with him all his life. He was an early riser and never liked going to bed late. If he did have free time, he loved taking care of his purple martin birdhouses or reading. I inherited my love of reading from him. If he found a good book, he would always ask me if I wanted to read the book. Dad loved to read educational books and learn new things.

Dad passed away about five weeks before we had Loretta. Benjamin, 16, doesn’t remember him but the older girls remember him for teasing them a lot.

I’ll never forget when our first son, Benjamin, was born. I had him at home, with Joe’s aunt Sylvia being my midwife. Mom was also there, and after Benjamin was born, Dad and my sister Verena brought our daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena back home to meet their new little brother. At first they didn’t want to look at the baby, and we couldn’t figure out why. Finally they said, “Well, Grandpa said that we have a brother now and that he will be able to handle all three of us.” They couldn’t figure out how that could be when they saw little 4-pound, 13-ounce Benjamin! We had a good laugh about it. Benjamin is not so “little” anymore, and is taller than all his sisters.

My uncle Emanuel’s birthday is also today. He is a year older than dad. If you get to read this, Uncle Emanuel, I wish you a happy 86th birthday! May God bless you and Aunt Leah with good health!

I had the privilege of visiting with Emanuel and Leah in Marysville at Uncle Benji’s viewing. Their daughter, cousin Emma, lives in Salem, Indiana, and was also at the viewing. I hadn’t seen Emma in years. After we looked more than once, we recognized each other. My thoughts are with Emma, as she has been a widow for almost nine years. A few years before she lost her husband, their almost 15-year-old son was killed. Emma has twelve children living yet, with all but a few married, if I am correct.

Yesterday the girls and I attended sister Emma’s Tupperware party. She served a delicious lunch to everybody afterwards. We picked up daughter Elizabeth to go with us to the party. Then in the evening Timothy and Elizabeth came here for supper.

Timothy is on crutches and will probably be off work for several weeks yet. A week ago he was cutting a piece of log with a chainsaw when it somehow slipped and went through his shoe, cutting right into his foot. He goes to get it checked out every few days. Elizabeth changes the bandages every six hours around the clock. It’s been very hard for him to sit quietly, especially knowing there isn’t any income coming in and the payments are still due every month. I told them God will provide if they keep their trust in him, although I do understand their concern.  Accidents like that can happen so fast. Hopefully it will heal quickly and without too much nerve damage in his foot.

We wish God’s blessings and good health to everyone. This week I’ll share the recipe for pepper steak potatoes. A good winter evening meal!

Pepper Steak Potatoes

5 small potatoes, cut into slices
1/2 cup water
1 pound beef steaks, cut into strips
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, chopped
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup beef broth

Cook potatoes in water until tender. Sauté beef and garlic in oil until meat is no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Drain drippings. In the same skillet, sauté pepper and onion. Return beef to pan and add potatoes and pepper. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and broth until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Drizzle over meat mixture and toss.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

When what doesn’t get done today won’t “run away” tomorrow

Susan'sIceCreamCakeIt’s Thursday noon already! This column should have been written yesterday.

Loretta and I have been cleaning the house this forenoon. Tonight men from church will come at 6:30 to practice singing church songs. We want to make some snacks for tonight yet. The laundry is waiting to be washed in the basement. Hopefully I can do that this afternoon. I guess if I don’t, it won’t run away for tomorrow. In the winter we just hang it on lines in the basement to dry until the next day.

Daughter Verena, 18, is babysitting in town for two little boys. The mother had a new baby last night. Verena went yesterday and stayed all night with the boys so the father could stay at the hospital. She will come home tonight and go back again in the morning. The boys are four and almost two in age so she has her hands full. She loves children so the time goes fast for her.

HamburgerReadyToPackWe have the beef all cut up but still need to grind some hamburger. We gave GrindingHamburgerTimothy and Elizabeth two quarters. They came here the last two evenings to help cut up their two quarters. We were able to get their hamburger ground, steaks cut up, and beef chunks cut up. They took all their meat home although the beef chunks need to be processed in canning jars. The hamburger will be bagged for the freezer.

The new building came in handy to cup up all the beef. I have a gas stove in there too so we could make supper and eat out there. It takes so much of the mess out of the house.

MakingRareBeef
“Rare” beef

Our most favorite thing to have when we butcher beef is what we call “rare beef,” which I’ve written about before, but for newcomers, I’ll repeat! We slice the steak real thin and put salt and pepper on both sides of each slice. Then heat some oil until it’s really smoking hot. Take a fork and put in a slice, turn around the pan once, flip over and give another turn and take it out. I make it as the family eats it because that’s how it’s best—right out of the pan. It’s very tender.

Elizabeth quit her job today so I’m looking forward to spending more time with her. We both want to can vegetable soup. We cook the meat off the beef bones and add vegetables.

Daughter Susan had a nice birthday Sunday, January 24. She had a few friends over for supper. Her special friend Mose grilled hot wings and bought her a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Susan made pizza casserole (one of her favorite foods). We also had salad, dressing, and cinnamon rolls.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s Uncle Benji. He is in critical condition from suffering a brain aneurysm. My dad had an aneurysm on his brain right before he died. May God be with Aunt Margaret and the family through this trial in life. God is above all and can perform miracles but it isn’t always what we want. Uncle Benji will be 79 in May.

Sloppy Joes

1 pound hamburger
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
1 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon salt

Sauté hamburger and onion in a skillet. Drain. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes to one-half hour. If mixture is too juicy, sift in a small amount of flour while stirring vigorously. Serve in six to eight hamburger buns.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

Just like young women everywhere, newly married Elizabeth consults Mom

Applesauce1
Jars of freshly canned applesauce won’t last long in the Eicher pantry!

Dear Readers:

Hi! I’m Lovina’s oldest daughter Elizabeth. I’m not as good as Mom at writing this column but decided to give it a try again. It’s been several years ago that I last wrote it for Mom.

As you all know I am now married to Timothy Bontrager. Home is seven miles from my family. I enjoy my new life as Timothy’s wife. It was a big change and I miss not being with my family every day.

I still work at the RV factory. This week it’s shut down so I’m enjoying my time off. Yesterday, I spent the day with Mom and my sisters Susan, 19, Verena, 17, and Loretta, 15. Tim harnessed up our mare, Shiann, and hitched her to the buggy for me before he left for work. I left soon after he did and arrived at Mom and Dad’s right at daylight. Shiann’s a very safe and gentle horse—my favorite! We had an enjoyable day.

I arrived home just as Tim came up from hunting. He was excited as he had just shot his fourth deer—this time a big seven-point buck. We took our horse Prince out back and had him drag the buck up. Tim shot all four deer with his bow this season, supplying us with plenty of meat.

Monday I canned 34 pints of venison chunks. It was the first time I used the pressure cookers. We received two pressure cookers as wedding gifts from Uncle Jacob and Aunt Emma and Tim’s brother Joseph, Jr. and Rachel. I had to disturb Mom with a couple phone calls and a hand full of questions each time. With Mom’s help I got all the chunks canned.

Today is a rainy, chilly, fall day. The trees in our yard are looking very bare without their leaves. I suppose winter isn’t too far away. I’m planning on mending clothes today. Timothy has quite a few work pants that have holes or missing buttons.

We have 31 acres, some wooded and some tillable. There’s a creek that runs along the north side of our property. At times when everything is quiet, I can hear the water ripple from the house. Tim hasn’t got the entire fence up yet, but has enough up for our four horses. We also have seven ducks but they aren’t as tame as my siblings’ (Lovina, 11, and Kevin, 10), two ducks, Donald and Daisy.

Tomorrow Mom and my sisters are going to spend the day here helping me give my house a thorough cleaning. I never gave the windows, walls, etc. a good scrubbing yet. I’ll be glad for the help. Our two house dogs Izzy and Crystal will be excited for the company. They don’t get the attention that they did when I lived at home.

The other day I got curious as to how much our dogs weigh now so I decided to weigh them on the bathroom scales. Crystal sat on it, weighing 9.8 pounds. Then it was Izzy’s turn so I placed her on the scales and after a couple of seconds the screen flashed “ERROR!” I ended up using the kitchen scales which showed that Izzy weighed 3.8 pounds. She was probably too small for the bathroom scales to read her weight. We got a good chuckle out of the whole episode.

Thanks to all you readers that took the time to send Timothy and me a wedding card, gift, or money. That was very kind and generous of all of you! We appreciated it very much! Thanks again!

Special thanks goes to Ruth, a good friend of my Mom’s for all the things she did for us over the time of our wedding. Also thanks to Rachel for bringing my pen pal Marcella to the wedding from Minnesota so that we could meet! The last, but most important thanks go to my wonderful parents and siblings for going through all they did to make our wedding day possible. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Tim and I plan to try making summer sausage and jerky with the venison meat from this last deer. Hopefully it will turn out okay.

Best wishes and God’s blessings to all as you travel into the unknown future!

* * *

Note from Lovina: I am thankful to daughter Elizabeth for stepping up to write the column this week. I am sure you will be glad to hear from her again! A reader shared this recipe with me and says it’s a winner everywhere she takes it.

BBQ Kraut

1 pound hamburger browned with onion, salt, and pepper to taste
32 ounces sauerkraut, drained
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup brown sugar

Brown hamburger and seasonings, drain grease. Combine remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. One cup diced tomatoes can be substituted for one cup of the juice.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Drawers that stick have got to go: Lovina helps sons organize space


Drawers that stick have got to go: Lovina helps sons organize space

It is Wednesday evening and I still haven’t taken time to write this column. Daughters Verena, Loretta, and Lovina are washing supper dishes. The boys and Joe are just relaxing and getting cleaned up.

Our supper was a simple, easy one. Verena and Loretta made One-Kettle Soup for our meal. Also on the menu were crackers, cheese, and venison summer sausage. One-Kettle Soup is a soup my mother always made at home. It is a favorite in our family. A quick soup when you’re running late for a meal.

While the girls prepared supper, I helped the boys sort through clothes in their bedroom. We put a bedroom suite in there that we bought at a recent auction. We needed some dressers replaced. After our house fire we had some older dressers given to us, but the drawers always would get stuck. Benjamin, 16, has his own bed and Joseph, 13, and Kevin, 10, share a bed. Our bedrooms upstairs are big rooms so there is enough space to fit two beds plus four dressers. Kevin was proud to have his own dresser for his clothes.

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan are off work from the RV factory this week. Elizabeth and her dogs spent the day here yesterday. We had a nice day together. Timothy went deer hunting in the evening and was excited to get a 7-point buck with a 16 1/2 inch spread. This is the fourth deer he shot with his compound bow this year. They are getting their freezer stocked for the winter.

Tomorrow daughters Susan, Verena, Loretta, and I plan to go to Elizabeth’s house to help her do some cleaning. With her working every day she doesn’t always get to do all the extra cleaning. We will probably wash her windows and whatever else she needs done.

When Timothy and Elizabeth were here for supper one night and were ready to leave, Izzy went to hide. It was so cute that she wanted to stay here. She gets so spoiled. Crystal is different and will whine if Elizabeth goes outside without her. Whenever Elizabeth sits down, Crystal is right by her side or on her lap.

Recently, we were surprised to have visitors from Ohio. It was Joe’s Uncle Solomon and his Aunt Rachel. They had been here the evening before with intentions to spend the night here. We had been at our neighbor Ruth’s wedding. We had a voicemail when we came home from Solomon. They had already checked in at a motel but Joe told them to come for breakfast. We had a nice visit with them. This was the first time Rachel saw where we live.

Daughter Susan just came home. She went to Mose’s house tonight and then they went to town. Mose wanted to buy a new mattress for his bed. He took Susan out for supper. The rest are all in bed so I think I’ll join them.

God’s blessings to all!

OneKettleSoup

I’ll share the recipe for One-Kettle Soup this week. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

One-Kettle Soup

1 pint canned chunk beef
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, left whole
1/2 pound noodles or thin spaghetti
salt and pepper

Fill a six-quart kettle with around three quarts of water. Add beef, potatoes, and onion. Boil 8–10 minutes, then add noodles. Stir often and boil until noodles are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove onion.

Note: More or less water can be added and more or less noodles. If I have company we add more to make a bigger amount.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Lovina’s daughter offers glimpse of a week in the life of an Amish teen

Hello! This is Lovina’s 17-year-old daughter, Verena. I decided to help Mom out since she is busy sewing Loretta’s dress for Friday. Mom sewed hers yesterday. She will be a cook and Loretta is a babysitter at Aden and Ruth’s wedding. I gathered the laundry for tomorrow, as I’ll be washing the laundry alone since Mom has to help bake pies for the wedding on Friday.

On Saturday Dad shot a deer with a bow. Mose helped him get the deer up from the woods and butchered. This is the first time Dad went hunting this fall. Ben and Joseph are also bow hunting. Joseph was excited to go hunting again when he heard Dad got a deer. Tim shot two deer this season, and Mose also shot one. My sister Liz was along when her husband Tim got the second one, and she wasn’t too enthused about that.

Mom and us girls went over to Liz’s place after the hog roast. Liz and Tim were canning applesauce. We helped Liz get her dishes washed, and of course we spoiled Liz’s dogs, Izzy and Crystal.

After Liz was married, I moved into her bedroom. I had always shared a bedroom with Susan, so it’s different to have my own bedroom now. I still forget sometimes and put my clothes in Susan’s bedroom! My siblings still call it “Liz’s room.” We miss Liz. We all looked up to her. It’s exciting to be able to go to Tim and Liz’s place and also when they come home with the dogs.

Every guest at the wedding of Verena's friend received a glass, letter opener, and comb with their names and date on them, as well as an apple and candy bar.
Every guest at the wedding of Verena’s friend received a glass, letter opener, and comb with their names and date on them, as well as an apple and candy bar.

I was a table waiter at my friend Loretta (Schwartz) Lenacher’s wedding on October 9. She was married to Lester Lenacher. Every community does weddings differently, so I had to ask a lot of questions on how they do it. It’s pretty interesting to see how differently everyone does it. I have quite a few dear friends from that community, so I really enjoyed it. I also met a lot of new friends.

Tonight I am going to make a casserole for Mom to take tomorrow. She will take it along for lunch. All the women take a dish for lunch. Chicken and potato casserole is what I’ll be making.

The leaves are falling from the trees. I miss the days when all us children were younger. We used to love playing in the leaves. All of us would help each other gather the leaves into a big pile. Then we would hide and roll in them. So many great memories shared. In a house with seven siblings, there was never a dull moment!

Kevin is only 10 years old and already almost as tall as I. Joseph, Loretta and Ben are all taller than I. Lovina and Kevin are catching up pretty fast. They all tease me about being the “shorty” of the family.

This week's recipe for chicken potato casserole comes from Lovina's daughter Verena.
This week’s recipe for chicken potato casserole comes from Lovina’s daughter Verena.

Wishing you all God’s blessings!

Chicken Potato Casserole

 2 cups chicken, cooked and cut up
6 cups potatoes, cooked and diced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, diced or shredded
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
16 ounces sour cream
1 cup cheese, shredded or cubed
Seasoning of your choice
2 cups corn flakes, crushed

In a bowl, mix up chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots and celery. Mix cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and cheese together in a separate bowl, then mix with potato mixture and season to taste. Put in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan and top with corn flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45–60 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Baby colt delights Eicher children; Lovina offers delicious spring asparagus recipe

BlackBeautyFoal
Black Beauty was born to Itty Bit May 1, 2015!

May is here already. It seems as though 2015 just began and now we are already in the month of May.

The first of May brought some excitement here. Our horse Itty Bit gave birth to a little filly. She is all black, so we named her Black Beauty. Such a lively young foal! Itty Bit is a very protective mother to the foal and it took some time for her to let us get too close to the foal.

PoleBuildingFraming
Framing went up on a new pole building, with the help of a contractor.

The construction crew started building our pole barn this morning. The poles are all set. Daughter Verena didn’t have to work today so she made chocolate chip bars and lemonade to serve to the men for their break.

My rhubarb is ready to use and I need to make rhubarb custard pie. My husband Joe always likes that.

Joe found out yesterday that they will soon be working nine hour days on Saturdays for a while. This makes him glad he hired help to put up the pole barn and didn’t attempt to put it up himself.

Last week I bought the royal blue material that I need to make address for nephew Levi’s wedding next week. I want to cut it out today and start sewing on it. I was so glad Verena could have the day off to help with the other work.

Our sympathy goes to Elizabeth’s special friend Timothy and his extended family. His grandpa died yesterday. The funeral is planned for Friday in northern Indiana.

We have radishes, peas, and corn up in the garden. We also have sweet onions planted. We had a few rainy days so once the garden dries off again we would like to plant some more of the garden. Our horseradish plant is looking nice. We want to make horseradish sauce. We grind up the root real fine and season it.

Son Kevin, 9, and Lovina are enjoying their ducks and amazed at how fast they are growing. I haven’t been out to the barn lately to see how big they are. Kevin is getting annoyed with our new rooster. He said this rooster is starting to get mean like the old one.

Thursday evening we will go to the middle school orientation with daughter Lovina, 10. Lovina and her classmates will present their career prep portfolio exit interviews to the parents. It doesn’t seem possible that number seven of our eight children has reached middle school level.

Saturday we attended the annual consignment auction. We sold our pony Tiger at the auction. Susan really hated to see him be sold but we have too many ponies around. We gave our miniature pony Minnie to Jacob and Emma’s son Steven. Lovina and Kevin are almost too big for her. Susan is training Minnie’s colt Prancer. She says he is easy to train.

It looks like we need to get the yard mowed. With the rain, the grass is growing fast.

We are enjoying asparagus fixed in different ways. Try it in this recipe. God bless!

Bunch of Green Asparagus
Bunch of green asparagus; (ThinkStock Photo)

Asparagus Ham Swirls

16 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
16 slices fully cooked ham
16 slices processed Swiss cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup dry bread crumbs
cooking oil

In a skillet, cook asparagus in a small amount of water until tender-crisp, about six to eight minutes; drain well. Spread about one teaspoon of mustard on each ham slice. Top with one cheese slice. Place one asparagus spear on each piece of cheese (trim to fit if needed). Roll up each ham slice tightly; secure with three toothpicks. Dip ham rolls in egg, then in bread crumbs.

In skillet, heat one inch of oil to 350°. Fry rolls until golden brown (about three to four minutes). Drain on paper towels; keep warm. Cut each roll between the toothpicks into three pieces.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

 

Hog butchering, Amish style, plus recipe for hamburger-veggie soup

Another week has gone by already. These last weeks have been extra busy with working on our beef and pork.

On Saturday we butchered the four pigs we raised. They were pretty big already. After all the hams, pork chops, bacon, and ribs were cut out, the bones were trimmed of the meat and the meat cut into strips for the grinder. The bones were cooked in a big black iron kettle. After the meat was soft enough to come off the bones, it was taken off and put through the grinder.

The juice that is left from cooking the meat off the bones is saved and returned to the kettle after it is measured. We then return the meat and add flour, salt, and pepper to the kettle to make Pon Haus (something similar to Scrapple). After it is cooked to the right thickness it is poured into cake pans, baking ware, or whatever you want to use. After it is cooled you can slice and fry it as a meat.

PonHaus

The lard was rendered in the big black kettle and we now have many gallons of lard again. It turned out really nice and white. I like when it isn’t dark from being cooked too long.

The sausage is ground and seasoned. A lot of work goes into a day of butchering. We still have some sausage to make into breakfast links and brats and more meat that needs to be packaged for the freezer. We are gradually working on that this week.

Sausage

Today we are canning beef vegetable soup. We cooked the beef from the bones to put in the soup. How thankful we are to be able to fill jars and the freezer with meat for another year.

Saturday, January 24, daughter Susan will be 19 years old. It will also be sister Liz’s 46th, so happy birthday wishes to both of them.

The schools closed their doors yesterday due to icy roads. This morning they had a two-hour delay because of the roads. It worked out well yesterday, as I could take Kevin to get his new leg braces repaired. A few screws had fallen out and he was unable to use the braces. They help him a lot so we didn’t want to have him be without them too long.

For the new readers of this column: a few of our children have limb-girdle type 2A muscular dystrophy. Kevin needs the leg braces to help keep his heels on the ground. They help him stay balanced when he runs or bikes. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. It is not an easy thing to accept, but we know God makes no mistakes. We need to put our full trust in God.

Congratulations go to Joe’s sister Loretta and Henry! They were blessed with their tenth child. A little girl named Damaris Joy was born to them on December 31, 2014—the final day of 2014.

I will share a recipe for hamburger soup.

Hamburger Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk

Melt butter in saucepan and brown meat. Add onions and cook until onions are transparent. Add remaining ingredients except milk and flour. Cover and cook over low heat 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Combine flour and one cup of the milk and stir into soup mixture. Bring to a boil. Add remaining milk and heat, stirring frequently. Do not boil after adding remaining milk.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Whole family gets in on butchering this week

It’s another cold January day. The temperature is finally one degree above the zero mark. The sun is shining though, which gives everything a brighter look!

We are glad for all the sun we get in the winter months. The solar freezer we have depends on the sun to keep running. We are still glad we invested in it. We have not had to spend a penny on it since we bought it a few years ago.

Beefquarters
Workroom for beef butchering

Our freezers and canning jars are filling up fast with meat. We butchered a beef last week. I gave my husband Joe a meat grinder for his birthday in December. It has sure come in handy. The children gave Joe a hamburger patty and jerky maker for Christmas that attaches to the grinder. Joe made the jerky with it and now has made hundreds of hamburger patties with it. He is very happy for all of it. We put the patties in the freezer with freezer sheets between them. It is so handy to just pull them apart and put them right in the frying pan or on the grill.

We also canned a lot of beef chunks. I cooked the meat off the bones and want to make vegetable soup to can with the meat and broth.

friedbrains
Fried brains, a delicacy for some.

Joe and some of the children like to eat the cow brains. I have never tasted them! I fried the brains for them Sunday morning. Joe likes it with eggs and fried potatoes.

Our highlight of butchering is that we can make “rare beef.” We take very thin sliced pieces of the most tender steaks. Then we put salt and lots of black pepper on both sides of each piece and fry in very hot lard or oil. You only put it in for a few turns, then flip it over for a few more turns and it’s done. This is a favorite meat for us around beef butchering time. Everyone usually starts eating as I fry it, as it is best right out of the pan. I remember my mother standing by the Kerosene stove frying it one piece at a time. Now I know what she must have thought: it is a relief to be done when everyone has had their fill. It’s a greasy job and my propane stove keeps the oil lots hotter than when I had a Kerosene stove to make it on.

rarebeef
Rarebeef, a special treat

How blessed we feel to once again be able to put meat in the freezer and jars. Since we have two freezers, I can a lot less. It is so much easier to package it than to pressure can everything.

Saturday we have plans to butcher the four pigs we raised. They are really big already so they should give us a lot of pork.

Jacob, Emma and family and sisters Verena and Susan and all the special friends plan to come help us. Many hands do make lighter work. We appreciate all the help. I’ll write more about it in next week’s column.

Our school closed its doors two days last week due to extremely cold temperatures. Everyone is back to school and work this week, leaving all the work to daughter Verne and me again.

God’s blessings to all! This week I’ll share with you one of our favorite breakfast casseroles.

Sausage Gravy Breakfast Casserole

8 oz. bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 package Smoky links, chopped
1/3 cup ham, cubed
2 cups shredded potatoes
6-12 eggs (scrambled), quantity depending on how many you are serving
1/4 cup green peppers, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 cups Colby cheese, shredded
2 quarts sausage gravy

Mix everything together except gravy (see below). Spread in a greased 9 x 11 inch pan or larger. Spread gravy over everything. Bake at 350 degrees for 40- 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Sausage Gravy

1 pound bulk sausage
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
Salt and black pepper

In a cast-iron skillet, brown sausage over medium heat. Drain off grease. Sprinkle in flour and brown lightly. Gradually add milk and mix until very smooth. Bring gravy to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cook until the desired thickness is reached. If gravy becomes too thick, additional milk may be added. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Frigid cold but warm family fellowship over haystacks, barbecued meatballs

School doors closed for the day. We are having frigid temperatures with a bitter cold wind. The wind chill is minus 30 this morning and the temperature minus 8. Brrrr! But we are enjoying winter scenery. The ground is covered with snow.

My husband Joe and daughters Elizabeth and Susan are back working at the RV factories after a two-week break. Their holiday vacation went way too fast. Joe has been at this factory ten years now.

Jacob, sister Emma and family, sisters Verena and Susan, and the girls’ special friends Timothy, Mose, Marvin, Menno, and Manuel were all here for a breakfast brunch on New Year’s Day. We added an eight-foot table and a card table to our ten-foot dining room table to make room for 24 people to sit down. We had a breakfast haystack.HaystackBreakfastEditedFor a breakfast haystack you put a variety of foods on top of each other such as: scrambled eggs, diced ham, diced Smokies, crumbled bacon, crumbled biscuits, hash brown potatoes, diced tomatoes, diced green peppers, diced onions, hot peppers, salsa, cheese sauce, and sausage gravy.

After the brunch we exchanged gifts. We had traded names earlier. It’s always exciting to see what all everyone gets and who had each other’s name. Jacob and Emma’s son Benjamin had my name. He gave me three Pyrex bowls, two memory foam pillows, and cookie cutters.

In the afternoon Mose’s parents and some of his family came by to pick up Mose and daughter Susan. They headed to Iowa to visit Mose’s sister Marilyn for a few days.

Friday evening daughter Verena left to travel the couple hours to Marvin’s place. They attended a family gathering on Saturday.

Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy left Friday evening to attend a dinner that Timothy’s employer was having for all his employees. The house seemed empty with the three oldest not at home.

Saturday afternoon Timothy came over to help Joe and the boys dress one of the beef cows we raised. They think the beef weighed around 1,400 pounds. How thankful we are that we will have hamburger and beef chunks again.

Joe also smoked some venison trail bologna in the smoker. We made quite a few pounds of venison jerky and some venison breakfast sausage. This was all from the deer that Timothy and Mose gave to us.

VenisonSausage VenisonJerky

On Tuesday, January 6, Joe and all the children were home in honor of Epiphany. Timothy and Mose came for dinner and we had a nice family day together.

This week we are working on cutting up the beef. I will write more about that next week.

God bless you all! Stay warm and healthy during this cold weather. Try this recipe for barbecued meatballs. Enjoy!

Barbecued Meatballs

3 pounds ground beef
1 and 3/4 cups milk
2 cups oatmeal
2 eggs
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder

Mix and shape into balls. Put in a pan, only one layer per pan. Put the sauce on top. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Sauce:

2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.