Tag Archives: butchering

Meat aplenty: Making pon hoss and cutting up beef

Saturday we left at 6:00 a.m. to go help sister Emma and Jacob butcher three hogs. One of the hogs was for Menno (Menno is a special friend of niece Emma, 19—Emma and Jacob’s daughter). Menno lives alone in the house Timothy (married to our Elizabeth) used to live in before he moved to the bigger place they have now.

My sisters Verena and Susan, Timothy, Elizabeth, Abigail, Mose, Susan, and Dustin (Loretta’s special friend) were all there to help too. Many hands make lighter work and we were mostly done by early afternoon. We made pon hoss from the broth and meat cooked from the pork bones. Flour, salt, and pepper is added to thicken it to make what we call pon hoss. After the pon hoss has firmed up in pans, you can cut it in slices and cover with flour and fry it. Our children love pon hoss fried for breakfast. I must say I do like pon hoss, but I’m always glad when the last of it is fried up. This year we did put a few pans in the freezer. We will see how it tastes after it’s been frozen awhile.

I think people in some areas call pon hoss “scrapple.” But we do not put any pork liver in our pon hoss—only the meat cooked from the bones. My parents would always make liver pudding and use some of the meat from the bones. We don’t make liver pudding because it seems Joe is the only one that cares for it around here.

My husband Joe took our meat slicer along and sliced all the ham, bacon, and pork chops for Jacob’s and Menno. Everything was bagged and put in the freezer. Some of the sausage was canned.

Beef will supply food for the family for many months.

Our big project for this week is to cut up our big beef that’s butchered and hanging out in the pole barn. We are glad the temperature has dropped. The thermometer is at the 30 degree mark and it should chill the beef well. We will start cutting it up tomorrow afternoon and finish Saturday if we don’t get it finished. The pole barn isn’t heated so it makes a nice big cooler for the meat.

Sunday evening Timothy, Elizabeth, Abigail, Mose, Susan, and Dustin were our supper guests. The men and boys played horseshoes outside. They were a gift Tim received at Christmas so he brought the game along. It was a very pleasant, warmer day so they were glad to be outdoors. The girls and I made supper, visited, and took turns spoiling little Abigail. She is growing so fast! She hugs us and holds her lips to our cheek like she’s kissing us. She will be six months old tomorrow already! She weighs fifteen pounds now and is twenty-six inches long. One day when we prayed before we ate, she put her hands together and acted like she was praying too. I will quit for now with stories about Abigail. Every grandma knows these feelings and knows how precious grandchildren are.

I am getting so many letters from readers asking where my new cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook: Everyday Recipes from Farm and Pantry can be purchased. I thought I would share in the column where it can be preordered. You can call 800-245-7894 to preorder from the publisher, or if you go online, you can order from Amazon and other stores online. It comes out April 17. I appreciate all the interest in the new cookbook. It was quite an adventure to make my first cookbook without a co-author. I have so many people to acknowledge in the book. Without them I could not have done it! God bless!

Sour Cream Apple Pie

1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced or diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Beat first 7 ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Stir in apples and pour into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients, mixing to make crumbs. Remove pie from oven and cover with crumb mixture. Return to oven for 20 minutes, or until crumbs are nicely browned. If necessary, cover crimped edge of crust with foil to prevent over browning.

 

 Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, will be published in 2017. 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.

 

Tapping trees, baking bread and going to baptism fill February days

We have had a few very warm spring-like days. Son-in-law Mose took advantage of the weather and tapped our maple trees. He also tapped sister Emma and Jacob’s trees. They asked him to cook their maple syrup for them. Son-in-law Timothy is tapping their trees to make their own maple syrup.

Son-in-law Mose uses bags instead of buckets to collect sap from the trees.

The weather has been colder the last few days, which slowed down the flow of the sap. On those warmer days Mose collected quite a few gallons of sap. He’s not looking for a good year for maple syrup though.

My daughters and I assisted sister Emma with her cleaning a few days last week as she prepared to host church services on Sunday. On Saturday, Joe and I plus our sons Benjamin, Joseph and Kevin went to help with the final preparations.

Daughter Susan and I baked ten loaves of bread on Friday to help out for Sunday. I think Emma also had around forty-five loaves of wheat and white bread coming in from some of the ladies in the church. That way we don’t have to bake bread for our own church when we host the services. Jacob and Emma hold church services in their heated attached garage that was added to their house a few years ago.

Now that Emma and Jacob’s turn to host church is over, we will concentrate on butchering. The temperature shows 19 degrees now, so it is perfect weather for us to butcher. We will butcher three hogs here at our place on Saturday. We will give one to Mose and Susan to help fill their freezer and canning jars since they are newlyweds.

We raised the hogs and they grew fast. They are very big and should make a lot of ham, bacon and sausage for us. And of course the family is looking forward to some pon hoss being added to our menus in the next weeks. We like to make plenty of pon hoss to share with others. For those of you who aren’t familiar with pon hoss, it is made with the meat and juice cooked from the bones. We add flour, pepper and salt and it thickens as it cooks. We do this outside in our big black kettle over an open fire. After it has been poured in pans and cooled off and set, it is ready to slice and fry.

Daughters Verena and Loretta attended church in Dustin’s church district on Sunday. They were disappointed that they couldn’t attend the services at Emma and Jacob’s, but they went to Dustin’s sister Grace’s baptismal services that were held the same day. Four other young souls and Grace were baptized into the Amish faith and are now members of the church. This is a big step for the Amish youth to take, and we wish them God’s blessings in life. How pleasing to God when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior! Life doesn’t get easier with time, so it helps to have God lead the way for us.

God’s blessings to all of you as well. Take care and stay healthy!

Sister Emma made fajitas similar to this recipe when we were there to assist them with cleaning to host church services.

FAJITAS

Marinade
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Meat
1 pound sirloin steak or boned, skinless chicken breasts

Sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
dash each salt and black pepper

 Vegetables
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1/2 each green, red, and yellow bell peppers, seeded, thinly sliced

Tortillas and toppings
4 flour tortillas
shredded cheese
sour cream
guacamole
tomatoes

Combine the marinade ingredients, and place with meat in a plastic container with cover or a zip-top plastic bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Discard leftover marinade. Grill meat over medium flame, 4-5 minutes on each side. Cut meat into thin strips. Set aside and keep warm.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Cook onion and peppers in oil until brown. Remove from heat. Pour sauce over onions and peppers. Combine meat with onions and peppers. Serve on flour tortillas with desired toppings. Yields 4 servings.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, will be published in 2017. 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.

 

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.

Winter tastes like homemade soup and jerky at the Eichers

We have had quite a few inches of snow this week. Along with the snow we have also had colder temperatures. The mercury on the thermometer dipped down to 13 degrees this morning.

Yesterday daughters Verena, Loretta and I spent the day at daughter Elizabeth’s house. We helped her process 38 quarts of vegetable soup. She told us to come for breakfast so we did all our morning work and headed for her house. She made Egg Dutch for our breakfast. It was delicious. My mother fixed Egg Dutch a lot. It’s a simple and easy breakfast dish.

For our lunch Elizabeth made chili soup along with crackers, chips, dirt pudding, and ice cream. We were done with the soup around 2:00 p.m. We spent a few hours relaxing and visiting with her before coming home.

Canned vegetable soup makes for easy meals and quick lunches to take to school and work.
Canned vegetable soup makes for easy meals and quick lunches to take to school and work.

Earlier in the week we processed 46 quarts of vegetable soup for us. It is so handy to open up a few quarts of soup for a meal when you’re in a hurry. It also is nice to have on hand for school or work lunches.

After we came home, Elizabeth called and said Timothy had come home from work with a cut-up foot. Somehow he cut it at the sawmill where he is working. He will be off work for a few days. It sounds like it was pretty painful last night. It’s hard for Timothy to have to take it easy! I hope it will heal fast.

Our three school-age children will be home tomorrow and Monday. It’s their midwinter break. The girls are making deer jerky, which can be time consuming. Every batch takes a few hours of baking in a 200 degree oven. We are making several different kinds, such as hickory, cajun, and jalapeño. Joe wants to make summer sausage with the venison sausage too. He will add sausage from our hogs we butcher.

The Eicher girls were busy making venison jerky this week.
The Eicher girls were busy making venison jerky this week.

Our plans are to butcher our hogs February 20 since Joe has to work this Saturday. Last Saturday we attended a funeral of a local Amish man, so we postponed the hog butchering.

Last Friday, February 5, was the birthday of Mose, daughter Susan’s friend. A happy birthday to him. Also, I want to wish my friend Ruth a happy birthday, which was on February 9. I won’t mention her age in the column but she is getting to that “over the hill” part of life. I owe Ruth a big thank you for all she has done to help me with this column and in a lot of other ways. True friends like her are hard to find.

It is a relief that all the beef is done now. Once the pork is done I hope to find time to start sewing again. I still didn’t get all the clothes sewn that were given as Christmas gifts.

I hope all of you readers are staying healthy this winter. We can’t complain too much. So far we’ve been only battling colds. I started with a nagging cough a few days ago. I’m trying all my home remedies to get rid of it, and it seems better today.

I’ll share the Egg Dutch recipe for the readers who are new to the column. God bless all of you!

Egg Dutch

5 eggs
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Put into a bowl in the order given and beat. Pour into a heated, greased skillet and cover with a tight lid. Place over medium low heat. Cut and turn when half done and finish baking. I usually put cheese on top when almost done. Bacon bits can also be added.

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.

 

DIY on the farm: Make fresh noodles and avoid naming your next dinner

April! Signs of spring are everywhere! The early spring flowers are coming through. Also, rhubarb and horseradish are pushing through the soil.

My husband, Joe, planted some radishes, peas and sweet corn this week. Time will tell if they will grow. We had rain yesterday and this forenoon. We have been getting some of the yard raked between rains. It looks like it’s turning nicer now.

The schoolchildren are enjoying their week off. Yesterday we made noodles and cheese. I tried a different noodle recipe from the one I usually use. The noodles turned out really nice. We’ll have some tonight for supper. I was clear out of noodles, so it was time to make more. I would like to make a few more batches to store for the weeks ahead. We like beef and noodles or chicken and noodles, so they don’t last long around here.

Lovina made fresh noodles last week; see the end of the column for the recipe.
Lovina made fresh noodles last week; see the end of the column for the recipe.

Joe, Elizabeth, Susan, Verena and Benjamin are all working today. If the children weren’t home on spring break, I would be the only one home. Verena is enjoying the work she does. She does some office work and helps a lady with organic gardening. They will sell produce, among other items, at flea markets this summer.

On Good Friday Joe and I and some of the children attended the wedding of Benjamin and Elizabeth. We enjoyed getting to visit with aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. We arrived back home around 5:30 p.m.

Colorful Easter eggs on the Eichers' kitchen table.
Colorful Easter eggs on the Eichers’ kitchen table.

We received several more wedding invitations. Congratulations to nephew John and Arlene! They chose May 29 for their special day. Our neighbor boy Joe and his special friend, Susie, were published in our church on Sunday for a June 4 wedding. Congratulations to them as well! I have been asked to be a cook at both weddings.

We have three little pigs here now. We have extra milk from our cow, Bessie, to help feed them. Son Kevin, 9, wondered if he could give the pigs names. I told him it would be better to not make friends with them as they will be our meat next winter.

Lovina's son Kevin suggested naming their little pigs. His mother suggested otherwise.
Lovina’s son Kevin suggested naming their little pigs. His mother suggested otherwise.

I still remember when I was a little girl and my parents butchered one of our favorite old milk cows named Whitey. We had a hard time thinking about her being the beef we were eating. After that, Dad never butchered the milk cows. He would raise other beef for that. An older cow doesn’t make good steaks like a younger steer does.

This week, I’ll share the noodle recipe with readers. God bless you!

Noodles

2 cups egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cup boiling water
9 cups flour

Beat egg yolks, add boiling water and beat quickly until foamy. Pour into flour. Stir until most of the flour is mixed in. Put a lid on the bowl and let stand 10–15 minutes. Put dough on floured table and roll out. Cut into squares and put through noodle maker or cut by hand.

Either cook noodles right away or dry for future use. To dry, lay out and turn daily for a week, then store in an airtight container. After drying, the noodles can be frozen.

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.

February brings snow drifts, baptism services, and butchering

Greetings from snowy Michigan! We received more than a foot of snow over the weekend. Some had reports of 16-18 inches. It’s a pretty sight to look at. The evergreen trees have enough snow on their branches to make such nice scenery. What a wonderful creator our God is! The temperature also dipped down to almost zero degrees. The wind chill was even colder.

With all the snow and wind, the roads weren’t opened until Monday. Everyone was home—factories closed and schools all closed in the county. We did the laundry and Joe mixed the summer sausage so we could get it in bags. We hung it in the pole building to cure for a week or two. Then Joe will smoke it in the smoker. The recipe calls for 100 pounds of hamburger and sausage, so we ended up with almost 40 bags of summer sausage. We added cheddar cheese to some of it and also hot pepper cheese to some of it.

The Eicher family recipe for summer sausage is a large one—calling for 100 pounds of hamburger and sausage. They added either cheddar or hot pepper cheese to some of the sausage.
The Eicher family recipe for summer sausage is a large one—calling for 100 pounds of hamburger and sausage. They added either cheddar or hot pepper cheese to some of the sausage.

Saturday we helped Jacob and Emma with pork butchering. We made Pon Haus (similar to scrapple) out of 21 gallons of pork juice and rendered the lard.

Sunday we visited a neighboring church district to attend baptism services for four young souls. One of the boys is a brother to Mose (Susan’s friend). The building was filled to capacity with people. When we left in the morning only a few inches of snow were on the ground. By the time we started home in the afternoon, the roads had nice-sized drifts on them. Our ramp and steps to the house had quite a bit of snow on them. By the time we walked through the drifts of snow to the house, our shoes were all wet.

Our neighbor boy shoveled out our drive on Monday with their skid loader. In the yard we have huge piles of snow, which the younger children enjoy playing on.

Daughter Verena went to the community building on Saturday evening. The youth all gather there on Saturday evenings. A few sets of parents go as chaperones. Verena went home with niece Salome and some friends and spent the night at Salome’s house (Joe’s sister Loretta and her husband, Henry).

They all came to the baptism church on Sunday that we attended. Verena got to hold little Damaris, Loretta and Henry’s new baby. Sounds like she’s a real cutie! Salome will be baptized to the confession of faith in a few weeks, so we hope to attend the services in Nappanee, Ind. When children take this serious step, what a blessing it is to parents.

Tomorrow evening daughter Susan will go to her special friend Mose’s house in honor of his birthday. Happy birthday, Mose! Mose and Elizabeth’s friend, Timothy, have both been such wonderful friends to our daughters. They are always willing to pitch in and help when work needs to be done around here.

My very special friend, Ruth, will also have a birthday on Feb. 9. Happy birthday, Ruth! She has been a great help and encouragement to me to continue with this column. God bless her!

A reader requested a recipe for cashew crunch, which I didn’t have. But another reader was kind enough to send one to me. God bless!

Cashew Crunch

1 pound cashews, coarsely ground
1 5-ounce can chow mein noodles, coarsely ground
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 16-ounce package chocolate candy coating

Place cashews, noodles, and marshmallows in a large bowl. Melt coating and pour over mixture. Mix well. Pour onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and spread out. Let cool and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

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.

Busy butchering day proves a blessing

Today is our youngest child Kevin’s ninth birthday. Has it really been that long? It was also the first day of school, so he was a tired little boy tonight. Daughter Verena baked a horseshoe-shaped cake for him today since I wasn’t home all day. He requested a horseshoe cake and wanted chocolate cake.

Lovina's youngest child, Kevin, turned 9 this week, and his older sister made him this horseshoe cake.
Lovina’s youngest child turned nine this week, and his older sister made him this horseshoe cake.

Foremost on our minds is the sad news that Uncle Andy Coblentz, 81, passed away last night. He was the brother right after my dad in age. Dad would be 83 if he were still here. We are glad we were able to see Uncle Andy and Aunt Caroline at the reunion in July. Our sympathy goes to Aunt Caroline and cousins Andrea, Lori, and David, and also to all the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our plans are to attend the funeral on Friday, which is over three hours from here. I’m sure Andy will be missed by many. May God be with them as they mourn for such a great man. Only God can bring us comfort in times like this.

On Labor Day we had a very busy day. A few of the girls washed the laundry while the rest of us butchered 51 chickens. In four hours we had the chickens all cut up. We soaked the meat in ice water to cool off before bagging it for the freezer. These chickens were broilers, which one can eat fresh or freeze. They were six weeks old and weighed around three and a half to five pounds. We had over 180 pounds of meat total. What a blessing to be able to put it all in the freezer for later use. We appreciated the help of Timothy and Mose, which made everything go faster. We had an assembly line, with one guy chopping off the heads of the chickens and a few people plucking the feathers after they were dipped in scalding water. Then they were gutted, cleaned and cut up into pieces. The gizzards and hearts were also saved to clean. The wings were bagged separately to be grilled for hot wings. After butchering chickens, none of us are ready for a meal of chicken for a while!

Sunday evening we had supper with sisters Verena and Susan, as brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and family were there. Albert’s married sons, Joe and Albert Jr., and their families were also there. Jacob and Emma’s children were also there, but Jacob and Emma couldn’t attend as Jacob wasn’t feeling good. We were served a good supper of barbecued chicken and all the trimmings.

My husband, Joe, doesn’t have work this week. Today Joe and I and sisters Verena and Susan traveled to Berne, Indiana. We spent most of the day at sister Liz’s house, helping her clean for the upcoming wedding of their oldest daughter, Elizabeth. Sister Leah was also there. Sister Emma has church services at her house on Sunday, so she wasn’t able to go. It was enjoyable to work together again, but we missed Emma. Tomorrow I will go help Emma with preparations for church services.

And like I don’t have enough to do, the peaches I ordered came today. Life gets too busy at times! Let us always take time for God. How easy it is to neglect God when we get busy.

Joseph, who had two surgeries recently, seems to keep gaining strength every day. We are so happy for that.

It is already 10:30 p.m. Everyone has gone to bed. I need to join them, but I knew I needed to write this column. Try this chicken biscuit stew sometime.

Wishing you all God’s richest blessings!

Chicken Biscuit Stew

  •  ¼ cup margarine or butter
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1⅓ cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup onions
  • biscuits

Melt butter and add flour, salt and pepper. Add milk to form a white sauce, stirring until thick. In a separate pan, boil potatoes, carrots and peas; drain. Add to white sauce and then add broth, chicken and onions. Put into 9×13 pan and top with unbaked biscuits. (You can use storebought biscuits in a tube or your own favorite biscuit recipe.) Bake at 375° for 20–25 minutes.

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 Editor@LovinasAmishKitchen.com.