Tag Archives: butchering

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.