Tag Archives: chicken

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.

 

Definition of a ‘handful’? Loading baby and two dogs into a buggy

It is Thursday already, and this column should have been written yesterday! The sun is shining brightly, with the thermometer showing 62 degrees this morning.

Son Benjamin is home, as he doesn’t have work today. I hope he can clean up the remainder of the garden. We still have hot peppers, green peppers and cabbage in there.

Hot peppers from the Eicher garden, canned and ready to spice up winter meals.
Hot peppers from the Eicher garden, canned and ready to spice up winter meals.

Tonight we will go pick Concord grapes at the local U-Pick. We will also get our apples for applesauce. We are out of grape juice and applesauce, so it will be good to fill some jars with both. Timothy and Elizabeth and Mose and Susan will also go along to get grapes and apples.

Baby Abigail will be four weeks old on Saturday. She is sweeter than ever!

Daughter Elizabeth and Abigail came here for the day yesterday, and of course Crystal and Izzy (the Yorkies) came along. So Elizabeth has a handful as she gets Abigail and the dogs into the buggy! Abigail loves buggy rides, so at least she isn’t crying while they travel the almost seven miles. Their horse, ShiAnn, is a safe and sound horse for Elizabeth to drive. I keep reminding Elizabeth to take it easy, but she has a hard time not working too long. Since she became a mother, she has found out how your all nights of sleep are gone.

Monday was a cold, rainy day, so we put off laundry until Tuesday. Since we skipped washing clothes I cut out daughter Loretta’s dress, cape and apron for an upcoming wedding. I sewed most of it yesterday.

Tuesday we did our laundry, and after it was all washed and hung on the lines, we went over to Timothy and Elizabeth’s house to wash their laundry. It was a nice sunny, breezy day, so the clothes dried really well. It was almost dark by the time we made it home.

Mose had grilled hamburgers and Susan had heated up leftover pizza casserole for supper. Susan had made pizza casserole and baked five loaves of bread on Monday after she came home from work. She made a small casserole for us to take to Elizabeth’s. We took it along to her on Tuesday so she had an easy supper for her and Timothy.

Last Thursday Joe and I, along with daughter Verena and my sisters Susan and Verena, traveled to a wedding in Berne, Indiana. It turned out to be a beautiful day for the wedding of niece Arlene and Robert. Daughter Verena was a tablewaiter at the wedding. I was a cook and had to help make the lettuce salad. My five sisters—Leah, Verena, Liz, Emma and Susan—and I, and also sister-in-law Sarah Irene, were all on the job of making salad. It is always enjoyable to work with family.

On the menu were barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken and noodles, dressing, mixed vegetables, lettuce salad, cheese, homemade bread and cinnabutter (peanut butter with cinnamon flavor). Niece Susan made it but I didn’t get the recipe. Desserts were tapioca pudding, mixed fruit salad, pecan, cherry, blueberry and pumpkin pie and angel food cake with strawberry topping. Wedding Nothings were on the menu as well.

Crispy Chicken

1 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup melted butter
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Combine the first five ingredients. Dip chicken in butter and then into cereal mixture. Put in an 11 x 7-inch pan. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake at 400 degrees 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 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.

A pony, A wedding, and a children’s cornfield hideaway

A lovely Tuesday evening! It was a chilly 41 degrees this morning but warmed up into the 70s.

Right now it is pretty quiet in this house. Six of our children decided to go the four miles to sister Emma and Jacob’s house. Some rode the ponies and some biked. They wanted to go see Jacob’s new pony.

Joseph volunteered to stay home and do the evening chores. Elizabeth stayed to help me with supper. On our menu tonight will be fish, French fries and onion rings. That is always a favorite meal around here.

The wedding for niece Elizabeth and Samuel is now over. We wish them God’s blessings as they join hands for life. They had a beautiful wedding day. On the menu for dinner were barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken and noodles, dressing, mixed vegetables, lettuce salad, carrot salad, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, celery sticks and Nothings. Nothings are a sweet, thin pastry that has been deep-fried. Dessert was cake, cinnamon pudding, zucchini bars, a variety of cookies, mixed fruit and pies—cherry, Dutch apple, pecan and vanilla crumb. In the evening smoked sausage was added to the menu. My job was to help with the dressing. One hundred eggs were put into the dressing. I will share the recipe with you readers, but I had to reduce the recipe of 20 eggs down to 5 eggs so it will be easier for smaller batches.

There was plenty of food left over. It’s always easier to have too much than not enough. It is probably a big relief for sister Liz and Levi to have this over with. A lot of work is involved in preparing for a wedding.

The day before the wedding, daughter Verena and I traveled the two hours to Berne, Indiana, to help prepare food for the wedding. The group of us who helped made the Nothings, baked 80 pies, peeled potatoes, and chopped a lot of vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, cauliflower, broccoli and radishes. This makes it easier to prepare salads, dressing, etc. On the day of the wedding, carrot salad was also prepared in serving bowls.

My husband, Joe, and sons Benjamin, Joseph and Kevin cleared out one of our gardens and hauled manure on it. It is now ready to till, and we will plant a cover crop. In the other garden we still have tomatoes, but otherwise I think everything is done for the season. We had a nice crop of cabbage this year, but our potatoes didn’t do so well.

Lovina’s cabbages did well this year. These heads were recently harvested from her garden.
Lovina’s cabbages did well this year. These heads were recently harvested from her garden.

The boys and daughter Lovina built a campout area by the big tree in the middle of our cornfield earlier this summer when the corn was short. They had a path through the corn to their camp. If I called for them, they could hear me. Sometimes they would go back there to read. Since it won’t be too long before the corn is harvested, they decided to take down their “camp” for the winter.

 

Lovina’s children made this campout area in their cornfield this summer.
Lovina’s children made this campout area in their cornfield this summer.

God’s blessings to all!

 

Wedding Dressing

  •  5 eggs
  • ¾ cup powdered chicken soup base
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • 18 slices bread, cubed
  • 1 cup chicken, cut up
  • 1½ cups onions, chopped
  • 1½ cups celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup peas
  • 3¾ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup chicken fat or butter

Beat eggs. Dissolve chicken soup base in hot water. (I buy powdered chicken soup base in bulk, but you can substitute 3 or 4 chicken bouillon cubes.) Add this mixture, along with remaining ingredients, to eggs and mix well. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 375° for one hour or until well set.

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.