It is a hot, humid July evening. I am sitting outside on our porch, but can hardly feel any breeze. The mercury on the thermometer still shows 95 degrees at 8 p.m. Hopefully it will cool off soon.

My husband Joe is doing much better, and the doctor had good news for him. All the tests came back OK. He needs to stay on the antibiotics for now, but the wound is almost healed. This heat doesn’t help the swelling in his legs, but they look much better.

Joe loves salt, and having to do without has been hard for him, but he is getting used to it. I’m getting used to cooking without it and letting everyone season their own food.

One morning when it was nice and cool, Joe and I went out in the garden and pulled a lot of weeds. Before we knew it, 3 1/2 hours had passed, so we came in for a break. The heat was getting worse by noon, but the garden looks much better.

The cucumbers and zucchini are ready to use now, and tomatoes are on the way. The sweet corn really grew with a recent rain we had. We have much to be thankful for.

We received the sad news that Joe’s aunt Josephine, age 81, passed away yesterday. 

Since March, Joe and I have had two uncles and three aunts pass away. It gives us a sad feeling to lose uncles and aunts with both sets of parents gone too.

Josephine was a sister to Joe’s mother. She was two years older than her. Joe’s mother died 24 years ago at the age of 54. Our children never knew their grandmother. Joe’s three younger sisters were 15, 16 and 17 when their mother passed away. I often think how I would have felt if I had lost my mother at that age.

You often hear people say you only live once, but actually that isn’t true — it’s more like we only die once. Let us be ready when our time comes, leaving good memories for all our loved ones to remember us by.

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan came for the day along with sweet little Abigail, Jennifer and baby T.J. When I call him Timothy, Abigail reminds me that he’s T.J. and her little brother and she’s the big sister.

Abigail and Jennifer are starting to team up, which isn’t always so good. Today, their mothers discovered them with my Kleenex box, which was quite full. They had already emptied half the box, pulling tissues and throwing them in the air. It was hard not to laugh when the little sweeties didn’t realize they were doing anything wrong.

We had a nice day doing not much of anything but trying to stay cool.

I tried a new recipe — a breakfast skillet — for our breakfast and then we had — don’t be surprised — frozen pizzas for our lunch. Yes, that doesn’t sound like Amish cooking, but with the heat, it was just perfect for us. Having solar-powered freezers, it is easier to have those things on hand, although I don’t do it often. Joe doesn’t care for them. He likes homemade pizza, but who wants to cook when the temperature is close to 100 degrees?

Breakfast Skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled

½ cup diced green bell peppers

½ cup diced onions

1 dozen eggs, beaten

2 cups shredded cheese of your choice

1 cup milk

¼ cup flour

Heat oil in a large skillet. Stir all other ingredients together, then pour into the hot skillet. Cover. Cook a few minutes, then gently run a spatula along the edges and underneath, letting egg run to the sides. Cover again and continue cooking until eggs are set.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write her at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her.

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