A bountiful harvest to preserve and enjoy
The mercury on the thermometer dipped down to a chilly 55 degrees this morning. Son Joseph, 18, just came in from doing the morning chores. He said it’s pretty chilly out there this morning with the wind. His driver should be here any minute. I made him an egg and cheese sandwich for his breakfast. His lunch is packed and water jug is filled.
Son Benjamin, 21, left at 4:30 a.m. (half an hour ago). I made him an egg and cheese sandwich, too, but he packs his own lunch or sometimes doesn’t take one. He likes leftovers from the night before, but Joseph would rather have a sandwich. My husband, Joe, left at 3:45 a.m. He likes sliced tomatoes, Miracle Whip salad dressing, and bread, packed individually in his lunch bucket. He then makes his own sandwiches. This morning, I also put salted sliced cucumbers in his lunch.
Joseph just left, and I made my coffee and want to write this column so it’s off my mind. We have lots of corn that needs to be taken care of today, since our last patch of sweet corn is ready. I picked all the ears from the stalks with the help of son Kevin, 14. I also pulled the stalks from the garden right away, and Kevin threw them over the fence.
We have one steer we are raising for our beef this winter. He looks like he enjoys the corn stalks. Now we have cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes left in the gardens. Benjamin and Joseph dug up another bucket of red potatoes last night, so I have some to use.
Our supper was fresh steamed red potatoes, fresh corn and cucumber salad, beef chunks, cheese, lettuce and sour cream. We also had hot peppers and tomatoes. It made a quick, easy meal, with most of it coming fresh from the garden. I make goulash a lot with fresh tomatoes as well. I brown the hamburger, then add tomato chunks (first taking the skin off the tomatoes), then when the tomatoes cook down enough, I add macaroni and season to taste. A quick, simple meal.
Altogether, we have canned 50 pints of salsa, around 25 quarts of pickles — some spicy dill and some garlic dill. We froze our green beans and have another bucket ready to be cleaned for the freezer. I am so thankful for everything that goes into cans or the freezer. Do we thank God enough for the bountiful harvest?
Last Friday, Joe and I, daughters Verena, 22, and Lovina, 16, and Kevin, along with my sisters Verena and Susan, sister Emma and Jacob, and their son, Steven, traveled to Baltic, Ohio. We stayed in a motel and attended the funeral of Uncle Abe Raber. Abe and Aunt Lovina were married 17 years. Aunt Lovina was a close aunt to me growing up. I was named after her and lived in the same church district, only 3 1/2 miles from them. Lovina is my mother’s sister.
Lovina was first married to Uncle Toby, and they had nine children. Abe was married to his first wife and had 10 children. Together, the two families from Abe and Aunt Lovina total 19 children.
It was so good to see Lovina again, but not in this situation. She will have many lonely days now. She is 81, and Abe was 83. We grew up always being with Toby and Lovina’s family, so it was so nice to get to visit with her children and reminisce about all the times we had growing up. Our sympathy goes to all the families involved in losing their father, stepfather, grandfather and stepgrandfather, and of course, to dear Aunt Lovina. Some of Lovina’s children said that Abe was the only grandfather their younger children knew.
We appreciated the hospitality of Lovina’s Ohio church and friends. I met quite a few readers. We arrived back home Saturday evening safe and sound.
I’ll end this wishing you all God’s richest blessings.
3 cups crushed fresh peaches
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the peaches and 6 tablespoons sugar and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mix well, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Alternately, add the peach and flour mixtures to the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in the nuts and pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 55 minutes. Turn out on a rack to cool. Makes 1 medium loaf.
Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to 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.