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Amish Cook -- Fond memories of Uncle Chris

By Lovina Eicher

Oasis Newsfeatures

Uncle Chris passed away Aug. 25 at age 70. Our deepest sympathy goes to Aunt Lizzie and the family.

I have a lot of childhood memories of times spent with Uncle Chris. One of my best memories is of how we would always get together to make homemade apple butter in a big kettle over an open fire. The evening before, we would go over to their house to peel bushels of apples, and then go back early the next morning to start cooking them down. I can still remember the smell of the apples cooking in the kettle with Uncle Chris stirring them.

Apple butter sandwiches were one of our main snacks when coming home from school as children. We also liked apple butter spread on our fried mush for breakfast. After the apple butter was done, it was put into quart jars, and we could enjoy it year-round.

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The taste of apple butter just doesn’t seem to go so well with my children, but they never went through the stages of seeing it being made.

Another memory of Uncle Chris is seeing him and his family driving in their bobsled during the winter months. Sometimes they’d pick us up to go on to church or somewhere else. It was cozy for all of us children to snuggle in the warm buggy robes on top of bales of straw.

When it was haying time, we’d see them come driving in and also at hog butchering time. We would also go there whenever they needed help with any chores. There are lots more memories and I could go on and on. Uncle Chris is the third of eight children to pass away. He was two years younger than my mother and was her only brother.

Jacob and Emma and two of their children, Joe and I and four of our children, and brother Albert and Sarah Irene and their youngest child plan to attend the funeral in Indiana. Albert’s family lives in a nearby community, so we will pick them up on the way.

Meanwhile, here in this household we are trying to get everything clean and done for church services which will be held here on Sunday. So it’s a busy time. Jacob and Emma came for a couple of hours tonight to help us with final preparations. Jacob helped Joe set up the church benches in the basement, and Emma assisted me with finishing sewing the last of the curtains that I had started.

Saturday, daughter Elizabeth will attend the detasseling picnic, so she will be gone for awhile. I am sure everyone will be glad once Saturday evening comes and everything is ready for church services on Sunday.

Meanwhile, try this recipe which is good for using up some of the zucchinis still being picked in the garden.

Banana zucchini bread

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4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 medium bananas, mashed, 1 cup

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini

1 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, blend in oil and sugar. Add bananas and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into egg mixture. Stir in zucchini and pecans until combined. Pour into two greased 9 X 5 X 3 loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

The Amish Cook is a weekly column written by Lovina Eicher, an Old Order Amish woman who lives in Michigan. To comment, send mail to Eicher at P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042.

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