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AMISH COOKBOOK Family makes transition to a new school year

By Lovina Eicher

It is 8:30 a.m. on a very nice, breezy Thursday. I just finished washing the breakfast dishes. The mornings are a little more rushy now with school having started. My girls Elizabeth and Susan have to be ready to go to school by 7:10 a.m. My younger children wake up earlier now, too, so I that I can feed them all breakfast at the same time.

I ironed some clothes after my husband Joe left for work this morning, but I still have quite a bit to do yet. I want to get this written before the mailman comes. If the clothes get hung out later today, they should still dry nice with the breeze we have.

This is Elizabeth and Susan's third day of school. They were excited to meet their new teachers and very pleased after they did. Next year my daughter, Verena, will be in kindergarten. She can really be a big help to me here at home, so I'll miss her. She does a very good job of sweeping the floors and wiping off dishes.

On Monday after doing the laundry I sewed Elizabeth and Susan each a new dress for their first day of school. I didn't get the aprons sewed yet so hopefully I can do that later today.

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I ordered peaches for next week so I'll be busy getting those into jars. I always think peaches are easy to process.

My sister Verena will turn 37 tomorrow, Aug. 22. She and my sister Susan are still getting settled into their new house.

This has been an enjoyable week so far. On Monday evening our neighbors helped Joe put in our hay, so I think we now have enough hay for the coming winter.

My garden has dried off well, so I want to dig out the rest of the potatoes before we get more rain. I have had only a few tomatoes this year, but my sister Emma gave me some from her garden. Hers are doing pretty good. My brother Amos gave us some pickles and my sister Liz gave us some sweet corn. I sure appreciated it all! This was the first year my garden was this bad. It had too much water standing in it too often. Last year I had more tomatoes than we could possibly use and this year I only have a few. It's been such a wet summer which has not been good for the gardens.

A reader in Gig Harbor, Wash., requested a hot ham salad recipe. Try this tasty recipe:

Hot ham salad

3 cups diced ham

1/ 2 cup sweet pickle relish

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2 teaspoons minced onions

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

3/ 4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup diced celery

2 hard-boiled eggs

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 /4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 cup crushed potato chips

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Combine all ingredients except potato chips; place in two quart casserole. Sprinkle potato chips on top. Bake covered 20 minutes at 425 until top is bubbly and golden. Yield : 8 servings.

Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish. She hand-writes this column from her Indiana home. Lovina, age 32, inherited the column from her mother, Elizabeth, who penned it from 1991 through 2002 (see www.theamishcook). Lovina's recipe of the week can also be accessed at www.theamishcook. Anyone with cultural or cooking questions can send them to: Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, PO BOX 2144, Middletown, Ohio 45042

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