AMISH COOKBOOK Flooded rivers make Rainy Day Soup appropriate
By Lovina Eicher
We have had rain every day for a week. The rivers are overflowing their banks, which has caused devastating flooding in this area. A lot of homes have had to be evacuated because of flood damage. I feel so sorry for these people who have had their homes destroyed. It must really be hard on them. Some have lost all their belongings. Our house has been spared the flooding, but we're pretty well cut off with almost all roads in the area covered with water.
Our area has had over 10 inches of rain. Our rain gauge holds six inches and it was overflowing. Older people in this area say they never have seen the water like this before. There is water standing in places it never has before. The man that drives my husband, Joe, to work lives about 3⁄4; mile east from here but there is water across the road and he has to detour to get to our place. We live only 21⁄2; miles from town but we have to go north almost as far as the next town and then drive back south because of water being over so many roads. This takes a long time in a horse and buggy, which does a pretty good job of getting through water-covered roads as long as it's not too deep.
I am hoping the rain will quit so the water will go back down, as I need to get to town soon for some groceries. Some stores had to close because of flooding. We had more rain during the night and it looks like it could rain some more.
Speaking of water, I have water heating to do laundry but maybe it'll be rainy today. So I might not get to dry clothes.
I have planted more radishes and lettuce in our garden and they were up really nice, but now that part of the garden is flooded. Hopefully it won't hurt it and everything will come back okay. We are still enjoying peas, green beans, and hot peppers out of the part of the garden that isn't flooded.The garden really needs to be weeded but it's too wet to go out in it now.
My girls and I were using the rainy days to wash out the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I'd like to get the rest done today. Even three-year old Loretta wanted to help us. We also washed a lot of dishes that don't get used often and get dusty.
My sister Liz and her husband, Levi, have church services at their house on Sunday. We will have to detour quite a ways to get there.
Jacob and Emma had a nice day on Sunday for church services. But in the evening it really stormed and hailed. The wind was so strong. We can be very thankful when a storm passes over us without any damage or anyone hurt.
We are getting a shower of rain now, so unless it clears off I will postpone doing my laundry.
The children and I helped my sisters Verena and Susan move some more of their belongings on Tuesday to their new home. My sister Emma and children were also there helping. It will be quite a change for Verena and Susan to get adjusted to a new place.
Try this good soup recipe:
Rainy day soup
4 pounds of meat and bones or any bits of leftover meat
5 quarts of cold water
1 tablespoon of salt
2 stalks celery
1 teaspoon parsley
1⁄2; teaspoon thyme
After rinsing the meat and bones, put it into a clean kettle and cover with cold water. Add salt and let it heat slowly until the fat rises -- skim well. Let it simmer until time to strain it. Cut the vegetables in slices or bits and fry them in an ounce of butter until a light brown; add them to the soup with the spice and herbs. Cook all one hour; strain through a fine cheesecloth. The soup should stand until the grease settles on top, then skim every particle off. Thirty minutes before serving; set it back over the fire and heat. Serve hot.
The Amish Cook is a weekly column written by Lovina Eicher, an Old Order Amish woman who lives in Ohio. To comment, send mail to Eicher at P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042.