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The children are washing the breakfast dishes and sweeping the floors while I write this letter and ready it for today’s mail. 

I almost neglected the column with the week seeming to go by extra fast because the children were on spring break from school. With five more children at home there hasn’t been much quiet time to concentrate and write.

I had also hoped to get the yard raked, but the weather isn’t permitting it. Right now it is blowing snow and we have a thin layer of snow on the ground. The temperature was 25 this morning. Is it April or January?  

My husband, Joe, started our coal stove again last night. We hadn’t used it for about two weeks. I had also washed, folded and put away the children’s extra coats and snow pants because I was thinking spring was here to stay, but obviously I was wrong.   

We had been enjoying dandelion greens for the last week, before winter decided to return. Now with the snow it would be hard to go out and pick some. We like them fixed in a salad with hard-boiled eggs and a sour cream made of mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and milk. 

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I don’t make my sour cream as sour (adding less vinegar) as Mom did. The children seem to eat it better that way. Although some of the children don’t care for dandelion greens now, I think they will come to like them. I remember not liking them until I was a little older, but now I love them. Along with the dandelion salad we like steamed potatoes and bacon. Horseradish is also a favorite at this time of year. I am still waiting for Joe’s Uncle Soloman’s homemade horseradish recipe from Holmes County, Ohio, that I would like to share with you readers. We like to eat horseradish with our hard-boiled eggs that the children color for Easter.

The children want to color eggs today because Sunday is Easter. We want to do laundry, mop floors and then I’ll let them color around eight dozen eggs this evening.

Tomorrow, Joe will be home from work as we don’t work on Good Friday — as is true in most Amish communities. We use it as a day to honor our Lord Jesus for all the holy suffering he did as he was slain on the holy cross. We honor Him at Easter and always. Good Friday will be a nice family day to rest and read the Bible together. So often our lives get too busy so it’s nice to have a day like this together.

Our church services are now over for another turn. There is a lot of work to prepare for services, but now everything has been thoroughly cleaned, which is a good feeling. Next on our list of things to do its clean up the yard and plant grass around the new house. But we will accept the weather God sends us and take one day at a time.

Also to some who had written and asked about the pumpkin cookie recipe a couple of weeks ago, the recipe was printed correctly, it doesn’t require eggs.  Meanwhile, here is a good recipe to use up any leftover ham from Easter.

Homemade Ham Loaf 

Loaf ingredients:

1 pound cured ground ham

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1 pound pork or hamburger

2 eggs

2/3 cups cracker crumbs or oatmeal

1/3 cup minute tapioca

1/4 cup milk  

Dressing:

1 /4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup water

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1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon mustard  

Mix loaf ingredients and form into a loaf. Boil dressing a few minutes. pour over loaf and bake at 350 degrees F for about 2 hours, basting occasionally. Dressing should become thick and syrupy.

The Amish Cook is a 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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