By LOVINA EICHER
It is a cold, 40-degree Monday morning. Yesterday morning, it was even colder, and it frosted in a lot of places. This will probably put the garden season for 2011 to an end. My back porch has red beets and peppers waiting to be canned.
Friday, we went to get apples and grapes at the local U-Pick farm. A lady in our church offered me use of her steamer to make the grape juice. I can now see how much easier it is to steam the grapes and can the concentrate, rather than use the method I had used before. We put two bushels of grapes into juice on Saturday using the steamer. I hope to get me a steamer before the next growing season.
Husband Joe went back to work after a week at home due to not having work at the factory. Last week was a very rainy week so he didn't get the garden tilled yet beings that it was too wet. He did get a lot of other odd and end jobs done around the house. The week being rainy, it was very difficult to get the laundry dried. We hung as much of it on our porch as we could. We don't have our stove going yet so not having heat yet in the house clothes didn‘t dry very fast. Even on the porch the clothes did not dry well due to the dampness from the rain. We finally managed to get everything dry by Friday after we had washed everything on Tuesday.
Saturday was cold but sunny and breezy so we took advantage of the weather. We did laundry again and took all the bed sheets. Every week the bed sheets from six beds can make a huge laundry. It is now 8 a.m. and the sun is shining bright. We will do laundry again today taking advantage of the weather. It doesn't take long for dirty laundry to accumulate with 10 people in the family.
Yesterday Jacob, Emma and family and Elizabeth's friend were our dinner guests. On the menu was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, mixed vegetables, macaroni salad, pasta salad, sliced cheese, sliced tomatoes, green peppers and sweet onions. Also strawberry cheesecake, peach cobbler, peanut butter pie, and watermelon. The watermelon was out of Jacob's garden. The peach cobbler daughter Susan made with peaches we put in the freezer.
Our neighbor lady gave me the peaches and also gave me the idea of freezer peaches to put in pies and desserts. We had plenty of leftovers for supper tonight. The children enjoyed taking pony rides with Stormy while their cousins were visiting. Meanwhile, the girls went over to our friend Amy's house to see the newest addition to their family, a daughter, Emily Elizabeth. We used to help her out with her other children. Her twins Joshua and Jacob, 7, would always come here after school while they were in kindergarten. Her son Matthew we kept here for a few months also while Amy worked. It didn't take us long to really get attached to the children. Lovina and Kevin always enjoyed their playmates when they were here. Now time has passed so quickly, and they are all in school full time.
Yesterday afternoon, we had surprise visitors from Ohio. They were Joe's Uncle Solomon Eicher, another uncle, Jacob and Mary Eicher, and three of their grandchildren, Susan, Norman, and Ben Eicher. Ben has a special friend in this community. We were glad they stopped in for a visit.
We have three bushels of apples on hand which the children enjoy eating for after school snacks. We are also enjoying fresh cider right now. With all the apples we have on hand, we are trying many new recipes. For instance, try this delicious, fresh apple cake:
Editor's note: A very limited number of Amish Cook "book passes" are available for purchase this week on a first-come, first-serve basis. The passes cover upcoming titles including The Amish Recipe Project, The Best of The Amish Cook Volume 4, Amish Cooks Across America and others. For information or to purchase, go to www.oasisnewsfeatures.com/special.