Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 9, 2014

Recovering from holidays with cheese soup

BY LOVINA EICHER Local columnist
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — This my final column of 2013. This is Friday after Christmas. We had a very nice enjoyable Christmas day. We made a big breakfast casserole the night before with the ingredients being scrambled eggs, shredded potatoes, onions, green peppers, diced cheese, bacon, ham, and then topped with sausage gravy.

On Christmas morning we put it in the oven to heat while we opened gifts. Everyone was very happy and excited for their gifts. Although it is exciting to open presents at Christmas time, may we always remember the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus, our Savior, was born. After all the gifts were opened we ate breakfast, or more like brunch. Then the dishes were washed while Christmas carols were sung.

The rest of the day was spent playing games, enjoying new gifts, and just relaxing. What a nice family day to all be together. Snacks were also enjoyed and goodies given from the neighbors. Later we had a light supper of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Around 8 p.m. Timothy and Mose left for their homes bringing the well-spent day to a close here at the Eicher household.

The following day everyone was home to clean up he house, burn the boxes and wrapping clutter and wash laundry.

Next week on New Year’s Day we will get together with sister Emma, Jacob, their family, sisters Verena and Susan, our family and Timothy and Mose at Jacob’s house. The 21 of us drew names for a gift exchange that day.

On Sunday our church will have the annual Christmas potluck so the holidays are still in full swing for us.

My husband Joe is smoking deer jerky in the smoker right now. He mixed up 16 pounds of it yesterday. He also mixed up 25 pounds of summer sausage from the venison. Mose brought us the deer. It was the fourth one he shot this season. We really appreciated the meat. Joe has cut up a lot of nice steaks from the deer. He was along when the deer were shot so he was pretty excited. He said they saw a lot of deer. Mose’s family lives on a big farm so there are a lot of deer.

Daughter Verena left around 8 a.m. with some friends to go to a friend’s house in a community about an hour and a half from here. They plan to stay until Sunday and possibly attend church in that community. It’s still hard to believe she is old enough to be with the youth group. The youth from our church plan to go Christmas caroling tomorrow night.

My good friend Lucille from Dayton, Va., sent me a cookbook from her community for Christmas. I was excited to receive it as I love looking through cookbooks and getting new ideas for recipes. Try this recipe on one of these cold winter days.

Cheddar Chowder

2 c. water

2 c. diced potatoes

1/2 c. diced carrots

1/2 c. diced celery

1/4 c. chopped onion

1 t. salt

1/4 t. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Boil 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile make white sauce. Stir sauce into undrained vegetable mixture. Heat throughout.

White Sauce

1/4 c. butter

1/4 c. flour

2 c. milk

2 c. cheddar cheese,grated

1 c. cubed ham or fried bacon crumbs

In a small saucepan melt the butter. Add flour and stir until smooth (about one minute). Slowly add milk while stirring. Cook until thickened. Add grated cheese and stir until melted. Toss in ham or bacon.