Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 18, 2012

The Amish Cook: Waiting for frost, time to turn on the stove

By Lovina Eicher
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---- — Another chilly morning with the temperature dipping below 40. So far my garden hasn't been hit with a killing frost. I am surprised, because it has been quite cold on some mornings. Both my gardens are beside buildings, so I wonder if they are protected from the cold a little more?

The boys did pick a lot of my green tomatoes and my green and hot peppers just in case it frosted. The green tomatoes I will wrap in newspaper and put in the basement in the canning room. They seem to ripen slower that way and I think it makes them taste better.

The green peppers were still doing so well that they picked three five-gallon buckets' worth. We use the smaller ones by stuffing them with cream cheese and Colby cheese, then grill them with bacon just like we do jalapeno and banana peppers. The children prefer the green peppers, as they are not hot at all.

We still haven't started our stove yet. Our coal comes on Saturday. Joe needs to get a new part on the stovepipe. He would like to get everything ready to start it tomorrow — it will feel better to have the chill taken out of the house.

Right now we just let the propane lights burn a little longer. They do put off a lot of heat.

We bought a new gas light for the boys' bedroom, but something isn't the right size so we need to exchange it. The boys haven't had a light in their bedroom since the fire in May. They miss it more, since it is getting darker quicker at night. It will also help heat their bedrooms more on chilly mornings.

Saturday our family attended the wedding in Columbia City for Menno and Maggie. It was enjoyable and it was nice to see a lot of Joe's aunts, uncles and cousins that we don't often see. Also met some of my readers and it was nice talking to them.

Yesterday was spent driving two hours to the children's hospital and back to have both of Loretta's casts removed. This can be an all-day affair. It had been four weeks since the surgery, but to Loretta it had seemed even longer having those heavy casts on. She now has air casts on her feet and legs up to her knees. She needs to wear these 24/7 and can only remove them to shower. She is allowed to start putting weight on her feet as tolerated.

Loretta stayed home from school today, as she was having a lot of pain. I called the doctor and they said it is normal with this kind of surgery. The best thing to do is go slowly putting on a little weight at a time. The doctors also said heat or ice will relieve the pain. Right now she is elevating her legs with the hot water bottle. Next week she will try to go back to school, but she'll take her wheelchair until she is used to the walking cast. She will also be fitted with AFO braces on both feet. Until those are ready, she will need to wear the air casts.

A thank you to all for the prayers, cards and encouragement throughout this surgery. Sister Emma passed out sheets to family, friends and the families in church and presented Loretta with a scrapbook. She has received many nice sheets and good ideas.

Daughter Susan has started the laundry and I should go help her. It will be chilly for her to hang the clothes outside. Sun is out and there is a wind blowing, so the clothes should dry.

It is pumpkin season, so try this delicious recipe!

God's blessings.

Homemade Pumpkin Bread

3 1 /2 c. all-purpose flour

3 c. sugar

2 t. baking soda

1 1 /2 t. salt

1 t. ground cinnamon

2 c. homemade pumpkin puree or 1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree

4 large eggs, beaten

2 /3 c. water

1 /3 c. vegetable oil

1 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Knock out the excess flour.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to blend. Stir in the pumpkin, eggs, water, oil and pecans.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish. She handwrites this column from her home in southern Michigan. Anyone with cultural or cooking questions can send them to Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, Ohio, 45042.