AMISH COOK: Winter throws another pleasant curveball our way

By Lovina Eicher
The Amish Cook

This has been a different winter so far weather-wise. We had another snowstorm during the past week, but then as quickly as it snowed, it warmed back up. Now it rained during the night and the temperature is up to 45. We also had some thunder and lightning during while we slept. The snow is mostly gone except in the ditches and where it was piled up. Some men have been ice fishing but it has not been possible for most of the winter due to the warmth. Joe hasn’t been able to go yet, but he is eager to do so. Hopefully it will turn colder again so he can.

One upside, with the warmer temperatures it takes less coal to heat the house. I like when the ground stays frozen so the house doesn’t get tracked up with mud so much. It always seems like snow makes a brighter world during the winter.

Saturday, Joe and the boys went to help Elizabeth’s friend Timothy cut up some trees. Timothy’s brother and nephews were also helping. Sounds like they got a lot accomplished. Joe likes doing outdoor work like cutting up wood. Meanwhile, here at home, the girls did the cleaning and folding the laundry from the day before’s wash. While the girls were doing that, I baked apple and custard pies and Verena baked an apple dump cake. She brought one home from school that she made in cooking class. She will write down the recipe and I will share it with you readers in a future column. Everyone seemed to like it so Verena doubled the recipe.

On Sunday we went to Emma and Jacob’s house for a delicious dinner. We enjoyed barbecued baked ribs, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, cottage cheese, Cole slaw, and sliced cheese, hot peppers, homemade vanilla ice cream, chocolate cake and apple and custard pie. She put the ribs single layer in baking pan, seasoned them with salt and pepper and barbecue sauce and baked. Joe, Jacob and the boys froze two two-gallon cans of homemade vanilla ice cream while we were preparing dinner. Homemade ice cream is always a favorite for us. The children spent a lot of the afternoon outside playing in the snow. The rest of us played games after the dishes were washed away. It seems like it doesn’t take long to get the dishes washed when everyone pitches in to help. We started for home around 5 p.m. The boys did the evening chores and Joe fueled the stove for the night. We only had snacks as everyone said they weren’t hungry for supper after the big noon dinner at Jacob’s. We all retired early for the night as Joe had to start a new week at the factory and the children back to school.

Daughter Susan had her 16th birthday on Jan. 24. Seems hard to believe she has reached that age. Where has the time gone to so fast? Susan enjoys outdoor work, and she loves horses and enjoys training ponies. She would rather go clean out the barn than do housework. She does like to bake, though, but I am still trying to get her to sew. I always tease her that I’ll move the sewing machine out to the barn if it would make sewing more enjoyable for her with the horses close by. It is good that we don’t all have the same interests or talents otherwise life would be less interesting. When I need a horse harnessed so I can go run some errands, she is always volunteering to help go get it ready. We wish her a happy 16th birthday and many, many more happy years.

This is a recipe that a lot of Amish give as gifts around the holidays, or maybe for Valentine’s Day coming up. (Editor’s Note: A video demonstration of these cookies being made by the Amish Cook’s editor can be seen in a new online video program, An Almost Amish Kitchen. To view, visit amishcookonline.com)

Oatmeal chip cookie mix in a jar

  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • Optional M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt . Place flour mixture in a one-quart jar. Pressing down firmly layer remaining ingredients in order given. Top with lid and decorate with fabric or ribbon if giving as a gift. Recipe to attach to the jar:

Beat one stick softened butter, one large egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Add cookie mix, mix well breaking up any clumps. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for eight to 10 minutes. Yield two dozen cookies.

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