• Lovina Eicher: Dawn to dark in an Amish home

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    • 5 a.m. The alarm goes off. I get up because daughter Elizabeth will leave for her job at the factory soon. She has been working a lot of 10 hour days at the factory.
    • 5:15 a.m. Elizabeth’s ride is here and she leaves. The children are on spring break and my husband Joe is off work this week. Everyone has been taking advantage of their break and sleeping later than usual. I stay up and read and enjoy the peace and quiet. There are not many quiet moments around here this week once everyone is awake.
    • 6:30 a.m. Joe gets up and I make a pot of coffee for us. Joe goes down to the basement to add coal to the stove. I get sausage out of the freezer to make gravy for breakfast. Daughter Lovina, 8, wants to mix up two batches of mystery biscuits so I help her.
    • 8 a.m. Breakfast is ready consisting of biscuits, sausage gravy, fried eggs, cheese, orange juice and milk.
    • 8:30 a.m. daughters Susan and Verena leave for Susan’s babysitting job. Since Verena is off this week she is enjoying helping Susan with the children. Loretta and Lovina wash dishes and sweep the floors. Joe and I mix up 100 pounds of hamburger and sausage to make summer sausage. We use Dad and Mom’s Canadian summer sausage recipe which calls for 66 pounds of hamburger, 33 pounds of sausage, 5 pounds of white sugar, 4 pounds of salt, 1 /3 pound of black pepper, and two ounces of salt petre. Since we couldn’t find salt petre we asked a local meat market for another cure to make summer sausage. We are hoping it will work just as well. We will refrigerate and mix daily for 3 days or so and Joe will then smoke it in our smoker. My Dad would always smoke the sausage in a smokehouse he had built. Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin are hauling out some manure from the barn.
    • 12:15 – We eat a lunch of sandwiches and vegetable soup.
    • 12:45 Benjamin, Kevin, and I leave for town. Kevin has a therapy appointment. Benjamin wants to take the cans into the store that him and Joseph collected along the road. The boys collect cans along the roads because here in Michigan they are worth 10 cents apiece. They have made quite a bit of money doing that and it helps keep the roadsides clean.
    • 4 p.m. We arrive home from town. I put the groceries away. Benjamin goes out to help Joe and Joseph fix the fence so the chickens can be turned out. They also do the evening chores.
    • 5 p.m. The 3 girls are home from their jobs. Susan is out raking the yard, which she enjoys. Verena and Lovina are making egg salad. The children colored 10 dozen eggs for Easter so this is a good way to use them up. The dandelion greens are not out yet so we can’t make dandelion green salad with the leftover eggs
    • 7:30 p.m. We are finally ready to have supper. On the menu are egg salad sandwiches and I made rare beef. Rare beef is steak sliced really and then,deep fried only a few seconds on each side. If you have your oil really hot and smoking it will not leave your meat rare. It is very tender if fixed right. We put salt and pepper on each side before we deep fry it.
    • 9:30 p.m. Everyone is cleaned up and ready to call it a day. God’s blessings to all.
    Page 2 of 2 - Mystery Biscuits
    No matter how many different biscuit recipes we try, my family thinks these are the best. They are also easy to make and no rolling out the dough.
    2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 /4 cup mayonnaise
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon sugar
    Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add remaining ingredients. Mix till smooth and drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet or fill 12 muffin tins 2 /3 full. Bake 18 to 20 minutes at 375.
    Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish and lives in Michigan. Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write to Lovina at: PO BOX 2144, Middletown, Ohio 45042. OASIS NEWSfeatures

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