Monday, May 11, 2009

The Amish Cook

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite cookbooks with you, The Amish Cook At Home By: Lovina Eicher ( you can order it through Amazon, here ). I love this cookbook because it is simple recipes that I tend to cook for my Family as well as it is neatly organized into seasons, so I find I tend to take out this cook book and browse through it as the seasons change.

It is sitting beside me right now on my kitchen table as I look at the spring section and see all of the beautiful pictures and recipes utilizing my favorite spring vegtables! Lovina Eicher writes a coloumn that our local paper carries in the food section and I can't wait to read it each week. It contains a small snippet of amish life as well as a recipe. I sometimes think I could live like the amish, then I get real and realize I would be miserable with out my internet, TiVo, and telephone.... so I cook the recipes and look at pictures and admire the Amish lifestyle from afar!! Here are some pics and a recent article from the Amish cook, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



Amish Cook: Spring goodies are everywhere
BY LOVINA EICHER Special to the Record-Eagle

This column will wrap up my writing for April already. Time seems to slip away too fast. There are only five more weeks of school for the children before the term ends. Right now they are outside waiting for the bus. It is a nice, breezy Monday morning and everyone wants to be outside. It sure is easier when I don't have to pack their coats along.
We have been having 80-degree weather the last few days. My husband Joe put our porch swing back up again for the summer. He also put up some swings on some of our big trees for the children. They have had their share of use this weekend. It is surprising how a few boards and a few ropes have made hours of entertainment for them. The children say they like these swings better because they can swing so much higher.
Joe is leaving for work at 3 a.m. this week, 45 minutes earlier than usual. Because one of the drivers is on vacation, Joe is one of the first men picked up on the vanload of Amish men that go to the factory. Being 45 minutes early sure makes a big difference in the morning hours.
I have so many things on my to-do list today that I am not sure where to start. I'll probably start with doing the laundry and then it will be onto the garden. We were ready to plant corn on Saturday but it started raining. I think I'll try to get some corn planted today. Silver queen, Bodacious, Seneca and Candy Corn are a few of the varieties that we will have in our garden this summer.
I want to make quite a few batches of rhubarb jam. We are out of rhubarb jam and this is one of our favorite jams. We like to spread butter and rhubarb jam on our toast or homemade bread in the morning. My rhubarb is really spreading out and growing this year so I will try to put it to good use. Besides rhubarb jam, we'll also be making rhubarb juice, shortcakes, pies, cakes and other desserts. Also Joe came in last night and told me our asparagus is ready to use. I got the hint, so I will try to fix his favorite asparagus recipe tonight, which is asparagus-potato soup.
Our radishes, peas and green onions are up in the garden. We have had a few winter onions already but it looks like it will be another week before they really start.
We have had our share of dandelion greens. The yellow flowers are really popping up so it will not be long before they are over with for another year. Once the blossom is on the greens they taste too bitter to eat. The young tender ones are the best although my daughters don't really like washing them because they are so tiny.

Here is the recipe for my husband's favorite asparagus dish:

Asparagus-Potato Soup

1&3/4 c. chicken broth
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 t. salt
1&1/2 c. milk
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. Velveeta or Colby cheese (cubed or sliced)
Combine the broth, potatoes, asparagus, onion and salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk the milk and flour together well in a small bowl and whisk into the broth mixture. Stir in the cheese until melted. Pour into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately.

Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish. She hand-writes 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, OH 45042. Read all of her columns online at www.record-eagle.com/amishcook.