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AMISH COOK: What a typical Saturday looks like in our life

This is a diary of this past Saturday.

6:30 a.m.: We awoke to the sound of rain hitting the windows. We are very thankful for this rain because it will give our garden and the hay and pasture fields all a good boost. The rhubarb is really plentiful this year and I would like to make rhubarb juice next week. Our family really enjoys this juice, so we ran out a long time ago. Along with everything else in the garden, the weeds are also coming along. The strawberry patch especially needs to be weeded. Right now, though, we are preparing breakfast while my husband Joe and the boys do the morning chores. The horses are enjoying being back out on pasture.

7:45: We are ready to eat breakfast. On our menu is biscuits, sausage gravy, fried eggs and potatoes, cheese, juice, milk, and coffee.

8:30: The girls are now washing the breakfast dishes.

9: Elizabeth, 15, leaves to help get ready for a wedding that will be held on Wednesday. Joe and the boys go out to help clean up and organize in the pole-barn. Joe has put in four windows and would like to add three more. It sure does make it brighter in there. The windows are some we saved from our old house. Meanwhile, Susan, Verena and Loretta start doing the weekly cleaning. They get a little bit of help from 5-year-old Lovina. Lovina, though, says she needs to keep going up to her bedroom and check on her little doll baby. While they are doing that, I am doing the mending and sewing on the dress Elizabeth will wear to the wedding. She is to be a tablewaiter at the wedding so she needs a certain color and material. This will be her first time as a tablewaiter at a wedding. We are also invited and Joe plans to take off work for the wedding on Wednesday. The bride and groom both live in our church district. I hope it will be a nice, warm sunny day for them. (Editor’s note: young unmarried boys and girls from the church and the families are chosen to be “waiters” at the wedding meal, it’s considered an honor to be chosen)

Noon: The girls are done with the cleaning on the main floor. They heat up leftovers for lunch from our supper last night, which was mashed potatoes, gravy and barbecued steak. After lunch the girls clean the bedrooms upstairs and the back porch. It seems empty around here with Elizabeth not being home. After lunch, I bake three rhubarb-custard pies and gave the three boys a haircut. That is one job I do not care to do, especially getting Kevin to hold quiet long enough. He keeps telling me to be careful because I could cut his ears off.

3: Elizabeth is back home. Susan, Verena and Loretta are finished cleaning. They go after milk at our neighbors with our horse Diamond and the buggy. They usually take Stormy, our pony and the pony wagon, but it is rainy so they take the covered buggy. Susan enjoys going out and harnessing and hitching up the horses. I never cared for that job and now I hardly ever have to get the horse ready to leave. Elizabeth or Susan usually get the horse ready for me. Joe is also glad he doesn’t always have to stop what he is doing to get a horse harnessed up. Susan, 14, always volunteers to go help when needed in the barn. She likes horses and spends a lot of time with them in her free time. The girls are also going to take the sugar cookies Elizabeth baked to the place where church will be held tomorrow. It is within walking distance so if it is not raining we will walk.

4: While Susan, Verena and Loretta go get the milk, Elizabeth does some ironing and I go back to sewing on the dress.

6: We have mashed potatoes, hamburger gravy, rhubarb pie and ice cream for our supper. I make a gravy like a sausage gravy, except I used hamburger and milk instead. The children like it over mashed potatoes.

9: Everyone is cleaned up and ready for bed. It will be a long day tomorrow as we will have Communion services at our neighbors. Usually we are gone most of the day. With rhubarb season in full swing, I will share the recipe that the girls made the other night. These muffins are great served warm!

Rhubarb muffins

q 2 cups flour

q 1 1/ 4 cup sugar, divided

q 2 teaspoons baking powder

q 1 /2 teaspoon salt

q 1 egg

q 1 cup milk

q 1 /3 cup vegetable oil

q 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

n In a bowl combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.

n In another bowl beat the eggs, milk, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in rhubarb.

n Fill paper lined muffin cups 3/ 4 full. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup sugar.

n Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes a dozen.

Lovina Eicher, who is Old Order Amish, receives letters at: “The Amish Cook,” c/o Oasis Newsfeatures, P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042. You also can send e-mail to www.oasisnewsfeatures.com; or check out the Web site www.theamishcook.com.

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