Amish Kitchen: Filling in for Mom as she recovers following surgery

Getting around in buggies on the snow and ice with cold temperatures? Not for the faint of heart.
Getting around in buggies on the snow and ice with cold temperatures? Not for the faint of heart. Provided photo

Hello, folks. This is Elizabeth, Lovina’s oldest daughter, taking Mom’s spot writing her weekly column after she recently underwent surgery (postponed a week because of extreme cold).

Hopefully she recovers well and soon feels 100 percent again. My dad; my brothers Joseph, 16, and Kevin, 13; my sisters Susan (with her daughter Jennifer), Verena, 21, Loretta, 18, and Lovina, 14; plus my children and I all went with her to the hospital.

As most of you probably know, Tim and I welcomed an addition to our family in December. Timothy Josiah (also known as T.J.) is a joy. Abigail loves her little brother. Most days she enjoys being the big sister but we still have moments when she wants to be the baby.

And that’s OK with me because before long she’ll outgrow this stage. Abigail is an adventurous girl and we have no dull moments when she’s around.

Since I’ve become a mother for the second time, life has sped up another notch. I do love being a mother. Someday I’ll probably miss the toys scattered on the floor, the ABC magnets on the fridge, the finger smudges on everything, baby bouncer on the kitchen table, baby swing in the living room, pacifiers, diapers, potty training — the list goes on.

To me, Abigail and Timothy are worth it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My cousin Emma and Menno became first-time parents on Jan. 30, welcoming a baby girl. Jessica Rose weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. This is the first grandbaby for Uncle Jacob and Aunt Emma. Though I have yet to see her, I’m told she’s a cutie. I dug some pink material out of my cedar chest to sew a baby dress for her.

Last week we had a cold spell for a couple days — a low of minus-13 degrees and a high of zero with a wind chill of minus-42. Due to the cold, schools, factories and more were closed for a few days.

Cold winds caused some drifting, but the biggest issue was the minus-13 degree temperatures. Provided photo

Other than going out to do chores, Tim stayed inside with me and the children. He kept the horses in the barn. It was much too cold for them to stay outdoors.

Tim got a few nights of ice fishing in. He never got a chance to go last winter. Tim’s a fisherman so never mind the weather — cold or hot, snowy or sunny. I’ve gone ice-fishing one time. I can’t say it wasn’t fun because I enjoyed it, but I prefer to fish from inside a boat or off land. Seems safer to me.

When Abigail heard Tim was going fishing, she got out her life jacket, little pink fishing pole and swim clothes. She wanted to go along but didn’t realize it’s called ice fishing for a reason. She was disappointed when she had to stay home.

During that cold spell, Tim started a 1,000-piece puzzle titled Northern Tranquility. We enjoy doing puzzles of cabin/cottage by any sort of body of water. We’ve completed six puzzles that are glued and hung.

Horse says: “You think you have it cold?” Fortunately, most owners put their horses inside, or they wear blankets in extremely cold weather. Provided photo

Abigail wanted to help with the puzzle. She got quite a few pieces together, though not correctly. In the process, she knocked down some pieces, so I suppose time will tell if we’re missing any pieces.

Tim went back to work this week at the RV factory. He had last week off because the factory was low in orders. I did enjoy having him home. He helps me out a lot with the children and household chores, and cutting wood. Before long he’ll be collecting maple sap.

While we were at the hospital, Abigail discovered a vending machine in the waiting room. She was curious, wondering what kind of refrigerator had glass doors. She saw it had a keyhole so she asked me for a key. I told her it used money to get a snack or drink out of it. Then of course she asked for quarters.

I suppose those snacks and drinks looked better than the ones I had in the diaper bag. Kevin gave her 75 cents to get juice. Abigail was amazed how the juice came out of an opening near the bottom of the machine but never moved from the glass display.

I’ll share a favorite recipe of Tim’s. Even though it’s called spicy steak roast, it’s not spicy.

Spicy steak roast

  • Venison or beef steaks, sliced thin

  • 6 medium potatoes, sliced

  • 1/2 pound carrots, sliced

  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1/8 cup brown sugar

  • 1/8 cup vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions: Arrange steaks in a single layer in a roaster pan. Add sliced potatoes and carrots. Combine the rest of the ingredients and spread over meat, potatoes and carrots. Cover with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, “The Essential Amish Cookbook,” is available from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

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