Amish Kitchen: Gratitude for readers’ words of encouragement, and a pizza sauce recipe

Good day to all of the wonderful readers across the miles. I am still tired at 4:45 a.m. and need to have this column done before I leave for the day.

I don’t thank all the readers enough for your kind words of encouragement. It makes writing this column so much easier.

I also appreciate the patience you have when I am late in answering your letters. There are so many nice letters, but of course once in a while an unsigned letter will be among my mail with criticism directed toward my writing.

I remind myself that all writers get these, and of course we aren’t perfect. So I want you to know the encouragement is what makes me take this pen in hand each week even though time is limited with raising a family and being a grandmother to four.

In the back of my mind, I always thought that as the children grew older, life would slow down or get easier, but I was wrong. With grandchildren, you reach out to help, and there are more homes that need to be cleaned, canning to be done, etc.

Today, the girls and I will help daughter Susan with laundry and canning. Daughter Elizabeth and children will also be there. We plan to can pizza sauce and pickled red beets. Susan has tomatoes, but not quite enough, so I will take some of ours.

We have already canned 85 quarts of vegetable juice this summer from our garden. I usually put tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, hot peppers, celery, carrots and garlic in my vegetable juice.

Jars of canned pizza sauce, made with fresh tomatoes from Lovina Eicher’s garden, ready to be stored for use by the family throughout the year. Provided photo

It has a good flavor and a small glass of it with breakfast is a great drink in the mornings. My husband Joe likes his spicy so we make some with more hot peppers and then some without, or just a few, for the flavor.

Sons Benjamin, 20, and Joseph, 17, left for their jobs at 4:30 a.m. so I got up before they left. It was so tempting to crawl back in bed until son Kevin gets up for school at 6 a.m., especially on a chilly morning with the temperature in the mid-50s.

After school, Kevin will bring home some of his friends to spend the night to celebrate his 14th birthday.

Is it possible that our youngest is 14 already? Life moves right along and we can’t stop it. What counts is what we make with the life we have. Let us always make time for God each day.

On a recent Saturday we were invited, along with the rest of the neighbors, to our neighbors Richard and Erma’s house for supper. They have a pond and said if anyone wanted to swim in the afternoon they could come earlier.

Erma had told me about the invitation at our last church services. Not once did I think of it that day until I saw Erma at church services the next day. I can’t believe I forgot all about which day it was planned for. That is why I should have marked the calendar.

We are enjoying lots of garden goodies, which makes meal planning so much easier. I will share the recipe we will use to make the pizza sauce today.

God’s blessings to all.

Pizza sauce

  • 3 gallons tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh parsley
  • 3 to 4 onions
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons oregano

Instructions: Cook tomatoes, parsley and onions; put through Victoria strainer to produce about three gallons of juice. Add the remaining ingredients to the juice and bring to a boil. Thicken with Clear Jel or Perma Flo; start with six to eight tablespoons, then add more as needed to thicken to your preference. To keep Clear Jel from getting chunky, cool one quart of the juice and stir in Clear Jel, then combine with the rest of juice and boil well. Process according to your cooker instructions.

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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