Living

Early spring plants doing well on farm

This is another lovely spring-like day. Temperatures are in the mid-40s but the air makes it feel a bit chillier. We’ve appreciated the nicer days recently for drying laundry.

Daughter Elizabeth is doing her arithmetic while Lovina, 4, and Kevin, 3, are playing church. They both have dolls and say they are “dad” and “mom” with their “children” in church. Their sweet voices can really harmonize well as they sing hymns together.

Kevin is also really enjoying this nice weather and tries to slip outside bare-footed all the time. It is hard for him to understand that in the 65- to 70-degree weather he doesn’t need a coat, but does still need to wear shoes. The ground is still too cold for going bare-footed.

My husband, Joe and I were checking on all the early spring plants yesterday and things look like they are advancing. The rhubarb plants are peeping through and our winter onions are nice-sized already. Also, my strawberry plants look like they have a good start.

I’ve also been keeping an eye out for those first dandelion greens. The winter onions will be ready about the same time as the dandelions. We are down to our last potatoes and they are the really small ones. We will probably end up replanting them. I still have a nice supply of cooking onions from last year’s garden. It really helps to not have to buy potatoes and onions all winter.

With all the fresh produce right around the corner, I love this time of year. I hope that since the calendar says it’s spring that winter has truly passed on by for another season. I think the extra snow we had this past winter makes spring seem even more welcome.

We really do need to get started cleaning up our yard. Elizabeth and I got some windows cleaned, but they have been finger-printed again. Our clean windows can usually only be enjoyed for a day or so before they are marked up again. Seeing marked up windows, though, doesn’t get discouraging. The years go so fast and some day those fingerprints will seem welcome.

On Saturday, we attended the spring program that the Amish youth gave at the community building. The program was presented by youths age 16 and older to help raise money for the building and for people with doctor’s bills and so forth. It was a very nice program.

Son Benjamin, 9, said he enjoyed the singing the most. He said he hopes someday he can sing that well. It had many uplifting stories and plays.

Lovina Eicher, a member of the Old Order Amish, hand-writes this column from her Michigan home. Anyone with cultural or cooking questions can send them to: Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042 or check out the Web site www.theamishcook.com.

TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE

q 8 ounce package of noodles or an equivalent amount of homemade noodles

q 3-1/2 tablespoons butter

q 3 tablespoons flour

q 2 cups milk

q 1/2-cup grated cheese

q salt and pepper to taste

q 7-ounce can of tuna, drained

n Cook noodles over medium heat until tender.

n Drain the noodles and put into a 2-quart casserole dish.

n Add the tuna to the noodles and mix lightly.

n In a small saucepan over low heat, use the remainder of ingredients to make a white sauce.

n Melt the butter and mix in the flour. Then add the milk, cheese and seasonings. Stir until the sauce thickens.

n Pour over the noodles and tuna and stir well.

n Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

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