Visits from Grandma’s little sweeties

We have entered the month of March and it is definitely coming in like a lion! It is rainy, cold and windy here in our part of Michigan.

We had several nice sunny days with temperatures hitting the upper 50s and lower 60s. It spoiled us and we really wanted it to stay. It sounds like we might get more snow, though, so we better just be patient.

Our week has been spent cutting up beef, pressure canning, grinding hamburger and slicing steaks and, of course, bagging the meat for the freezer. Last Saturday, we decided to butcher both beefs instead of waiting for another time. So we have double the work.

My husband, Joe, sons Benjamin and Joseph, sons-in-law Timothy and Mose and Loretta’s special friend, Dustin, helped dress the beef on Saturday. Timothy, Elizabeth, Mose and Susan have also been helping to cut it up. Work goes much faster with so many helping.

Elizabeth said when they came driving with their buggy, little Abigail spotted our house and said, “Grandma!”

She was a little busybody last night. She loves to color and write. I’m amazed at how well she holds her pencil. Jennifer is such a sweetie too. She smiles often, and Susan said she reaches for the toys she hangs in her swing. I was so busy that I didn’t get to spend enough time with the sweeties last night.

I made rare beef for supper for everyone. The girls had made a casserole as well.

I have mentioned before how we make rare beef. We slice the most tender steak into really thin pieces. I deep-fried it in olive oil last night. Some use oil and some use lard. You make sure your oil is really hot and then take a piece and stir around, flip over, stir once and it’s done. We put salt and black pepper on both sides of every slice before we start. We put on a lot of black pepper. It’s spicy, but it just doesn’t taste right without that much.

We didn’t put much pepper on Abigail’s pieces, but she still didn’t care for it. I remember when our children were younger, they would have a glass of water to dip the meat in so some of the pepper would come off. I wouldn’t put on as much pepper when they were younger.

My Grandpa Graber was an expert at deep-frying rare beef. Then my mother took after him and always made it for our family. Now I can see how she was probably glad once everyone had their share. I make the rare beef while everyone else eats so that it’s fresh. It doesn’t taste as good when it has cooled off.

Sunday, we went to church and then stopped in to visit Jacob and Emma. Jacob wasn’t feeling well enough to come to church.

We ended up at Mose and Susan’s house for supper. Timothy and Elizabeth and Abigail, Dustin and nephew Henry were all there, plus all of our family. Mose grilled brats and Susan made pizza casserole. It was nice to get out of cooking. I spoiled Jennifer and Abigail while the girls made supper.

Daughter Verena was glad to get out of the house for a while. She elevated her leg all day as she lost her balance and fell on her cast. She had quite a bit of pain so I called the doctor. It helps to elevate it more often, and now Verena says it is feeling better.

In three weeks we will go back to the doctor and see how it’s doing. I hope it is healing well.

I want to thank everyone for the sympathy cards you sent after I lost my brother. May God bless you for your kindness.

A reader shared her recipe for butterscotch pie with me. She says it’s much easier to make than mine. I’ll share it with all of you as well. Thanks, Patricia.

Butterscotch Pie

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold water

1 1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup butter

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pie crust, baked

Mix brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan; stir in water, milk and butter. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Boil one minute. Stir 1/2 of mixture into egg yolks, then blend into remaining mixture with vanilla. Pour into baked pie crust. Chill. When cold, top with whipped cream topping.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She, her husband, Joe, and their family live in southeastern Michigan. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her latest is “The Essential Amish Kitchen.” Contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

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