Long day of summer isn’t lazy for Eichers
Here’s a diary of my day one week ago, June 27:
3 a.m. — Time to get up and get my husband Joe’s lunch packed. A nice breeze is coming through the west windows. I heat chicken-and-noodle soup for his stainless steel Thermos. Also put a peach, crackers and cookies in his lunch and a mug of coffee for him to drink on his 45-minute ride to work. I fill his water jug with ice and water.
3:45 a.m. — Son-in-law Mose rides with Joe’s same driver to work. Daughter Susan and baby Jennifer sometimes catch a ride with them to our house. This morning, Susan and Jennifer come along to spend the day here. Of course, Joe needs to pay some attention to that sweet baby before they leave. Jennifer has the brightest smile when they bring her inside.
Since its early yet, Susan, Jennifer and I try to get some more sleep until daylight.
8 a.m. — Breakfast is breakfast burritos. Son Benjamin is on his two-week vacation from the RV factory. Joe’s two-week vacation doesn’t start until next week.
9:30 a.m. — I help Susan with the sewing she brought along for nephew Levi’s wedding.
11:30 a.m. — The boys want me to come help butcher our 28 chickens. The hens are a few years old and aren’t laying as well anymore, so we decided to make chicken broth from them. We will plan to raise new chickens next spring. Joe and the boys want to build a new chicken coop for them.
For older chickens like this, which we only use for canning broth, we skin the chickens instead of plucking the feathers.
Loretta’s special friend, Dustin, helped us, which made it go much faster. Loretta and Lovina cleaned the chickens after I gutted them.
Susan kept sewing and daughter Verena was home for the day from work. She cleaned the bathrooms, etc., while we butchered chickens.
2 p.m. — Joe is home from work. We are just finishing up on the last of the 28 chickens. Son Kevin was really glad to see that mean rooster go. That rooster gave Kevin a surprise more than once when he had his back turned picking up the eggs.
3 p.m. — We eat a late lunch but we wanted to get done before we pause for lunch. We have hamburger soup and sandwiches.
4 p.m. — Verena and Lovina mix up some meatloaf and make scalloped potatoes for our supper. They put it in the oven around 5 p.m. Susan and I are sewing the projects she brought. Mose comes with their horse and buggy. He brought his welder so he could weld some stuff for Joe.
7 p.m. — Supper is ready! Son-in-law Timothy, daughter Elizabeth and sweet little Abigail stop in while out on a buggy ride. We tell them to join us for supper. Abigail fell asleep on their ride so she is very happy to wake up at Grandpa and Grandma’s house.
She gives me a quick hug but she wants to go outside with daughter Lovina. She just recently really started choosing Lovina to take her everywhere. Probably because she’s a lot more adventurous.
9 p.m. — Dishes are washed. Everyone has left for home. Susan’s sewing is done. I still need to put buttons on Jennifer’s dress and apron, but I’ll do that another day. This day has been long enough, although I enjoy it when they all come home. Timothy is off work this week so they are enjoying their week without a schedule.
10 p.m. — Everyone has gone to bed so I will, too. Tomorrow, daughter Loretta has an appointment in Ann Arbor, so I need to get some rest.
God’s blessings to all.
I will share the recipe for the hamburger soup we had. We omitted the rice but I added one pint of corn. Enjoy.
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups canned tomatoes
3 cups carrots, diced
2 cups celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 cups water
3 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup dry Minute Brown Rice (or corn)
Brown ground beef in a large stockpot. Remove fat. Add canned tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, water and beef bouillon cubes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add brown rice or optional corn.
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,” is available at 800-245-7894. Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.