Family fun and winter chores
Son Kevin just left for school. Our driveway is really icy and slippery. I’m always afraid he will fall going out to the bus when it’s icy like this. One morning I saw him fall and was glad he didn’t hurt himself.
I hope it will warm up above freezing today so it will melt off the pavement. Yes, we were blasted with a winter storm Friday and Saturday.
Saturday morning, our family, sisters Verena and Susan, and sister Emma, Jacob and family had a late Christmas gathering at Jacob and Emma’s house. We enjoyed a haystack breakfast, which is crumbled biscuits, scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, bacon, ham, smokies, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese sauce, sausage gravy and salsa piled up on your plate like a haystack.
If you want to sample a little of all the toppings, you better not take too much of each or you’ll end up with a big plate of food. Orange juice, apple juice, chocolate milk, coffee and doughnuts were also on the menu.
When we four sisters and families get together, we now total 30. The table was set in their attached garage. Dishes were washed and then we played swap bingo. Everyone brought a gift to swap. Our five grandchildren and Jacob and Emma’s granddaughter had exchanged names with one another, so they also each had a gift.
After that we played games and had snacks such as veggies and dip, cheese ball and crackers, fruit and dip, pretzels and dip, venison summer sausage and jerky, chips and salsa, meat and cheese roll-ups, candy popcorn, etc. There was plenty there and we didn’t need another meal that day.
Yesterday, daughters Elizabeth and Susan came here for the day with their little ones. Daughter Lovina went to Tim and Elizabeth’s house on Tuesday to help with household chores. Tim helped her do laundry after he was home from work.
Lovina stayed there for the night and came home with Elizabeth and her children yesterday morning with the horse and buggy. Daughter Susan brought her horse and buggy too. It was a cold morning so the children were bundled up nice and warm. They have it so much nicer traveling in covered buggies than I did when I was their age with children riding in open buggies during the cold winter months.
Baby Allison will be a month old Monday already. She is so precious! Such a tiny little girl but she has the most wonderful smile.
Tomorrow, Jan. 24, is daughter Susan’s 24th birthday and also my sister Liz’s 51st birthday. Our plans are to go to Mose and Susan’s house for supper in honor of Mose, Susan, and Jennifer’s birthdays. Jennifer’s was last week (Jan. 15) and Mose’s will be Feb. 5.
Today, we will wash laundry again. We usually wash clothes on Mondays and Thursdays. We fold clothes on Tuesdays and Fridays, so there aren’t many days out of the week that laundry isn’t a job to do. We hang the laundry on lines in our heated basement to dry. It will be nice once we can hang it outside and have it dried, folded and put away all in one day.
This winter is going too fast for me. With the addition to the family and the holidays, it seemed time just flew by. We still need to butcher pork and then get serious about cleaning. Church services will be here the first part of April if all goes as expected.
Loretta’s special friend Dustin bought our neighbor Irene’s house. It seems so different to go over there and not see Irene around. Irene died last year and we sure miss her. She was a good neighbor to us. Dustin will take good care of the place, so I’m sure she would be happy that he bought it.
I made several batches of mother’s sweet rolls this week. They are always a favorite around here. This is one of the recipes that will be in my new cookbook, “Amish Family Recipes: A Cookbook Across the Generations,” coming out in April.
God’s blessings to all.
Mother’s Sweet Rolls
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 eggs, beaten
6 cups bread flour
In a large bowl, combine scalded milk, butter, sugar, and salt.
Add yeast to the warm water and let stand 5 minutes, then add it to milk mixture. Making sure the milk isn’t too hot, add eggs, then stir in 3 cups flour. Add remaining 3 cups flour and mix well.
Let dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down and divide in two. Roll each part out and spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon as desired. Roll up lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place into baking pan and let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
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. Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and the message will be passed on to her to read.