Our thermometer showed 40 degrees this morning. The heat from our gas lights sure felt good, as we haven‘t fired up our coal stove for the season yet. Now the sun is shining but it still only 57 degrees, I guess summer is now gone for the year. Daughter Elizabeth, 16, is doing the laundry and I want to go help after I get this finished. Susan, 14, is washing dishes and sweeping the floors before starting on her studies. Meanwhile, I have a friend’s 2 1⁄2 month old baby here until noon. He is sleeping right now. He is so fun to have here and he seems advanced and older than his age.
My husband Joe was unable to go to work as he has a pinched nerve in his back since Friday. He has had a lot of pain with it and has to go back to the doctor today. Hopefully he will soon have some relief. I went with Joe to the doctor and the doctor told him not to go back to work the rest of the week. He said if he does he could damage the nerve that is pinched. Joe wasn’t very happy but he is in so much pain that he knows he could not handle it yet.
Council meeting and church services were held at Jacob and Emma’s house yesterday. (Council meeting is also sometimes called “rule church” where church leaders go over doctrine and rules — known as ordnung — with members) We spent Friday and Saturday helping them prepare for services, which lasted longer than typical Sunday services. Benches were set up in an outbuilding that they built a few years ago. Lunch was served in the basement over the noon hour. Their menu was chicken and noodle soup, bologna, homemade wheat and white bread, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, freezer pickles, dill pickles, red beets, hot peppers, sliced tomatoes, and a variety of four different cookies: chocolate chip, sugar, raisin, and peanut butter. Also, coffee and tea was served. It was cool all day. Emma had coffee leftover so she set some out for everyone before they left around 3:30, some took coffee to drink on their rides home.
Last Thursday Joe helped our 82-year-old neighbor lady Irene finish a little building they were working on. After they were done Irene took us to a U-pick farm where we picked grapes. I was so glad to get that off of my mind since I have been wanting to make grape juice. I think homemade grape juice is so much better than the store-bought kind. I didn’t get any apples at the U-pick place because they did not look very good. They said their trees were damaged by frost this spring making the apples not very good. So we stopped and picked up a bushel and a half of apples so I can make applesauce this week. The apples are “seconds” so you might not want to slice and eat them but they are good enough to make applesauce. I bought two different kinds of apples, one is “northern spy” and the other is called “Cortland.” I am out of canned applesauce so it will be good to fill some jars with it again. A family in our church district owns the farm where I bought the apples. They were making fresh apple cider so I hope to go back there tomorrow and buy some.
Last week one day Elizabeth made two batches of outrageous chocolate chip cookies and two batches of peanut butter cookies. The peanut butter cookies were for Emma’s church services. The chocolate chip have been enjoyed here at home!
25-30 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
8 large white onions, chopped
2 large sweet peppers, chopped
1⁄2 cup salt
5 cups white vinegar
5 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons mustard seed
In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, onions, peppers, and salt. Allow to stand for 3 hours and then drain off the liquid.
In a very large pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, and spices and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Add the drained cucumbers, onions, and peppers and stir until the vegetables are evenly coated with the vinegar solution. Continue heating over medium heat until the mixture starts to simmer. While the cucumber salad is very hot, pack it into sterilized canning jars and seal immediately.
‘The Amish Cook’s Everything-But-The-Kitchen Sink Book’ is a 160 page hodge-podge of everything Amish. Find lists of Amish settlements divided by state, reviews of Amish restaurants and businesses and an excerpt of the editor’s upcoming memoir entitled “Not So Simple.” Price is $19.99 plus $3 shipping. To order call 513-849-9158 or visit oasisnewsfeatures.com/special. By mail: Oasis Newsfeatures, PO BOX 2144, Middletown, Ohio 45042. Phone and online orders ship same day by Amazon.com, mail orders allow 4 to 6 weeks.
Editor’s Note: To celebrate the column’s 20-year anniversary, we will occasionally be repeating some “classic” recipes from years past. This cucumber salad recipe appeared in a column by Lovina’s mother in the fall of 1993. Please follow USDA canning guidelines when attempting home-canning. Proper procedures can be found at USDA.gov or by contacting your local county extension agent.