Spring Break Affords Quiet Morning Moments

Posted: April 10, 2013

The Amish Cook

5 a.m. The alarm goes off. I get up as daughter Elizabeth will soon leave for her job at the factory. Lately, she has been working a lot of 10 hour days.

5:15 a.m. Elizabeth’s ride arrives and she leaves. The children are on spring break and my husband Joe is off work. Everyone has been taking advantage of break and sleeping in. I stay up and read, enjoying the peace and quiet — such moments are few around here this week once everyone is awake.

6:30 a.m. Joe gets up and I make a pot of coffee for us. He goes down to the basement to add coal to the stove. I get sausage to make gravy for breakfast. Daughter Lovina, 8, wants to mix up two batches of mystery biscuits, so I help her.

8 a.m. Our breakfast of biscuits, sausage gravy, fried eggs, cheese, orange juice and milk is ready.

8:30 a.m. Daughters Susan and Verena leave for Susan’s babysitting job. Since Verena is off this week, she is helping Susan with the children.

Loretta and Lovina wash dishes and sweep the floors. Joe and I mix up 100 pounds of hamburger and sausage to make summer sausage. We use my parents’ Canadian summer sausage recipe which calls for 66 pounds of hamburger, 33 pounds of sausage, 5 pounds of white sugar, 4 pounds of salt, 1/3 pound of black pepper and two ounces of salt petre.

Since we couldn’t find salt petre, we asked a local meat market for another cure. We are hoping it will work just as well. We will refrigerate and mix daily for three days or so, then Joe will smoke the meat. My dad would always smoke the sausage in a smokehouse he had built.

Benjamin, Joseph and Kevin are hauling out some manure from the barn.

12:15 p.m. We eat a lunch of sandwiches and vegetable soup.

12:45 p.m. Benjamin, Kevin, and I leave for town. Kevin has a therapy appointment. Benjamin and Joseph collected cans along the road and want to take them to the store. In Michigan, each can is worth 10 cents. They have made quite a bit of money doing that and it helps keep the roadsides clean.

4 p.m. We arrive home from town. I put the groceries away. Benjamin goes out to help Joe and Joseph fix the fence, so the chickens can be turned out. They also do the evening chores.

5 p.m. The three girls are home from their jobs. Susan is out raking the yard. Verena and Lovina are making egg salad. The children colored 10 dozen eggs for Easter, so this is a good way to use them up. The dandelion greens are not out yet, so we can’t make dandelion green salad with the leftover eggs.

7:30 p.m. We are ready to have supper. On the menu are egg salad sandwiches and “rare beef.” Rare beef is steak sliced really thin and then deep fried only a few seconds on each side. If you have your oil really hot and smoking it will not leave your meat rare. It is very tender, if fixed right. We put salt and pepper on each side before we deep fry it.

9:30 p.m. Everyone is cleaned up and ready to call it a day. God’s blessings to all.

Mystery Biscuits

No matter how many different biscuit recipes we try, my family thinks these are the best. They are also easy to make and no rolling out the dough.

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until smooth and drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet or fill 12 muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake 18 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

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