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Eicher family stays busy as summer’s warmth returns

Last week I wrote about how chilly it was, and now this week we are wishing we had some of that cool air. It has been a warm, muggy week. We had a thunderstorm and quite a bit of rain during the night. Maybe this rain will cool it down.

It seems it’s human nature to never be quite satisfied. We will accept the weather however God sends it.

Son Kevin, 14, just left for school. It’s quite dark outside when he leaves at 6:50 a.m. I love sitting by the east windows and writing or reading at this time of the morning. The sunrise is awesome to watch.

Last night, daughter Verena told me to come see the sunset. Only our amazing creator could paint the sky like that.

Today, son Joseph, 17, has the day off from work. He was glad for a break. He needs new shoes for construction work, so he will go to town with Kevin and me.

Kevin has a doctor appointment. He is having trouble with ingrown toenails, which make him not like doing some of his therapy due to pain from the nails. He’s been soaking them in Epsom salts every night and putting an ointment on them as prescribed by the doctor. He also took an antibiotic for infection.

Now, two weeks later, we will see what the doctor thinks. They look and feel much better but are not healed yet.

Sept. 10 was granddaughter Abigail’s third birthday. We all went for her birthday celebration. She was so excited to blow out her three candles and for all the attention and gifts she received.

Daughter Elizabeth is enjoying the extra space since son-in-law Tim has been working on remodeling their house, taking out some walls and closets to make more space in the living room and dining room. It looks so good with much more space.

Baby T.J. loves it when he’s in his walker. He can get around better with the open space.

My husband, Joe, son Joseph, son-in-law Mose and daughter Loretta’s special friend Dustin assisted Tim with the remodeling one Saturday. They had to put in a support beam to replace some of the walls that came out.

While we were there for Abigail’s birthday, Tim came in from the garden with a 36-pound watermelon. It is huge! He sent it home with us. He also picked their serrano, Hungarian and sweet banana peppers to send home with us. I want to can the serranos, but we will stuff and wrap the others with bacon before cooking them on the grill.

Husband Joe has cleared out a lot of the garden. We are still getting lots of tomatoes. We have canned a total of 115 quarts of vegetable juice and 32 pints of pizza sauce. I’ll use the rest of the tomatoes when I help daughter Susan can tomato and vegetable juice.

Yesterday I finally made it back to my sewing machine. The mending piles up, but I did sew Verena a new dress that had been cut out for awhile already. I don’t mind sewing when time allows.

Now to answer a few questions from readers. A reader wanted to know where the Amish communities are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are in Sault Ste. Marie and Engadine.

Another reader asked if the name Dustin is common where we live. There are a few in this community but it is not as common as some other names. A lot of names seem to be changing amongst the Amish. When I was growing up, babies were named after someone, but it can get confusing after many generations of the same names to remember which person someone is talking about.

A reader also commented that she has read the column since my mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, began writing it. Mother wrote for 11 years and I have been writing for 17 years, for a total of 28 years. Next week, it will be 17 years since dear Mother passed away so suddenly. She left a legacy of love and great memories.

For those of you with lots of tomatoes, try this tomato bread recipe.

God’s blessings to all.

Tomato Bread

2 cups tomato juice

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup catsup

1 tablespoon pizza seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon yeast

7 cups bread flour (separated)

Heat tomato juice and butter until butter is melted. Add sugar, catsup, pizza seasoning, salt, and warm water. Cook until lukewarm. Add yeast and 3 cups flour. Beat well, then add remaining 4 cups flour. Knead. Let rise for 1/2 to 1 hour, then place in two 9×5-inch loaf pans and let rise again. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

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.