The Amish Kitchen

Our hearts once again are mourning the loss of a dear loved one. Sister Susan, 44, lost her battle and passed away Jan. 31. Three years ago on the same day, brother Amos died unexpectedly at age 56. Please keep praying for God to give us the strength we need to go on.

Sisters Susan and Verena made a cookbook with recipes from the family members of Ben and Elizabeth Coblentz, my parents. The memories and recipes this week are from their book.

Susan’s memories

There are a lot of memories we could talk about. When I was a sixth-grader at school, our class was supposed to bring in some kind of food. Then, we had to prepare it in front of the class so we all could see how different foods were made. We just had to make enough so the class could all have a taste of what everyone prepared. So, I made a potato salad. I had the potato mixture in one container and then the salad dressing mixture in another. Everything already was cut up and diced; I just had to mix it together then tell the class what and how much was in it. Mom helped me with the potato salad recipe and also got everything prepared. She was an excellent cook, baker and mother. My sixth-grade teacher said she wanted to taste my potato salad, as she said she knows what a good cook Mom is. My teacher liked the potato salad. I still get hungry for Mom’s food. I put the potato salad recipe in the cookbook Mom had gotten ready for me to take to school that day.

Dad was a great carpenter and father. He loved watching his birds and had his Martin houses, and he would watch to see how many sets of Martins he would have.

I always like playing games with Dad and Mom. With Dad, I like to play the game Connect 4 and with Mom, Aggravation. Good, old memories — they are gone but not forgotten.

Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cooked (whole) until tender

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups salad dressing

2 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard

1/4 cup vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons salt

Dice potatoes, or put through a slicer. Combine potatoes, eggs, celery and onion together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together salad dressing, mustard, vinegar, sugar, milk and salt. Pour over potato mixture and stir together.

Susan’s Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds hamburger

3/4 cup uncooked rolled oats

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 cup tomato juice or V8 juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs, beaten

Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Combine hamburger, oats, onion, eggs, tomato juice, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Shape into two logs in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan or two loaf pans; pack firmly into pan. Whisk sauce ingredients together and spread on top of meatloaf. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Let sit five minutes before slicing.

Beef and Gravy

This is a recipe sister Susan wrote in her own words from watching Mother make the gravy.

4 heaping tablespoons flour

1 pint canned beef chunks

1 medium onion

Potato water (from mashed potatoes)

Put 4 heaping tablespoons flour in a pan, and brown flour until it’s dark. Let flour cool. In a 3 1/2-quart kettle, add 1 pint of beef and 2 pints of water. Put 1 whole onion in it. When it starts to boil, take out beef and put potato water in it. If you don’t have potato water, then use water. If extra water is needed, just put more water in kettle. Then, mix the cooled flour and water to make a thickening until it is a little watery. Then, mix the beef and thickening in the kettle until it boils.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, “Amish Family Recipes,” is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply), or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org, and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.