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The Amish Cook column is written weekly by Elizabeth Coblentz and appears in close to 100 newspapers across the United States. Future plans for this portion of the site include a column archive and library available for public perusing. In the mean time, we'll offer up the editor's choice for Elizabeth's best column each month. if you wish to read Elizabeth's column fresh each week, contact the editor of your local newspaper.

I've got the laundry ready to go onto the clothesline. So hopefully it will dry out nicely, as I want to iron today. I hope everyone out there is in good health.

This past Sunday was spent at Joe and Lovina's. Lovina prepared a good noon meal with grilled steak on the menu. Others there were Paul and Leah's, son Albert's, and Emma and Jacob's. Their evening meal guests were son Amos's, Levi's, Jacob's, and Ben and I and our daughters. It was another good meal. Son Amos's and Levi's had come to our house for supper and discovered that we were not home. So they went to Joe and Lovina's and found us all gathered there. In fact, Joe's had all our family there on Sunday at one meal or the other. Grandson Ben, son of Paul's, gets around with the aid of crutches after having his ankle broken on Friday, Feb. 4. He had surgery on the 8th. I am glad he could be at Joe and Lovina's on Sunday.

Saturday evening, son Albert's had quite a scare with a chimney fire. Chimney fires are a danger this time of year, as creosote builds up after a long winter. Neighbors had called out the fire department, but the call was cancelled it as they quickly got it under control. A couple of their neighbors came to their rescue. Some items were already being carried from the house in preparation for fire. Their basement and breezeway got the smoke. But how lucky that the house still stands and the smoke mess can be cleaned.

The crocuses have found their way through the ground. A beautiful scene to see that yellow color in the brown-dirty ground. The weather has turned so warm, we were out in the yard without shoes on. It felt so good to be out in that warm air. We took advantage of it and did a huge laundry.

It's amazing how many sympathy cards we have received from readers after the loss of my niece in Seymour, Missouri. I want to thank all you readers out there for sending and taking your time to write. Also a thank you to the readers who have been sending recipes.

A Dunkirk, Indiana reader asked me how we make our homemade ice-cream. It's never the same as store-bought. You also have to have a six quart freezer to make the ice cream. I use 12 cups of milk with 2 or 3 cups of cream included. At times more cream, like 3 cups cream and 9 cups milk, seven eggs, 3 1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons vanilla. Try it. You'll like it. The more cream - the better! Good luck!

To the Keechobee, Florida reader (Where is Keechobee?) I have never heard of "Flan with a caramel-flavored juice in the bottom." Sorry!

To the Homosassa, Florida reader who requested a green tomato pie recipe, I make mine using the following ingredients: 6 green tomatoes, sliced; 1 apple, thinly sliced; 1 cup sugar; 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon; 1 tablespoons lemon juice. Arrange half of the fruit in the pie crust. In a separate bowl, mix ingredients then sprinkle over the fruit in the pie crust. Add the rest of the fruit. Put top of the pie crust on. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes. Makes one pie.

To David in Indianapolis, Indiana about how I make my chili. I put 1 quart or more of canned sausage in a 4 quart kettle and 1 large onion and fry together till golden brown. Then I add 1 pint water and, in a separate bowl, make a thickening of 3 tablespoons flour with water. Add it to the kettle. Add tomato juice and kidney beans as you prefer. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder to your taste. I also add 1 tablespoon or so of brown sugar. Don't really have a recipe for it. I just sort of make it the way I know how. Everyone in the family seems to eat it very well. They like it with crackers. I like to use the canned sausage better than the hamburger. Good luck!

A lot of readers sent in their recipes for "brown-eyed Susans" in answer to a request from a reader. A reader in Hays, Kansas sent in this good recipe:


1 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
whole almonds
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
chocolate frosting

Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in extract. Add flour and salt. Mix well. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Frost with chocolate frosting. Top with almonds, if you wish.

Chocolate frosting: Combine 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa. Add 1 tablespoon hot water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

Elizabeth is Old Order Amish. She hand-writes this weekly column by lantern light from her Indiana home. Readers with culinary or cultural questions may write Elizabeth at:

c/o Oasis Newsfeatures
PO BOX 2144
Middletown, Ohio 45042
Due to volume of mail, personal replies are not always possible.

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