Beef Preparation Begins

We sure have had mild weather the past few weeks. It brings on some spring fever! Now we have entered into March. It seems so hard to comprehend that the year is already in the third month of 2024.

Last week I spent a day at daughter Susan and Ervin’s. Susan and I painted the bathroom and entry area in their pole barn. That is where they will host church services. After we were done painting, I cleaned some of her canning jars and put them on the new shelves that Ervin built for them. They don’t have a basement in their house, so Ervin built the shelves in the pole barn entrance room—they keep enough heat in there during the cold months so the cans don’t freeze. It’s also where their battery packs for the solar power are kept.

Ervin’s dad is still in the hospital and can open his eyes and have some movement with his hands and feet if I understood it right. He has a long road ahead, so let’s keep him and the family in our prayers.

Ervin and Susan’s four oldest children came here Saturday night and were here until Sunday night. Ervin and Susan spent all day Sunday at the hospital with his father and family. The children did very well for us. Daughter Verena and her special friend Daniel Ray went after the children Saturday night then took them home again Sunday evening.

On Saturday we cut up a whole beef. Half was for our friends, and they wanted all kinds of different steaks cut out, so it took more time. Those helping us with the beef were daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel, Daniel Ray, and Dustin and daughter Loretta. We still need to slice more steaks and grind our hamburger from our half of the beef. We only have a few pints of beef chunks left, so I am glad to have more to can. I’m also glad for the steaks and hamburger to put in the freezer. We have two freezers and one is empty, so it will be nice to have some more meat in there.

After cutting up a whole beef, some was ground into hamburger to freeze and store for later. Photo provided.

Our plans for tomorrow are to help Susan again with her cleaning in preparation for church services. Sister Verena, sister Emma and her daughters and daughter-in-law, my daughters, and I are all planning to go. We should get a lot done for Susan. Baby Ervin is going to be four months next week. He smiles and coos and is all happy until Susan wants to get work done; then he fusses. He doesn’t lack any attention with five older siblings. He is such a cuddly baby and has the brightest blue eyes. So precious!

Sunday was such a beautiful day and the temperature went up into the 70s. The children had fun playing outside with Verena and Daniel Ray. They gave them swing rides, etc.

Our supper guests were Dustin and Loretta and sons, daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and four children, Daniel, Daniel Ray, and Joesph’s special friend Grace.

Daniel and daughter Lovina made a campfire stew in the kettle over the campfire. This was a great help to me to not have to make supper in the house. They used fresh beef chunks for the stew, which was very delicious. I will share the campfire stew recipe since it’s been around four years since I last did. It is also in my cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook.

God’s blessings to all!

Campfire Stew
2 cups beef stew meat (may substitute a roast, cut into chunks)
4 cups red potatoes, unpeeled, cleaned, and diced
2 cups green beans, cut into small pieces
1 whole onion (used to flavor the soup; it is removed before eating)
4–5 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put beef chunks in kettle (or large pot) with enough water to cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Add potatoes, green beans, and onion, adding enough water so that vegetables are well covered. Add bouillon. Boil until vegetables and meat are tender. Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Remove onion if you wish. 

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.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

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