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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • The Amish Cook: Pon hoss on the menu

  • This is a diary of a recent Saturday in this household.

    6:30 a.m. — This is Saturday, and it was nice not to have to get up at 3 a.m. as we do on weekdays.


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  • This is a diary of a recent Saturday in this household.

    6:30 a.m. — This is Saturday, and it was nice not to have to get up at 3 a.m. as we do on weekdays. My husband Joe and I got up and enjoyed a few minutes of peace and quiet while the children were still asleep. I made Joe some hot chocolate and some coffee for me.

    7 a.m. — We woke up the children, and I started breakfast while Joe went to the basement to refuel the stove with coal. We had a treat for breakfast: pon hoss. A friend gave us the bones from a hog they butchered. I cooked the meat off the bones and that evening Joe and I made four gallons of pon hoss.

    I started slicing and frying the pon hoss. Elizabeth and Susan peeled potatoes, which are still from our garden last summer. We are down to the small size ones, and it takes a little more time to peel them. The children all like pon hoss, so we fried quite a few pans of it. Pon hoss is made from the juice and meat of pork bones with flour, salt and pepper added. After this is cooked together, we pour it into cake pans. After it is cooled and set, it is ready to slice and fry.

    8 a.m. — We all sat at the table ready to enjoy a breakfast of eggs, fried potatoes, pon hoss, cheese, toast, orange juice and milk.

    9:30 a.m. — Joe and children Benjamin, 10, Joseph, 7, Kevin, 4, and Lovina, 5, all get ready to go outside. Their plans are to clean out the horse stalls and the chicken coop. Lovina is our “fourth little boy” and would rather go out with them instead of staying in the house and helping with indoor chores.

    Elizabeth, 15, and I gathered laundry and started filling our Maytag washer with hot water. I have it so much easier to do laundry than when the children were younger before our move to Michigan. It is hard to believe that has almost been six years. Back in Indiana, I had to pump all my water from a cistern pump and carry to a kerosene stove to heat. The big cookers full of hot water then had to be carried to the hand-pump washing machine. Now I have hot and cold running water. I have a hose that reaches the washer, and I can just fill it with hot water.

    While Elizabeth and I were doing laundry, Susan, 13, stirred up two batches of brownies. She will be 14 on the 24th already. After she was done, she helped Verena, 12, and Loretta, 9, do weekly cleaning. They cleaned the kitchen, dining room and living room areas.

    11:45 a.m. — Elizabeth and I were done with the laundry. With it being so cold outside, we hung the clothes all on the lines in the basement. Meanwhile, the girls were done with dishes and cleaning, and Joe and the children came in from the barn. Lovina and Kevin ended up trying to make snowmen instead of helping.

    12:15 p.m. — We had a light lunch of sandwiches. And, of course, everyone wanted to sample Susan’s brownies.

    1:30 p.m. — Joe headed back out to the barn to finish up. He told the boys they can go play, and he would finish up the chores. The boys ended up going outside and taking sled rides on the ice. It warmed up enough to make everything icy. Verena and Loretta joined them while Elizabeth and Susan did some cleaning upstairs. I did some mending and ironing.

    4 p.m. — We decided to call it a day, and everyone started getting cleaned up. We have three bathrooms, but with 10 people getting cleaned up it still takes a little while, especially if we need to let the water heater catch up.

    I gave Kevin a haircut and for once he did better to hold quiet. He almost acted like he could fall asleep. He thinks he is old enough he should take showers now instead of a bath. We usually plug the drain and let him shower until the tub is half filled and then he usually sits down and plays with his toys. He can spend a long time in there just playing.

    7 p.m. — Everyone was cleaned up, and we had potato soup for supper. The girls washed the dishes. We will take the rest of the day easy until bedtime. A day like today is so precious when everyone pitches in with the work. Working together as a family is always enjoyable and makes memories we all will treasure years from now. The children always seem willing to help out, which makes for a great day. Good night and God’s blessings to all.

    With pork being on the menu a lot recently, this is a good recipe to try:

    Bacon Muffins

    1/4 pound bacon

    1 well-beaten egg

    1 1/2 cups milk

    5 teaspoons baking powder

    1 tablespoon sugar

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    2 1/2 cups bread flour

    Cut the bacon into bits and fry until crisp. In a small bowl, cream together 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and the sugar. Add the egg and milk. In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, salt and flour together and then stir into the bacon grease mixture. Fold in the bacon bits last. Pour into greased muffin pans. Bake 25 minutes in 400-degree oven.

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