More wonderful news from the Eicher family!

Daughter Loretta and I are at home today while the rest are either working or at school. We did odd jobs around the house that have been neglected lately.

I am excited to announce that Joe and I are grandparents now! Abigail Elizabeth was born to daughter Elizabeth and Timothy on Saturday, September 10 at 1:14 a.m. She is already so loved by all of us. She has a lot of black hair. She weighed 11 pounds and was 21 ¼ inches long. She lost one half pound in her stay in the hospital but is doing well again. Mother and baby are doing well for which we are so thankful.

Daughter Verena is helping Elizabeth with household chores. She is also enjoying taking care of little Abigail all she can. Yesterday Loretta and I went to help Verena was a huge laundry at Elizabeth’s house. She had not been able to do laundry in over a week.

Today is the first day I have not seen Abigail since she was born so I miss her already. I gave her a bath yesterday and she wasn’t too enthused about it. She lets herself be heard when she doesn’t like something. She is such a precious angel! So sweet and innocent and such a blessing from God.

Friday I will go with Elizabeth and Abigail to their doctor appointments. Elizabeth had the baby by C-section so she is recovering from that surgery. Elizabeth had some complications during delivery so we are glad everything turned out okay. I was more worried about Elizabeth than I was for myself when I had babies. Elizabeth wanted me to be with her and Timothy. I spent Thursday night at their house with them and the midwife. Then I spent Friday night and Saturday with them at the hospital. I can tell I am still worn out from two nights of not getting much sleep.

I was glad to be there for them and to help out wherever they needed me. My mother was always there for me when my first six children were born. She wasn’t living anymore when Lovina and Kevin were born. Oh, how I missed not having her with us. Now I want to do the same for my children if they want me to come.

This weekend is set for youth deer hunting. Son Joseph will go try his luck to get a deer. Mose will accompany him. They were target practicing tonight. He’s getting excited to be able to go hunting for a day. We can’t use our neighbor’s woods for hunting anymore so they need to find more hunting places.

Daughter Lovina, 12, and son Kevin, 11, just came home from our neighbor Joe’s house. They like playing with Joe’s daughter, Jaelyn. She likes to come over here, too, and enjoys all the animals on our farm.

I forgot to mention that Joe is still good at burping a baby. He held Abigail and got her to burp when she didn’t for me. He was always good at getting our babies to settle down at night to sleep. He enjoys being Grandpa!

This week I’ll share the recipe for Dorito Taco Pie. Daughter Verena made it for supper last week. It was a new recipe she had and wanted to try it out. We had Banana Poppers with it. It was delicious and everyone like it.

God’s blessings to all.

Dorito Taco Pie

5 8-inch flour tortillas
1 pound ground beef
1 16-ounce can refried beans
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
½ cup water
salsa
2 cups shredded Colby cheeseDoritoTacoPie4
2 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
crushed Dorito chips

In a skillet, brown ground beef. Drain grease off, then add taco seasoning and water. Using an 8 or 10-inch skillet, place a tortilla in the bottom of your pan. Spread a couple of teaspoons of salsa over the tortilla, spread some of the refried beans over salsa, then some browned beef, and top with cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with a tortilla on top. (Save some cheese for top.)

Sprinkle crushed Doritos around the outer edge of the tortillas. If you use a 10-inch skillet, use the Doritos to fill in the sides. Cover skillet with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven uncovered for 6-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges of tortillas are crisp. Remove and top with tomatoes and onions before serving. Green peppers (diced) can be added too. Slice it like you would a pie.

DoritoTacoPieEdited

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

September means back to school, grilled stuffed peppers, and another wedding

School doors opened yesterday, September 6, throughout the county. It seems quiet around here with Joseph, 14, Lovina, 12, and Kevin, 11, all back to school. The bus is here around 7:00 a.m. We are so glad the pickup time is later this term. Joseph milks our cow Bessie in the morning, and then showers and gets ready for the bus.

It was a nice day last Friday for Mose’s brother Joe and Mary’s wedding. It was nice and cool in the morning, which made it bettter for the cooks.

My job was to help with mashed potatoes. For the noon meal we made twelve eight-quart kettles of mashed potatoes. For the evening meal we had three twenty-quart kettles of mashed potatoes. They had a larger group of people in the evening. After everyone had eaten we had a ten-quart kettle left over. The potatoes were easy to mash using the Bosch mixers that the wedding cook wagon has.

On the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, barbequed chicken, corn, lettuce salad, butterhorns, butter, and strawberry jam. Dessert was apple crumb, pecan, and peanut butter pies, date pudding, and lime fruit salad. Ice cream was served with the evening meal as well.

Kevin’s eleventh birthday was the day of the wedding (September 2). Since we were there we waited to celebrate his birthday until Labor Day. We had cupcakes instead of a cake. We gave him a youth bowKevinsCompoundBow for his birthday. He is glad to be able to target practice with Mose and his brothers. Daughter Lovina is really interested in their bows. It looks like we will have another hunter in the family. She wants to take the hunter’s safety course sometime. She is an outdoors girl like Susan. If we can’t find her she is usually out in the field petting the horses and ponies.

Joe put in eleven hours at the RV factory yesterday. Since they were off work on Monday for Labor Day they will have to put in longer hours this week. With this hot humid weather Joe is ready to call it a day when he gets home from work.

Joseph and Lovina picked the jalapeño, serrano, Hungarian wax, and sweet banana peppers from the garden. I have to get those canned. We like to stuff and grill the sweet banana and Hungarian wax peppers. We stuff them with cream cheese mixed with shredded Colby cheese, and wrap them with bacon. Our family just loves them.

One night Joe made a chili soup outside in the kettle while Mose grilled chicken. We are glad when we don’t have to get supper in the house on these hot evenings.

Mose and Susan took Joe and me out for supper in town one evening just as an appreciation for us letting them live here. We enjoy having them here and when Tim and Elizabeth come home to join us for a meal, it makes everything seem complete.

Loretta spent Labor Day at her special friend Dustin’s house with his family.

I’ll share the recipe for butterhorns I received from a friend. Enjoy! God bless!

Butterhorns RollsButterhornsSept2016

1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

Blend yeast with water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add eggs, rest of sugar, salt, and margarine. Add flour and mix well. Put in greased bowl and refrigerate overnight. Roll out like pie dough, cut
in pie-shaped pieces and roll up. Dip in melted margarine or brush lightly with margarine. Let rise 3 hours. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. If you leave in refrigerator several days, punch down each day.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

Neighborliness and community: paying back past kindnesses

FrontPorch
Lovina enjoys writing from her front porch.

As I write this, we mark the last day of August. I’m just amazed at how time seems to fly by faster each year. Do we take enough time in our busy lives for God? Our children also need us in their lives so much. Let us pray for them daily so that they will let God be their guide. Life doesn’t get easier and his guiding hand helps so much.

Son, Kevin (our youngest) will have his eleventh birthday on Friday, September 2. It is unbelievable but true that he is that old and starting middle school (fifth grade) on Tuesday. Son Joseph will be in eighth grade, the final year of his school years. Daughter Lovina will be in sixth grade.

Friday we are invited to Mose’s brother Joe’s wedding. Joe and Mary will have their wedding at Mose’s parents’ house. Mary’s parents live in Wisconsin and she has made Michigan her home for several years. Joe lives about one-and-a-half hours north of our community. They will live at Joe’s house after their marriage.

I was asked to be cook at their wedding. I have to wear a sage dress, cape, and apron to the wedding. I was in luck as this was the same color the mothers wore at Mose and Susan’s wedding.

Mose and Susan are table waiters. Susan has to wear another shade of green. She finally cut out her dress, cape and apron last night. It looks like I will get the job of sewing it. With her working every day she doesn’t get much extra time. Last Saturday, Susan and Mose went to help set tables for the wedding. Tomorrow (Thursday) I will go help get ready for the wedding. Not sure what jobs they will have for me but most likely bake pies, bread, etc. Lots of vegetables have to also be cut up. I will take a casserole to help out with lunch.

Saturday a new family from Iowa is moving into our church district. They will make their home a few miles from here. Since they don’t have much family in the community, some members from our church will go help them unload and get settled in their new home. From what we heard they have three small children. We wish them God’s blessing on their move.

It brings back memories of twelve-and-a-half years ago when we were making such a move. It’s a big change to move from the community where you were born and raised. We enjoy our new home and community which made it easier to adjust to changes. The good deeds that were done to help make our move easier will always be remembered. Now I hope we can go help lighten the load for someone else.

We canned another bushel of peaches yesterday. Now we should be done canning until applesauce and grapes are ready to be canned.

I came across this recipe for “Turkey Cabbage Bake” and since we have so much cabbage I like to try different recipes with cabbage. Our children don’t eat cabbage so well. I always think that I might find a way that they will like it better. The meat doesn’t have to be turkey. It can be replaced with chicken or hamburger, etc. The crescent rolls could be replaced with regular pie dough.

Turkey Cabbage Bake

2 8-ounce tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 can (10 3/4 ounce) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 6–8 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook turkey, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add cabbage, soup and thyme. Pour over crust; sprinkle with cheese. On a lightly floured surface press second tube of crescent dough into a 13×9 rectangle, sealing seams and perforations. Place over the casserole. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 14–16 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6 servings

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Horse-and-buggy trip to Indiana caps the end of summer

We had a nice rain tonight. Our rain gauge shows that we had more than a half inch. Our garden still has tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers and hot peppers left in it. Yesterday we canned almost eighty pints of pizza sauce. We gave twenty pints to Mose and Susan. We also canned hot peppers. Susan wants to make pizza casserole tomorrow night to try out the sauce.

As summer winds down, the Eicher family has been busy picking tomatoes from their family garden.
As summer winds down, the Eicher family has been busy picking tomatoes from their family garden.

Mose and Susan are getting more settled as the weeks pass by. They have been helping Mose’s parents, as they are hosting the wedding for Mose’s brother Joe and his fiancée, Mary, next week.

I was asked to be cook at the wedding and to go help bake pies, etc., the day before. Mose and Susan will be table waiters at the wedding. Susan still needs to cut out and sew her dress for the wedding. With her working every day, I will probably have to help her get it sewn.

Saturday Joe and I and the six children here at home attended the picnic for the RV factory where Joe works. It was interesting to tour all the RVs and motorhomes that they make. We were served a good meal, and lots of door prizes and awards were given to the many, many employees. The grand prize was a Howard Miller grandfather clock. It rained and rained after lunch, but they had plenty of tents set up for everyone to stay dry.

A very happy birthday goes to sister Verena. She turned fifty on August 22. Mose, Susan and most of the children went over to sing “Happy Birthday” to Verena that evening.

Tomorrow morning I leave with daughter Susan for a town around 45 minutes away. Susan needs to get her married name put on her Social Security card, and she wants me to go along.

Tonight Mose grilled banana pepper poppers and I made chicken noodle soup. We still don’t have all the water lines hooked up to Mose and Susan’s living quarters, so it’s easier for her to use my kitchen. Most often they just eat the evening meal with us.

The boys and Mose are often spending their free time having bow practice. Mose has a big target set up, so it’s an easy place to test out their skills. Hunting season will be here before we know it. The boys passed their hunters’ safety class earlier this year.

Saturday evening Timothy and Elizabeth came for supper. After supper Timothy, Mose, Loretta’s special friend, Dustin, and son Joseph practiced shooting their bows. The girls and I just relaxed and visited. Joe has been working longer hours, so he’s always glad to rest and get to bed earlier.

Daughter Verena and son Benjamin, with some other young folks, drove to northern Indiana with horses and buggies. They spent the night at niece Susan and Joe’s house. The next morning they drove to brother Albert’s. Church services were held at Albert’s home. Their daughter Emma was baptized at the service.

Sunday afternoon Verena and Benjamin started the journey home. They had around twenty miles to go to get to niece Susan’s house, and around seventeen miles to get home from Albert’s house. Our horse Mighty handles these long trips really well. They do take their time, and let Mighty walk a lot of the time.

School doors will be opening in less than two weeks. Our school starts September 6. All three children will be in middle school. Joseph will be in eighth grade, with this being his final year of schooling. Where does time go? Lovina will be in sixth grade and Kevin in fifth. Kevin will be eleven next week. It seems like he was just born, and now he’s already turning eleven!

The Eichers canned pizza sauce using tomatoes from their garden.
The Eichers canned pizza sauce using tomatoes from their garden.

This is a recipe for breadsticks niece Elizabeth shared in our family cookbook. Our children like to dip them in pizza sauce.

Until next week, God bless!

Breadsticks

1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, divided
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoon yeast
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 egg, beaten
pizza seasoning

Heat the milk, sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons butter; remove from heat as soon as butter is melted. Add the flour, yeast, garlic powder, oregano and beaten egg. Let rise until double. Roll out and cut the size you want. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a pan, and sprinkle pizza seasoning over it; roll breadsticks in this mixture. Place breadsticks on cookie sheets and let rise again until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 15–20 minutes or until done. Breadsticks can be dipped in pizza sauce or cheese sauce when eating. Yield depends on the size of the breadsticks.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

Susan’s wedding is past, but the leftovers remain

It’s Thursday again, and my plan to have this column on its way yesterday failed. The weeks still fly by since the wedding is past!

Three little pigs are great ways to get rid of excess garden produce.
Three little pigs? What great ways to get rid of excess garden produce!

Our refrigerators are finally getting emptier. With all the wedding leftovers, they were packed. The garden is also getting emptied quickly. The boys pulled the rest of the corn, green beans, zucchini and cucumbers. They brought in red beets and hot peppers that are waiting to be canned, as well as tomatoes that need to be made into juice or something. After a busy summer, I really don’t mind if the garden is done early. Our tomatoes had blight but are doing better. We made the old-fashioned remedy—a mixture of raw milk and water—and sprayed the plants several times. It seemed to help. Our cow Bessie provides us with more than enough milk to use. We now have three little piggies that help drink the milk and eat all the excess garden vegetables.

Our new chickens still aren’t laying, but the old chickens provide enough for us yet. I was glad to have sister Emma and Jacob share their eggs for the wedding. Last year for Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding I didn’t have to buy any eggs, as we had plenty of our own. It takes a lot of eggs to make the noodles, pies, dressing and other food at a wedding.

Sunday, August 14, was Timothy and Elizabeth’s first anniversary. We took barbecued chicken in and stayed to eat with them. Mose and Susan were also there. Most couples around this community save the top tier of their wedding cake and put it in the freezer until their first anniversary. But Timothy and Elizabeth didn’t get theirs out yet, as they still had cake from Mose and Susan’s wedding.

Lovina and her daughters canned two bushels of peaches last week.
Lovina and her daughters canned two bushels of peaches last week.

We canned and froze two bushels of peaches for Mose and Susan and us. I have another bushel on order. Last week we went to help daughter Elizabeth on Tuesday and Friday. We cleaned her basement and canned tomato juice and salsa for her on Tuesday. Then on Friday we washed off some walls and ceilings and cleaned her whole house. We also washed windows, curtains and bedding. I think she felt refreshed to have everything cleaned. She had been sewing for the wedding and helping here so much that her cleaning was neglected. Today she comes here to spend the day with us. We will probably do some canning.

We had a lot of rain on Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. We had a total of 4.25 inches. The ground was so dry and needed it badly. Half of our huge load of laundry on Monday wasn’t quite dry when the rain started. Hanging outside in all that rain, it was wetter when we brought it in than when we put it out! Yesterday we had a nice day, so we just rewashed it all. So we ended up having an extra big laundry yesterday. We had a very nice day to dry everything.

My dad’s cousin Dave from this area passed away, and his funeral was on the same day as Mose and Susan’s wedding. Joe and I took some time the evening before the wedding to go to the viewing and visitation. Our sympathy goes out to his wife, Ruth, and family. Their daughter Sherri was a teacher to several of our children in the recent years. Ruth is a cousin to Joe’s dad, so we saw relatives there from both of our families. Dad’s cousin Leroy from Ohio stopped in at Mose and Susan’s wedding after the funeral to say “Hi” to all my family that was here.

I still remember that when I was a little girl, our family would go to visit dad’s uncle Mose and Amanda Coblentz in Hartville, Ohio. Mose and Amanda were Dave and LeRoy’s parents. The part I remember the most was the hills in their yard and the fun of running down them.

I will share the green bean recipe we used at the wedding. God bless you all!

Green Beans

2 pounds green beans
1/4 cup onions
salt to taste
3 tablespoons butter, browned
1/4 cup bacon bits
salt and pepper
seasoning salt

Cook green beans and onions until tender. Add salt as desired. Drain. Add browned butter to green beans and stir to coat. Continue to heat until the green beans are steaming hot. Add the bacon bits along with salt, pepper and seasoning salt.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Lovina details the joy and work of her daughter’s wedding

WeddingDawn

We had a nice but warm day for the wedding of Mose and Susan, our second oldest daughter. There was a light rain in the forenoon, but it didn’t last long. We are very much in need of rain. The grass is turning brown everywhere.

On the Monday before the wedding, we washed laundry and my friend Ruth took us shopping for the many, many groceries that we needed for the wedding. We bought 400 pounds of potatoes and have only 75 pounds left after the wedding. We bought 600 pounds of freshly butchered chicken but only grilled 500 pounds the day of the wedding.

Food2

Our menu for the wedding meals consisted of mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, barbecued chicken, green beans, corn, broccoli and cauliflower salad, cheese, bread, butter and strawberry jam.TurningBBQchicken2 Desserts were: strawberry, pecan and cherry pies (we had over 75 pies altogether); angel food cake; a fruit mixture of watermelon, musk melon, pineapple and green and purple grapes; and cinnamon pudding. Ice cream was added to the evening meal.

BridalParty2Wedding services were held at neighbors Joas and Susan’s. The couple chose to be married at 11:30 a.m. A meal followed soon after here at our place. All the guests came over to our house after the services were over. Supper was also served at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. the table waiters, family and the youth ate and then stayed seated to sing the songs picked by the bride and groom. Sundaes and punch were served to the table waiters and family.

More than fifty cooks helped prepare the food. Some came Wednesday to bake pies and cakes and Nothings (see last week’s column for a description and recipe for Amish Wedding Nothings). The rest came Thursday to chop vegetables for dressing, salad, etc. They finished whatever else had to be done.

Mose and Susan gave these plaques to the table waiters at their wedding as thank-you gifts.
Mose and Susan gave these plaques to the table waiters at their wedding as thank-you gifts.

Sixteen couples were table waiters. Usually, those picked for table waiter are brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. Six coffee servers served the coffee. The extra helpers passed out the guest book, and pens with Mose and Susan’s names and wedding date on it. Susan and Mose also appointed some girls as babysitters to help the cooks with their children.

Witnesses were Mose’s brother Alvin and his wife Suzy, and Mose’s brother Freeman and daughter Verena. As mothers of the couple, we wore sage color dresses. Table waiter girls wore mint green dresses, and the boys wore white shirts, black pants and vests. The bride wore a green dress with a white cape and apron. Suzy and Verena wore another shade of green. The family wore grass green–colored dresses. The cooks were asked to wear hunter green. By now you can tell that Susan’s favorite color is green! The groom and witnesses also wore black pants and vests with white shirts.

Susan had a local Amish lady make her three-tiered wedding cake. It was all white with white decorations. Fresh flowers were put on top for a cake topper. The tables were lined with mint green tablecloths. Grass green napkins with Mose and Susan’s names and wedding date were used. Mose and Susan made the centerpieces with wood and horseshoes and a vase of flowers in the middle.

This wall hanging hung near the table where the bridal party ate at Mose and Susan's reception.
This wall hanging hung near the table where the bridal party ate at Mose and Susan’s reception.

We could seat 360 people at one sitting for the meal. I still haven’t gone through the guestbook to count the total number of guests that day. I can write more in a future column.

Mose and Susan are both back to work. We made living quarters in part of our pole barn until they find a property suitable for them. It’s nice to have them close by. They hooked up their gas stove and refrigerator this week. A few more adjustments have to be made, and I think it will be a very nice place for them to live.

Other news: Joe’s sister Esther and David from Ohio were blessed with their first child, David Tyrel. He was born August 9. Esther is 42 years old, and we are glad she could finally carry a baby full term. God is good! We wish them God’s blessings and also all of you wonderful readers. More on the wedding in future columns!

Strawberry Pie

Serves 6 to 8

Crust
1 1/2 cup all-purpose four
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar

Filling

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup water
3 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin
a few drops red food coloring (optional)
6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

To make crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together flour, salt, oil, milk and sugar in a medium bowl. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil about 5 minutes until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and food coloring. Let cool until lukewarm. Add the strawberries and pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

 

An Eicher family friend lifts the veil on Susan’s wedding preparations

Editor’s Note: Lovina Eicher is busy with preparations for her daughter Susan’s wedding. Guest columnist Ruth Boss, an “English” friend of Lovina’s, provides a ringside seat for the big August 5 wedding.

Wedding preparations have been in full swing all week for Susan and Mose’s wedding this Friday. Last Saturday the wedding wagons were delivered: a cook wagon, a refrigerated wagon, and a supply wagon holding all the serving dishes, plates and silverware.

Family members and friends pitched in to get the tables set up in the shed, or pole barn. Susan has chosen green for her wedding color, so cooks, table waiters, attendants, coffee servers, family members and anyone else helping will be wearing hunter green, sage, mint, or grass green shades.

Friends, neighbors and family came by buggy to help during the days before Susan and Mose's wedding
Friends, neighbors and family came by buggy to help during the days before Susan and Mose’s wedding.

The cooks began arriving very early Wednesday morning. By 7 a.m. the cook wagon was filled with women making cinnamon pudding. It is baked and will be cut into small pieces and layered with whipped topping and topped with nuts. It can be served right out of the pan as a cake. Other cooks started making the angel food cakes, all made from scratch. Some of the egg whites that Lovina had frozen ahead of time for the wedding weren’t stiffening up, so someone was sent to Susan’s (who is a baker) house down the street to get the jar she had in her refrigerator.

Next came baking pecan pies. By now the wedding wagon was very warm, with seven ovens and cooktops going! Other pie shells were baked to be used to make fresh strawberry pie, which is Susan’s favorite. Other cooks cleaned, chopped and bagged celery, carrots and onions to be used in the dressing. Some cooked, deboned and shredded chicken to be used in the stuffing and noodles.

Women helping Lovina prepare for the wedding made many classic, lattice-topped cherry pies.
Women helping Lovina prepare for the wedding made many classic, lattice-topped cherry pies.

At mid-morning, all the women stopped for a coffee break with cookies and bars that the women had brought to share. Family members and friends who don’t live close by used this opportunity to catch up on news from back home. Neighbors chatted about their families, new recipes and local news. Some of the cooks are young mothers and brought their young children with them. The older children seem to enjoy watching over the babies as their moms work.

Next, Lovina’s sisters began the time-consuming job of making “Nothings,” which are a traditional wedding treat from their home town of Berne, Indiana. Nothings are made from special dough that is rolled thin and then deep-fat fried. This is very hard work, and it took the sisters a few hours to get all the dough rolled. Once the Nothings are puffy, they are taken out of the oil, drained and topped with sugar. The stacks of Nothings were covered and will be passed at the meal as a special treat.

BrocAndCalifSaladAt noon, the helpers enjoyed a delicious meal of casseroles, salads and desserts, all provided by the cooks. All together there are 52 cooks helping with the wedding. They will make homemade bread, chop broccoli and cauliflower for salad, clean strawberries and finish up whatever else needs to be done. All the cooks will assemble the morning of the wedding to peel and cook potatoes, assemble hot foods to cook, and prepare salads. They will ready dishes to begin the first serving at about noon, after the marriage ceremony, which will start about 9 a.m.

This is a big undertaking! What strikes me as I observe the work being done is that there is no arguing or complaining from anyone. Everyone is excited and willing to work. There is laughter and horseplay. The Amish focus a lot on family togetherness and don’t have many of the distractions that we English people have. Lovina’s family is close-knit and loving. They have hard times and disappointments like everyone else, but their faith in God and close family sustains them through those times.

The table, or "eck corner," for the wedding party is set days in advance, as the family finishes final details.
The table, or “eck corner,” for the wedding party is set days in advance, as the family finishes final details.

This week, as the Eicher family gets ready for Mose and Susan’s big day, will be filled with hard work, amazing food, good conversation and lots of laughter.

Here is a recipe for a small quantity of Amish Wedding Nothings.

NothingsOnTables2Amish Wedding Nothings

1 egg, well beaten
3/4 cup cream (3 large “cook spoons” of heavy cream)
salt
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar (for topping only)
2-3 cups shortening (for frying, may need to adjust for size of pan or kettle)

Beat egg and stir in cream, salt, and enough flour to make elastic dough. Make 6 or 7 balls out of the dough. Roll out each ball of dough very flat and thin, about 1/16-inch think. Cut about six 3-inch slits in the middle of the circles.

Heat shortening in a large kettle over high heat (or use an electric frying pan with a temperature control). When the shortening is 365 degrees, test a piece of dough to see if it sizzles; put a rolled-out Nothing into the kettle or fry pan. Fry one at a time, unless you have a huge kettle. Turn each piece over with forks or large spatula once it turns golden on the bottom. Remove from oil and place on plate covered with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top while warm. Stack the Nothings on top of each other to serve. Makes 6-7.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Eicher family makes final preparations for Amish wedding

WeddingNoodlesIt is Thursday morning  as I write this, [July 28], and time keeps moving on faster and faster it seems. The wedding is tomorrow in a week! It’s getting too close for comfort! Tomorrow evening the wedding cook wagon, the cooler, and the trailer with the tables, dishes, etc. will arrive.

Saturday Mose’s family, Jacob, Emma and family, Verena and Susan (my sisters), Timothy and Elizabeth, and a few friends will come help set the tables for the wedding in the pole barn. The wedding wagon comes with a 350-place setting. We finished and insulated the other part of the pole barn so we can spread out the tables a little more. It seems you can never have too much space.

I still need to go shop for a lot of groceries. My list keeps getting longer and longer! It will be a relief once we have all the groceries. It’s easier to wait to get the groceries until the walk-in cooler and cook wagon are here so that we can put everything in there.

Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin are washing down the walls in the pole barn. Verena and Loretta will clean the windows once they finish their list of things to do in the house. My list of cleaning keeps getting smaller and smaller.WeddingNoodles

On Friday, sisters Verena, Susan, and Emma, and daughter Elizabeth came to help put 228 eggs into noodles. We have over 30 pounds of noodles made for the wedding now.

On Saturday, Timothy, Elizabeth, and sisters Verena and Susan came again to help. Verena and Susan had the pleasure of cleaning the boys’ bedroom. Daughters Verena and Susan and I were organizing drawers, the closet, etc., and trying to stay ahead of my sisters. The room looks so much better but I wonder for how long. It should stay cleaner after the wedding since Benjamin will move all his things into Susan’s bedroom. With just Joseph and Kevin’s things maybe it will stay more organized. Kevin has a bad habit of collecting everything, which doesn’t help.

Joseph still didn’t get a birthday cake but we have been so busy. Joseph said he can wait until after the wedding if we don’t find time before, but hopefully Sunday we will be able to. I don’t know what we would have done without Joseph’s help. He has done so many jobs for us that the girls and I couldn’t do.

Yesterday Mose’s mother Rosanna, his sisters Hannah and Linda, his sister-in-law Suzanne, my sister Emma, and daughter Elizabeth assisted us in our work. Hannah has four little children and Suzanne has a little boy. She also brought along Mose’s sister LeAnna’s little girl. Kevin and Steven helped keep the little ones entertained. Mose was here helping all day, too. He started a new job at an RV factory today. I hope he will like it. It will take a lot off him not to be running after saw mill parts all the time.

My neighbor Susan came over to help me get my grocery list ready and help see how much of everything I need. She took the pants I had cut out for Kevin and said she will get her daughter Barbara to sew them. I really appreciated that! I have my dress sewn and this afternoon I want to sew my cape and apron.

Daughter Susan was off work yesterday. She somehow hurt her shoulder and was having a lot of pain. She was still sore this morning but said she can’t miss another day. I really hope she doesn’t make it worse. She has an appointment after work today to get it checked out. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

I must get back to my work. Take care everyone and God’s blessings to all of you! Try this cabbage sausage soup with cabbage out of your garden.

Cabbage Sausage Soup

4 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
1 small cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound smoked sausage, fully cooked
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Velveeta cheese to taste

Bring water, soup base, cabbage, and onion to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until cabbage is tender. Halve sausage lengthwise and slice. Add sausage and heat through. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and milk in a gravy shaker. Shake until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Add cheese to taste.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

Dilemma: calculating how many noodles to make for hundreds of wedding guests

 

It is Thursday morning and it looks like we will have another hot day. Yesterday’s temperature reached the nineties and the humidity was high. The humidity is high again this morning so we want to get everything done we can outside before it gets too hot.

I have a breakfast casserole in the oven for our breakfast. Joseph is out milking Bessie our cow. I decided to write this column first thing this morning since I’m already a day later than usual. Daughters Elizabeth and Lovina will soon be here. Lovina went to Elizabeth’s house yesterday morning and now Elizabeth is coming over here to help clean and cook for Susan’s upcoming wedding. Lovina is always so excited when she gets to go to Elizabeth’s house.

Tomorrow my three sisters who live in this area will come help make noodles for the wedding. I want to make more than last time, as they used all we had made for Elizabeth’s wedding. I would rather have more than enough of everything than to run out of something. It takes a lot of brain work to make sure you have plenty of food on hand for over 1,000 guests in a day.

Lovina and Kevin picked over five gallons of green beans this week. GreenBeansThey cleaned them and I put them in the freezer. If the green beans keep doing well, that might be the vegetable we have at one of the wedding meals. I fixed some green beans one night this week. I diced onions, potatoes, and carrots in with them. Then I added crumbled bacon. Everyone liked the green beans a lot better fixed that way.

Joseph will be fourteen on Sunday, July 24. That will conclude the BensBirthdayCakeJuly birthdays in this family. Sister Emma turned forty-three on July 19 so I want to wish her a happy birthday. Her husband Jacob is planning a surprise birthday party tomorrow night for her. She will be here helping during the day so they should be able to sneak around her. We hope she will be surprised!

I should also mention that no matter if Mother isn’t here anymore, she is always remembered on her birthday. On July 18 she would have been 80 years old. She was a great mother to all of us children. We have so many good memories of her.

The porch deck is all stained now. That was a big job! Joe took all the vinyl railings off so we had it easier to stain. Now he’s put the railings back on. Sons Benjamin and Joseph are staining the ramp today. Hopefully they will beat the heat. It has rows and rows of railings (wooden) that need to be stained. It’s all time consuming but it will help preserve the wood better. I was helping the other evening with it and I had my share of it. I’m glad they will do the rest. I like painting walls a lot more than staining and I don’t even like to paint.

This is now after breakfast. Elizabeth and Lovina are here. Elizabeth is cutting out Kevin’s pants for the wedding. We want to wash laundry. There are so many unfinished jobs for the wedding that I have a hard time deciding where to start. I am starting to get a little nervous as time gets closer and closer. I want to try and stay calm and think everything will fall into place at the end.

Elizabeth always brings her dogs Crystal and Izzy along. This morning we heard meowing in the buggy. She is giving milk to two kittens which were orphaned when the mother cat was killed on the road. They look like they are doing well. The boys were teasing her about bringing two dogs, then two kittens, and wondered what she will bring two of next time. Kevin suggested that it will probably be ducks.

I must get back to work. Take care everyone! God’s blessings to all!

Zucchini Fritters

2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup flour
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Mix together. Drop like patties in skillet and fry. You can omit the onion and pepper and make them just plain if you like.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of GreenBeanseight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding work frolic planned; sister promises eggs to help make wedding noodles

FrontPorch
Not much time to relax on the porch these days …

Today, 17 years ago, our oldest son was born to us after having three daughters. I remember seeing the look on my husband Joe’s face when he told me “It’s a boy!” He loved his daughters too but was excited to have a son. Benjamin was only four pounds and thirteen ounces at birth and caught the flu at a few weeks old. He ended up in the hospital and went down to four pounds. He was just a tiny baby but now he is far from that. We will give him a tool chest on wheels with various tools tonight. He enjoys working with tools and doing construction work.

Tonight in honor of Benjamin’s birthday, 20 to 25 youth will gather at our local Pizza Hut. Benjamin loves pizza so he will enjoy that and also being with his friends. Daughter Verena called Pizza Hut to reserve seats for all of them. I will need to make a cake for Ben but might wait until Saturday to have cake and ice cream since he won’t be home tonight.

Benjamin didn’t have to go to work yesterday so he and our son Joseph were mowing our pasture field with our big walk behind mower. It helps keep the weeds out to mow it down every once in a while.

Saturday we are having a “work frolic” for anyone who wants to come help us prepare for the wedding. Joe ordered material to insulate and finish the other end of the pole barn. We will use both parts of the building for the wedding and be able to spread out. Mose will be here to help but none of his family will be able to make it. Mose’s older brother Joe is getting married September 2 and that wedding will be at Mose’s parents’ house. They put up a new pole barn and are working on finishing that too. Hopefully we will get plenty of help to get a lot done.

We also want to have someone put a roof coating on our barn roof. We are springing a few leaks, so that should help. Joe also ordered stain for our ramp and deck. We wanted to let the wood season awhile before we apply the stain. The wedding is three weeks away so we need to keep busy. Joe has to work Saturday in a week so that’s one Saturday less for him to get ready.

I still haven’t made noodles for the wedding. Our chickens have not been laying so well. We have new ones started but they won’t lay eggs for a few months. We will butcher the older chickens and can the broth once the new hens are laying eggs. We like to get new hens every two years. I will use all my chicken broth I have left at the wedding so I will need more. The broth is used in the noodles and dressing.

Sister Emma and sons were here assisting us with our work yesterday. She said I can have some of their eggs to make noodles for the wedding.

I have had enough pickles to make three batches of freezer pickles. I am clear out of any canned or freezer pickles. Hopefully my plants keep doing well so I can restock with those. Plans are that church will be here in October so I want to have plenty of pickles.

Today I want to try and get started sewing my dress for the wedding. I once again have put it off too long.

Friday sisters Verena and Susan will come help me with some more cleaning. Daughter Elizabeth plans to come as well.

On Friday, July 15, Joe and I will have our twenty-third wedding anniversary. Twenty-three years! How can that be possible? I am blessed to be married to a kind, loving husband. Every marriage has ups and downs but with God’s help it all ends up making our love stronger for each other. Without God in a marriage, I can’t imagine it working well. God’s love for us is unconditional. May He bless each of you!

Cucumbers are the crop of choice in Lovina’s garden right now, and this week she shares a favorite recipe for cucumber salad.
Cucumbers to make a few batches of Freezer Pickles.

Freezer Pickles

Makes about 4 pints

I store these in large containers in the freezer so when I have church I can serve them for the meal afterward. But I can also freeze them in smaller containers so we can eat them at home on sandwiches. It is really surprising how crisp they are. These pickles will stay good in the freezer for up to a year. They taste so fresh and crunchy. The making of these pickles does stretch out over three days, so plan accordingly!

4 to 5 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons salt
1 large onion, sliced
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

Day 1: Put the cucumbers, salt, and onion in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Day 2: Drain the juice from the cucumbers. Combine the sugar and vinegar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Day 3: Take the pickles out of the refrigerator and pack into a freezer-safe container(s). Pour the syrup over the pickles and freeze until ready to use.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.