A welcome addition to the family

I ended up not going to the comfort knotting last week. Instead, I went with daughter Susan and Ervin to the hospital. Now I have exciting news to share. Ervin Jay Yoder Jr. was born to Ervin and Susan at 6:17 p.m. on November 14. He weighs 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and is 19.5 inches long. Joe and I now have 12 grandchildren. Ervin Jay is so sweet and has won our hearts already. Now you will hear from daughter Verena:

Hello! This is Lovina’s daughter Verena. I decided to write the column for Mom since I was really in a writing mood. It is currently 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 18. This week sure has been a busy one for me, but also very exciting.

Tuesday I went with Dustin and sister Loretta to an appointment to help with Denzel and Byron. We left at 11 a.m. and didn’t get home until 5:30 p.m. I then went over to sister Elizabeth’s since Ervin and Susan had dropped their five children off there. It was fun and exciting to let Kaitlyn, 7, Jennifer, 5, Isaiah, 5, Ryan, 4, and Curtis, 4, know they have a baby brother, Ervin Jay. They couldn’t wait to meet him.

Tim and Elizabeth took the five children and me back to Ervin and Susan’s place that night. I stayed there with the children and woke them up at 6 a.m. on Wednesday to get ready for school. Ryan was up most of the night worrying about where his parents were, so he did not get the best sleep. I kept him home but sent the other four. Ervin and Susan did not get home until 9 p.m. that night. Kaitlyn and Jennifer were the only ones who did not go to sleep, because they were super excited to meet Ervin Jay. They both got to hold him a little bit before they went to bed.

Thursday morning, Ervin helped me get the children ready for school. Getting five children ages 4–7 ready for school can be a hassle. There’s always one missing something.

Elizabeth dropped off a casserole on her way over to Mom’s. She brought a ranch potato casserole, corn, and garlic cheese bread. Allison and Andrea were with her. They all came in to meet baby Ervin.

Thursday night, Ervin’s dad and mom, his brother Glen, and Glen’s girlfriend stopped in to meet Ervin Jay. Ervin’s mom brought two homemade pizzas. I heated up Elizabeth’s casseroles along with the pizza for all of us for supper. The children were glad that Grandpa Yoders and Uncle Glen and his girlfriend came for supper.

Friday morning I only had to get Kaitlyn, Jennifer, and Isaiah ready for school. Ryan and Curtis don’t go on Fridays.

Dustin and Loretta brought supper. My parents also came. It was really enjoyable, and the children were excited that they came.

This morning my boyfriend Daniel and I washed all the laundry. It sure adds up fast. I had washed it all on Wednesday. I’m trying to wash clothes three times a week so it’s not so big each time. Ervin and Daniel hung the laundry on the wash lines for me while I prepared lunch. Sister Loretta and I made a breakfast casserole last night for this morning, so breakfast was easy.

All the children are down for a nap right now. They have been getting up extra early because they are excited about the new baby. Jennifer got out of bed way earlier than she normally does to hold baby Ervin. Susan has to set a timer for the children because they argue about who gets to hold him. Haha!

I want to sweep and mop yet, and clean the bathrooms, and laundry has to be off the lines yet. Kaithlyn and Jennifer will help me clean the bathrooms after their nap. The children will help get the laundry off the lines. They are pretty good at that. They are also good at putting their clothes away after I fold it for them.

Sometime before bedtime I need to bathe the children and wash their hair. Saturdays are always extra busy.

Lovina baked these dinner rolls for part of the Sunday meal at daughter Susan’s house. Photo provided.

It is now Monday. Yesterday my parents and siblings, Tim and Elizabeth and children, Dustin and Loretta and boys, cousin Steven, and Daniel were all here. Dad grilled a turkey and Mom brought mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, dinner rolls, apple cake, and cookies. Elizabeth brought lettuce salad, and Loretta brought peaches and brownies.

I’m going to sign off on this. I have work that needs to be done. You all take care, and God bless!

Apple Doodle
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping cup finely chopped apples

Beat egg well. Add sugar and cream together well. Add almond flavoring, then add sifted flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold in chopped apples. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees on top rack of oven for 25 minutes, or until brown. Serve either hot or cold.


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.

Lovina Attends a Comfort Knotting

It’s Tuesday morning around 5:30 a.m. and son Benjamin is getting ready to go to work. Yesterday was his first day of work in over two months. He certainly is looking forward to a paycheck again. He was pretty sore last night after work. His leg is still in a boot—the doctor told him to come back in four weeks. He is doing home therapy, and he is allowed to wear his shoe several hours a day and gradually get out of the boot. Benjamin wants to thank everyone for their lovely cards, letters, and gifts. He always looked forward to opening his cards. Yesterday I even received a letter from sister Leah with their card to Benjamin. I haven’t seen Leah since daughter Susan and Ervin’s wedding last year, on December 30. Hopefully I get to see her soon. Leah is the oldest of us eight siblings—she is 64. We miss our two siblings Amos and Susan. They both left us way too soon. May we all meet again someday.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to neighbor Amy as she mourns the death of her dear husband. They moved in shortly after we did in 2004 and have been great neighbors. May God help and comfort Amy as she goes though this difficult time. Rest in peace Ed—you will be missed!

On Sunday our church services were at our neighbors Dave and Barbara’s. If I’m not mistaken, there were 25 families visiting from other church districts. Church services were held in their basement, and it was filled to capacity. Our church has over 40 families, so we are big already.

At night our church had a carry-in farewell supper for a young couple, Samuel and Wilma, and their two children. They moved in close to daughters Susan and Verena several years ago and now will move to Tennessee. They live down the road a quarter mile from daughter Verena since Susan moved in with Ervin after their marriage last year. On the menu was a haystack dinner and lots of desserts. We sang songs for them after supper. We wish them the best as they start life in a different state.

I quite well remember almost 20 years ago moving to another state and having six children, with the seventh one born soon after our move. It was a challenge, and sometimes I don’t see how I managed, but we did and we have made this home. Home is where the heart is!

These comforters are the type that Lovina and the community women will be making at the comfort knotting. Photo provided.

My plans for today are to go to the community building for a comfort knotting. Several ladies from our church are going, including sisters Verena and Emma. The comforters are made to give away to those in need. We all pack a sack lunch. I told sister Verena I’ll pack her lunch with mine. With her living alone and not getting to town too often, she doesn’t always have much on hand to pack a lunch.

Tomorrow gun season opens for the deer hunters, which brings a lot of excitement for them. For me, I am well contented staying in the warm house. Sons-in-law Tim and Ervin have both shot deer with bow and have meat for their freezer. Ervin shot a nine-point buck. Both men can hunt on their own property, which makes it handy for them.

Our plans for Thanksgiving Day are to go to sister Emma’s house. We take turns hosting Thanksgiving dinner. This year, she hosts Thanksgiving and we host Christmas dinner. Next year we will exchange holidays. Wish you all God’s blessings.


Broccoli Cheddar Brunch Bake
8 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 cup chopped onion
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
12–13 eggs, beaten
1 1/2–2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Garlic salt to taste

Sauté broccoli and onion in oil or butter until crisp-tender. Combine the eggs, 1 cup cheese, milk, and seasonings in a large bowl; stir in broccoli mixture. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40–50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and let set 10 minutes.


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.

Lovina and Family Enjoy a Fall Day Together

Today grandson Byron (son of daughter Loretta and Dustin) is 3 months old. He weighs 10 pounds, 12 ounces now. He’s a sweet little smiley baby. He’s cooing and an active little boy. Denzel loves his little brother but sometimes looks annoyed to have to share everyone with Byron. He likes to give Byron something to play with, which isn’t always a good thing if it’s somebody’s shoe. Haha!

On Sunday I made a breakfast haystack for brunch. Those joining us were Tim, daughter Elizabeth, Abigail, 7, Timothy (T.J.), 4, Allison, 3, and Andrea, 21 months, daughter Susan, Ervin, Kaitlyn, 7, Jennifer, 5, Isaiah, 5, Ryan, 4, and Curtis, 4, daughter Loretta, Dustin, Denzel, 16 months, and Byron, 3 months, daughter Verena and her special friend Daniel Ray, son Joseph’s special friend Grace, daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel, and nephews Henry, Jacob, and Steven.

For the haystack breakfast I made Mystery Biscuits (and crumbled them after baked), sausage, bacon, ham, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, cheese sauce, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, hot peppers, salsa, and gravy. For a haystack, layer everything you like, and add more ingredients to your menu if you prefer. Lastly, pour cheese sauce and gravy over everything. It is a good meal but takes time to make everything. It is easy for children; if they only like biscuits and gravy or scrambled eggs, they can take only that. We also had rhubarb juice, grape juice, V-8 juice, coffee, milk, and cider, as well as ice cream and pumpkin whoopie pies. Some of these recipes will likely be included among over one hundred recipes in my new cookbook The Cherished Table (release date June 2024)!

Before everyone left we had hot dog and bologna sandwiches, venison snack sticks, chips, pretzels, apples, popcorn, etc.

It was a beautiful fall day, and the children loved being outside. Their favorite place to play is on the big pile of dirt in our field behind our house. Son-in-law Dustin and his brother Daniel (Lovina’s special friend) run an excavating business besides working construction as well. They are digging a pond for us. We needed dirt to fill in to build a new barn so we decided to have them dig a pond instead of paying for dirt to be hauled in. It will be nice once it’s all done. Our barn is very old, so we need room to store hay, etc. So we decided to build a new one instead of trying to fix up the old one. It seems there is so much work that need to be done and so little time to do it. Our goal was to have this pole barn built before the snow starts flying.

Son Benjamin is hoping to get the okay from the doctor tomorrow to return to work. He laughs and says we were waiting to build the pole barn until he can help. We will be glad for his help.

Son-in-law Dustin and son Joseph worked on the stair steps one night and that is another project needing attention.

Recently one Friday evening, daughter Verena had Daniel Ray’s family and our family at her house for supper. Some of our grandchildren and Daniel Ray’s siblings are in the same school, so they had fun that evening. Dutch Blitz and dice games were played and the evening was enjoyable. Everyone helped bring food so it made it easier for Verena.

Church services will be set at our house in 6 1/2 weeks, Lord willing, so we are trying to clean as well. My daughters were home one day helping last week. I was so glad for their help. I know they are busy with their own work. I can feel I am not as young as I used to be when getting ready to host church services. I am thankful for my good health and should not complain when my work falls behind. Take one day at a time!

God’s blessings to all!


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1/2 cup milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3–4 cups powdered sugar

Cream sugar and oil. Add pumpkin and eggs. Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and spices. Mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10–12 minutes.

For filling, mix milk, cream cheese, and vanilla with 3 cups powdered sugar. Add more sugar as needed to reach desired consistency. Spread between two cookies.


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.

Lovina and Her Family Gather to Can Applesauce

This is the last day of October already! Where does the time go? On Sunday, our clocks will fall back an hour, ending daylight saving time until next spring. I really do not care for the switching back and forth. I wish they would keep it one way or the other. Such is life!

Last week, we were able to get 10 bushels of apples into applesauce for daughter Susan and Ervin. It was an enjoyable day spent together working and visiting. I hadn’t seen Ervin’s mother Esther since the wedding last year, so it was nice to visit with her again. She had six boys and one girl, so she knows all about raising boys and is going to sew pants for Susan and Ervin’s three growing little boys. They are all so close in size that they can’t do hand-me-downs.

Daughters Loretta, Elizabeth, Verena, and I stayed to help until the applesauce was all in jars because we live closer than Esther and her daughters-in-law Rachel and Sarah. They had a driver bring them and probably had a 45-minute drive back home. Loretta, Denzel, Byron, and I went with their handicap buggy. We arrived back home at around 7:15 p.m. Later than we had anticipated, but I was glad to get the apples all done in one day for them. There were 157 quarts of applesauce canned for them, which will be a nice supply for the next year.

Joe and the boys harvested the remaining peppers and tomatoes from the garden. Photo provided.

Here at home, daughter Lovina had supper ready for our family and Dustin’s when we arrived. While we were gone, Joe and the boys had picked all the peppers and tomatoes from the garden and garden beds. Now, our garden is history for 2023.

Son Benjamin has only one week left until he goes to the doctor and hopefully gets the okay to have his cast off. It was a long seven-and-a-half weeks for him.

Church services were held on Sunday at our neighbors’. Sister Verena came here after church and has been here since. She gets lonely if she’s home for too long alone. Today, we want to wash out my two cupboards. Since it only has my good china and the dishes I use on special occasions, I like to wash all the dishes when I have them out. Verena said she can do that for me today so that I can do another job.

Lord willing, Christmas services will be held here on December 24, and we will have a potluck meal afterward. We are trying to get a head start on cleaning since the holidays are a busy time of gatherings.

Son Joseph used the pressure washer and washed off the porch. He also moved some of the porch furniture to the basement for the winter. I like my wicker set and patio table and chairs in the basement for the winter months for protection. We wouldn’t use it out there on the porch anyhow. We do use it in the basement during the winter months sometimes. It’s always cozy in our basement with the heat down there. I’m organizing down there on the days I get to it. I want to make a play area for the grandchildren when they come. I have a bookshelf with books as well. They love reading or “looking” at books.

We are in the process of getting a stairlift put in for son Kevin, 18. We had a used one that a kind reader had donated to us, but it finally gave up on us. Kevin’s bedroom is upstairs, and he can’t get up the steps anymore. Son Joseph carries him up every night to bed. He can still come down, but it isn’t the safest, so we decided to get another chairlift. Kevin is the tallest of our three sons—almost six feet.

We traveled to Ann Arbor for doctor appointments last Friday. They do a lot of testing for muscular dystrophy. It makes a long day for the children (and also for Mom). It is a two-plus hour drive, so we are on the road for almost five hours.

Until next time… God bless! Stay safe and healthy!

Broccoli and Mushroom Soup
1 cup unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly
4 cups diced fresh broccoli
1 cup all-purpose flour
4–5 cups milk, divided
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and broccoli, tossing and stirring vegetables in butter for 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle flour into the pan, continuing to stir so flour is evenly distributed and mixed with vegetables and the flour is being cooked—you are making a roux for this thick nourishing soup, so stir for another 2 minutes to blend completely.

Add 3 cups milk, continuing to stir vigorously to create a sauce. Turn the heat to low and continue stirring. As the soup thickens, add chicken broth and additional milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly so the soup stays smooth. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add cheese, salt, and black pepper, stirring while the cheese melts. Add more milk if you want a thinner soup.

Lovina Asks for Help Naming Midnight’s Colt

Yesterday, the mercury on our thermometer dipped down to 29 degrees. We had a good frost, but we don’t think it did any damage to my pepper plants. Still, we are going to pick what’s left on there and pull the plants. The weather forecast says we will get a few warmer days, with today being in the 70s. It’s time to take advantage of that and clear out the garden and garden beds. Another planting season down in history. We had a nice harvest, maybe not as good as other years, but we are thankful for every jar that was filled and everything that we could put in the freezer.

Before we know it, the snow will be flying, and it will be butchering meat season.

Friday night, our whole family gathered at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house for our monthly family night. Ervin and Susan brought the casserole, daughter Verena brought a taco salad, daughter Loretta and Dustin brought Cake Delight, and I took a tray full of snacks. Oh, and Tim’s furnished ice creams and drinks. This time, I filled it and took it to Elizabeth and Tim’s. They will fill it for the next family night and leave the basket tray there.

My good friend Ruth gave me this basket with an insert that has compartments for a meat and cheese tray, a fruit tray, or other options. This is our family night snack tray. I filled the compartments with summer sausage, cheese, cheeseball, crackers, veggies, and veggie dip, and then I filled two compartments with chocolates (all kinds of little candy bars). This was a little too attractive to my hungry little grandchildren. This grandma loves to spoil her grandchildren, but I know that too much candy isn’t good for them or their teeth, so I try to limit it. (I said try haha.)

We had a nice night together and played games. Joe and I took our horse, Midnight. She was all excited to run the six-and-a-half miles home to get back to her colt. Yes, we still haven’t given him a name, and he is four months old. Any ideas?

Son Benjamin named his two-year-old horse Star; she is the daughter of his horse Beauty. Star has a star on her head, so he named her that. Joe’s first horse was named Star as well. Our neighbor boy Phillip is training Star for Benjamin since he broke his leg. Joe didn’t think he had the time and energy to train her. Once Star is trained for the buggy, then they can take over.

Eicher family members gathered to make applesauce for daughter Susan. The cooked apples are put through a strainer to sort out the seeds and peels prior to filling the jars for canning. Photo provided.

Today, my daughters and I, sister Verena, Ervin’s mom and sisters-in-law will assist daughter Susan with canning applesauce. They have 10 bushels of apples waiting to be processed and into jars. With five growing children, it takes a lot. They all love applesauce, and it’s something easy to put in lunches as well.

Ervin’s mom is bringing sandwiches for lunch, and I am taking a vegetable soup. The rest will probably bring snacks or whatever they decide. We should get a lot done for Susan. She said they bought 10 yards of material, and Esther (Ervin’s mother) will take it home and sew the three little boys some new pants for her. This really helps Susan.

On Sunday, Joe and I were home alone, so daughter Loretta and Dustin told us to come for breakfast. They made a good breakfast, or rather brunch, of fried eggs and potatoes, bacon, sausage, cheese, and hot peppers. Then we ended up also having supper there. Supper was mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken roll-ups, coleslaw, tomatoes, and cheese. Another good meal. Daughter Verena and her special friend Daniel Ray joined us there. Denzel loves Daniel and ran for him when they arrived. We played games after supper. Verena came here for the night and is still here. She will go along to Susan’s today and then go home from there. God bless!

Cherry Jubilee Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch square cake pans. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter with sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add sour cream and mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the vanilla, zest, and cherry preserves. Spread batter in pans. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



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.

Lovina Remembers Her Parents on Their Anniversary

It’s October 17, and although my parents have both been gone for over 20 years, I still think of their anniversary date. They were married October 17, 1957. Rest in peace, dear parents. You are still so greatly missed.

Tomorrow (October 18) is son-in-law Tim’s birthday. He will be 35. Happy birthday, Tim! We wish you many more happy years.

These two horses belong to son-in-law Tim, who just recently celebrated his birthday on October 18.

Our house feels so much more comfortable since my husband Joe started the coal stove on Saturday. We had four tons of coal delivered, and we will probably need more than that later. When it turns real cold, we heat part of the pole barn where we keep our phone and battery packs for the solar. We also have a kitchen sink and a bathroom in there, so it keeps that from freezing as well. Hard coal sure went up in price but so does everything else. The cost of living is so unbelievable. God always provides it seems. Sometimes we forget all the many blessings he sends to us.

It has now been almost five weeks since son Benjamin broke his leg. He went to the doctor’s last week and had his 17 staples removed. The doctor told him four more weeks of no weight on that leg.

Benjamin is still receiving cards, and he looks forward to that. Thanks so much to everyone for the cards and gifts. This had been a hard time for Benjamin to not be able to go to work and not be as active as he usually is. May God grant him the patience and help him through this trial in life.

Daughter Loretta is here again today with 10-week-old Byron and 15-month-old Denzel. Byron weighs 10 pounds, 1 ounce now. He was 6 pounds, 7.8 ounces at birth. Byron is starting to coo and giggle. He likes to watch toys hanging from the swing too. You can see he’s getting older and is so much more alert. Of course, Denzel loves to pick on his little brother. Denzel is starting his terrible twos already. He loves finding everything he isn’t allowed to have. My cabinets are his favorite place, and if someone forgets to close the gate on the upstairs steps, he gets up there so fast.

On Thursday, daughter Susan and Ervin will be table waiters at Ervin’s first wife Sarah’s Aunt Carolyn’s wedding. Carolyn is a widow and is getting married to a widower. We wish them God’s many blessings as they join hands.

Church services were held in the pole barn at niece Emma and Menno’s on Sunday. Their lunch menu included homemade wheat and white bread, ham, cheese, peanut butter spread, pickles, red beets, hot pepper butter, butter, jelly, hot peppers, coffee, tea, and cookies.

We went back for supper, and barbequed chicken was on the menu with various other food. Joe and I took our horse Midnight but had to come back in the afternoon to let Midnight’s four-month-old colt nurse before we went back for supper. Midnight gets rowdy when she’s away from her colt for too long.

Tomorrow is our final cooking and baking day for my forthcoming cookbook (June 25, 2024) called The Cherished Table.

God bless!


Chocolate Pumpkin Yummy

4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned pumpkin puree

1 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt cake pan. Set aside. Beat eggs and sugar until blended. Beat in oil. Sift flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt into egg mixture. Fold in dry ingredients and pumpkin puree. Pour batter into pan and bake until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Make glaze: Place chocolate and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl. In a pan, warm cream over medium heat until it simmers. Pour cream over chocolate, let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Place cake on a rack over a baking sheet. Drizzle glaze over cake. Let sit until set.


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

Lovina and Her Family Prepare for Cold Weather

This October week is bringing us cold, rainy weather. Today, the temperature was a high of 55 degrees and a low of 41 degrees. We have been burning our gas lights (propane) to help take the chill out of the house. Joe is getting the coal stove in the basement cleaned and ready for this winter’s use. We burn hard coal in the coal stove in the basement, and it has a jacket around it to help the heat come up through a floor vent. I dry all our laundry in the basement during the winter months. The coal stove heats all three stories of our house.

The leaves are starting to fall, and the colorful leaves are scenic.

On October 8, son-in-law Dustin had his 29th birthday. Dustin, Loretta, and sons; Tim, Elizabeth, and four children; and Ervin, Susan, and five children came yesterday for an early supper. Joe and I were alone all day, so we enjoyed their company. We put chicken on the grill and had a casserole, steamed green beans, cheese, pickles, etc., and blackberry shortcake and ice cream for dessert.

Recently, we had a nice surprise visit from another Uncle and Aunt. My dad’s brother Amos and Gyneth drove the two hours to visit us. Amos is the youngest of the 13 siblings and is 76. My dad was the second oldest of the 13 and passed away 23 years ago at the age of 69. I have nothing but good memories of him. Gone but not forgotten!

Friday evening, Joe and I, sons Benjamin and Kevin, son Joseph and his special friend Grace, daughter Lovina and her special friend Daniel, daughter Loretta and Dustin with Denzel and Byron all took supper to my sister Verena. The menu included grilled banana poppers along with a casserole and various other goodies. It was a nice evening spent together, although weather-wise it was rainy.

Today, I did laundry and hung some on the lines outside and some on the porch. It dried between the showers we had.

Another church family brought supper over. This was once again so much appreciated.

Tomorrow, I will go with son Kevin to the dentist for his cleaning. Then on Wednesday, I will go with son Benjamin to his two-week check-up at the doctor. This will be his first check-up since the surgery on his leg. We are hoping that all is healing nicely and that he can go back to walking without crutches in four weeks or so (and also back to work).

He appreciates all the cards and gifts and wants to thank everyone. God bless you for your kindness!

One day last week, many assisted niece Emma as she prepared to host church services this Sunday: daughter Elizabeth, Allison and Andrea, daughter Susan, daughter Verena, daughter Loretta, Denzel and Byron, sisters Verena and Emma, niece Elizabeth, nephew Benjamin’s wife Crystal and me. The other nine children came after school. They were all excited to be able to get off the bus there.

It is now the next morning, and I am working on my cookbook until it’s time to leave with Kevin.

Daughter Loretta and sons came over around 6 a.m. Denzel, 15 months, is sleeping in the playpen and Byron, 9 weeks, is sleeping on Loretta in the recliner. It’s almost 7 a.m., and I’m enjoying a coffee. All is still quiet. Joe and son Joseph left before 5 a.m., and Benjamin, Lovina, and Kevin aren’t up yet. I decided it was a good, quiet morning to get some “brain work” done on the cookbook. It stays dark for quite longer and is dark earlier at night. It will be darker even earlier once we are off Daylight-Saving Time.

Try this cabbage and beef soup if you have late cabbage from your garden yet or just want a good soup on a cold autumn night.

God’s blessings to all!

Cabbage and Beef Soup
2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 (32-ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
1 medium head cabbage, chopped
1 quart stewed tomatoes
1 quart tomato juice
4 teaspoons beef base
fresh parsley

In an 8-quart kettle, brown ground beef. Add all remaining ingredients, except parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Garnish with parsley.


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.

Daughter Lovina Helps with Cookbook Preparations

Dear Readers,

I (daughter) Lovina decided to write the column for Mom today. She had a busy day, and I figured I’d help her out by taking one thing off her agenda. I’ve been wanting to for a while now anyway.

Not too long ago, I joined the church and was baptized, which was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Sunday, I participated in communion for the first time. I have been at communion church plenty of times, but it was really special to be a part of it since I am now a member of our church.

Daniel (my special friend) had his 22nd birthday on September 26. Friday night, we had a birthday supper with his family. I made a cake for him on Saturday. Then we also had tacos. Sunday, I invited my family to come for supper after communion church in honor of his birthday.

I got Daniel a birthday gift. Last time, I accidentally told him what I got him, and the time before that, I got excited and just gave it to him as soon as I bought it. This time, I didn’t blabber what I got him, and I actually gave it to him on his birthday.

I got him some stuff for his buggy, and he seemed to be really glad for it even though it wasn’t as big and expensive as the gift he got me for my birthday. Having a person like me in his life is probably a good enough gift. You can’t buy an awesome girlfriend at a gift shop. I’m just kidding. If I could buy bigger and better gifts I would, but unfortunately my piggy bank went on a diet. That was also a joke. I don’t have a piggy bank (because I don’t have any money to put in it). Haha. That was a joke too. I actually do have a piggy bank, and I do have money. I have this wallet named Daniel, and I call it my boyfriend. Then if I ask really nicely, it gives me money.

That was another joke.

Speaking of jokes, brother Kevin told me another of his infamous jokes that are actually not even that funny—after he tells one, we all just stand there in awkward silence because nobody laughs, because like I said, they aren’t that funny.

He said, what’s red and bad for your teeth… (five seconds later) A brick. I asked him, what’s bright yellow with red stripes and bad for your teeth? A brick painted yellow with red stripes.

Here’s another riddle for you all. What’s green, has wheels, and is extremely loud? Grass… I lied about the wheels and the noise.

Sorry about that; I don’t like it when people guess the riddles. It ruins the fun.

Daniel bought me a puppy. She’s half toy poodle and half Jack Russell, but she definitely favors the poodle side. She’s black with curly hair. I named her Shadow. I knew Mom didn’t want any more house dogs, so I snuck her up to my bedroom one night to sleep with me. That worked until Mom heard her. I remember when I snuck our miniature pony Prancer into our house. Mom had a good laugh about that one. Shadow stays outside with our dog Hatchi. They get along pretty well. When it starts to get cold, I’ll put Shadow in our heated shed.

We have been extra busy lately with Mom in the process of making a new cookbook. We’ve been testing a lot of recipes and having cooking/baking days when the photographers come. Grant and Jen (the photographers of the book) have been great through all of this. The cover photo is my hands holding a pie, which is kind of exciting. I am typing the recipes for Mom. I think we will all be glad when we get to the final stage.

Well, I better wrap this up. I hope you are all doing great! God bless!


1 pound hamburger, browned
1 taco seasoning packet
lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, diced
green peppers, diced
onions, diced
hot peppers, chopped
shredded cheese
ranch dressing
sour cream
Doritos, crushed
flour tortillas

Add taco seasoning to the hamburger and prepare according to the directions on the packet. Some in our family wrap all the ingredients in a tortilla and some layer the ingredients onto the tortilla and top with crushed Doritos.


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

Lovina Prepares for Son Benjamin’s Surgery

It’s Monday night, and I want to get this column written tonight. Early tomorrow morning (5:15 a.m.) I will be leaving with son Benjamin to go to the hospital. He will have surgery done on his leg and screws put in for his fractured fibula and torn ligaments. He’s been having a lot of pain, so hopefully the surgery will help with that. His brand-new buggy will need repairs as well, but that can be fixed. He can be so fortunate that it wasn’t worse and his horse was okay. He appreciates all the well wishes, cards, etc. It’s unbelievable what the estimated cost of the surgery will be, but I guess everything is going up. It could have ended so much worse, so we want to thank God for having his hand over Benjamin.

On Sunday evening, most of our family were home for supper. Joe grilled twenty pounds of chicken and some wings. Along with that, we had mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, cheese, and dill pickles. Dessert was Swiss roll bars, M & M bars, cookies, grape salad, and ice cream.  Sister Verena also joined for supper.

Tonight, our supper was leftovers from last night. That was an easy supper.

We did laundry today and canned 22 pints of Thick and Chunky Salsa. I would like to can tomato chunks yet this week.

Wednesday I am invited to a birthday surprise for a neighbor lady. I am hoping I can go. Frieda will have a birthday next week. Her married daughter is planning the surprise. When we moved out here 19 1/2 years ago, Frieda and Abe showed up to help us unpack. We used to be in the same church, but after it got too big, we had to divide it. Sister Verena is also invited, so we will probably go together. That is, if Benjamin’s surgery goes okay. Frieda is five years younger than I am—she is sister Susan’s age.

Tomorrow, daughter Susan and Ervin plan to bring supper in. It was their date to bring supper in—our bishop’s wife Janie passed out slips of paper with a date on it to bring supper in for daughter Loretta and Dustin and our family. That really helps out and is greatly appreciated.

September 26 is daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel’s 22nd birthday. We wish him a happy birthday and many more to come. Sunday night after communion services, our whole family will come here in honor of Daniel’s birthday.

Sister Verena stayed here for the night, then left this morning to go help niece Emma. They will host church services in 2 1/2 weeks, Lord willing.

Leaves are starting to fall and the calendar tells us autumn has officially begun.

I need to sign off and get ready for bed. Daughter Verena came tonight and will be here tomorrow while I am at the hospital.

Good night to all and God’s blessings to all of you.


Cheddar Chowder Soup
4 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onions, chopped
4 cups water
4 cups cheddar cheese
2 cups ham
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

White Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk

In a large pot, cook all vegetables in water until tender. Add cheese and ham along with salt and pepper. To make white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in flour to let it start cooking. Gradually add the milk and cook until thick. Stir into vegetables. Makes 16 one-cup servings.


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.

Lovina Shares Fun Time with Grandchildren

Another week has gone by and it’s time to pen another column. Everyone has gone to bed except me. I stayed up later to get organized for another day of cooking and baking recipes for the upcoming cookbook. The photographer will come tomorrow and take photos of the dishes we prepare to put in the new cookbook. This will be the third photo session. One more will need to be done to finish it up.

I had daughter Loretta and Dustin’s two little boys here this afternoon while Dustin went with Loretta to her six-week checkup at the doctor. Byron is now six weeks old and seems kind of fussy at times. It is hard to get him to burp after a feeding, which I think brings him discomfort and makes him fussy. Denzel is quite the busybody. I folded the laundry, and pretty soon he was crying because he managed to put the laundry basket upside down on top of him. He couldn’t figure out how to get it back off. Dustin said at home Denzel will empty the toy box and scatter them all around the house. Then he’s bored and heads for the cabinet door to empty all the Tupperware containers. If by chance someone leaves the bathroom door open, he unrolls the toilet tissue. He just loves to see what he could get into next. Such a little busybody, but ever so precious.

Grandsons Timothy (T.J.), Ryan, and Curtis go to school a few days a week. They all love it! One day their teacher asked Ryan which hat is his and which is Curtis’. Well, Ryan takes one and smells it, then shakes his head no. Then he smells the other one and shakes his head yes, that it’s his. I have no idea how he knows which is his by smelling it. One day Curtis came home from school barefooted. Somehow he slipped past the teachers without them seeing that he had taken his shoes off. I am sure this is the first of many adventures those ornery little boys will have. Haha!

On Friday, daughter Lovina made and decorated two cakes. One was for granddaughter Abigail, 7, and the other for grandson Curtis, 4. Curtis will have his fourth birthday on September 22. He is a sweet blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy and always has a big smile for me.

Abigail is growing up so fast and was really helping Lovina after she came here off the bus. We had Allison, 3, and Andrea, 18 months, here Friday while daughter Elizabeth took T.J. to his asthma doctor.

Then Friday night everyone came for family night. We had a nice evening together.

On Saturday morning we had a nice surprise when Joe’s 77-year-old Uncle Solomon from Dundee, Ohio, showed up for a visit. Last Saturday we had a surprise visit from Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty from Geneva, Indiana. Uncle Joe is 81 and a brother to my dad. Solomon is a brother to my husband Joe’s dad.

Son Benjamin has a broken leg from a buggy/horse mishap. The buggy had him pinned underneath, and after going to the emergency room and getting an x-ray, he found out it showed that he has a broken leg. Wednesday he will see the orthopedic doctor to have a cast put on. He has a temporary cast on now. It is still quite swollen and painful. We are so thankful that his horse was patient and didn’t keep going and waited until someone could lift the buggy off him. Benjamin is not one to stay quiet, and there will be some challenging weeks ahead as he has to stay off his leg. If anyone wants to send him a card to pass his time, it would be appreciated. God’s blessings to all!


Pumpkin Spice Cake
3 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Maple Butter Cream Frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons maple flavoring
2 tablespoons milk
Dash of salt

Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat in pumpkin, milk, water, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

For frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add flavoring, milk, and salt; mix well. Assemble cake with frosting between layers and on top of cake, leaving sides unfrosted. Garnish with nuts if desired.


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