All posts by Lovinas Amish Kitchen

Elizabeth’s wedding day brings sacred vows and 1,000 meals served

The wedding day of Timothy and daughter Elizabeth (August 14) is now past. We had a few sprinkles of rain early in the morning and then nice weather the rest of the day. After everything was over and cleaned up, we had a thunderstorm and more than an inch of rain. We were thankful that it waited to rain until all was over.

It was hard to believe this day was finally here after so much preparation to get ready for it! Joe’s cousin Samuel started grilling the 350 pounds of chicken at 4:00 a.m on Friday. Around 6:30 a.m. the cooks started arriving to get the food prepared. Wedding services were held at our neighbors’, Joas and Susan’s. Timothy, Elizabeth and their four witnesses—Mose, Susan, Ernie and Martha (Tim’s sister and her husband)—left to go to the neighbors soon after 7:00 a.m.

Verena, Loretta, and Lovina wore these dresses for Elizabeth’s wedding.
Verena, Loretta and Lovina wore these dresses for Elizabeth’s wedding.

Elizabeth likes the color burgundy and Timothy likes purple, so the wedding colors were those two colors. Elizabeth got married in a burgundy-colored dress with a white cape and apron. The grooms always wear a black suit and white shirt, as do the witnesses. Susan and Martha wore purple dresses with white cape and aprons. Family members wore a shade of rose, and the table waiter girls wore another shade of raspberry-colored material. Timothy’s mother and I wore dresses of a dark plum color, and some of the helpers wore purple. The cooks all wore dark gray. The men and boys all wore black pants and vests with white shirts. Timothy’s nephews wore rose-colored shirts and sharkskin-gray pants. His nieces wore rose-colored dresses.

An Amish couple says these vows to each other on their wedding day. Here they appear in German and English.
An Amish couple says these vows to each other on their wedding day. Here they appear in German and English.

Around 11:30 a.m., toward the end of the service, Bishop Leroy asked Timothy and Elizabeth all the marriage vows, which they responded to with yes. There are six questions that are asked. Then everyone is asked to stand for a prayer for the couple. After the prayer the bishop takes the hand of the bride, places it in the hand of the bridegroom and pronounces them man and wife.

After the service ended around noon, everyone came to our house for the noon meal. We estimated that there were more than 500 people here for the noon meal. Our menu consisted of barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, corn, cheese, lettuce salad, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, angel food cake (with frosting and Danish dessert topping), dirt pudding, mixed fruit, and cherry, pecan, and peanut butter pies. We made 25 of each kind of pie. Candy bars were passed around after the meal. The same menu was served at night, but smoked sausage and ice cream were added to the meal. We served around 575 for supper.

The Eicher family served more than 1,000 meals on the day of Elizabeth and Timothy's wedding.
The Eicher family served more than 1,000 meals on the day of Elizabeth and Timothy’s wedding.

Timothy and Elizabeth opened their gifts in the afternoon. They have a lot of nice gifts to add to their new home. The gifts are usually household items such as kitchen items, towels and bedding, and some give things like tools and shovels for the groom. Money is given by some who aren’t sure what to give, which is also nice because the bride and groom can go buy what they didn’t get.

There is a lot more to write about the wedding, so I’ll share more in future columns. We are having to adjust here at home without Elizabeth here. We really miss her, and the children also miss her dogs, Izzy and Crystal. Verena has moved her things into Elizabeth’s bedroom. It’s surprising how empty the house feels with one of the children not here.

I have to thank my friend Ruth for all her help over this wedding. She was here to go and get whatever we ran out of or forgot. She took me shopping, one trip after another, to get the many groceries needed for this wedding. She also did loads of laundry for me when we had rainy weather. She washed all the towels and dishcloths after each meal. I don’t know how I can ever repay her. A true friend indeed! Thanks so much, Ruth!

Also, a thank you from Timothy and Elizabeth to all the readers who so kindly sent cards and gifts.  They were greatly appreciated! God bless! God’s blessings to Timothy, Elizabeth and all you readers.

Here is the recipe for pecan pie that we served at the wedding.

Pecan Pie

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 cup water
2 cups pecans, whole or crushed

Mix together all ingredients except pecans. Pour mixture into a 9-inch unbaked crust. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300° and bake until pie is set. Makes two 9-inch pies.

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’s prayers of blessing for her daughter on the eve of the wedding

It is a hot and humid Sunday afternoon. My husband, Joe, and I and our four youngest children are the only ones home this afternoon. Everyone is taking naps. It would be nice to take one too, but I need to get another column written before next week.

Church services were held at our neighbors Joas and Susan’s house. The next services will be here in two weeks. Joas and Susan will also host the wedding services for Timothy and daughter Elizabeth in their nice new pole barn on Friday. The receptions will be here.

On the day of the wedding, we serve a meal after the services and marriage, which are usually all done by noon. Then we serve a 5:00 p.m. supper for guests and a 7:00 p.m. supper for the youth and family. The bride and groom usually open their wedding gifts in the afternoon.

The inside of the wedding wagon, a portable kitchen that Lovina and her family are using to prepare the food for hundreds of wedding guests.
The inside of the wedding wagon, a portable kitchen that Lovina and her family are using to prepare the food for hundreds of wedding guests.

We are renting a wedding wagon, which comes with seven stoves and two sinks, plus all the pots, pans and dishes you need for the wedding. It also has a big cooler/freezer to put all the food in after it has been prepared. An 8×16-foot trailer comes with it, carrying all the tables, shelves and dishes.

Yesterday we had a lot of help to get the tables set for the wedding. There are enough place settings for 350. We have enough room in the new pole barn to seat 350 people at one time plus the bride, groom and their four witnesses. The wedding wagon, cooler, and trailer with dishes and tables have to be ready to leave here at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. It will go to another place for another wedding.

The tables are set for the big wedding day of Elizabeth, Lovina and Joe's oldest daughter, and Timothy.
The tables are set for the big wedding day of Elizabeth, Lovina and Joe’s oldest daughter, and Timothy.

My thoughts and prayers are with my firstborn this afternoon as I think of her taking this big step in life. She will have a lot of changes, but I have no doubt in my mind that they will be good ones. It is just a mother’s nature to worry for her children, but there needs to be a time to let them experience life without the presence of their parents.

Elizabeth has been a great daughter and never caused us any trouble. She was always obedient to us, which means so much to parents. My advice to her is to always start her day with her husband in prayer together and to end it with prayer together. What a great way to start and end your day with God being the guide. Every marriage has its ups and downs, but if you have love and respect for each other, things can always be healed. Marriage vows should be taken very seriously. Elizabeth, I pray that you and Timothy will always remain in love as much as you are now. Joe and I were fortunate to have parents who encouraged us and let us make decisions on our own. We asked for a lot of advice, but parents can only give so much advice. It takes husband and wife alone to work things out together, with God as their guide.

Elizabeth and Timothy, may you have a long and happy married life together. May God grant you both good health and a family to care for. I hope and pray your wedding day will be a day you want to remember. My love to both of you. Now we will gain a son, not lose a daughter! God bless!

Here's Lovina's pie crust recipe from her card file.
Here’s Lovina’s pie crust recipe from her card file.

This week I’ll share Timothy’s mother’s pie dough recipe, which we will use to make all the pies for the wedding. I’m not sure yet, but I think we will make 75–80 pies for that day.

Pie crusts wait for filling as preparations continue for Elizabeth's wedding.
Pie crusts wait for filling as preparations continue for Elizabeth’s wedding.

Pie Crust

6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups lard
2 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vinegar

Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir lard into flour mixture to make crumbs. It’s best if crumbs are quite moist; add a little more lard if necessary.

Beat together eggs, water and vinegar and pour over crumbs. Mix with a fork until right consistency. Don’t overmix. Roll out and press into pie pans. Makes six single-crust or three double-crust pies.

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’s diary, one week and two days before wedding!

P1060407For this week I’m going to write a daily diary for August 5.

3:15 a.m. Time to get up and pack my husband Joe’s lunch. For his lunch he wants bread slices, sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden, and mayonnaise. I also put frozen peaches, some cheese crackers, and a piece of rhubarb pie in his lunch. I fill his water jug with ice and water and make him a mug of coffee to take along.

3:40 a.m. Joe’s ride is here. I go back to bed and set the alarm for 5:00 a.m.

5:00 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth, 21, is ready for work.

5:15 a.m. Elizabeth’s ride is here. I wake up Benjamin, 16, to get ready for work. He is doing something different this morning. He will bike the 18 miles to work. He has wanted to do this for a long time already. Benjamin loves biking and after a long, hard day’s work, he still likes to bike four to eight miles at night. I pack ham and cheese sandwiches for Benjamin’s lunch. He never wants more than a few ham and cheese sandwiches every day. I would get tired of the same thing over and over, but he says he likes it.

5:45 a.m. After checking his lights and tires Benjamin heads out for his long ride to work. They start work at 7:00 a.m. and he thinks he will make it in time. Verena, 17, and Lovina, 11, get up to get ready for their ride. They will work at the flea market today for a friend. They are both getting great at waiting on customers and sharpening their math skills.

6:45 a.m. Verena and Lovina leave. Susan, 19, is making the rest of us scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. She doesn’t have a job at present but I’m sure glad for her help with all the work getting ready for Elizabeth’s wedding. Joseph, 13, is out milking Bessie the cow. Kevin, 9, makes sure his little kitten gets some of Bessie’s warm milk for breakfast. Loretta, 15, helps Susan and I mend a few shirts.

8:00 a.m. My sister Verena walks over to help us today. My sister Susan is working so Verena decided to come help us.

9:30 a.m. My sister Emma and children come to help today too.

1:00 p.m. A lot of cleaning is in process: the walls and ceilings are being washed off in the kitchen and dining room area; windows are being cleaned, and some cabinets have been washed out.

I finally have lunch ready for everyone. Our lunch consists of One Kettle Soup in which I used some the noodles we made last week. They taste very good. Also sliced tomatoes, cheese bread, and hot peppers. Verena brought Swiss roll bars and Emma brought brownies for dessert.

2:00 p.m. They continue with the cleaning. The noodles we made last week, which are still on tables drying, are ready to be put into containers. My sisters weighed them and we have well over 30 pounds of noodles so we will have more than enough for the wedding next week.

3:00 p.m. My sister Susan came here from work and pitches in to help. Daughter Elizabeth and Joe are home from their jobs. Emma and her daughter Emma pick two five-gallon buckets full of tomatoes in my garden. Looks like I’ll have to be canning tomatoes soon. I hope it can wait until after the wedding. We will use some of the tomatoes in the salads for the wedding.

3:30 p.m. Benjamin is home from work. He caught a ride home so he didn’t have to bike home. He said this morning it took him one hour and fifteen minutes to bike the 18 plus miles, but he made it there in time to start working at 7:00.

4:00 p.m. My other helpers leave for their homes. Joseph finishes mowing; I do some tilling in the garden.

6:30 p.m. Supper time. On the menu are hamburger sandwiches and lettuce salad.

9:00 p.m. Everyone is cleaning up for the night. We decided to quit early and get a good night’s sleep for once. God’s blessings!

This week I’ll share the recipe that I got from sister Emma. She brought it here on Saturday when they came to help. It is delicious!

Orange Cream CheesecakeOrangeCheeseCake

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter. Press into bottom of 9×13 pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Filling:

1 3-ounce package orange gelatin
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8-ounce Cool Whip

Prepare gelatin according to package directions. Set aside 1/2 cup at room temperature. Chill remaining gelatin until slightly thickened, about 80 minutes.

Meanwhile in mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Gradually beat in milk and lemon juice on medium speed for 2 minutes. Gradually beat in orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and room temperature gelatin. Fold in Cool Whip and pour over prepared crust.

Topping:

2 cups Cool Whip
1/4 cup sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat Cool Whip and sugar. Beat in refrigerated gelatin. Mixture will be thin. Chill for 30 minutes. Gently spoon over filling. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Note: We place mandarin orange slices on top also. Delicious!

 

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.

Noodle making, cleaning and fixing up fill the weeks before the wedding


This is already Thursday and it’s time I get this column written. Today, July 30, is nephew Steven’s eighth birthday so happy birthday wishes go to him!

It seems like the days are flying by. Tomorrow in two weeks is the wedding for Timothy and daughter Elizabeth. I ordered 350 pounds of chicken this morning for that day. Joe’s cousin will grill it for us on the morning of the wedding.

Last week we attended the wedding of niece Katie Edna and Ben. They had a very nice day for their wedding. All of Joe’s siblings were there except for one of his brothers. There are twelve siblings so it was nice that most could be there. Hopefully all of them will be able to make it here for Elizabeth’s wedding.

We arrived back home at midnight from the wedding and we had to get up a little after 3:00 a.m. for Joe to go to work. I could go back to bed but Joe had a rough day and was glad to see Friday evening come.

NoodlesDrying
Oodles of noodles — Amish style. These are made and dried to be cooked and served at the wedding of Elizabeth and Time.

Yesterday Timothy’s parents, sisters, sister-in-law and some of their children, my sisters Verena, Susan, Emma, and Emma’s children Emma and Steven, came to help us. They made noodles using well over 200 eggs. We saved the egg whites and put them in bags in the freezer—which will be used to make angel food cakes for the wedding.

The helpers washed all the dishes in both my cupboards and corner cupboard. Some went out to work in the garden and finished weeding and tilling most of it. The younger girls washed off the outside porch and railings. So much was accomplished! Everyone brought something for lunch so I didn’t have to take time to make lunch.

JosephCupcakes2015
Son Joseph was not forgotten amid the wedding preparations: colorful cupcakes for his birthday!

I painted the new closet that Joe put in for me in our bedroom. Joe put in a new floor and brother-in-law Jacob hung the doors and trim. Now today I’m excited to be able to fill it and I know that won’t take long. I also want to wash off walls and ceilings in our bedroom today. The girls are washing clothes. Joseph, 13, has been going with Benjamin, 16, every day to help Mose at his sawmill. Mose’s brother Freeman injured his leg so he needed help stacking wood.

I still haven’t sewn my dress for the wedding. I have it cut out already. My goal is to work on it tomorrow. It seems I keep pushing it off every week, and I need to sew it before I can’t concentrate on it. Most of the other sewing is done, thanks to Elizabeth.

Church services will be held here a little over a week after the wedding. We will have it in the pole barn where we will have the tables for the wedding. What a relief it will be when all of it is over.

We hope tomorrow will be a nice day for Lyle and Leah. I saw them in town one evening this week. I told them I’m not sure if we will make it to their wedding as Joe is having a hard time taking more days off from the factory. They said if we can’t make it for the wedding, we can come for supper, so we will see if we can make it. Appreciate the invitation!

Try this chicken noodle casserole. God’s blessings to all!

Chicken Noodle Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
4 cups cooked noodles (8 oz.)
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken
2 cups cooked peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

In a large saucepan blend soup and sour cream. Cook together for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Heat; stir occasionally. Can serve immediately. Makes 10 cups. If frozen, place in covered casserole in cold oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

 

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.

 

 

A whirlwind of cleaning and more precedes a home Amish wedding

Twenty-three days left until the wedding of Timothy and Elizabeth. We have a lot of work left to do before then but we have accomplished a lot already.

Saturday was a full day. At 7:00 a.m. we had some cement delivered to pour sidewalks around the house and in front of the new pole barn. My husband Joe and sons Benjamin and Joseph, Timothy and his brother Joseph Jr., and Mose and his brother Freeman were here to help with the cement work. Pouring concrete is hard work so their help was appreciated!

My sisters Verena and Susan also came to help us. Also sister Emma, Jacob, and sons came later in the forenoon to help. Jacob hung the closet doors in the bedrooms upstairs that still needed doors and trim. I am so glad that is done now.

Sister Susan and daughter Verena worked in the garden. With all the rain we had, the weeds have taken over.

Sisters Verena and Emma, daughters Elizabeth, Loretta, and Lovina worked in getting the basement cleaned. Yesterday daughters Susan and Verena cleaned the boys’ bedroom. They are scrubbing the walls and ceilings in the hallway today and then that finishes the upstairs. We just have the main level to clean. Loretta and Lovina have been washing out the kitchen cabinets.

Next week Timothy’s mother, sisters, and sister-in-laws plan to come help make noodles for the wedding and help clean.

Timothy and Mose have been working on laying landscaping blocks to make flower beds in front of the house. The blocks will make it look more finished off.

On Sunday we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for pizza, ice cream and cake in honor of Emma’s forty-second birthday.

Tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. we will leave for the wedding of niece Katie Edna and Ben in Berne, Indiana. Mose, Susan, and Verena are all table waiters. I have to help cook and wear the color royal blue. The girls have to wear dark blue. We were all in luck and have those colors already, so no extra sewing.

Friday, July 24, son Joseph will have his thirteenth birthday. He is really getting tall. I think he and Benjamin are almost the same height.

I appreciate my friend Ruth coming to my rescue and picking up some groceries for me when I happen to discover I’m out of something. Going to town takes more of my time so it’s nice to have a friend run errands over this busy time. Thank you Ruth—you do so much for us! It is greatly appreciated!

GardenVegetables2015Edited

We had our first tomatoes from our garden and are also enjoying green peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, and green onions. Radishes are over with in my garden. Sister Emma sent green beans and zucchini over this morning. I planted my garden late this year.

Readers have been asking for my ice tea recipe. I use fresh spearmint tea leaves from my garden. This tea you can drink warm or ice cold. Until next week—God bless!

Tea Concentrate

6 cups water
1 cup packed tea leaves
1 1/2 cups sugar

Boil 4 cups water. Add the leaves. Put the lid on the kettle and take off burner. Let set 10-15 minutes. Strain and pour over 1 1/2 cups sugar. Then rinse leaves with 2 cups cold water. Put 1 cup concentrate in containers and freeze. One cup concentrate makes a 2-quart pitcher of tea.

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.

Eichers celebrate wedding anniversary; countdown begins for daughter’s wedding

BensBirthdayCake2015WhippedToppingEditedToday, July 14, is son Benjamin’s 16th birthday. We want to bake him a cake, but I forgot to ask him what kind he wants before he left for work at 5:30 a.m. With eight children it’s hard to remember which is everyone’s favorite.

Tomorrow, July 15, my husband Joe and I will have our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Where have all the years gone? It hardly seems possible that it’s been that many years. We have so many blessings to thank our Heavenly Father for. I remember on the morning of our wedding when my mother, some of my sisters and I got all the chicken in skillets on the kerosene stoves to fry. Mom, sister Liz, and her husband Levi took care of the chicken until the cooks came to take over. Eighteen skillets of chicken were used to fry 300 pounds of chicken. We started frying chicken at 4:15 a.m. I helped until it was time to get ready before the guests started arriving between 6:30 to 7:00 a.m.

Daughter Elizabeth is back to work at the RV factory after two weeks of vacation. I think she is probably having more of a vacation back at work! She put in some long days helping clean and sew here at home. It’s hard to get her to take it easy, but I told her she has to be careful with having had double pneumonia. She still feels weak from it.

Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding is now a month away. Elizabeth sewed everyone clothes for the wedding except she still needs to sew her and Susan a white cape and apron that they will wear at the wedding. Mose and Susan will be their witnesses. The bride and groom both choose witnesses so Timothy will choose someone from his family. I still need to cut out and sew my dress for the wedding.

We have three bedrooms cleaned upstairs and still need to clean the boy’s bedroom. We are also cleaning the canning room. So, lots of jars to clean and put back on the shelf. Joe has been working evenings on making a bigger closet in our bedroom. That will need to be painted when he is finished with mudding the drywall. He installed a new shower in the bathroom, so the bathroom needs to be repainted too yet before the wedding.

Daughter Susan had a nice vacation. We are glad to have her home again. They could feed the deer from their hand in the cabin where they stayed and also saw black bears. They had a nice fishing trip.

We were surprised on Thursday with a visit from Uncle Joe and Betty from Geneva, Indiana and Uncle Menno and Martha from Phoenix, Arizona. Menno and Martha were out in the Berne, Ind. area to attend the annual Coblentz reunion. We were unable to attend but sounds like the Coblentzs had a lot of fun—like usual. Menno and Joe are my Dad’s brothers.

Sunday evening Timothy’s family surprised Elizabeth with a birthday cake for her June 14th birthday. Timothy’s sister-in-law Rachel made and decorated the cake.

This is now Wednesday morning and I need to finish this. We ended up making a chocolate cake for Benjamin’s birthday last night. He didn’t want us to put candles on it. I’ll share the chocolate sheet cake recipe I use. A reader requested a homemade cake recipe. God bless you all!

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10 x15-inch baking pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to blend. Combine the margarine, water, and cocoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the hot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Whipped Topping Frosting

1 4-ounce box instant pudding mix (any flavor)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping

Add pudding mix, powdered sugar, and milk to a mixing bowl. Mix until blended. Let mixture stand three minutes then fold in defrosted whipped topping. Frost and keep refrigerated.

 

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.

Empty space when a child leaves home—even just for a vacation!

LovinaAndKevinKittenEdited
Lovina and Kevin are raising this kitten. It’s mother was killed on the road. It’s really doing well !

Oh my! I am running late getting this column out this week. It seems like one week after another goes by bringing us closer to Elizabeth’s wedding date. I am trying to not think of all that needs to be done.

Elizabeth, 21, seems to be slowly gaining her strength back from having double pneumonia. She is still coughing, so I’m hoping she continues to get better and not worse.

Yesterday she cut out Lovina’s dress and Kevin’s pants and shirt for the wedding. She also sewed Lovina’s dress. The day before, she sewed Verena’s dress for the wedding. She had already sewn Susan and Loretta’s dresses. The only dress we need to cut out now is mine.

I keep telling myself every day that I should get it sewn before we get closer to the wedding day. I surely don’t know what I would have done if Elizabeth didn’t help out with all the sewing. She is a fast seamstress.

JosephBlueGill
Lovina’s son, Joseph, caught a local blue gill.

Susan, 19, hasn’t been home since last Friday. She went with Mose’s family on a fishing trip almost 500 miles from here. We all miss her. It seems with only one of the children not home, it makes such an empty space. We talked with her for a few minutes several times when she called home. She said she is having a great time but misses home.

Since Benjamin helps Mose with his sawmill, he doesn’t have to work this week. Benjamin and Joesph, 12, have been getting things done outside that Joe wants done before the wedding.

Benjamin is excited for his upcoming birthday. He will turn 16 on Tuesday, July 14. At age 16 in our community, they join the youth group, so he’s extra excited for this birthday.

Verena, 17, and Lovina, 11, were helping watch a booth for a lady at the flea market yesterday. Loretta, 15, was home, deep cleaning her bedroom. That meant that only two of my five girls were home. As mentioned, Elizabeth was sewing and I did the laundry, and then helped Loretta clean. I washed the ceiling and upper walls with the wall mop. Overhead work like that is hard for her to do. She was really worn out last night. She doesn’t let her handicap keep her down, but she gets frustrated at times when she sees what the other girls can do that she can’t. God makes no mistakes, so we put our trust in Him.

A reader asked what we do with all the dresses we sew for all these weddings. We wear them to church or other weddings where we don’t have a special role to fill. Another wedding invitation is posted on our refrigerator for Lyle and Leah. Congratulations! Lyle’s dad is Joe’s cousin, Willis. He lost his wife to cancer several years ago. Leah’s dad, Ernest, is my cousin.

To all my Coblentz relatives that read my column—I hope you will have a nice day at the reunion on Saturday. We had hoped to come but it doesn’t look like we will have time. Maybe next year!

I’ve had numerous readers ask where they can send wedding cards for Timothy and Elizabeth. You can send them to the same address as my mail, but address it to them. Do not feel like you have to, but I do not want to take the joy away from those readers that want to personally congratulate them. God bless you for your thoughtfulness!

A reader from West Virginia, Mary, shared this recipe with me.

Tuna Casserole

1 small can tuna in water (drained)
2 cups macaroni (cooked)
1 small onion (diced)
2 cans diced tomatoes
½ cup cheddar cheese, cut up in small chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup milk

Stir all together and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

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.

 

Recycling lumber, worries over illness, and more weddings in the works

There is a lot of activity going on around here this week. Our neighbors Abe and Fredia are taking our old pole barn down to save the lumber that is still good enough to reuse. Abe, his sons, my husband Joe, and our boys have been busy taking it all apart. Last night they finished saving the rafters. Today the walls were taken down and all the wood that’s not reusable is being burned as I write this.

Our neighbor Marlin cut our oats and he will bale that crop for us. Neighbor Harlan is here digging the water line and hooking up more solar power. All three men and Joe work in RV factories and are on vacation this week. It isn’t proving to be much of a vacation for them. Joe and the boys are building a work bench in the new pole building when time allows. They want to organize all the tools.

Daughter Elizabeth is also on vacation for two weeks. The bad news is she is laid up with double pneumonia. She sure has had a hard time to recover. The doctor put her on some pretty strong antibiotics and she had to go back in for another shot. The doctor said if she didn’t improve with everything she is taking, then she would have to be admitted to the hospital. She showed improvement the next day so hopefully she can keep recovering at home. She has a hard time accepting the fact that she needs rest in order to get better. I think she worries too much that we won’t get things done before her wedding. I’m sure everything will fall into place. With all the extra projects going on, it did look hopeless for a while.

Tomorrow, July 1, is daughter Loretta’s 15th birthday. Her age is always easy to remember as she was born in the year 2000.

We have two more wedding invitations on our refrigerator. Niece Katie Edna and Ben are getting married on July 23. I was asked to be a cook. Mose and Susan and Verena will all be table waiters. This wedding is in Berne, Indiana.

And congratulations also go to Leander and Karen. They picked August 28 for their special day. This wedding is in our community.

I was happy to have a short visit with my friend Ruth and her church friends. The week was too busy to go spend some time with all of them on Monday. Maybe next year will work out.

This week I’ll share with you the recipe that we are having for supper. It is called sliced baked potatoes. I don’t measure the ingredients; I just make this recipe according to how much of each item I want on the potato slices. Enjoy! God bless each of you and stay healthy!

SlicedBakedPotatoes+Toppings
A cookie sheet filled with sliced potatoes and baked with toppings.

Sliced Baked Potatoes

4-5 raw potatoes, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 cup grated cheese of your choice
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°. Slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick and brush both sides of potato slices with butter. Place them on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides, turning once. When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, and green onion. Continue baking until the cheese is melted.

Optional: add sour cream on top after baking.

BakedPotatoSliceUpclose
Close-up of a single sliced potato after baking.

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.

 

Pondering on the porch in the cool of a summer evening

We are officially in the summer months now. We have had a few cool nights, with the temperature in the 50s by morning. Sure makes for good sleeping after some hot evenings with temperature in the 80s. Actually, this morning we had to close most of our windows. The thermometer showed 54 degrees. Not really normal June temperatures.

Yesterday we canned 45 quarts of rhubarb juice from 30 pounds of rhubarb. Our friend Barb and my sisters Verena and Susan gave us the rhubarb. I have rhubarb plants, but never enough to make a year’s supply of rhubarb juice. I think the children have already emptied two gallons of it! Rhubarb juice is a good thirst-quencher on hot days.

The Eicher family canned 45 quarts of rhubarb juice one day last week.
The Eicher family canned 45 quarts of rhubarb juice one day last week.

Joseph, 12, and Kevin, 9, were tilling and weeding the garden, so they wanted rhubarb juice when they took a break. Joseph is a good gardener and seems to take an interest in caring for the garden. Verena, 17, keeps my flowers watered, and they are looking very healthy. If it is left to me to water them, they usually die of thirst. I can make things grow in the garden, but flowers seem to not do well for me. I love flowers, so I am glad someone has taken over the duty to care for them!

My husband, Joe, brought in our first hot peppers from the garden tonight. Our tomato plants are loaded with tomatoes, and everything else looks like it is doing great.

We are all done with work for the evening. I’m sitting out here on the porch writing this. It’s a very cool and peaceful evening. Oh, the many blessings God gives us. We have so much to be thankful for, and so often we take it for granted. Let us remember to thank our wonderful God daily for all our blessings.

This column was pushed off until this evening, but I feel like we accomplished a lot today. The girls are cleaning their closets and getting ready to start some major cleaning in the upstairs bedrooms. Elizabeth is gradually packing the things she won’t need for now. She will move them over to Timothy’s house for after their wedding. It gives me a sad feeling, but I don’t want to take the joy away from her. I remember the exciting time of preparing for my wedding to Joe. With God’s help, I will get used to my firstborn leaving home to start her life with her husband. I’m sure a lot of parents have dealt with this feeling.

I think I will call it a night. I was up until midnight last night, waiting until the last of the rhubarb juice was cold-packed. Our neighbor has hooked our water over to solar power. It had previously run by a propane motor. From now on, the sun will power our water! It seems different to not hear the motor kick in when the water pressure gets low. Since the water was shut off due to the switch, I had a late start canning the juice, so that’s why it was so late until I was done.

A reader shared this recipe for green tomato bread with me. She said her family likes this bread better than zucchini bread. She grates her green tomatoes in the fall and puts them in the freezer to make this in the winter months.

Green Tomato Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
2 cups grated green tomatoes

Mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla together. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well, and then add nuts and tomatoes. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until done.

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.

Published! What that means for the Eicher Amish home

We are already more than halfway through June 2015. The year is going way too fast!

On Saturday my husband, Joe, had to work at the RV factory. They are very busy, which makes it hard for him to get caught up with work here at home.

The rest of us helped Timothy move his belongings to his new place on Saturday. Joe biked over after he came home from the factory. It was a very hot and humid day. Some of Timothy’s family were also there to help.

On Sunday in church, daughter Elizabeth and Timothy were published to be married. “Getting published” in an Amish congregation means publicly announcing your engagement. They chose August 14, 2015, for their wedding day. We have a lot to do to prepare for this wedding! It will also be a very big change for our family: the first of our precious children to move away from home and start a new life. Congratulations to Timothy and Elizabeth! Timothy is a wonderful, kind man, and we are happy to have him join our family. He is the last of his 10 siblings to get married, while Elizabeth is the first of her 8 siblings. Timothy has a lot of nieces and nephews already.

The wedding services will be held over at our neighbors’ (Joas and Susan’s) place. The reception will be here in our new pole barn.

We still have quite a bit of sewing to do before the wedding. Elizabeth sewed her wedding dress. She also sewed Susan’s and Loretta’s. We still need to sew dresses for Verena, Lovina, and me. Then we also need to sew new shirts for the boys and Joe. We had hoped to have all the sewing done this spring, but with all the sewing we had to do for the other weddings, we are running behind.

WeddingInvitationElizabethJune2015Timothy’s sister was making the wedding invitation for Timothy and Elizabeth. She had a baby several weeks ago and was running out of time to finish them. On Saturday after we had everything moved for Timothy, the girls and I and some of his family helped finish some of the wedding invitations. Timothy’s brother-in-law dropped off the rest today, so we need to finish them so that Elizabeth can send out the rest of her invitations. They are very nice, but they took a lot of time. Also, my friend Ruth deserves the credit for printing the top of the invitation.

Elizabeth’s 21st birthday was on Sunday too. The church sang “Happy Birthday” to her. We surprised her in the evening with an ice cream cake. Chicken was also on the menu.

Donald and Daisy duck are growing fast.
Donald and Daisy duck are growing fast.

The ducks, Donald and Daisy, that Susan’s friend Mose bought for Lovina, 11, and Kevin, 9, are really growing. They stay around the barn and enjoy this rainy weather.

This week I’ll share my recipe for breakfast pizza. We made it for breakfast one morning this week.

I am sorry for getting behind with reader mail. Please have patience with me, as it will be very busy the next few months.

God’s blessings to all!

The Eicher family made this delicious breakfast pizza this week.
The Eicher family made this delicious breakfast pizza this week.

Breakfast Pizza

1 pizza crust
1 cup pizza sauce
12 eggs, scrambled
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1 pound sausage, browned
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup green peppers, chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Colby cheese, shredded

Use your favorite pizza crust recipe. Spread pizza sauce on the crust. Layer all other ingredients on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake according to your crust’s instructions.

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.