Category Archives: Beverages

Church preparations and July birthdays

Another week has passed already since I wrote my last column. It is a nice cool morning as I sit here writing. I was invited to a coffee break at our neighbor Wilma’s house with the other neighbor ladies this morning. Samuel and Wilma moved into our community recently. I have so much to do today that I didn’t think I had time to go, though.

Yesterday we were helping daughter Elizabeth with the final cleaning for Sunday, when they will host church services. With her three little ones, things don’t stay clean too long. Others there helping besides daughters Verena and Lovina, son Kevin, and I were sister Emma and son Steven, sister Verena, niece Elizabeth, niece Emma and her children Jessica and Menno Ray, daughter Susan and her children Jennifer and Ryan. Abigail, T.J., and Allison were glad for the little playmates. Seven children under age 5 keep it quite interesting. Son Kevin and nephew Steven gave Elizabeth’s house dogs a haircut. They did a good job.

We cleaned a lot of corners for Elizabeth that needed to be cleaned yet. Church services will be held under a tent on Sunday.

I made a casserole to take along for our lunch along with cucumber salad. Dessert was brought in by the others, so lunch was easy.

We attended church Sunday in a different church district at niece Elizabeth and Manual’s house. We stayed all day and had supper before heading home. Sister Emma was surprised with an ice cream cake from her family at supper. Emma turned 48 on July 19th. On Sunday brother-in-law Jacob attended church for the first time since his hospital stay, but it really wore him out. He has an appointment scheduled with a doctor in Ann Arbor next week. We pray this will help him and he’ll get good results.

A festive cake to celebrate Lovina’s son Benjamin turning 22 on July 14. Photo provided.

Son Joseph will have his 19th birthday Saturday so we will have another July birthday. Also grandson Ryan’s birthday is next week and he will be 2. Joseph was only a few months old when I started penning this column. It has been almost 19 years that I have written it and my mother wrote it for 11 years before that. After Mother passed away so suddenly, I took over. Life was different back then with having six children and the oldest only 8 years old. I thought I was busy then, but it seems almost like I’m busier now. The family grows and I like to help my married daughters when I can.

Today I want to make iced tea concentrate for the freezer so I can take it to Tim and Elizabeth’s house for church Sunday. I will make spearmint/peppermint which I have out in my garden.

Saturday I will go help Elizabeth mix her peanut butter spread, make casseroles for Sunday night supper, and help her clean up. Daughters Susan and Verena are going to take Elizabeth’s children for the day so everything will stay clean. They will make supper for Tim’s so they can go home to a clean house and be ready for church services. It’s not that everything has to be cleaned to hold church services, but it’s nice to have a goal to get everything cleaned. I’ll share the tea concentrate recipe. God’s blessings to all!

Tea Concentrate

6 cups water, divided
1 cup tea leaves of your choice, packed
1 1/2 cup sugar

Boil 4 cups water. Add tea leaves. Put the lid on the pot and remove from heat. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Put sugar in a 2-quart bowl. Strain liquid into bowl, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Rinse leaves with 2 cups cold water, then strain and add this liquid to the sugar liquid. Cool, then measure out 1 cup concentrate into individual containers, and freeze. To serve, add 1 cup concentrate to 2 quarts cold water.



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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Children learning to read German; grape juice boiling and family reunion

Saturday we attended my family gathering at my sister Liz and brother-in-law Levi’s place in Berne, Indiana. All eight of us siblings were in attendance. Some of the married nieces and nephews didn’t attend but we still made a nice-sized group to enjoy the day.

Like every year, our parents are greatly missed at these family gatherings. Everyone took some food, but Levi and Liz furnished the hot food. The menu included barbequed chicken and pork steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, corn, peas, homemade bread, plus all the dishes that were brought in.

Nephew Ben (age 32 and the oldest of my parents’ grandchildren) and his family recently moved back to Berne, Ind. after living in Wisconsin since they were married in 2007. My parents’ youngest living grandchild is Steven, eight, in second grade (Jacob and Emma’s son). The youngest baby present was Lyle, born August 13 to niece Susan and Joe. He was born the day before Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding.

The afternoon was spent playing outdoor games, visiting, and singing. Snacks were served before everyone left for home. We arrived home around 7:00 p.m.

German alphabet and sounds the children are practicing.

This week and next week the evenings will be short. The children are leaving every night to take German classes. Our church has these classes for the children that attend public school and don’t have the option of learning to read German in school. It seems empty when they are all gone in the evenings until 8:30 p.m. Lovina and Kevin seem to be enjoying learning the new sounds of the German alphabet. Every evening they come home excited about new words they learned. A special thanks goes to the ones that donate their time to teach these classes.

Yesterday our school had to cancel school due to water issues they were having. I don’t think the children were too excited that this also happened to be the day we had to go pick grapes. It sure did help, thought, to have them along to help pick them. There is an Amish family in our community that has a “U pick” for grapes. It was a very nice day to travel the eight miles.

Today we are canning grape juice. I have two steamers which speedsGrapeJuiceMaking the process. I don’t add sugar until I open the jars. I can the concentrate and add sugar and water when we open the jars.

Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy went to pick their grapes last night. I want to let her use my steamers to can her juice. It’s hard for her to get things done with her working every day at the RV factory yet.

I want to get apples soon to can applesauce. I must get back to my work.

Until next week—God bless!

Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Beating well, combine sugar and oil. Add eggs; beat until well mixed. Mix in flour which has been sifted with cinnamon, salt, and soda. Slowly mix in carrots and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.


4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Soften cream cheese. Blend in butter, then add all other ingredients.

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

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!


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

Taste of spring and wedding invitations brighten February flu season

Oh dear! I completely forgot to write my column this week. I like to have it done on Wednesdays or before. Our four children just left for school, and I looked at the calendar and thought of the column. So before my work begins for the day, this will have to get written first.

So much has been going on here that it’s no wonder I have my days mixed up! Since last week it seems one of the children has been down with the flu. Yesterday I took daughter Susan, 19, and son Benjamin, 15, to the doctor. Susan has been having a very painful arm. The doctor says its bursitis from overusing it at her job at the RV factory. He told Susan she needs to slow down. He gave her a muscle relaxant and she needs to get a few adjustments at a chiropractor to loosen the joints. She will be home until Monday to rest the arm. She thought she should still go to work, but the doctor ordered rest.

Benjamin was having a high fever, but the doctor said it’s only a sinus infection and he tested negative for the flu. So hopefully with the medicine he will feel better. It’s hard to tell when Benjamin is sick because he keeps going. He really thought he should be able to go to work today, but I told him to wait until next week.

I’m hoping the flu has left our house now. The temperature has been cold this week, and the wind chill so much colder. We are getting more snow almost every day. I think I’m ready for spring!

We received our first wedding invitation for this year. Mose’s brother Alvin and Susanna will exchange vows on Thursday, March 12. They asked me to be a cook at their wedding and to come help a day before the wedding. Mose and Susan and Timothy and Elizabeth also have parts in the wedding. This means new dresses for Elizabeth, Susan, and I. Susan has been working on hers when time allowed the last few weeks. It only has to be hemmed and then it will be finished.

Daughter Elizabeth’s friend Timothy had the flu the last few days, so Elizabeth, 20, and Lovina, 10, went over there for a few hours last night. They washed his laundry and hung it on his enclosed porch to dry. They made supper and stayed to eat with him. Timothy bought a place of his own a few years ago. He lives by himself. With him working every day and having a few jobs after work, things can get pretty busy for him. I’m sure he was glad for the help and the company!

Several readers have asked for my recipe for rhubarb juice. I have changed the amounts of the ingredients over the years, and this is the way we like it best. Enjoy!

This week Lovina looks ahead to spring by sharing her recipe for rhubarb juice.
This week Lovina looks ahead to spring by sharing her recipe for rhubarb juice.

Rhubarb Juice

8 pounds rhubarb (can use frozen)
8 quarts water
2 12-ounce cans frozen orange juice
1 46-ounce can pineapple juice
4 cups sugar
3 3-ounce boxes strawberry gelatin

Combine rhubarb and water and cook until rhubarb is soft. Drain and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Freeze or can according to your preference.

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