Category Archives: Breakfast

Just an ordinary day? The comings and goings of the Eicher family

Diary of March 1, 2017

3:10 a.m.   The alarm rings—time to get up and prepare Joe’s lunch. I make a pot of coffee. Joe always likes a mug of coffee to drink on his way to work.

3:55 a.m.   Joe leaves for work. He is leaving later since one of our neighbor boys started working at the same RV factory he does. He picks Joe up on his way. After Joe leaves, I usually go back to bed until 6:00 a.m.

6:00 a.m.   I wake the children up to get ready for school. Mose and Susan came over last night to sleep. We had a lot of bad storms during the night so we told Mose and Susan they could come sleep in the house. With the metal roof on their living quarters it makes some pretty loud noise when it is windy and rainy. Everyone was extra tired this morning. Around 2:00 a.m. we had been awakened by a bad thunderstorm which produced some hail.

6:30 a.m.   Mose leaves for work.

7:00 a.m.   Joseph, 14, Lovina, 12, and Kevin, 11, leave for school on the bus.

Nephew Jacob works with wood and made this wooden name sculpture for Lovina and Joe’s granddaughter Abigail Elizabeth. We’re sure Lovina’s daily routine here would have been even more enjoyable with Abigail’s smiles!

7:15 a.m.   Verena leaves to go help out at the daycare. Benjamin is doing morning chores.

8:30 a.m.   Benjamin drives Susan to work with the buggy and our horse Rex. Loretta is washing dishes and I am doing some book work. Income tax time is here so I need to get that ready to take to our tax preparer in town. It is always time consuming, but has to be done.

9:25 a.m.   Benjamin is back and is hauling manure out of the barn. With all the rain the ground is too soft to drive through the barnyard to spread the manure in the fields.

1:30 p.m.   Benjamin leaves to go pick up Susan. She works until 2:00 p.m. today.

2:30 p.m.   Joe comes home from the factory. We are having snow flurries and the temperature is getting colder again. Benjamin and Susan are back. Benjamin went to town to get me some groceries that I needed.

3:30 p.m.   The children are home from school. Brother-in-law Jacob, son Benjamin, and Menno (his daughter Emma’s friend) come to get our two big butchering kettles. They will butcher hogs on Saturday so they need the kettles.

6:30 p.m.   Chores are done and supper is ready. Our menu consists of spaghetti and meatballs, cooked potatoes, lettuce salad, cheese, canned peaches, and white cake. Loretta’s friend Dustin joined us for supper.

7:30 p.m.   Mose and Susan came over for awhile. Susan and some of the children always like to read the Bible together every day. They did this before Susan was married and she tries to keep it up since she still lives on the home place.

9:00 p.m.   Mose and Susan leave the house to call it a day.

9:30 p.m.   Dustin leaves for home.

10:00 p.m.  Everyone is settled down for the night so I will get some rest too.

Our sympathy and prayers go out to our friend Kristine. Her husband John lost his battle with cancer. May God guide her through this difficult trial in life.

I’ll share a recipe for sunrise burritos that daughter Susan tried last night for their supper. We plan to try it tonight for our supper. She didn’t have green chilies so she substituted green peppers (diced) and it worked fine like that.

God bless!

Sunrise Burritos

1 pound bulk sausage
1 small onion, chopped
16 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup canned green chilies, chopped
8 flour tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

Brown sausage with chopped onion. Drain grease from meat. Beat eggs and water. Stir in chilies. Combine egg mixture with sausage and onion. Cook until set (eggs should be soft with no liquid remaining.) Microwave or bake tortilla for about 30 seconds. Fill with scrambled egg mixture. Top with cheese, sour cream and salsa. Makes 8 burritos.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, will be published in 2017. 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.

Scary moments for Eicher family

Scary moments for Eicher family

It is Thursday morning and past time for this column to be on its way.

Joseph, 14, Lovina, 12, and Kevin, 11, are almost ready for the school bus. Son Benjamin, 17, is hitching up a horse to take our daughter Susan to work. The temperature is staying right around the freezing mark this morning. All our snow has disappeared. The weather lately seems too warm for this time of the year. We are hoping for more cold weather next month which makes it easier to butcher beef and pork. When the temperature is cold, you can keep the meat cold while you work with it.

Our week started out differently from usual. Susan and I were washing laundry in the basement when daughter Loretta, 16, heard something fall upstairs in the hallway. She called up to daughter Verena, 19, and didn’t get an answer. Since it takes Loretta longer to climb the stairs, she yelled down to the basement for us to come help.

Verena was breathing but could not open her eyes or talk to us. I called her doctor and they said to take her to the ER. Lots of tests were done, but she would not respond. The doctors decided to transfer her to a bigger hospital an hour away. She was admitted there and a CT scan, MRI, and lots more testing was done. She started opening her eyes and finally said a few words to me. Tuesday evening she was released and we brought her home. The doctors think it was due to some recent head trauma that caused her to black out like that. She has a history of lots of small concussions since a bad one in 2009 in which she lost over a year of her memory. She has been through a lot. She seems weaker than usual since she’s home and has headaches. She would be interested to hear from others that have dealt with post-concussive syndrome after a brain concussion. She has had her share of hospital visits due to past concussions. The brain is hard to figure out and doctors still have lots to study about how differently one brain heals from another.

It’s a scary moment for the family when you can’t get someone to respond and not sure what will happen. That is when we especially depend on God! He is in control. Let us trust him for he makes no mistakes.

Today we will go help daughter Elizabeth with her cleaning preparing for church services at their house. Her husband Timothy’s family went to help them on Tuesday. Church services will be there a week from Sunday. This is a new experience for them to host church services. Jacob and Emma will host services two weeks after Timothy’s so we also want to help Emma with her cleaning. It doesn’t look like there will be much time to rest this winter. Our friend Beth is going to take us to Elizabeth’s with her van. I didn’t want Verena to ride in the buggy yet. Verena will go along but can rest over there. She can help keep Baby Abigail entertained while we clean.

Time this morning is going fast and I need to be ready to go by 8:30 a.m. God’s blessings to all. Prayers would be greatly appreciated and we will do likewise in great weakness. Stay healthy!

Try this breakfast casserole. We like something like this even for supper.

Cheesy Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

8 frozen hash brown patties
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Place hash brown patties in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until browned, turning patties after 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Add milk, sour cream, garlic powder, mustard and pepper; mix well. Stir in bacon, 6 ounces of the cheese and onions. Pour over hash brown patties. Sprinkle with remaining cheese (add more cheese if desired).

Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, will be published in 2017. 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.

 

 

Heaps of dessert but no salad at your last potluck? Take a lesson from Lovina and friends

Six weeks ago today I had my surgery. I am feeling pretty good but am still being careful about my blood clot. It gets better every day.

On Sunday I went to church for the first time since my surgery. I appreciated all the “welcome backs” and concerns for my health. On our way home Joe and I stopped in to visit with brother-in-law Jacob (sister Emma’s husband). He was home from church with a bad backache. They had a vanload of visitors from Berne, Indiana, including Jacob’s brother Martin and wife Edith and family. Also visiting were niece Elizabeth and Samuel and their daughter LaRose.

LaRose is sister Liz and Levi’s first and only grandchild. She was a year old on November 10. She’s running all over already. She’s a little cutie! It looks like she keeps her mother busy. I imagine that sister Liz and Levi have many fun times with little LaRose.

The grandfather, Levi had hip replacement surgery last week, so he will be laid up a long time. We wish him a complete and speedy recovery!

Our annual church Christmas potluck dinner will be in two weeks after church services. On Sunday, all the women wrote down what dishes they will bring. Usually, while we are eating the Sunday meal a few weeks before Christmas, the women pass a tablet around the table. Everyone chooses what they will bring, such as a casserole, salad or dessert. This way we don’t end up with more salads than desserts or the other way around.

Daughter Loretta, 16, traveled to Ohio to a family gathering with her special friend, Dustin, and his family. They had a six-hour drive there, so they left Friday evening and returned Saturday evening.

Sunday evening Timothy, Elizabeth and Abigail, Dustin, and all of us ate supper over at Mose and Susan’s. Joe made chili in the kettle over an open fire, and he also grilled chicken. Mose baked a cake and we also had ice cream. Some of the children played games, and Joe and I had fun enjoying baby Abigail. She is such a sweetie and is growing so fast!

Daughter Verena will turn 19 on Saturday, December 10. It doesn’t seem possible that she is that old.

Yesterday Verena and daughter Susan spent the day helping daughter Elizabeth with her work. Church services will be held at Timothy and Elizabeth’s in January, so Elizabeth is getting a head start with her cleaning. With a baby in the house, time is limited. Life changes, and the baby’s needs always come first.

Crystal’s puppies are four weeks old, and they plan to sell them to good homes when they get old enough. It’s just too much to have five little puppies in the house yet. They are very cute and playful.

So adorable: one of Elizabeth’s puppies born to her Yorkie, Crystal, soon after Elizabeth’s baby girl, Abigail was born.
So adorable: one of Elizabeth’s puppies born to her Yorkie, Crystal, soon after Elizabeth’s baby girl, Abigail was born.

I received a get-well card from Uncle Elmer and Aunt Emma. Aunt Emma had written a letter as well, which I appreciated. It is always nice hearing from my mother’s sisters. She had in her letter that Cousin Leah is home from the hospital after her accident, but has lots of healing to do yet. Our prayers are with her and the family!

Correction: I want to make a correction with an error that occurred in one of my recent letters. The two young girls that were killed in the tragic buggy accident were cousins to each other, not to me. It was a bit of a confusion to people who know me, so I wanted to make sure that is corrected. God bless!

Gold Rush Brunch Casserole

8 eggs, beaten
1 pound frozen Tater Tots or hash brown patties, thawed
1 pound sausage or ham, cubed
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2–1 pound shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

Scramble eggs on stovetop and set aside. Place potatoes in bottom of greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Fry meat lightly and layer on top of potatoes along with onion and parsley. Layer scrambled eggs on top of meat. Layer cheese on top of eggs. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk flour into butter, gradually adding milk. Cook and stir until thickened and boiling. Add pepper, salt and sour cream; mix well. Remove sauce from heat and pour evenly over casserole. Bake at 400 degrees for 30–40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Yields 6–8 servings.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, will be published in 2017. 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.

Hop in the pony buggy for the last day of school

It’s a nice sunny day for the clothes to dry, and we have the lines filled with laundry. We have been blessed with several rains over the weekend and this past week.

P1080497
Here’s the pony and buggy, giving a ride to Lovina’s cookbook photographer and family last fall. Photo by Melodie Davis.

Yesterday was the last day of school for the term. Daughters Verena and Loretta and I picked up my married daughter Elizabeth and attended the school picnic. It was a little chilly until the sun came out. All the pupils were released at 11:30 a.m. Joseph, Lovina and Kevin took our pony Stormy and the pony buggy to school in the morning.

We all headed to Elizabeth’s house after leaving the school. We spent the afternoon relaxing on their back patio. They have a woods behind their house, and the river runs close by on their property. They have a new puppy that is a coonhound and Australian Shepherd mix. Hopefully, when it gets bigger, it will help keep the raccoons away from their house. They are having problems with raccoons getting in their flower pots and bird feeders at night, and I am afraid that the racoons will bother their garden.

The new puppy is named Shelia, and Kevin had so much fun with her. He walked her through the woods. He told us he was trying to teach her where to look for raccoons. Kevin has never been coon hunting, but he probably thinks the puppy doesn’t know that.

Joseph mowed the yard in an hour and 35 minutes. We bought a big walk-behind mower at the local consignment auction this spring. Joseph loves to mow with it, and he handles it very well. Joseph is tall for his age so he can handle the big mower.

Lovina's family was excited to receive 42 baby chicks this week.
Lovina’s family was excited to receive 42 baby chicks this week.

Our 42 baby chicks came this week. We will butcher our hens after these new chicks get bigger and start laying eggs.

On June 14, Elizabeth will be 22. Our family is planning to spend Saturday evening and Sunday at Timothy and Elizabeth’s house. Plans are to put tents up in their back yard and cook outside. I am looking forward to all of us being together. It seems the older the children get, the harder it is, because everyone goes different directions on weekends.

Elizabeth is helping to get ready for Susan’s wedding by sewing for me at her house. She likes to use her sewing machine to sew. I cut out my dress, cape and apron for the wedding. I hope to get it sewed soon. Mose’s mother and I have to wear sage-colored dresses.

Next week I will take Loretta, Joseph, Lovina and Kevin for eye exams. Loretta and Joseph only need glasses for reading. It’s been awhile since they had their eyes tested. Last time the eye doctor thought Lovina might need glasses. She has been having headaches when she reads. She’s a bookworm. I always loved to read and still do, but time is limited a lot more now. When the children were younger, our six oldest children all had to wear glasses. Elizabeth is the only one who needs to wear them all the time now. Susan, Loretta and Joseph do for reading. Verena and Benjamin are okay to go without now.

I had my eyes tested last week. The eye doctor thinks I will do better with bifocals now, which I’m dreading. Hopefully I’ll get used to them quickly.

God bless!

Rhubarb Coffeecake

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the shortening, 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice or vinegar. Add this to the sugar mixture and stir well. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and stir until the flour is moistened. Mix in the rhubarb. Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch square pan.

In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and butter and sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown in color. Serve warm or cold.

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.

Longer bus ride not so good for Eicher children; plus sad horse news  

Daughter Verena made this for her cousin Rosa and her special friend. She makes it with plastic canvas and yarn.

I am a day late getting this column out. Every week passes by faster than the one before. Time does not stand still—that’s for sure.

Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin left for school a few minutes ago. The bus is coming earlier now because they are short one bus driver and need to put more students on one bus. We do not like this at all! 7:00 a.m. was early enough. We live three miles from the school and the children are on the bus over an hour. It wouldn’t be as bad if they wouldn’t have chores to do before they leave. Joseph always milks our cow Bessie before he showers in the morning. In the afternoon they get home almost a half hour later than they used to. I really hope it won’t be like this next term. It seems 15 to 20 minutes earlier in the morning can make a world of difference.

Yesterday I took our wheels for our pony cruiser to the repair shop which is about a half hour from our house by car. Since we were close to the bulk food store we did some grocery shopping. I like getting groceries in big quantities so they will last for a while. Daughter Elizabeth went along and so did daughter Loretta. Daughter Verena stayed home with Lovina and kept Elizabeth’s Yorkie dogs Crystal and Izzy here as well.

Lovina had a headache. I really do need to make an eye doctor appointment for her. At her last exam the doctor thought she might need glasses soon. She loves to read so her eyes get strained a lot. I had to start wearing glasses in the eighth grade. I still remember what a big difference they made. I always had a hard time seeing the chalkboard. I am near-sighted so without my glasses it’s hard to see things clearly far away.

VerenaCraftWork
Daughter Verena made this for her cousin Rosa and her special friend, “Menno.” She makes it with plastic canvas and yarn.

Last night son Benjamin and daughter Verena attended a work bee for the youth at one of the church families. They accomplished a lot in a short time. It is always a good feeling to help someone out. They were all served supper there.

Today daughters Verena, Loretta, and I will assist sister Emma preparing for church services at her house. Both her daughters work away from home so she is home alone with much to do. The girls are washing dishes while I write this, then we can leave. Son Benjamin put the harness on our horse Mighty to make things easier for us when we leave. We will have to hitch Mighty to the buggy yet.

Ginger and Itty Bit’s foals have grown a lot and are almost a year old. Itty Bit’s foal we named Black Beauty and she will be a year old on May 1. Ginger’s foal is Midnight and she will be one year old June 1.

We don’t have any idea what happened to Itty Bit’s back leg but we noticed she couldn’t walk on it anymore. We had the vet out several times and he thought it was a bad break. With her being 18 years old already, he thought it would be best to have her put down. This was very hard for all of us. She was a good horse in the 14 years we owned her. We brought her with us from Indiana and she delivered Ginger six days after our move. Our 22-year-old horse Diamond gave up on us last year and we miss him too. Diamond and Itty Bit were the two horses we brought from Indiana. They were always side by side in the field and we never thought they would both be gone, so close to each other. Itty Bit’s foal looks like she will turn out to be a good driving horse for us when she’s older.

We are enjoying fresh asparagus from our garden. Try this recipe!

God’s blessings to all!

Creamed Ham and Asparagus

1 pound fresh or frozen asparagus
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh parsley
1 to 1 1/2 pounds fully cooked ham, cubed
3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
toast or biscuits

Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan cook asparagus in a small amount of water until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepan mix cornstarch and 1 cup milk. Add butter, salt, pepper, and remaining milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Add parsley, ham, eggs, cheese, and asparagus. Cook and stir over low heat until ham is warmed and cheese is melted. Serve over toast or biscuits.

 

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.

Spring garage sales yield bountiful bargains

Joseph, 13, Lovina, 11, and Kevin, 10, went back to school this week after being off a week for spring break. The weather wasn’t anything spring-like! We had several inches of snow and cold weather most of the week.

Our three sons—Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin—attended hunter’s safety classes and field day. It was cold and snowing that Saturday. All three boys came home excited that they passed the safety course. That made all the homework they did on hunting worth all the time and effort they put into it. Kevin was excited that he got to shoot off a shotgun. He had never shot more than a BB gun. Kevin came home telling us all about the rules he learned. I was really surprised that they all passed. This will make me feel better when they go hunting with someone, but accidents can still happen. You can’t be careful enough when hunting.

Daughter Verena has been going with my sister Verena on housecleaning jobs the last few weeks. I miss her help here at home. Verena, 18, is glad to earn a little extra cash, as she is saving up to buy a Yorkie puppy. She loves dogs and has always wanted her own puppy. They are expensive, so she is saving every penny.

While the children were on spring break, sisters Verena and Susan brought supper in for us one evening. They brought wings to put on the grill for hot wings and also jalapeño and banana poppers to grill. Along with that we had steamed potatoes, dandelion sour cream salad, and sliced Colby cheese. They brought this as a thank you to the children for doing their chores while they were in Florida earlier this spring.

Daughter Susan, 20, has her evenings busy training her pony, Tough Boy. Son Benjamin is helping her get him started, as he’s a little too much for a girl to handle. Tough Boy is giving her a hard time with the training. They are able to hitch him to the pony cruiser now and drive him on the road. This helps wear him down so he’s not so rowdy. I really do hope he will turn out to be a good pony for Susan. She has run a lot of miles behind that pony already, teaching him the commands for driving.

My sister Emma, daughters Loretta and Elizabeth and I had a fun day “garage saling” at some Amish houses in a community about a half hour from here. There were around 26 garage sales all within a few county road blocks. We had a lot of fun and got a lot of bargains. I feel like I saved myself weeks of sewing. I bought around 20 pants for the three boys. Some are for Ben to work in, some are for the boys to wear to school and quite a few are good dress pants. I could never have made all these for this price. The pants were anywhere from 50 cents to four dollars apiece. I also was able to get quite a few dresses for the girls.

The Eichers grilled thirty pounds of chicken when they had guests on Friday evening.
The Eichers grilled 30 pounds of chicken when they had guests on Friday evening.

Friday evening our supper guests were Joe’s sister Christine, her husband Jake and their nine children from Hersey, Michigan. Our whole family was home as well, so we had a nice time together. Joe grilled 30 pounds of chicken and the girls and I made pizza casserole.

Christine brought the dessert: dirt pudding and chocolate chip cookies. Joe’s sister Loretta and Henry were going to come but ended up at home with sick children.

God’s blessings! This week I’ll share the recipe for maple morning muffins.

Maple Morning Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup maple syrup

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, sour cream and maple syrup. Spoon batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, about 2/3 full.

Streusel topping:

1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Mix together and sprinkle on top of muffin batter.

Bake at 400 degrees 20–25 minutes or until done. Serve warm from the oven with butter. Makes 12 muffins.

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.

Winter tastes like homemade soup and jerky at the Eichers

We have had quite a few inches of snow this week. Along with the snow we have also had colder temperatures. The mercury on the thermometer dipped down to 13 degrees this morning.

Yesterday daughters Verena, Loretta and I spent the day at daughter Elizabeth’s house. We helped her process 38 quarts of vegetable soup. She told us to come for breakfast so we did all our morning work and headed for her house. She made Egg Dutch for our breakfast. It was delicious. My mother fixed Egg Dutch a lot. It’s a simple and easy breakfast dish.

For our lunch Elizabeth made chili soup along with crackers, chips, dirt pudding, and ice cream. We were done with the soup around 2:00 p.m. We spent a few hours relaxing and visiting with her before coming home.

Canned vegetable soup makes for easy meals and quick lunches to take to school and work.
Canned vegetable soup makes for easy meals and quick lunches to take to school and work.

Earlier in the week we processed 46 quarts of vegetable soup for us. It is so handy to open up a few quarts of soup for a meal when you’re in a hurry. It also is nice to have on hand for school or work lunches.

After we came home, Elizabeth called and said Timothy had come home from work with a cut-up foot. Somehow he cut it at the sawmill where he is working. He will be off work for a few days. It sounds like it was pretty painful last night. It’s hard for Timothy to have to take it easy! I hope it will heal fast.

Our three school-age children will be home tomorrow and Monday. It’s their midwinter break. The girls are making deer jerky, which can be time consuming. Every batch takes a few hours of baking in a 200 degree oven. We are making several different kinds, such as hickory, cajun, and jalapeño. Joe wants to make summer sausage with the venison sausage too. He will add sausage from our hogs we butcher.

The Eicher girls were busy making venison jerky this week.
The Eicher girls were busy making venison jerky this week.

Our plans are to butcher our hogs February 20 since Joe has to work this Saturday. Last Saturday we attended a funeral of a local Amish man, so we postponed the hog butchering.

Last Friday, February 5, was the birthday of Mose, daughter Susan’s friend. A happy birthday to him. Also, I want to wish my friend Ruth a happy birthday, which was on February 9. I won’t mention her age in the column but she is getting to that “over the hill” part of life. I owe Ruth a big thank you for all she has done to help me with this column and in a lot of other ways. True friends like her are hard to find.

It is a relief that all the beef is done now. Once the pork is done I hope to find time to start sewing again. I still didn’t get all the clothes sewn that were given as Christmas gifts.

I hope all of you readers are staying healthy this winter. We can’t complain too much. So far we’ve been only battling colds. I started with a nagging cough a few days ago. I’m trying all my home remedies to get rid of it, and it seems better today.

I’ll share the Egg Dutch recipe for the readers who are new to the column. God bless all of you!

Egg Dutch

5 eggs
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Put into a bowl in the order given and beat. Pour into a heated, greased skillet and cover with a tight lid. Place over medium low heat. Cut and turn when half done and finish baking. I usually put cheese on top when almost done. Bacon bits can also be added.

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.

Cold day for church services but easier clean up with new “church dishes”

Church services were held here on Sunday. It was a cold day with the temperature staying in the teens. We managed to keep our building warm enough.

After the services we served lunch including homemade wheat and white bread, summer sausage, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, red beets, rhubarb jam, butter, hot peppers, cookies (sugar, chocolate chip, and snicker doodle), spearmint tea, and coffee. Younger children could have noodle soup. And we had popcorn after lunch for everyone.

LovinasNewStove2016
Lovina’s husband, Joe, installed a new gas stove in her kitchen so they could move the older stove to the building where church services are held.

All the women pitched in to help get the dishes washed and back into the totes. Since our church divided we have a new “bench wagon” and all new church dishes. This is so nice to have all the dishes come with the church bench wagon. When we lived in Indiana we didn’t have dishes in the bench wagon. We had to bring out a lot of our own dishes and it was always an extra chore to put them all away again. This makes it a lot easier. Our new bench wagon also has four six-foot tables we set up to wash dishes or prepare food.

Monday morning it was very cold with one degree and a wind chill reading of minus 18. Benjamin didn’t have to work since they couldn’t get the motor on the saw going right away. With it being so cold, Benjamin didn’t mind. I was really glad he was home to help clean up from Sunday.

Last night Benjamin stayed at Moses’s place for the night and went ice fishing with Mose and his brother. They caught 75 blue gill. This was the first time the water was frozen enough all winter to go ice fishing.

The girls and I attended a Tupperware shower at Timothy’s sister-in-law Arlene’s house. It was for Elizabeth. She had a nice turn-out and Elizabeth received a lot of nice Tupperware. This is the third shower held for Elizabeth. Sister Emma had a Pampered Chef shower. Timothy’s sister Dena had a Norwex shower. It all helps out the newlyweds.

Sunday, January 24, will be daughter Susan’s twentieth birthday. She is leaving her teenage years now. The years go by so fast. Sister Liz will be forty seven also on the twenty fourth. Susan was born on Liz’s twenty-seventh birthday. We had a lot of snow in 1996—the year she was born. I was really relieved once the midwife got to our house. We lived in a mobile home at my parents until Susan was four months old. Daughter Elizabeth was twenty-two months old when we moved to our own property. Elizabeth missed my parents and sisters after our move even though we were just a few miles from there.

Saturday we plan to butcher our beef and let it chill until next week. I will be so glad when it’s all cut up and in the freezer and in cans. We plan to butcher our pork in two weeks from Saturday if plans hold out.

Several readers have had questions about the breakfast haystacks we had on New Year’s Day. I’ll try to share it the best I can. The amount of each item depends on how many you will serve.

Breakfast Haystacks

Biscuits, torn into bite size pieces
Fried potatoes
Scrambled eggs
Bacon, fried and crumbled
Ham, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Green peppers, diced
Onions, diced (optional)
Hot peppers (optional)
Mushrooms
Cheese sauce or shredded cheese
Salsa
Sausage gravy

Prepare above items as noted, and serve each item in separate dish or pan. To serve, each person piles items on their plate until they have a “haystack.” Start with biscuits and then add a little of everything you like, ending with sausage gravy. Not all the ingredients have to be added. Other items can be used as well.

 

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.

All hands on deck cleaning house for church services—even on a great sledding day!

This is a cold winter day with the mercury on the thermometer dipping way down to 5 degrees. It is snowing but the wind isn’t as strong as it was yesterday.

Joseph, 13, Lovina, 11, and Kevin, 10, didn’t have school yesterday. It was cancelled due to the weather. This was their first snow day this season. With church services being held here Sunday there was plenty to do. Lovina cleaned the bathroom in the basement and washed the basement steps while Joseph and Kevin swept and mopped the basement floor. I gave the refrigerator down there a good cleaning. Things look clean and good enough now in the basement.

I let them go sledding in the afternoon since they did such a good job. I heard Joseph tell Kevin and Lovina that he hopes if there are more snow days it will be after church services are held here! I had to smile when I heard that. Evidently, his idea of a snow day was sledding outside with our pony Stormy pulling the sled. Joseph will be 14 in July but he is already taller than I am. He has passed Benjamin, 16, in height as well. Milking Bessie every morning and evening has also given him a lot of arm strength. Joseph is the comedian in our family. He is always making us laugh.

While we were cleaning yesterday we were surprised to have our supper sent over by neighbors Marlin and Janie. This was so thoughtful and very much appreciated. The evening before our neighbors Joas and Susan brought supper in. What a treat to not have to make supper. May God bless them for their kind deeds!

I wasn’t able to attend our last church services due to some health issues I’ve been having. I still wanted to take our turn to host church services and appreciated all the offers to come help me prepare.

My sisters Verena and Susan and Emma and her daughter Emma and her son Jacob Jr., assisted us with our work last Friday. This was a warmer day before all this snow and cold weather came. It was a perfect day to get all the windows cleaned and curtains washed, plus all the walls and ceilings were washed off. They also cleaned the furniture.

Then Saturday Timothy and Elizabeth and Susan’s friend Mose came to help us. Timothy and Mose helped clean the new building where church services will be held. They helped my husband Joe with what all needs to be cleaned up outside. Elizabeth cleaned the boys’ bedroom which isn’t the most fun job. How those three boys can accumulate so much stuff is beyond me. All I can say is “boys will be boys.” When Elizabeth finished it looked so refreshing and clean. They are trying their hardest to keep it looking good.

Saturday evening Benjamin brought three of his friends home to spend the night and all day Sunday. Those four boys enjoyed eating shelled peanuts at some time overnight. When I went up Monday to get their bed sheets to wash, there were peanut shells all over the floor. At least it’s something easy to sweep up—and they all enjoyed the peanuts.

We had a brunch Sunday forenoon so the boys could sleep a little later. The rest of the day was spent playing games, resting, etc. I made a campfire stew on the stove for an early supper before the boys left for home. There wasn’t a singing scheduled for the youth so they just stayed here for supper. With all the snow and ice we were having, it was good to see them stay home.

Joe has to work on Saturday at the RV factory so Timothy and Mose will come help set up the benches for church services on Saturday. They also have to make room in the barn to tie all the horses on Sunday. If the family hosting church doesn’t have a big enough barn, others will bring horse blankets for their horses on cold days as they stand outside.

This week I’ll share the recipe of baked egg in the nests that daughter Verena made for our breakfast yesterday.

eggs.in.nest

Baked Egg in the Nest

1 slice bread
1 egg
butter
shredded cheese
black pepper

Put slice of bread on a baking sheet. Press down the center of the bread with a spoon. Spread butter on the outside raised edge of the bread. Put the egg on the bread (the raised part will help hold the egg inside). Sprinkle the cheese on top of the buttered outer edge of the bread. Sprinkle black pepper on the egg. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

 

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.

Haystack brunch and Old Christmas/Epiphany gatherings mark beginning of 2016

The Christmas holidays and family get-togethers are now over for another year. Yesterday, January 6, was Old Christmas (Epiphany) so everyone was home for the day. It was a day well spent with family. I had a baked meal with the menu consisting of meat loaf, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, lettuce salad, cheese, dill pickles, hot peppers, applesauce, sugar cookies, and zucchini bread. Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy joined us for part of the day. Of course their dogs Crystal and Izzy came along. The dogs are always so excited to come here and the children are equally happy to see them.

In the afternoon we played the game Life on the Farm. It is always a fun game even though it can last for several hours like Monopoly. The players have to buy cows but can lose them again. The first player that owns 60 cows and has $10,000 wins the game. Always an exciting game to play. Kevin, 10, and Lovina, 11, had fun playing also. Other games played were Aggravation, Connect Four, and Checkers.

On New Year’s Day we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for a haystack brunch. They had the tables set for all of us. Sisters Verena and Susan, Elizabeth and Timothy, and all the girls’ special friends were there as well. Besides haystacks there were all kinds of desserts but no one was hungry after the haystack meal. We enjoyed snacks and desserts later in the day.

After dishes were washed we exchanged gifts. Nephew Steven had my name and gave me a 32 x 55 inch cutting mat to cut out clothes. I have a small one but am really going to like this bigger one. Daughter Lovina had my husband Joe’s name and gave him an ice auger to drill holes in the ice when he goes ice fishing. This year so far it looks like he won’t get to use it. I’m sure we will get colder weather yet. Son Joseph was given an ice fishing pole by son-in-law Timothy so he is also hoping for ice fishing weather. After the gifts were all opened we played games. A new game I played was Apples to Apples.

Jacob and Emma had the final inspection of the addition to their house approved. Their children have moved their clothes up to their new bedrooms. They were excited after living in a ranch style one-story house.

We all ate the haystack brunch in the new attached garage. They still have some remodeling to do as they want to tear out the bedroom walls and make a bigger kitchen, dining room, and living room. I am sure they will be glad when it’s all done.

Church services are set here for January 17, so we have been kept busy cleaning. Sister Emma, her son Jacob, and her daughter Emma came on Tuesday to assist us in cleaning. We cleaned most of the basement and washed clothes. Saturday we will have more help so hopefully everything will get cleaned in time. We are heating our new building where we will host church services (where Tim and Elizabeth’s wedding and church were held this summer).

I hope all of you had an enjoyable and safe holiday and may God bless you all in 2016 and always!

I’ll share my sister Susan’s cinnamon bread recipe. She brought this bread to Jacob and Emma’s on New Year’s Day.

CinnamonSwirlEdited

Soft Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

On a lightly floured surface, roll thawed bread dough into a 10×12 inch rectangle. With a pastry brush, paint the dough with the water, and then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over dough. Top with raisins if desired. Roll up jellyroll-fashion beginning on the 12-inch side. Seal all seams and ends and place in a greased 8×4 inch loaf pan. Let the dough rise until double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from pan to cool. When cool, brush with melted butter.

 

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.