Category Archives: Breakfast

Lovina Explains the Process for Butchering Pigs

Today is granddaughter Andrea’s (Tim and Elizabeth’s) first birthday. Friday evening, we will go to Tim and Elizabeth’s for supper in honor of her birthday. She has the biggest eyes and the sweetest smile.

Tim came tonight to pick up their lard press which we used last Saturday when we butchered pigs. He brought along grandson T.J., four, and granddaughter Allison, three, but both had fallen asleep on the way over. Grandma didn’t get to enjoy them, but I put a baggie of candy in their hands, so they would know they were here when they woke up.

Saturday, we butchered two pigs. One was for us, and one was for Dustin and Loretta.

It’s a long day, but always enjoyable to all be together working.

First, the pigs are dressed, and then the big black kettles are set up to start heating water to cook the meat off the bones. The hams, tenderloins, bacon, and ribs are cut out, and the rest is cut out for sausage. The fat from the pigs gets cut into one-inch cubes for rendering. The liver, brains, heart, tongue, and other parts are all saved from the pigs. Most of our children love the brains fried in butter after being rolled in flour. I have never tasted the brains or tongue. Mom would make pickled tongues, but I am different, I guess. My children say, “Mom, how do you know if you don’t like something if you never tasted it?” Anyways the brains aren’t that much in quantity and usually have to be portioned, so they all get a taste. Daughter Lovina said that she thinks the brains taste better than any meat she’s ever had. She most certainly doesn’t take after her namesake (me) on that subject. Haha!

The lard gets rendered in one kettle, and the bones are cooked in the other. Then, when the meat comes off the bones, it is brought inside, where the meat is picked off the bones. It is then put through the grinder. We would make liver pudding with most of this meat years ago. Since we don’t have many in the family that like liver pudding, we always put this meat in the pon hoss. It makes the pon hoss taste even better.

Together, Lovina and her family made 23 gallons of broth into pon hoss. Photo provided.

The broth from the bones is strained, measured, and put back in the kettle; then, the meat and seasonings are added. We usually put in two tablespoons of salt and one tablespoon of black pepper for each gallon of juice. Next, the flour is sifted in the broth, which should be boiling hard. Someone needs to be constantly stirring. The men usually take turns. We add around four cups of flour per gallon of broth. So this year, we made 23 gallons of broth into pon hoss, which would take around 92 cups of flour. I was a little short in flour, and the pon hoss was a little harder to fry, but we actually like it almost better this way. When the pon hoss no longer sticks to a metal dipper, then it’s ready to come off the fire. It is then poured into pans. I use 9 x 13 foil pans, and each pan holds around a gallon of pon hoss.

Once the pon hoss is cooled, it can be sliced and fried on each side until crisp. I like mine very crisp, but some in the family want it softer. It is kind of like frying bacon: Some like it crispier than others.

The sausage is ground, packaged, and put in the freezer. We canned a few quarts for Dustin and Loretta. I still had plenty canned.

The “fischlie” (a Swiss word), the backstrap, is a small tenderloin that is just under the spine at the rear end of the body cavity. For as long as I can remember, this was the meat fried on butchering day.

So along with that, on the menu we had mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cheese, grape tomatoes, ice cream, and a variety of bars and applesauce.

After everything was done, all the big dishes, grinders, and slicers were cleaned.

Joe sliced all the hams, pork chops, and ribs, and those were bagged and put in the freezer. The shoulders are put in the freezer whole. Joe will cut those into pork steak with the meat saw. He likes them frozen to cut. The bacon is soaked in a brine that Dustin made. It will soak for a week and then be sliced too.

Another year of pork meat in the freezer. We still need to butcher beef yet this winter. Are we thankful enough to have plenty to eat and preserve? God is good! God’s blessings to all!

Breakfast Quiche
1 pound precooked ham, sausage, or bacon or a combination of meats
8 ounces grated cheese
8 eggs
3/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt

In a greased 9 x 13-inch pan, make a layer of meat and top with cheese. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pour over the meat and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or till set in the middle.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

A Day in the Life with Lovina and Her Family

Diary of February 7th

4:00 a.m. The alarm rings, and it’s time to start another day.

Dustin, Loretta, and Denzel, seven months, come over. Loretta and Denzel lay on the recliner to take a nap since it’s still so early. Dustin leaves for work. Loretta has another appointment with the doctor tomorrow. They want to see if the clots are still dissolving with the blood thinner. She says the pain is gone, and it’s feeling much better. We’re so thankful to get good results.

4:15 a.m. I make breakfast for my husband Joe, pack his lunch, and fill his water jug with ice and water. Joe goes down to the basement to refuel our coal stove. Our coal stove in the basement has a jacket around it. It heats all three floors of our house. We have a big vent on top of the stove in the floor that brings the heat up, and our open staircase is right close by, so that sends heat up to the bedrooms up there. We have cold air return vents along the sides of the floor to help circulate the air. In the 15 years we have lived in this new house, it has worked great. On really cold or windy days, we have propane lights to light, which also throws a lot of heat.

Son Joseph, 20, goes out to the pole barn to refuel that stove. We have heat in there to keep the solar batteries from getting too cold, and it’s also where our phone is. We have a bathroom and kitchen sink, and cabinets out there, so it helps keep the water lines from freezing.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work at the Metal Shop. I make Joseph’s breakfast and pack his lunch and water jug. Son Benjamin, 23, goes out to do the chores in the barn.

5 a.m. Joseph leaves for his construction job. They build mostly pole barns. Benjamin doesn’t want breakfast and doesn’t take his lunch to work.

5:25 a.m. Benjamin leaves, and I sit on my recliner with a cup of coffee. Loretta and Denzel are sound asleep. I always feel like I need a little rest after the morning rush.

8 a.m. Daughter Verena has been here for several days, and I’m always glad she’s here. Everyone is awake, and of course, Denzel needs our attention. We have a lot of fun with him.

I work on answering reader mail. I have been behind since the middle of December. The girls wash dishes and clean up the house.

11:30 a.m. Daughter Susan brings her three boys here Isaiah, four; Ryan, three; and Curtis, three. Today is Ervin’s first day back to work at the factory since the six-week layoff. Verena goes with Susan to take Jennifer, five, to the doctor. Kaitlyn is in school.

No one is hungry for breakfast, so we make lunch for the boys and us. Denzel is so happy to have the attention of his little cousins.

Noon. Egg Dutch, bacon, cheese, and toast are on the menu. Curtis loves the Egg Dutch and wants seconds. He says, “Grandma, it’s really good.” Ryan stands beside him, nodding his head “yes” that he thinks so too. So precious!

We spend the afternoon entertaining the boys. We put puzzles together and read books. They enjoy that.

3:15 p.m. Joe comes home, and the boys have fun with Grandpa. Then Benjamin comes home, and there’s no more quietness. He plays tag with them, chasing them around the house. They enjoy it, though.

Dustin is also back from work, and he, Loretta, and Denzel leave for home.

4 p.m. Susan and Verena are back to get the boys.

4:30 p.m. Joseph is home from work. He showers and leaves because he’s taking his special friend Grace out to eat for her birthday. Her birthday was February 6. Last Friday, our family gathered here in honor of her birthday. Joseph got her a decorated cake. We had baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered beets, cheese, peppers, and cake, ice cream, and jello for dessert.

Daughter Lovina and I fold the laundry from yesterday that was drying in the basement.

Benjamin does chores, and Joe refuels the stoves.

6:30 p.m. Lovina makes supper. It’s grilled cheese sandwiches, sausage patties, and eggs.

9 p.m. Joseph is back from town. It’s time to call it a day. Good night and God’s blessings to all!

I will share the recipe for Egg Dutch. This has always been a favorite for us. I remember my mother making it often.

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

Beat together eggs, salt, pepper, flour, and milk in a medium bowl. Pour into a heated, greased skillet and cover with a tight lid. Cook over medium-low heat until eggs are mostly set. Cut into pieces and flip each one over. Then cover again to finish cooking. Add shredded cheese on top when almost done, if desired. Bacon bits are also good.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Mourns the Loss of Loved Ones

Friday, January 31, is a day that brings sad memories to our family. Two years ago, sister Susan died at age 44; five years ago, brother Amos died at age 56. Both were still so young and are still greatly missed.

Joe and I, daughter Verena, daughter Loretta, Dustin, and baby Denzel started out with Heather as our driver on Friday morning. We headed towards Ohio and arrived at the viewing of Aunt Nancy around 2:30 p.m. Denzel was very good at traveling the five-hour trip. Hearing his chatter in the seat behind me made me want to hug him. He doesn’t seem to mind his car seat.

We all stayed the night in the motel nearby. With so many relatives traveling from farther away, the motel rooms filled up fast. We had to try the third motel before finding vacant rooms.

The funeral on Saturday was well attended by church members, her siblings, and many nieces and nephews.

Nancy’s mother (Joe’s grandmother) passed away at 36, leaving behind her husband and 14 children. The oldest was 18, and the youngest was 11 months. He remarried three and a half years later to a single girl in Ohio and had two children with her. He moved his family to Ohio. Nancy was three when her mother died. There are four sisters and five brothers left to mourn.

After the funeral, we headed back home and arrived safe and sound between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Daughter Verena spent the night here. How thankful we were to arrive back home safely. We heard of many accidents with the road conditions. Our hearts ache for the loved ones left to mourn the 22-year-old husband, his one-year-old son, and two young nieces. We do not know them, but we still have them in our thoughts and prayers.

On Sunday, we were just at home resting from our trip. Sunday evening, Ervin and Susan and Dustin and Loretta came for supper. I made a pot of chili and heated some chicken that was in the freezer from Ervin and Susan’s wedding. We also made homemade ice cream. The children liked helping, but the men did most of the cranking on the ice cream freezer.

Verena went home with Ervin and Susan and spent the night at their house so she could stay with their children while they ran some errands on Monday. Kaitlyn, six, and Jennifer, five, were so excited that Aunt Verena was going to sleep with them.

Daughter Loretta spent a night in the ER. She has a blood clot on her right leg. They gave her a different blood thinner. She has to have a shot every day. Dustin is staying home from work to help her. She is still having pain. She has an appointment in a few days. I really hope she will be on the road to recovery soon. The blood clot is in the opposite leg than last time.

I did laundry today and was getting caught up on a lot of little jobs. I wanted to go over to see Loretta but never managed to get that far. Our driveway and sidewalks are still icy, so it’s tedious walking out there.

Tomorrow is Customer Appreciation Day at the Metal Shop where Joe works. He will have to help grill hamburgers for their free lunch for everyone stopping by. Daughters Verena and Lovina and I plan to attend. I want to ask sister Verena if she wants to go with us.

I have had a lot of requests for the Breakfast Casserole I made for our family Christmas brunch. I don’t really have a recipe, but I’ll try to put one together.

God’s blessings!


Breakfast Casserole
1 dozen eggs, scrambled
1 pound bacon, fried and cut into small pieces
1 pound of smokies or precooked smoked sausage, cut into small
1 pound of ham, chopped
6–8 potatoes, peeled, cooked, and shredded, or 2-pound bag frozen shredded potatoes
2 (16-ounce) containers sour cream
1 pound Velveeta, diced into small pieces
seasoning of your choice

Mix all ingredients and put in a greased casserole dish or roaster. Green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives can also be added if desired. Top with 3 quarts of sausage gravy.

Optional: When almost done, put 6–8 biscuits (crumbled) on top and bake for a few more minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated. Baking can take up to an hour, depending on the temperature of the ingredients before placing them in the oven.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Daughter Lovina Welcomes the New Babies

Dear Readers,

I’m daughter Lovina (18) and I will be writing the column for this week. Congratulations to my cousin Emma and her husband Menno, who had a baby girl on November 2. Her name is Jazlyn Grace, and I am going to go see her tonight—can’t wait!

Dustin and Loretta’s little boy Denzel is doing great, and he’s growing by the minute. I think he’s trying to put on extra weight to stay warm for the winter. He’s also a picky eater and only likes formula, and only certain kinds. I tried to give him a bite of my bologna sandwich, but apparently he’s not very fond of that, either. (All jokes!)

I’ve been staying with Loretta on some mornings after Dustin goes to work to help her with the baby, and some mornings she comes over here. I’ve seen Denzel almost every day since he was born, and I have still managed to avoid ever changing his diaper. One day when I have children of my own, I’ll have to endure the suffering of changing diapers, but not today. This morning he had a messy diaper, and I think there were more contents on the outside of the diaper than there were inside.

Quite a while ago I was helping Mom make V-8 juice and the carrots reminded me of a time when Kevin (17) and I were just around seven years old. Mom used to tell us that eating carrots was good for our eyes. Even though that’s true, I think she said it mostly so we would eat our vegetables. Anyway, I remember we were trying to see a deer out in the field but we couldn’t see it so well because it was so far away, so I told Kevin to grab the bag of carrots out of the fridge, and we stood there by the window staring into the field, eating one carrot after another waiting until we could see the deer better. We could have used binoculars, but we used carrots instead. I think we somehow actually convinced ourselves that we could see the deer more clearly.

For breakfast this morning I made sausage, egg, and cheese griddles for Mom, Loretta, Kevin, and myself. I got the idea from when I used to work at McDonald’s. Although if I must say it myself, mine taste better. I know it sounds like I’m bragging, but that’s only because I am.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and then Christmas. Daniel (my special friend) told me to start making a list of things that he could get me for Christmas. I was more than happy to, but I think the list was a little longer than he expected. He said, “Girlfriends are expensive,” but the smile on his face says, “It’s totally worth it.” I already have ideas of what I’m going to get him for Christmas. I like to get him things that I think I could use too, sometimes. It’s like getting myself presents, but in a sneaky way. I always remember that Jesus is the reason for Christmas, the gifts are only a bonus.

I’m pretty excited for sister Susan and her fiancé Ervin’s wedding on December 30. Daniel and I will be serving the bride, groom, and the witnesses at the wedding. I’m sure it will be a fun day, especially since I’ll be there (the last part was a joke).

Daniel bought a horse off my brother Ben. Her name is Lightning, and she’s a Dutch Harness/Standardbred mixed. She couldn’t be more opposite than his other horse, named Buddy, who’s a Haflinger. Buddy is short, stalky, with light colored hair, and he’s slower than some horses, but he’s strong. Daniel doesn’t like when I call Buddy slow, so hopefully he doesn’t read this. Lightning is tall and skinny with dark hair, and she’s very fast but she can’t pull as much weight as Buddy.

On weekends when we spend time together, we use one horse or the other, depending on what mood we are in. If we want to actually get somewhere on time, we use Lightning, but if we want a relaxing buggy ride, then we use Buddy. Daniel also uses Buddy in the field for making hay, raking hay, and baling it. Daniel’s teaching Buddy how to horseback ride right now.

The other day Mom washed clothes, and I went around to gather all the dirty clothes from everyone’s rooms. They each have a clothes hamper in their room, but Ben’s clothes were anywhere but in the hamper. Some by his bed, by his couch, by his closet, under his cart table, and zero clothes in the hamper. Ben’s room is always the messiest—he could care less how it looks as long as he can get to the bed to sleep at night. Joseph and Kevin share a room, and I always hear Joseph bossing Kevin because Kevin messes the room up after Joseph has it cleaned. My room stays clean until laundry day, and then once the laundry starts adding up on the couch I give up and stop cleaning it until the next week.

Well, I better go get my work done. I enjoyed writing the column again and hope you all will enjoy reading. Hope everyone has a fantastic week, God bless!

The sausage, egg, and cheese griddle has two pancakes, a sausage patty, egg, and cheese. And below is a recipe for the pancakes.

Delicious Pancake
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 well beaten eggs
5 tablespoons salad oil or melted butter
2 cups milk

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, oil or butter, and milk, and stir to combine. Spoon batter onto a hot griddle or pan. Cook two to three minutes, until surface of pancakes have some bubbles, then flip. Continue cooking until brown on both sides.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Daugher Lovina’s 18th Birthday & Hosting Church

Today—May 18—is daughter Lovina’s 18th birthday. Lovina was born soon after we moved to Michigan. It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years. She has grown into a lovely young lady with a great sense of humor. Her special friend Daniel is an important part of her life and she has enjoyed his friendship for almost two years. He is a kind, loving young man.

A beautiful cake to celebrate daughter Lovina’s 18th birthday! Photo provided.

Our family plans to come home tonight in honor of Lovina’s birthday. Lovina is baking a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (her favorite). She also requested that she would like “rare beef” on the menu (also her favorite). So now I need to make something that goes well with that.


I plan to make the rare beef outside on the porch, on the side burner of my new gas grill. My husband Joe bought me a gas grill for Mother’s Day. I love to cook outside on the porch on hot summer nights. I love it! Last night we cooked asparagus in butter on the grill.

Sunday church services were hosted here. We set a total of eight tables for everyone to eat. Our menu was homemade wheat and white bread, egg salad, cheese, peanut butter spread, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, butter, rhubarb and grape jam, coffee, tea, chocolate crinkles, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies.

While the women washed dishes, popcorn was passed out to everyone. All the bread, cookies, and popcorn are made by the ladies in our church. We take turns furnishing it for each other’s church services.

The eggs for the egg salad were donated to us from daughter Elizabeth and Tim, daughter Susan, and daughter Loretta and Dustin.

On Saturday we cooked 20 dozen eggs, then peeled and chopped them. Also, 24 packs of hot dogs were chopped. Joe sliced 2 horns of Colby cheese with the slicer. The peanut butter mixture—peanut butter, marshmallow crème, and corn syrup—was also mixed.

Those assisting us with our work on Saturday were Dustin and Loretta, Sister Verena, Daniel and Grace (Lovina and Joseph’s special friends), and daughter Verena. Their help was greatly appreciated! Hash brown casseroles were also made, so they were done and ready to heat for supper Sunday evening. Grilled hamburgers, macaroni salad, and a variety of desserts were also on the menu for Sunday supper. The salad and desserts were brought in by family.

The benches were set up in our pole barn to hold the service and meals. With a kitchen area and bathroom out there, it makes it easier.

I still do not have any garden planted. I’m hoping we can do that this week, but it looks like rain today. We are enjoying asparagus and rhubarb.

Dustin and Loretta are remodeling their house—taking out a wall and rearranging her kitchen, and also putting in other kitchen cabinets and making it more handicap accessible for her. It is really looking good and will be so much more space for her. They can still sleep at their house, but they come here for their meals since her kitchen is not usable for now.

Dustin mowed sister Verena’s yard one night this week. No one had mowed it yet this year and it was very high. With all that was going on at his house and helping us, he couldn’t get to it sooner.

I’ll sign off wishing everyone God’s richest blessings as we travel into the unknown future.

Hash Brown Casserole
2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
Seasoning of your choice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pint sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated cheese
1 pound smoked sausage, chopped

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Potatoes should be thawed (unless preparing a day ahead). Pour into greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Mother’s Day Celebrations & New Clothes for Benjamin

Our warm weather has arrived, bringing 80-degree temperatures this week.

I hope all you mothers had a very nice Mother’s Day. I was blessed with having all my children home for the day. I made a brunch for everyone, with a menu of fried eggs, potatoes, bacon, cheese, toast, jelly, butter, hot peppers, brownies, cookies, rhubarb dream bars, coffee, rhubarb juice, grape juice, and V-8 juice.

I was showered with nice gifts. I feel blessed to be a mother to my eight dear children. They make me glad to be their mother. Although it isn’t always easy being a mother, I try to do the best I can. I am also blessed to be a grandmother and enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

Saturday most of the family was here assisting us with cleaning up for this coming Sunday, when we host church services—Lord willing. The pole barn was emptied and cleaned except the windows. We need to clean those yet this week. The men and boys power washed the pole barn so it looks clean again. The grass was mowed, the barn cleaned, etc. While the men worked outside, the house was also getting more cleaning—the living room walls and ceiling were washed off, the furniture cleaned, etc.

I wasn’t here half of the day, as I went with son Benjamin to town. He bought new shoes, a black hat, a mutza and jacket, etc. A mutza is the suit coat the men wear at church along with a white shirt and black pants. Benjamin is planning to start following instructions for baptism, so that’s why he needed the new clothes. The boys don’t wear a mutza until they follow instructions for baptism, and then they will wear one to church from then on. In the summer months the men wear only a jacket because of the warm weather, but then the mutza is worn again during the winter months.

We had someone stop by selling barbecue chicken for a benefit to help a young couple in the community with their hospital bill. I bought enough for a roaster full to have for our lunch. After I was home from town, I made creamed potatoes to go with the chicken. It was an easy lunch to make for everyone.

Sunday before everyone left for home, I made One Kettle Soup and ham sandwiches for everyone to eat. Some of the grandchildren looked almost too tired to eat after a busy day of playing outside. They enjoy this nice weather and like the idea that they don’t have to wear coats or shoes.

Baby Andrea will be three months old this week. She’s such a sweetie, and her smile wins everyone’s heart. She tries to talk and is just fun to hold.

Yesterday, Jennifer, 4, brought me a bouquet of “flowers” she had picked for me. It was dandelions, but she was so proud to give it to me. She also picked a bouquet for Abigail to give to her when she comes off the bus. She said, “Abigail will be so ‘cited’ (excited)!”

The girls were all home yesterday for the day. The windows upstairs were cleaned and a few in the breezeway. I think we could’ve accomplished more but we might’ve been visiting too much. We all need time to just enjoy each other. Daughter Lovina and I made breakfast pizza before they all came for our breakfast. Lunch was sandwiches.

May 10th would have been sister Susan’s 46th birthday. She is still greatly missed! Rest in peace, Susan! God’s blessings to all!

Breakfast Pizza
Your favorite pizza dough, or 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls, spread into an 11×15 inch pan or 2 pizza pans
1 dozen scrambled eggs
2 pounds bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup ham, cooked and diced
1 pound sausage, browned and crumbled
1 pound shredded hash browns
4 cups sausage gravy
2 cups shredded cheese
Optional toppings: mushrooms, green peppers, onions

Spread half of gravy over dough, then sprinkle on meat, eggs, hash browns, and optional toppings, if desired. Spread on remaining gravy. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Adventures with baby chicks and a visit from Aunt Lovina

It’s a windy, rainy morning, and the temperature is around 44 degrees. Son Joseph got a call saying he won’t have to work today because of the rain. They have no inside work as of now.

Daughters Verena, Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan came here after supper last night and spent the night here. I sat on my recliner, and Jennifer, age 4, told me she wanted to massage my feet and asked for foot lotion. It wasn’t long before I was asleep and that little girl was having the time of her life with that lotion. I woke up and had probably half the jar on my feet. She was just enjoying herself so much. So sweet and innocent!

This morning, before Dustin left for work, he walked over with daughter Loretta, and she is sleeping on the recliner. Joe left for work and the rest are all sleeping yet. Joseph went back to bed after finding out he doesn’t have to work.

I decided to write this while all is quiet. Daughter Elizabeth and children will also come around 8:30 a.m. Our friend Jodi will bring Elizabeth and the three youngest, then Abigail will come here off the bus.

We are so happy to have Jodi back in Michigan! She runs so many errands for us, which we appreciate very much. Jodi had been in Alabama the last few months spending time with her daughter Krista and family. I’m glad she could do that and enjoy the warmer Alabama weather.

Granddaughter Allison, 2, was attacked this week by their mean rooster. She has a scratched-up face. We are so fortunate he didn’t get her eyes. Son-in-law Tim got rid of that mean rooster and came home with some little baby chicks for the children. Abigail, T.J., and Allison each picked one out as their own. They had the little chicks in the house in a box. Daughter Elizabeth said they couldn’t find one of the chicks and finally found it. T.J. had put it in his Noah’s Ark toy. He must have wanted to fill the ark with animals. Abigail’s chick died while she was at school. She had seen it was not too good before leaving for school and told Elizabeth to tell T.J. to take care of it until she got home. The chick didn’t fare so well, and Abigail was so heartbroken. She cried so hard and told Elizabeth she couldn’t catch her breath because she was crying so hard. She put the chick in a box and asked her daddy if he would help her bury it. Again, so sweet and innocent!

Allison is not too fond of the potty training. Elizabeth will tell her to go potty. She sits on there for a long time, and she told Elizabeth, “Mom, it don’t work.” She’s such a petite little girl but ever so mighty. Baby Andrea is 5 1/2 weeks old now and made her first appearance in church on Sunday. She did very well!

Last Friday we were so happy to have Aunt Lovina from Baltic, Ohio come spend some time here and have brunch with us. Thanks to her granddaughter Leah and sons for bringing her here. Others here for brunch and visiting were sisters Verena and Emma, niece Elizabeth, niece Emma and daughter, and all my daughters and grandchildren.

I made a breakfast casserole, homemade bread, and cinnamon rolls. Everyone brought a dish and we ended up having quite a big brunch.

It was so nice to get to visit with Aunt Lovina. She is my mom’s sister and is three years younger. She will be 83 on July 20th. I was named after her. We were together so much when I was growing up, and now I hardly ever see her. We talked of the memories we had of years ago. And perhaps we said some stories of things that her children and my siblings and I did that she was unaware of. Needless to say she laughed, and we enjoyed her visit.

God’s blessings to all!

The family enjoyed freshly baked cinnamon rolls at brunch during a visit from Aunt Lovina. Photo provided.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
4 large eggs, beaten
6 cups bread flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Grease a jelly-roll pan or a large cookie sheet with a 1-inch rim.

In a large bowl, mix the milk, butter, salt, and sugar. Set the bowl aside until the mixture cools to lukewarm. While the mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast in the warm water for about 10 minutes or until bubbles form. Then add the yeast mixture, eggs, and flour gradually to the lukewarm milk mixture. Knead with your hands until an elastic dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 or 6 strokes, and then roll into a 12 by 20-inch rectangle.

In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until well blended. Spread the mixture over the dough. Roll the dough up from the 20-inch side. Cut the 20-inch-long roll into 3/4-inch pieces and place on the prepared pan. Let the dough rise uncovered for about 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls until golden brown, 20 minutes. Frost with Basic Frosting.


Basic Frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk

In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the vanilla and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk and the remaining powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Use shortening instead of butter if a whiter frosting is desired. Makes 2 cups.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Celebrating a Baptism

Everyone is winding down and getting ready for bed. Another day is over and history.

Today daughter Lovina, 17, spent the day at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. She stayed with the children while Elizbeth took baby Andrea for a check-up at the doctor. She now weighs 8 pounds, 6 ounces. She was 8 pounds, 3 ounces at birth but lost almost a pound. It’s always good to see the weight start going back up. My babies always lost a little weight that first week or two before they gained again.

Friday night, daughter Susan and children, daughter Verena, daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, and sister Verena were our supper guests. It was good for Elizabeth to get out of the house and eat supper somewhere else.

Our menu was mashed potatoes, beef and noodles, corn, sliced cheese, chocolate pie, and homemade ice cream.

My grandchildren are really enjoying the new tea sets and fake food, etc., that a kind reader sent to me. I don’t have many toys for them to play with when they come, so they tend to get a little bored. With the new toys they have had so much fun pretending to be cooking, too!

Saturday, the menfolk dressed an 1100-pound beef that is still hanging in our cold part of the pole barn waiting to be cut up. Plans are to start Friday afternoon and finish Saturday. That will be a big job done!

Saturday night, daughter Susan and children, daughter Verena, sons Kevin and Benjamin, Benjamin’s special friend Amanda, Joe, and I had a delicious supper at daughter Loretta and Dustin’s house. Susan and her children spent the night at Dustin’s so she would be closer to travel to another church district the next morning.

Sunday morning, we all traveled the six miles to attend church for Daniel’s (daughter Lovina’s special friend) baptismal services. It is always so special to be there when a young soul accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Sunday evening, we had a delicious supper at Daniel’s parent’s house. Others there besides Joe and I were sons Benjamin (and special friend Amanda), Joseph and Kevin, daughter Lovina, daughter Susan and children, Daniel’s married brothers and families, Jake and Lisa and family, Clint and Hannah and son, Dustin and daughter Loretta, and my sister Emma and all of her family. It was an enjoyable evening.

Tomorrow all the girls and grandchildren plan to come for the day. It’s been awhile since they did that, so my mind is wandering and trying to think what I should prepare for breakfast and lunch. I know with Baby Andrea and all the other grandchildren coming that this grandma doesn’t want to plan too much else besides meals and spending time with them. It’s been quite awhile since we all got together for a day.

Of course, Abigail will go to school, but the bus will drop her off here. She gets lots of attention when she exits that bus!

It’s time for me to call it a day. Good night and God’s blessings to all!

Sunday Brunch
12 eggs
1 cup milk
2 pounds tater tots
1 pound bacon or sausage, fried
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Beat together eggs and milk. Stir in rest of ingredients. Pour into greased 13×9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

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.

Celebrating Epiphany with Family and a Haystack Brunch

2022—A brand new year is before us. I wish you all good health and happiness, and most of all God’s blessings as we start another year.

Tomorrow, January 6th, is Epiphany (Old Christmas) and a holiday for the Amish in this community. A lot of families have a Christmas gathering on this day. We will be hosting sister Emma and her extended family, sister Verena, and our whole family. We are a total of 33 to set the table for. It would’ve been 36 if our loved ones could’ve been here, but we will leave it in God’s hands and keep their memory alive.

The tables (5 – six-foot tables) are ready to be set for our guests tomorrow. We will also have a gift exchange after our haystack brunch. Snacks will be served in the afternoon, games played, and hopefully some singing together.

I hope you all enjoyed the letters from daughters Lovina, Verena, and Susan the last three weeks. It gave me a break over the holidays, and I think they all did a wonderful job. I keep asking Elizabeth, Loretta, and the boys if they want to write also.

Elizabeth and Tim have had a lot going on lately. They left for Florida on December 23rd and arrived back home on January 1st. They had a very nice time, but their bus was delayed on the way home. They spent 29 1/2 hours on the bus coming home. They were sitting in traffic for four hours due to a three-car accident on New Year’s Eve. Elizabeth said she felt bad for whomever was involved knowing that their new year wasn’t starting out good. Needless to say, Tim and Elizabeth were two happy parents once they were off the bus and safely home again.

Daughters Susan and Verena had their house all cleaned, and I had their laundry washed, dried, and folded. I’m sure that was a great help.

Sunday afternoon Joe and I went for a ride. We received around four inches of snow or more Saturday evening and during the night. We were the only ones home. I do not like that empty nest feeling. It’s just too quiet around here. Daughter Loretta and Dustin left Saturday evening and spent the night at daughters Susan and Verena’s house. Jennifer and Ryan were excited to have them there.

Joe and I stopped at sister Emma’s for a visit. We also visited with sister Verena. She is mostly staying with Emma and her sons. Both sisters have lost their best friend and can feel the emptiness.

We then headed on to daughter Susan’s and ended up staying there for supper. Dustin and Loretta were still there, and Tim and Elizabeth also came over. I was so glad to see all the grandchildren again. In the afternoon, Dustin gave Jennifer and Ryan a sled ride with the new sled someone gave them for Christmas. They miss having a daddy to do that for them.

Elizabeth is all tan from the Florida sun. It was good to see everyone. Susan and Verena served us a good supper then we headed home. Soon after we were home, Benjamin and Kevin came home, and a little later Joseph and Lovina so the house wasn’t quiet anymore. Its always nice to catch up before going to bed. God is good, and we can’t thank Him enough for the many wonderful blessings. Until next week.

I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

Guests my chose their own ingredients to layer for their haystack breakfast at the Eicher family gathering. Photo provided.

Haystack Breakfast

scrambled eggs
hash brown potatoes
crumbled bacon
diced ham
diced smokies or smoked sausage
crumbled biscuits
diced tomatoes
diced green peppers
diced onions
hot peppers
cheese sauce
sausage gravy

Prepare the amounts according to how many guests you have. Everyone layers whatever they want on a plate for their serving. We put all the leftovers together to make a breakfast casserole for another morning.


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.

Wedding preparations continue as September begins

We have entered September. Today is the 1st, so we are only a month away from daughter Loretta and Dustin’s wedding day. Time does not stand still. We had a break in the humidity and heat. Nights are cool which makes for nice sleeping weather. My gardens are emptying out with only tomatoes and peppers left. A sure sign autumn will be here soon.

We will host church services here September 19th Lord willing. That gives us even less time to clean. I have help coming next week from both Joe and my family, so I’m sure lots will get accomplished. I still need to sew two dresses before the wedding.

Saturday around 14 men and boys helped Dustin work on the pole barn. It was a very hot day! I helped Loretta make two roasters of tater tot casserole the night before, so she has an easy lunch for the guys. I made coleslaw from the cabbage I have from the garden. Others brought in the desserts.

I didn’t go over to help with lunch as there was enough there to help Loretta. I took advantage of the time and sewed daughter Verena’s dress, cape, and apron for Loretta’s wedding and my dress, cape, and apron for nephew Michael’s wedding.

The pole barn is ready for concrete. The roof is on, and the windows and doors are framed in.

Tomorrow is son Kevin’s 16th birthday. How can it be possible that it has been 16 years since my last born?

Granddaughter Abigail keeps reminding us that she has the next birthday. She says, “I will be 5 on September 10th, Grandma.” Such a sweet little girl and so full of questions. She has curly blond hair. She is growing up so fast.

Last week daughter Susan was here and then in the afternoon daughter Elizabeth dropped her three children off here while she went to town. It was a hot day, so we let the children play with water outside. Abigail, Jennifer, and T.J. wanted to make lunch in their little dishes. They went out to the garden and pulled what they thought were green bell peppers and broke them in little pieces. Son Joseph told them they can’t go in the garden but said they can keep what they picked, also thinking it was green bell peppers. Well, all at once T.J. started crying and we saw his mouth was red, so we discovered they had picked hot peppers and their skin was burning too from playing in the water with them. Needless to say, we had three little children who were burning from the peppers. We tried everything we could think of to relieve the burning. Finally, we tried baking soda and water paste and that seemed to help a little more. The heat just had to wear off, but the little ones didn’t understand. I don’t think they will ever go get something from my garden without someone telling them what is hot and what isn’t. I felt so bad for them.

Today around 4 p.m. we plan to head out for Kentucky. Daughter Verena called to book motels for us. Loretta isn’t going along because Dustin couldn’t have two days off with the wedding coming up and taking days off for the funerals. Daughter Susan and children will come stay with Loretta.

Tomorrow after the wedding we will head out to Pulaski, Tennessee, to attend niece Saloma’s wedding on Friday. There is lots to do before we leave so I’ll sign off wishing you all God’s richest blessings!


Farm Style Omelet

12 eggs
1 pint milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of pepper

Put all ingredients into a bowl and beat well. Pour into hot, greased skillet. As it fries, lift the bottom with a spatula to let the raw part run underneath. When it’s almost done, cut in wedges and turn over. Fry one minute longer.


1 cup bacon, fried and crumbled (or other meat)
1 cup salsa

Mix bacon and salsa. Spread on omelet and serve. Serves 8.


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.