Category Archives: Breakfast

Who will be the donkey? Fun game for your holiday season plus pumpkin pancakes!

It’s Thanksgiving week already! We will have my sisters Verena and Susan and sister Emma, Jacob, and family here for Thanksgiving dinner and also all of our family. I am planning to prepare two turkeys plus all the trimmings.

Son Benjamin, 16, was excited last week to shoot his first deer. My husband Joe and Benjamin cut and ground all the meat on Saturday. Joe wants to make jerky and summer sausage with it.

Friday evening our family traveled the seven miles to Timothy and daughter Elizabeth’s house with our horses and buggies. Elizabeth had prepared a tater tot casserole and Timothy grilled venison burgers and steak. They wanted us to spend the night there so Joe could go hunting with Timothy early on Saturday morning.

After supper was over we played “Donkey” and enjoyed popcorn. For those of you who don’t know how to play Donkey, I’ll explain the best I can.

We use Rook game cards. Every player is given three cards and spoons are placed in the middle of the table. Put one less spoon out than there are players. One of the players takes the cards that haven’t been passed out and takes one card at a time and passes it to the next player. The object of the game is to see who gets three cards with the same number first. So if you get a number you want, then switch it with one of your three cards and pass it on. The first player that gets three cards the same will grab a spoon. One player will be left without a spoon and will get a letter “D”. The first player that has the whole word “donkey” spelled out loses.

After they have lost, the other players keep playing but aren’t allowed to talk to the “loser”. If you do, then you get another letter. Son Joseph, 13, was the first to be the “donkey” (smile) and he was good at tricking us into talking to him. It is so easy to forget if he asks a question, to answer him. We had a lot of fun but it’s a noisy game. Spoons fly around a lot after the first person grabs one.

We were excited to wake up Saturday morning with a layer of snow on the ground. It snowed most of the day on Saturday and I think we received around seven inches of snow. The hunters were glad for the snow too. The snow clung to the tree branches and made such pretty scenery. Only God can paint the earth with such beautiful scenes. The children enjoyed sled rides on Saturday evening.

Sunday we went to church for the first time since our church divided into two districts. It was smaller but we had a lot of visitors from other districts so there were still a lot of people there.

PumpkinPancakesEditedFor this week’s recipe I’ll share pumpkin pancakes. Daughter Susan didn’t have to work at the factory yesterday and today, so we made these for our breakfast this morning. If you love pumpkin, you’ll like these pancakes. We had maple syrup with them.

I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving and safe travels if you are traveling, or anywhere where you are—be safe! God’s love to all!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of nutmeg

Whisk pumpkin and egg together until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Fry in skillet like normal pancakes.

 

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.

 

Steer runs laps in Lovina’s garden, and more autumn adventures

Autumn has arrived! The trees are showing signs of it with the leaves starting to turn colors. It is a beautiful, sunny day here in Michigan.

Our horses and pony are all being reshod by Leander, a man from our church district. Verena and I were glad for his help getting in one of the steers that escaped through the fence. We discovered the battery on the solar powered fence charger was dead. It seems that one steer always knows when the battery is dead. It always takes the same route to go through the gate and has to make several laps in my garden. After it does that, he will stand there and stare at us.

Needless to say, I will be glad when he will be our meat in the freezer this winter. He has sure caused enough trouble getting through that fence more than once. We chased him out into the pasture field with our milk cow Bessie, since he didn’t want to go back to the field he came through. The boys can have the fun of getting him back to his field after they come home.

The children are leaving every night again this week for German classes. It sure is quiet at nights. They eat before they go, but are always ready for popcorn or some kind of snack when they arrive back home.

RedBeetsPrepped
Prepping the beets for canning.

Daughter Susan received a traveling journal from a friend in Ohio. Almost four years ago a girl from Shreve, Ohio, started this journal and sent it to another girl. Every girl writes about their family and life and sends it to another girl around the same age. This journal is very interesting and has traveled to many states such as Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland, Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, and New York. Within some of those states, it traveled to quite a few different Amish communities. Very fascinating!

RedBeetTwoPounds
This beet weighed two pounds!
RedBeetsHuge
A Joe-size beet — which he loves!

The girls and I want to go pull all the red beets in the garden this afternoon. We will make and can pickled red beets using them. I also like to fix cooked buttered beets, but Joe and I are the only ones that seem to eat those.

I hope we will have time on Saturday to start cleaning up the garden. It looks like most of the plants are almost done producing anything.

On Saturday, Joe and I and some of our children attended the local consignment auction. Daughters Susan, Verena, and Lovina went shopping elsewhere with daughter Elizabeth. Sounds like they had a lot of fun together.

Son Benjamin went to try his luck for the youth hunting day, using bow and arrow. He missed a doe and was a little disappointed.

I’ve had requests from readers for a granola recipe. I’ll share my niece Susan’s recipe for granola cereal. Enjoy!

God’s blessings to all!

Granola Cereal

12 cups oatmeal
3 cups brown sugar
4 cups flour
1 box raisins
3 cups melted oleo (or margarine or butter)
2 cups coconut
8 ounces almonds
2 cups wheat germ

Combine all ingredients in large roaster. Bake at 300 degrees until golden, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Published! What that means for the Eicher Amish home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s blessings to all!

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

Breakfast Pizza

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

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

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

Wedding preparations for nephew’s wedding keep Lovina up late

It is Wednesday evening and I should be in bed already but this column has to be written.

Today, sisters Emma, Verena, Susan and I traveled the two hours to Berne, Indiana and picked up sister Liz and headed to nephew Levi’s fiancée’s house for final wedding preparations. Levi is the son of my oldest sister Leah and her husband Paul, so Leah was there too. My sister-in-law Nancy was also there so it was so nice to all be together which doesn’t happen very often.

We were also glad to see Paul and Leah’s son Ben, his wife Rosemarie and four children, who all live in Wisconsin. Paul and Leah greeted their newest grandchild for the first time. She is two months old and was named after her grandma Leah. Paul and Leah’s daughter Elizabeth and her two little girls were there helping too. Her little girls had on dresses that Elizabeth and her younger sister Mary used to wear at that age. Leah saved the dresses. Mary died at the sweet, young, innocent age of five. She died suddenly and I still remember the shock we all had when Mary left us. God has plans we don’t always understand, but we know God makes no mistakes, so let us trust God completely.

The ladies baking pies today did a lot of fast work and had all the pies in the ovens baking when we arrived. They were rolling out the dough for the knee patches (some call these “elephant ears”). Women toasted bread for the dressing tomorrow, mixed up fruit, baked bread and more. Many hands make light work.

It brought back lots of memories to be in our old neighborhood. We went past the place we were born and raised. Dad and Mom had a 104 acre farm which is now split into three parcels and three sets of buildings. It doesn’t seem the same. Next week, May 20, it will be 15 years since dear father passed on. How can it be that long? But then again it seems forever since we could talk to him. He was a great father and left us a legacy of faith, love, and many good memories.

Uncle Elmer and Aunt Salome were there today, which helps fill some of the emptiness of our parents not being here anymore. Always appreciate your parents while you still have them to honor, love, and cherish. I can’t count the times I have longed to have one more talk with my parents. They always had such great advice.

I also want to wish sister Susan a happy birthday which was on Sunday. She treated us to a delicious haystack dinner!

I need to bring this to a close. We will start out at 5:30 a.m. for Berne to attend Levi and Barbara’s wedding. I will be a cook and daughter Verena will be a table waiter. We wish them God’s blessings as they join hands together in Holy Matrimony. I’ll write more about the wedding next week. Until next week—God bless!

This week I’ll share my sister Susan’s recipe for rhubarb nut bread.

RhubarbBread

Susan’s Rhubarb Nut Bread

1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup salad oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat brown sugar and oil together until well blended. Stir in egg and buttermilk. Sift together flour, salt, and soda and combine with first mixture. Stir in vanilla, rhubarb and nuts. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Mix sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of batter. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

P.S. This being rhubarb season and having mentioned being anxious to have a chance to make rhubarb custard pie for Joe, here are those pies!

RhubarbCustardPie

P.S. We wish Lovina a wonderful happy birthday today, May 22. Here are two beautiful baskets of flowers her daughter gave her! We may here more about her birthday in a follow-up column, we hope!

FlowersForLovina44thBirthday

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.

 

Welcoming a late spring with baby ducks and rhubarb coffee cake

If we thought spring weather was here to stay, we were wrong. Today the temperature is in the mid-30s, and we are having snow flurries all morning. The wind is so cold.

All is quiet here at the Eichers. Everyone is gone for the day. I did the morning work, mopped the floors and am folding laundry. I’m hoping to make butter yet before the girls get home from work. Susan wants to bake sugar cookies when she comes home. These cookies have buttermilk as one of the ingredients, so I thought I’d make butter so we have some.

Susan’s last day at the RV factory is Friday. She wants to take cookies to work to treat her co-workers. On Monday she will start working for nephew Emanul. He has a woodworking shop and has quite a few employees.

Lovina and Kevin were really excited on Saturday. Daughter Susan’s friend Mose bought them each a little baby duck. They named them Donald and Daisy and have had so much fun taking care of them. They keep them in a box in front of the coal stove in the basement. I hardly ever hear them. They aren’t as noisy as the little chicks that we have had in the house already. This is the first time we have had ducks, so the children are eager to see how they will be for pets when they get older. Once the weather warms up they can move them out to the barn.

The Eicher children are enjoying their new baby ducks, Donald and Daisy.
The Eicher children are enjoying their new baby ducks, Donald and Daisy.

Congratulations to nephew Levi and Barbara! We received an invitation to their May 14 wedding. Levi is sister Leah and Paul’s son. I will be a cook at their wedding. They would like the cooks to wear royal blue dresses. It looks like I will get another new dress.

I really need to get to my sewing. Son Benjamin could use more work pants. I have several cut out for him but need to sew them. Once I get started it won’t take long. Pants are easy to put together and sew.

Everything has been so busy this spring that my husband Joe hasn’t had much time for fishing. Son Benjamin went fishing Friday evening with Mose and two of his brothers. Saturday evening Benjamin and Joseph went fishing for a few hours after the work was done for the day.

Timothy (daughter Elizabeth’s friend) bought a bigger place and is in the process of selling his. He has a bigger and newer house and more acreage on the new place. He has some woods on the property, and a river runs behind it. We want to help him move once he’s ready.

My rhubarbs are really growing. I am hoping I’ll have some to use in a week or so. Try this rhubarb coffee cake when your rhubarbs are ready.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced

Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add egg. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Fold in rhubarb. Spread in greased 9×13-inch pan.

Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350° for 45–50 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Lovina makes homemade mozzarella for the first time

A rainy March day as I write this! Monday it snowed enough to cover the ground with snow again. The rain this morning made all the snow disappear. It is 38 degrees so hopefully the rain helps take some of the frost away in the ground.

Eleven years ago we moved to Michigan in March, and there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground that year. Our horse Itty Bit had a foal six days after we moved. We named the filly Ginger and she is our family horse now. We still have Itty Bit too.

Mose’s grandpa Ezra, age 87, died on Friday evening. His funeral was on Tuesday. We attended the viewing/visitation on Sunday evening. Our sympathy goes to the family. May God be with them as they face this difficult trial in life. Ezra’s brother Martin died not even two weeks before.

On Friday evening and Saturday we cooked down all the sap into maple syrup. This time we ended up with two and one-half gallons of maple syrup. We now have over four gallons of maple syrup that Mose boiled off from our trees.

CannedMapleSyrup

One evening this week we had pancakes, eggs, and sausage with the fresh maple syrup. It has a very good flavor.

Yesterday I tried my first attempt at making cheese. I used a recipe for mozzarella cheese that niece Marlene Troyer gave to me. It seemed to work out well, but it is time consuming. Maybe once I get used to the steps I’ll be able to make it faster. Thanks to the readers who sent cheese recipes to me. I would like to try different kinds. Our cow Bessie keeps giving us all the milk we need and more. My husband Joe wants to get a few little pigs to feed the excess milk to.

The Eicher family cow provided milk to make mozarella cheese.

The week of April 6 our children will be home from school for spring break and they are excited. Hopefully it will be a nice warm week. They have a little over eight weeks of school left for this term. Daughter Loretta is going to graduate from eighth grade this year so she is super excited. The long school days wear her out so it will be nicer for her when she doesn’t have to leave every day.

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan had a few days off of work. They were sewing on most of their time off.

Timothy and Elizabeth will be evening servers at a wedding in May. Seems the sewing is endless. Elizabeth sewed Loretta a new dress which brought a smile to Loretta’s face. Elizabeth received a sewing machine and cabinet from Timothy one year. She spends all her spare time sewing. She is really getting fast. It doesn’t take her long to cut out a dress and sew it.

I’ll share the mozzarella cheese recipe this week. God bless you all!

MozarellaCheeseEdited

Mozzarella Cheese

2 gallons cold whole milk
3 teaspoons citric acid
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup cold water
1/3 rennet tablet
2 quarts water
1/2 cup salt

Put milk in a large container. Dissolve citric acid in 1/4 cup cold water, then add to cold milk. Mix well and keep stirring until heated to 90 to 95 degrees. Remove from heat; add 1/4 cup cold water and rennet tablet. Stir well then let set for 1/2 hour. Cut into squares with a long bladed knife. Let set 5 to 10 minutes. Heat to 110 degrees. Continue stirring to keep curds from sticking. Remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile heat 2 quarts of water with 1/2 cup salt to 175 degrees. Drain cheese in colander for 15 minutes. Cut or pull cheese apart into small cubes and put in a large bowl. Add hot salt water; use wooden spoon to stretch cheese in upward motion until soft and springy. Drain in colander. Knead a little bit as you would bread; put in container to cool. Bread pans work well. Very good!

 

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.

Whole family gets in on butchering this week

It’s another cold January day. The temperature is finally one degree above the zero mark. The sun is shining though, which gives everything a brighter look!

We are glad for all the sun we get in the winter months. The solar freezer we have depends on the sun to keep running. We are still glad we invested in it. We have not had to spend a penny on it since we bought it a few years ago.

Beefquarters
Workroom for beef butchering

Our freezers and canning jars are filling up fast with meat. We butchered a beef last week. I gave my husband Joe a meat grinder for his birthday in December. It has sure come in handy. The children gave Joe a hamburger patty and jerky maker for Christmas that attaches to the grinder. Joe made the jerky with it and now has made hundreds of hamburger patties with it. He is very happy for all of it. We put the patties in the freezer with freezer sheets between them. It is so handy to just pull them apart and put them right in the frying pan or on the grill.

We also canned a lot of beef chunks. I cooked the meat off the bones and want to make vegetable soup to can with the meat and broth.

friedbrains
Fried brains, a delicacy for some.

Joe and some of the children like to eat the cow brains. I have never tasted them! I fried the brains for them Sunday morning. Joe likes it with eggs and fried potatoes.

Our highlight of butchering is that we can make “rare beef.” We take very thin sliced pieces of the most tender steaks. Then we put salt and lots of black pepper on both sides of each piece and fry in very hot lard or oil. You only put it in for a few turns, then flip it over for a few more turns and it’s done. This is a favorite meat for us around beef butchering time. Everyone usually starts eating as I fry it, as it is best right out of the pan. I remember my mother standing by the Kerosene stove frying it one piece at a time. Now I know what she must have thought: it is a relief to be done when everyone has had their fill. It’s a greasy job and my propane stove keeps the oil lots hotter than when I had a Kerosene stove to make it on.

rarebeef
Rarebeef, a special treat

How blessed we feel to once again be able to put meat in the freezer and jars. Since we have two freezers, I can a lot less. It is so much easier to package it than to pressure can everything.

Saturday we have plans to butcher the four pigs we raised. They are really big already so they should give us a lot of pork.

Jacob, Emma and family and sisters Verena and Susan and all the special friends plan to come help us. Many hands do make lighter work. We appreciate all the help. I’ll write more about it in next week’s column.

Our school closed its doors two days last week due to extremely cold temperatures. Everyone is back to school and work this week, leaving all the work to daughter Verne and me again.

God’s blessings to all! This week I’ll share with you one of our favorite breakfast casseroles.

Sausage Gravy Breakfast Casserole

8 oz. bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 package Smoky links, chopped
1/3 cup ham, cubed
2 cups shredded potatoes
6-12 eggs (scrambled), quantity depending on how many you are serving
1/4 cup green peppers, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 cups Colby cheese, shredded
2 quarts sausage gravy

Mix everything together except gravy (see below). Spread in a greased 9 x 11 inch pan or larger. Spread gravy over everything. Bake at 350 degrees for 40- 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Sausage Gravy

1 pound bulk sausage
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
Salt and black pepper

In a cast-iron skillet, brown sausage over medium heat. Drain off grease. Sprinkle in flour and brown lightly. Gradually add milk and mix until very smooth. Bring gravy to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cook until the desired thickness is reached. If gravy becomes too thick, additional milk may be added. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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.

Frigid cold but warm family fellowship over haystacks, barbecued meatballs

School doors closed for the day. We are having frigid temperatures with a bitter cold wind. The wind chill is minus 30 this morning and the temperature minus 8. Brrrr! But we are enjoying winter scenery. The ground is covered with snow.

My husband Joe and daughters Elizabeth and Susan are back working at the RV factories after a two-week break. Their holiday vacation went way too fast. Joe has been at this factory ten years now.

Jacob, sister Emma and family, sisters Verena and Susan, and the girls’ special friends Timothy, Mose, Marvin, Menno, and Manuel were all here for a breakfast brunch on New Year’s Day. We added an eight-foot table and a card table to our ten-foot dining room table to make room for 24 people to sit down. We had a breakfast haystack.HaystackBreakfastEditedFor a breakfast haystack you put a variety of foods on top of each other such as: scrambled eggs, diced ham, diced Smokies, crumbled bacon, crumbled biscuits, hash brown potatoes, diced tomatoes, diced green peppers, diced onions, hot peppers, salsa, cheese sauce, and sausage gravy.

After the brunch we exchanged gifts. We had traded names earlier. It’s always exciting to see what all everyone gets and who had each other’s name. Jacob and Emma’s son Benjamin had my name. He gave me three Pyrex bowls, two memory foam pillows, and cookie cutters.

In the afternoon Mose’s parents and some of his family came by to pick up Mose and daughter Susan. They headed to Iowa to visit Mose’s sister Marilyn for a few days.

Friday evening daughter Verena left to travel the couple hours to Marvin’s place. They attended a family gathering on Saturday.

Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy left Friday evening to attend a dinner that Timothy’s employer was having for all his employees. The house seemed empty with the three oldest not at home.

Saturday afternoon Timothy came over to help Joe and the boys dress one of the beef cows we raised. They think the beef weighed around 1,400 pounds. How thankful we are that we will have hamburger and beef chunks again.

Joe also smoked some venison trail bologna in the smoker. We made quite a few pounds of venison jerky and some venison breakfast sausage. This was all from the deer that Timothy and Mose gave to us.

VenisonSausage VenisonJerky

On Tuesday, January 6, Joe and all the children were home in honor of Epiphany. Timothy and Mose came for dinner and we had a nice family day together.

This week we are working on cutting up the beef. I will write more about that next week.

God bless you all! Stay warm and healthy during this cold weather. Try this recipe for barbecued meatballs. Enjoy!

Barbecued Meatballs

3 pounds ground beef
1 and 3/4 cups milk
2 cups oatmeal
2 eggs
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder

Mix and shape into balls. Put in a pan, only one layer per pan. Put the sauce on top. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Sauce:

2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

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.

Ringing in the new year with a party for 24

This is the final day of 2014 as I write. A brand new year awaits us. May God be our guide as we travel into the unknown future.

Sister Emma, Jacob and family, and sisters Verena and Susan and all the girls’ special friends plan to be here for supper tonight. We will then play games such as Aggravation, Mancala, Connect Four, checkers, and various other games to keep 24 people entertained until midnight. The children enjoy staying awake to see the new year arrive. Joe and I would much rather get some extra sleep, but it’s fun to see the excitement. Everyone will sleep here and we will have brunch together tomorrow. We will set up beds and air mattresses in the basement for the boys and the rest will sleep upstairs or on the couches. The number of people has grown from last year. We add tables to our big dining room table, making enough room to set it up for 24. We will have a gift exchange too.

Saturday evening the youth in our church district went Christmas caroling to the older people in the church and neighborhood. Instead of having to deal with snow, it was rain. It wasn’t too bad until they were all back at our neighbor’s. The 30 youth all gathered here earlier in the month to exchange names and play games. How blessed we can be to have such a well-behaved group. Everyone brought snacks and we had hot dog sandwiches. Saturday evening they all took snacks to enjoy after caroling. The girls were happy with the gifts they received.

SnacksNewYearsEve

Timothy brought us a deer one evening. It was a big doe and had a lot of meat. Joe wants to make summer sausage and jerky with it. Yesterday Mose sent a 5-gallon bucket full of deer meat from a doe he shot yesterday morning. We are so thankful for the meat. We all love jerky so the children are hoping Joe gets some made before going back to work.

On Sunday our church had its annual Christmas potluck. There was so much food. Pasta casseroles, potato casseroles, ham and cheese sandwiches, a variety of salads, pies, cakes, bars, cookies, puddings, etc. There was more than enough food.

We still don’t have snow. We have a few flurries now and then. It’s so different than last year.

Yesterday morning the mercury on the thermometer dipped down to a cold 12 degrees for a while. Son Benjamin, 15, left for work around 5:30 a.m. Then around 6 a.m., Joe, son Joseph, 12, and I traveled the eight miles to town to get some groceries. The ride was nice and cozy with the heater going in the buggy. How spoiled we feel since we used to travel in an open buggy when we lived in Indiana. When we made the move to Michigan almost 11 years ago I needed time to adjust to driving in a covered buggy. Now I would have a hard time getting used to driving in an open buggy—especially in the rain and cold winter months.

I made cinnamon rolls and Long John rolls over the Christmas holiday. I’ll share the recipe for Long John rolls.

LongJohnsFried

Long John Rolls

1 cup lukewarm water
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
6 to 7 cups bread flour
Vegetable oil for frying

Frosting, optional

Pour the water into a small bowl, and then add the yeast and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside. Scald the milk and let cool to lukewarm. Add the milk to the dissolved yeast.

Blend together eggs, butter or margarine, sugar, salt, and nutmeg until well blended, and then add to the milk and yeast mixture. Gradually add flour until the dough is elastic and easy to handle. Knead until you form a round ball. Put in a bowl and cover with wax paper. Put it in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down and divide the dough into 2 large pieces. Roll out each piece to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 7-inch oblong pieces. Let rise again.

FryingLongJohns

Heat vegetable shortening in a deep pan to a depth of 2 to 3 inches until very hot. Fry the rolls in batches until golden, 2 minutes on each side. Frosting may be added if desired, once the rolls have cooled.

Long John rolls cannot be frozen or stored; they should be eaten the day they are made.

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.

October is Lovina’s 12-year column anniversary, with four preschoolers

Another week has already gone by, which makes it time to get this column written. The weeks just fly by. I write my columns in one-subject notebooks which have amounted to quite a few in the years of penning this column. This month 12 years ago is when I wrote my first column. I think that was the hardest column for me to write.

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Lovina keeps all of her handwritten columns in spiral notebooks.

Joseph, 12, was my baby at that time. Elizabeth, 20, was eight and in second grade. Susan, 18, was in kindergarten and six years old. Verena was four, Benjamin three, Loretta, two. I remember how hard it was to write the column and keep an eye on the four preschoolers.

Life still seems busy now but I guess just in different ways. The children get older and each has different plans for the weekend sometimes. Last Saturday, Joseph spent the night at a friend’s house in honor of his birthday.

Susan had Mose’s sister’s two little boys here for part of the day Saturday. Loren is four and Jayden, two. Susan gave them pony rides and kept them entertained. Of course Lovina, 10, and Kevin, 9, were glad to help keep them entertained.

Elizabeth’s puppy Izzy was the only one not happy to have them here. She is not used to little children and the boys played too rough for her, so she stayed close by one of the girls.

My husband Joe started the coal stove Saturday, so the house is cozy again. Our coal was delivered for the winter. Joe hooked a [metal] jacket up around the coal stove in the basement to help get more heat up here if we need it. It has a door on the jacket we can open on days we dry laundry in the basement, to keep more heat down there. Verena and I plan to clean the basement today as dust seems to accumulate and things get misplaced. So it’s high time for another cleaning.

Saturday we had a killing frost in most places so the gardens are history for 2014.

We have two more wedding invitations on our refrigerator. Rosanne and Solomon will exchange vows on Nov. 7 and their wedding will be in Decatur, Ind. Then on Nov. 20, Edwin and Rosa Mae will exchange their vows in Rochester, Ind. We hope to attend both weddings. Both grooms are Joe’s cousin Leander’s sons. Joe and Leander had lots of good times growing up together. We wish both couples God’s blessings on their marriage and many happy, healthy years together.

This week I will share an omelet recipe I made for our breakfast on Saturday. I hope you will all like it as much as we did.

OmeletRollCropped
Two yummy breakfast omelet rolls for the Eicher family.

Meat and Cheese Omelet Roll

4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 eggs
1 1/2 cups meat (chopped bacon, sausage, ham, smokies, etc.)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1/4 cup onions
1/4 cup green peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and milk. Whisk until smooth, then add flour and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs and then add cream cheese mixture. Cut wax or parchment paper to fit jelly roll pan. Pour into jelly roll pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until puffy and golden. While that is baking, chop meat, vegetables and shred the cheese. When omelet is done, remove from oven and spread with mustard, then layer meat, onions, pepper and cheese. Roll into jelly roll fashion, removing the paper from the omelet as you roll. Serve with salsa or cheese sauce.

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.