Category Archives: Casseroles

Verena’s vacation memorable, but she’s happy to be home with family

Dear Readers,

This is Verena, age 19. My mother asked me to write the column this week. Recently my life has been so busy with working Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the daycare. I also babysit for my friend’s three little boys whenever they need a sitter. I love children, so it makes me happy that my job includes taking care of many sweet little angels! With most of the children at the daycare being age five and under, it takes lots and lots of patience. The children are at such a tender, young, innocent age. I feel blessed to be able to care for them.

I recently took a trip to Rhode Island with a lady I work for at the daycare center. We traveled with a group. Our trip started on April 2. We left Michigan before daylight, traveling through Indiana, Ohio, and on into Pennsylvania. We stayed the first night in Pittsburgh. We had such beautiful scenery from our eleventh-floor hotel room. The hotel was twenty stories high.

Verena loved creating a special crayon wrapper for baby Abigail at the Crayola factory in Easton, Pa.

On Monday, we traveled to Easton, Pa., and toured the Crayola factory. We were able to play a few games and work with art. I was able to make two crayons of my own and could name the color on the crayon. I chose the names Abigail Elizabeth and Verena for my colors.

That evening we slept in New York City. The lights after dark are absolutely amazing. There is such a big difference between the lifestyles in a big city and the lifestyle I know as an Amish country girl!

On Tuesday, we left New York City around 6:00 a.m. and drove to Newport, R.I. By the time we reached Rhode Island we had traveled through nine states. We drove along the Atlantic Ocean and then crossed the bridge to Rhode Island. The scenery was such perfect artwork created by our wonderful God. The ocean is always amazing to see and makes us feel so small.

We stayed in Rhode Island two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday) in a nice hotel. We enjoyed swimming and relaxing in the hot tub. A few from our group took a three-mile walk along the ocean. I walked along the beach and saw seashells scattered about.

While in Rhode Island we went to the Audrain Auto Museum. It was quite something to see. We then drove to Shawnee on Delaware, in Pennsylvania. Shawnee on Delaware is an unincorporated community on the Delaware River, a part of Smithfield Township in Monroe County. We stayed in a cabin in the woods at the Shawnee Village Resort. It was a very nice place to stay.

Saturday, April 9, we started out and were going to stay the night in Ashland, Ohio, but decided to drive all the way home instead. I was so glad to reach home that night yet. I missed my family so much. It is nice to go on a vacation, but there is nothing like home and family. I was thankful that we had safe travels and a safe driver. I will forever remember this trip.

On Sunday I stayed home and rested all day while the rest of the family went to church. Later in the day our family—sister Elizabeth, Timothy and Abigail, Mose and Susan, Dustin, and aunts Verena and Susan—all went to Uncle Jacob and Aunt Emma’s for supper and an egg hunt. I was happy to see my little niece Abigail again. It was a great night with family. Like usual, we all enjoyed looking for the eggs. Supper was campfire stew, fresh grilled ham, cheese, crackers, cherry delight, Swiss roll bars, fruit dip, apples and grapes.

I’m getting excited for Saturday. I will be getting my Teacup Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Ricky. I have his bed and everything set up for him.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure. God bless!

I will share the recipe for skillet casserole. I made if for our supper tonight. I don’t add the carrots and I wait to add the cheese until the potatoes are soft. It’s a very good casserole!

Skillet Casserole

1 pound raw ground beef
5 medium potatoes, grated
1 onion, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
6 or more cheese slices

Spread the ground beef on the bottom of a large skillet. Place potatoes on top of meat and then add a layer of onions. Pour the soup over top, and add slices of cheese over the whole casserole. Cover skillet and simmer for 40 minutes. Optional: diced carrots can also be added as a layer on top of the potatoes.

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, available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

Heartfelt sympathy for family of 13-year-old relative after tragic death

The calendar tells us spring is here but the weather thinks differently. It has been cold so far this week. Son-in-law Mose is boiling maple syrup as fast as he can keep up in the evenings. Son Benjamin keeps the fire under the cooker going all day and adds more sap as it cooks down. The weather is perfect right now to get the sap running from the trees.

As soon as it warms up I have lots of windows that need to be cleaned. I really look forward to the warmer days ahead.

Our hearts are saddened since we received the shocking news yesterday of our cousins Samuel and Lydia’s granddaughter’s death. Samuel is Joe’s cousin and Lydia is my cousin. Their thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Lovina, was biking to school yesterday morning (March 22). She was hit by a passing truck that did not see her because of the blinding sunlight. Oh, I cannot grasp the feeling this family had when they heard the news. We also have a daughter Lovina just a few months younger than her and also in the sixth grade. I keep asking myself how I would have felt had it been my daughter. God doesn’t make mistakes and we pray that this family will find comfort in that; let God be their guide as they will have many lonely days of grief ahead.

Left to mourn her are father and mother Daniel and Lydia, three sisters, three brothers, grandparents and many more. She was the second child, oldest daughter out of the seven siblings. Visitation will take place tonight (Thursday) and Friday all day at the family residence. The funeral is Saturday at 9:30 a.m. They live in a community around thirty minutes from here by car. We have a hired driver to take us there. Our most heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family.

Yesterday daughter Elizabeth and baby Abigail came to spend the day here. It was a cold morning with the temperature around nineteen degrees. Abigail kept warm on the ride over and had a big smile when she woke up in Grandma’s house. Elizabeth helped me make sugar cookies and cinnamon rolls. It was a good day to bake with the cold temperature. I need to get some baby things around such as a high chair, walker, etc., that would be nice to have whenever Abigail comes.

After eleven years of small children, I didn’t need much of anything around so I gave my stuff away or sold it at a garage sale. Being grandparents is another change in life and so much fun. Abigail is always a day brightener when she comes.

I had a visit Monday morning from Ruth Coblentz (a relative). She has many lonely days since her husband Dave passed away last August. She brought me several cookbooks compiled by the Schwartz families. I am always glad for new recipes but this is special coming from family—Joe’s late grandmother Mae, on his dad’s side.

Daughter Susan tried a different casserole for supper one evening. It can be made for breakfast or any meal. I will share it with you readers this week. God bless you all!

Sausage Casserole

1 pound loose sausage
1 pound Tater Tots
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon mustard
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage until no longer pink; drain. Layer Tater Tots in a greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with onion powder. Top with cheddar cheese. Top with browned sausage mixed with mustard. Mix together eggs and milk; pour over all. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Top with the mozzarella cheese and heat until cheese is melted.

 

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, available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to 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.

Lovina shares turkey casserole recipe from her forthcoming cookbook

plasticcanvashobbydaughterlovina
Daughter Lovina is enjoying making projects out of plastic mesh and yarn.

Week after week goes by so fast! Christmas is only five weeks away from Sunday.

Yesterday our children didn’t have school due to fog. At first they had a two-hour delay, but cancelled after the fog didn’t lift. We have phones in an out building in this community. The school always leaves us a voice mail if school is delayed or cancelled. This makes it so much easier than it was years ago if there was a delay. When we lived in Indiana we didn’t have a phone on the property. If there was a delay the girls would still get ready and just wait to see if the bus would come. It was always easy for them to entertain themselves but it would have been nice if they could have slept later on those mornings. We could use our neighbor’s phone if they were home but I didn’t want to leave the children alone to go call the school. Days like that always seemed short for me.

Now it is 8:00 a.m. and daughter Elizabeth and granddaughter Abigail just arrived by buggy. Izzy also came along so she stays out of Crystal’s way. Crystal doesn’t let Izzy near her new puppies (see last week’s column). Izzy is nosy and tries to go as close as possible until Crystal chases her to the other end of the house.

Daughter Susan is leaving soon to go to work until 2:00 p.m. She was glad she could hold Abigail a little before she leaves. She will take the buggy and our horse Mighty today. The campgrounds are around five miles from here. She does hire a driver to take her some days but then it gives her less income if she has to pay a driver. This job doesn’t pay nearly as well as the factory did, but then she isn’t as rushed at work either.

Son Joseph, 14, went with son-in-law Mose deer hunting yesterday. His day off of school was enjoyable. They saw an eight-point buck come their way. Then something scared the buck off. Joseph was really hoping to get a shot at it. Maybe next time!

Abigail’s smile just gets sweeter! She is full of smiles today. Elizabeth had her to the doctor last week for her two-month checkup. She weighed 12 pounds 3 ounces and is 23 3/4 inches long.

essentialamishcookbookI am excited about my new cookbook coming out next April. It is called The Essential Amish Cookbook: Everyday Recipes from Farm and Pantry. The publisher, Herald Press, comes up with the title. But my family spent a lot of time helping with this cookbook. This is the first cookbook I published without working with a co-author. I have had lots of great help from family and friends. The recipes were all tested since I often cook without measuring ingredients. This will make it easier for those of you that don’t cook often and need exact measurements.

I’ll share one of the recipes that will be in the book. This recipe will come in handy with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner. It is supposed to be made the day before but if you make it in the morning it will work well also.

We have a nice fall day with the temperature at fifty degrees and sunshine. Looks like the girls will wash laundry today. God bless!

Turkey Casserole (Overnight)

 2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 slices of bread
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine turkey, celery, green pepper, onion, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Cube the bread and place half in a large greased casserole dish or 9×13 inch baking pan. Pour turkey mixture over the top and add remaining bread cubes.

In a bowl, mix milk, eggs, and cream of mushroom soup and pour over top of casserole.

Let stand in refrigerator overnight. Top with cheese and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour.

 

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.

 

 

Surprise puppies pop up for Elizabeth’s family

Thanksgiving Day is only two weeks away*. Unbelievable! Time goes so fast. And today baby Abigail is two months old.

I went to the doctor to have the rest of my staples removed. I still have the blood clot in my leg so I need to be careful with that. I’m trying to take one day at a time and be patieapplesforapplesaucent as I heal.

applesaucemaking2016The girls and I canned applesauce this week. We did one bushel for Susan and Mose and two bushels for us. I need to be careful when work like that has to be done. The girls don’t let me do too much and are all very good at keeping an eye on me so that I don’t do too much.

Susan didn’t like the long hours she was working at the RV factory so she quit her job there. She now works in the kitchen of a campground facility. They serve meals to groups of people. So far she enjoys it and works three to four days a week. I am so glad for her help here at home as well.

The chimney is up in the pole building and Mose and Susan are enjoying the nice even heat from their coal stove there. We were glad for the warmer days until they had heat in there. This morning’s temperature was in the thirty’s so heat in the house felt good.

Daughter Verena sprained her arm and the doctor wants her to keep it in a sling part time so she doesn’t overuse it. She reached into the Maytag washing machine to see if more clothes were in there. The agitator of the washing machine somehow pushed her elbow against the machine. It was very painful at first but an x-ray at the hospital showed no fractures—only badly sprained. We were so thankful to hear that nothing was broken.

Different families from our church district are still bringing in our supper three times a week. I just can’t be thankful enough for their kindness. This has been so much help to the girls as well.

Also, thanks to all that have sent cards, etc. I feel more than blessed!

Timothy and Elizabeth’s Yorkie dog Crystal gave birth this week to five little puppies. We are glad that all is okay with Crystal and the puppies. The puppies were unplanned. Our rat terrier dog Rover is the father to the puppies. We now know to be more careful when someone lets Crystal outside to go to the bathroom. The puppies are very cute and Crystal is being a good mother but it wasn’t on Timothy and Elizabeth’s agenda to take care of puppies yet. Such is life—always full of surprises!

It looks like a nice, sunny day to wash laundry. Days like this will be few before the snow starts flying.

Our new chickens are finally starting to lay eggs. We were getting short in eggs so I’m glad the hens started. After they are laying good enough we will butcher the old hens. I am low in chicken broth since Susan’s wedding. It takes quite a bit of broth to make chicken, noodles and dressing for a wedding crowd!

Try this easy dish. Although it takes more baking time, it is nice to just put it all in the oven to bake. God’s blessings!

Seven-Layer Supper

1/2 pound uncooked bacon, chopped into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic salt, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoning salt, to taste
1 to 1 1/2 cups water

Place ingredients in order listed in greased 9×13-inch pan, pouring water over all until nearly covered. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

 

*A reminder that Lovina writes her columns for newspapers about a week before you see them here. Newspapers run them first. 

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.

 

How Lovina’s new mattress made the children late to school

Mornings are very cool lately here in southern Michigan. Another sure sign that autumn is here.

Our house seems extra empty this week. Daughter Verena, 18, is helping daughter Elizabeth with house work and the baby this week. Son Benjamin, 17, left Sunday afternoon with some friends for Pennsylvania. We miss them and look forward to having everyone home again for the weekend.

Baptismal services were held at our neighbors for a young girl in our church. This was held on Saturday instead of Sunday in order to make it possible for some friends to attend the service.

Monday we did laundry here and then went over to Elizabeth and Timothy’s house to do their laundry. It was a sunny, breezy day after the early morning rain was over. And of course, we had to take time to hold sweet little Abigail! She is such a precious baby to all of us! She smiles a lot! Her eyes seem to be turning blue.

Verena stayed there and daughter Loretta and I came back home which was already after suppertime. Son-in-law Mose had made supper for everyone on the grill. Brats and hot dog sandwiches were on the menu. I was so glad I didn’t have to get supper after doing all that laundry. I told my husband Joe that after that long day I actually felt like a Grandma! Ha, ha!

Friday evening Joe bought a new Serta mattress for our bed. We were certainly needing a new one. Well, between the mattress and a long day Monday, I was extra tired Tuesday morning. I woke up at 3:00 a.m., prepared Joe’s lunch, and when he left at 3:40, I went back to bed and set my alarm for 5:40 a.m. When I woke up the sun was shining and I looked at my alarm and it was 7:45 a.m. already. The school children were still in bed and the bus had stopped by around 7:00 a.m.

Joseph, 14, quickly milked our cow Bessie and did the other chores while daughter Lovina, 12, and son Kevin, 11, helped pack lunches and made each of them a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. I called our friend Beth and asked if she would give the children a ride to school which she did. They arrived at school a half hour late. What a way to start the day! Joseph and Kevin were awake lying in bed but said they thought there might have been a fog delay and I left them sleep in. They had fun teasing me that they were tardy because I slept in.

Tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. we head for Berne, Indiana, to attend the wedding at brother Amos and Nancy’s for their daughter Arlene, marrying Robert.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Timothy’s cousin Paul’s wife, Mary. She was a passenger in a minivan which was rear-ended while they were waiting for a semi-truck in front of them to turn. She has multiple injuries and a long recovery ahead. Life has changed for their family. May God be with them as they go through this difficult trial in life. We wish her a complete and speedy recovery. The driver of the minivan Mary was riding in was killed instantly and our sympathy goes to his family. The funeral will be held at the local funeral home tomorrow. He was well known in the community and worked as a driver for Paul and Mary’s sawmill for years. We never know what our future holds.

I will share this recipe. It is a well-liked meal around here. God bless!

Italian Sausage and Potatoesitaliansausagepeppersbread

6 potatoes, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2 large green peppers, sliced
2 pounds Italian sausage (sweet, mild, or hot; prefer Johnsonville        Brand, 5 links in each package cut in thirds)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt, pepper, oregano to taste

Mix sliced potatoes, onion, green pepper, salt, pepper, and oregano with olive oil. Bake in 9×13 pan covered (I use size larger) for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and drain. Cut sausage in pieces and add to potato mixture. Continue cooking for one hour or until sausage is done. Some broil this to finish cooking, uncovered, until sausage is browned.

 

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.

 

Yes, Amish men help with laundry, and other post-baby tales!

Today (Sept. 22) autumn officially begins! My garden is definitely showing all signs of it. We have been enjoying cabbage out of the garden. Son Joseph brought a head of cabbage in one night and out of curiosity I weighed it. It looked so big—and it was! It weighed ten pounds after the outer leaves were off.

Monday our school doors were closed due to the opening of the county fair. So our day at home was filled with doing laundry. We wanted to help daughter Elizabeth get her clothes washed as well as do ours. A few of the children and I went to Timothy and Elizabeth’s to wash their clothes. Son-in-law Mose wasn’t working that day so he and Joseph did our laundry. They did a very good job, but I really wish I could have been home to see them hang up all the clothes on the lines. We had a huge laundry and they did a great job!

Daughter Verena, 18, is still staying at Timothy and Elizabeth’s house helping out with house hold chores. Elizabeth has a well-organized house—a place for everything and everything in its place. That makes it so much easier for the one taking over. Elizabeth was the oldest of eight children so she had lots of experience in babysitting and helping out with her siblings.

Yesterday Elizabeth had another doctor appointment. The doctor said she is doing great. What a relief to hear! All is well that ends well!

After her appointment we talked Elizabeth into coming to our house for the rest of the day. We had so much fun having her here with Abigail. Needless to say the work we had planned was put aside and we just enjoyed Abigail! She is 12 days old and such a precious part of our family.

BabyAbigailToesEdited
Lovina’s family’s life has been revolving around this little one’s toes.

Son Benjamin, 17, came home early from work and we were surprised that he even stopped to pick up Abigail and hold her. She is so alert and acts so much older than 12 days. I could tell she won Benjamin’s heart. Son Kevin, 11, didn’t want to hold her at first but Elizabeth told him he should just hold her a little bit. Now yesterday he came home from school and asked to hold her. So lately our world has been revolving around Abigail. Need I mention that I feel so blessed to be her Grandma!

And now there is more sewing waiting to be done. Daughter Verena is table waiter at niece Arlene and Robert’s wedding next week. She has to wear the color hunter green. I was asked to help cook and also need to wear hunter green. I was happy to have that color already and no sewing for me.

Loretta and her friend Dustin have part in his cousin’s wedding on October 6 so we have that material here and needs to be sewn.

Next Friday Joe and I were also invited to my friend Ruth’s daughter, Jori’s wedding. We regret that we won’t be able to attend this wedding. Niece Arlene’s wedding is the day before and both weddings are a two-hour drive one way. With Joe working so much overtime it would be hard for him to take off more work days. May God bless both couples as they unite in holy matrimony!

A note to readers who have written letters to me in the past months: I am trying my best to answer as time allows. Sorry for the delay!

Cabbage Casserole
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup melted butter
4 cups raw chopped cabbage
1 onion, diced
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated cheese

Mix corn flakes with melted butter. Spread half in a greased 8×12 casserole dish. Layer cabbage and onion on top of corn flakes. Combine soup, milk, and mayonnaise and pour over all. Top with remaining corn flakes and cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 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.

 

Neighborliness and community: paying back past kindnesses

FrontPorch
Lovina enjoys writing from her front porch.

As I write this, we mark the last day of August. I’m just amazed at how time seems to fly by faster each year. Do we take enough time in our busy lives for God? Our children also need us in their lives so much. Let us pray for them daily so that they will let God be their guide. Life doesn’t get easier and his guiding hand helps so much.

Son, Kevin (our youngest) will have his eleventh birthday on Friday, September 2. It is unbelievable but true that he is that old and starting middle school (fifth grade) on Tuesday. Son Joseph will be in eighth grade, the final year of his school years. Daughter Lovina will be in sixth grade.

Friday we are invited to Mose’s brother Joe’s wedding. Joe and Mary will have their wedding at Mose’s parents’ house. Mary’s parents live in Wisconsin and she has made Michigan her home for several years. Joe lives about one-and-a-half hours north of our community. They will live at Joe’s house after their marriage.

I was asked to be cook at their wedding. I have to wear a sage dress, cape, and apron to the wedding. I was in luck as this was the same color the mothers wore at Mose and Susan’s wedding.

Mose and Susan are table waiters. Susan has to wear another shade of green. She finally cut out her dress, cape and apron last night. It looks like I will get the job of sewing it. With her working every day she doesn’t get much extra time. Last Saturday, Susan and Mose went to help set tables for the wedding. Tomorrow (Thursday) I will go help get ready for the wedding. Not sure what jobs they will have for me but most likely bake pies, bread, etc. Lots of vegetables have to also be cut up. I will take a casserole to help out with lunch.

Saturday a new family from Iowa is moving into our church district. They will make their home a few miles from here. Since they don’t have much family in the community, some members from our church will go help them unload and get settled in their new home. From what we heard they have three small children. We wish them God’s blessing on their move.

It brings back memories of twelve-and-a-half years ago when we were making such a move. It’s a big change to move from the community where you were born and raised. We enjoy our new home and community which made it easier to adjust to changes. The good deeds that were done to help make our move easier will always be remembered. Now I hope we can go help lighten the load for someone else.

We canned another bushel of peaches yesterday. Now we should be done canning until applesauce and grapes are ready to be canned.

I came across this recipe for “Turkey Cabbage Bake” and since we have so much cabbage I like to try different recipes with cabbage. Our children don’t eat cabbage so well. I always think that I might find a way that they will like it better. The meat doesn’t have to be turkey. It can be replaced with chicken or hamburger, etc. The crescent rolls could be replaced with regular pie dough.

Turkey Cabbage Bake

2 8-ounce tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 can (10 3/4 ounce) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 6–8 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook turkey, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add cabbage, soup and thyme. Pour over crust; sprinkle with cheese. On a lightly floured surface press second tube of crescent dough into a 13×9 rectangle, sealing seams and perforations. Place over the casserole. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 14–16 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6 servings

 

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.