Category Archives: Desserts

On Lovina’s birthday, another summer wedding gets “published”!

It is 6:42 a.m. and our three youngest just left with the bus for another day at school. They are counting the days left of this term. Eight and one-half days left! I still have a hard time getting used to the bus coming this early. All the years our children went to school the bus was never here until 7:00 a.m. or a little after. Changes are hard to get used to in our lives!

Talking about changes in life. Our family will have another change and I’ll probably have the hardest time with it. On the other hand, I’m excited and happy for daughter Susan, 20, and her special friend, Mose. They were published in church this past Sunday to announce their wedding date. They picked Friday, August 5, for their special day. Mose and Susan have been dating for four years and we have no doubt in our minds that he will be a good husband to our daughter. He seems like my own son and I hope that never changes. It is so much easier on a couple if both families accept the life partner of their family member. May God bless their marriage and grant them many happy, healthy years together!

With the wedding coming up I see busy months ahead! We will be more organized than with Elizabeth and Timothy’s wedding. We were in the process of putting up a pole barn last year which delayed all the other work.

Susan’s dress for the wedding is mostly finished. The rest of ours are cut out but still waiting to be sewn. That is what I plan to do the next few days.

I feel better to sew now since our whole garden was planted Saturday. We are enjoying radishes and green onions from the early things we planted. Mose and his brother Freeman assisted us with our work on Saturday. The pole barn was organized and cleaned up. When it gets closer to the wedding we want to wash down the walls and ceilings on both sides of the pole barn. We will set tables in both sides and open the garage door that’s in the middle. Mose and daughters Susan and Verena planted flowers in my flower beds. We put out 68 tomato plants. With everyone’s help the garden was quickly filled. Now it’s up to our good Lord to provide sunshine and rain to make things grow. Some years we have a bountiful crop and others not much but we want to take what “He” sends.

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On Sunday, May 22, I also turned another year older. We had communion services at sister Emma and Jacob’s house. After the services were over everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me and sister Emma brought out a cake with candles. Luckily she only had a four and five for candles. I don’t know if I could have handled blowing out 45 candles. Emma sent the cake home with me. We had it for supper with our children. The children went after pizza in town and they grilled hot wings so I wouldn’t have to cook on my birthday. We had a nice evening together!

On Thursday we traveled to Berne, Ind., to brother Amos and Nancy’s house for the wedding of their daughter Lovina and Benjamin. They had a very nice day! On the menu were fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, mixed vegetables, lettuce salad, sliced cheese, homemade bread, butter and rhubarb jam. Also pies (rhubarb, blueberry, cherry, and pecan), tapioca pudding, angel food cake, fruit cocktail dessert, and of course “nothings” were on all the tables. Sausage was added in the evening. It was nice to see a lot of family again.

On a sadder note; Friday, May 20, brought memories of the passing of my dear father, Ben Coblentz, 16 years ago. How nice it would be to have my parents at all their grandchildren’s weddings. God’s ways are not our ways so we need to accept what He sends to us.

I must get busy. I love sewing but it’s different if you have a deadline to get things done. It kind of takes away the enjoyment, but we will take one day at a time. God’s blessings!

Fruit Cocktail Dessert

1 15-ounce can fruit cocktail
1 3-ounce package apricot Jell-O
1 3-ounce package vanilla pudding (not instant)

Drain juice from fruit cocktail; add water to the juice to make 3 cups of liquid. Put in a saucepan. Add pudding and bring to a boil. Add Jell-O and cool; add fruit cocktail.

 

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.

 

Amish noodle making, morel mushrooms, and fresh fish!

We are having a lot of rainy days this past week. The garden hasn’t dried up enough for us to get in it, so we still haven’t been able to plant more vegetables. I am really eager to get more garden planted and by next week it will be time to put out tomato and green pepper plants, etc. I like to wait until the middle of May to put these plants in the garden in case it gets too cold—frost can hurt the tender leaves and plants.

Joe and the children are all hoping for the rain to quit for tonight. They have plans to go fishing with the boat on a nearby lake. Son-in-law Timothy is planning to bring his boat so some can ride with him. I will stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet. Daughter Elizabeth might stay here with me and we’ll enjoy visiting. I want to make supper early before they go. Fish and French fries will be on the menu. Friday evening my husband Joe, son Joseph, and Timothy took the boat out on the lake. They came back with over fifty fish; mostly bluegills. When I prepare the fish I dip them in a batter and deep fry them. Some like to eat them as a sandwich with bread and mayonnaise.MorelMushrooms

This week we also had fresh mushrooms and I also dip and fry those. At the local consignment auction on Saturday they sold some mushrooms that a local Amish lady found. It was to help benefit nephew Emanul and Mary Kay with their hospital bills. Joe bid for the mushrooms as he loves fresh morel mushrooms (that grow in wooded areas but are hard to find) and he also was able to do a good deed this way. Needless to say, the mushrooms did not last long.

At the auction we bought a three-year-old horse. So far we are really happy with him. He has one thing he doesn’t like and that is water puddles along the road. He doesn’t do more than shy away from the water, but for three years old, I think he is doing really well. We had the whole family choosing names and settled on Rex. Rex is very well behaved and friendly with the other horses out in the pasture.

NoodlesBeforeCuttingDrying2016 NoodlesDrying2_2016Yesterday, sisters Verena and Susan, daughters Elizabeth, Verena and Loretta, and I assisted sister Emma with her work preparing for church at her house. We washed laundry and made six batches of noodles with around twelve and one-half dozen eggs (that’s 150 eggs!). Emma needs the noodles for Sunday lunch. We will have Rule Church and it usually lasts until 2:00 p.m. A lunch will be served and a few dozen people will go to eat at one time so the services continue on. On the menu will be chicken noodle soup. I took my noodle maker (to cut the noodles) along and we also used Emma’s. It made the project go faster. Emma now has five six- and eight-foot tables of noodles drying. After they are dried for a week, they can be stored in air tight containers. I am sure it will take quite a few pounds on Sunday.

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Tomorrow is Ascension Day [May 5] and the Amish in our community honor this day with fasting and praying until lunch time. Jacob and Emma and family, sisters Verena and Susan, Timothy and Elizabeth, and the girl’s friends will all come for lunch. Joe plans to grill venison steaks on the charcoal grill. He likes to use the charcoal grill and leaves the gas grill for me. He says the flavor of the meat is better and I think so too, but I go for what is easier. I will prepare the rest of the meal in the house. Everyone is bringing a dish so it will be simple.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you readers who are mothers! A mother thinks about her children day and night. Even when they are not with her. We love them in a way they will never understand until they become a mother.

I will share the recipe for M&M chocolate chip bars daughter Verena made. If you need a lot of bars these will be good to make and very easy.

God bless!

MandMandChipBars

M&M Chocolate Chip Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon water
5 eggs
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s

Cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla, water, and eggs. Beat well. Stir together flour, soda, and salt. Add to batter and mix well. Stir in chips and M&M’s. (Variation: just use all chocolate chips.) Put on 1 or 2 large cookie sheets (with edges) and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 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.

 

Plant garden, clean and work on cookbook: all in a spring day’s work for Lovina

We are having really nice weather this week. The garden dried up and we were able to plant some onions, lettuce and radishes. I need to go get some sweet onions and peas to plant this week. Spring is such a lovely time of the year! Dandelion blossoms are popping up, making the greens too bitter to eat anymore.

My husband, Joe, got the mowers oiled and ready to use. Verena, 18, and Joseph, 13, were mowing the grass for the first time this spring. Hopefully they will get the rest done today.

Joe opened the gates to the pasture field for the horses, ponies and the cow, Bessie. They are enjoying the lush green grass after a winter of eating hay. Our hay field is looking promising for a nice crop of hay.

Yesterday daughters Verena and Loretta and I went to help sister Emma prepare for church services. They will host church services on May 8 and May 22. Emma and her family added three bedrooms upstairs, so there is more to clean. They aren’t done remodeling yet, but we cleaned where we could. They want to hang drywall yet and put in new cabinets. Jacob plans to build their own cabinets. So it all takes time. Since they were behind in hosting church services, they will take it twice this time. Daughter Elizabeth and sisters Verena and Susan were also there for the day. We got a lot accomplished and even got a lot of visiting done.

We all left for home around 4:00 p.m. Our children attended a meeting and pizza supper with the youth at the community building. It is under new ownership, and the new owners wanted the youths’ opinions on what they could do for improvements. I am so thankful that the owners are being so thoughtful. Hopefully, the youth group will all respect the new rules and have a nice place to gather on Saturday evenings. It can’t be an easy job to be responsible for the upkeep of a big building like this.

The youth play volleyball, basketball and other games there. It will be so much nicer if some things would be added for the youth who are handicapped. I’m sure they would love to be able to play ball with the rest, but they can’t. Having games there that they can play will be so much more enjoyable for them than sitting and watching. As parents of handicapped children, we are more aware of this. My heart goes out to all children and adults with disabilities. May God bless people who care for and are thoughtful to others with disabilities. You will be greatly rewarded someday for it!

We received a wedding invitation this week for niece Lovina Coblentz and Benjamin Schwartz. They will join hands in holy matrimony on May 19, 2016. Lovina is brother Amos and Nancy’s daughter, and the sixth of their children to be married. Lovina was named after me. I still remember how special I felt when I heard the news almost twenty years ago. Amos and Nancy’s son Ben married a girl named Lovina last spring, and so she changed her name to Lovina Coblentz. So they will still have a Lovina Coblentz in the family. They will now also have two “Ben and Lovinas” in their family. What a coincidence! I was asked to be cook at the wedding and wear a smoke blue dress. It looks like I better get started sewing.
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I am excited about the announcement of my new cookbook coming out next year. It has taken hours of time and effort to get this done. What a pleasure working for the editors at Herald Press. They have been understanding through all our busy times. I’ll share this recipe, which will be in the cookbook. It was my mom’s recipe, and it is a family favorite. God bless everyone!

Apple Crisp

9 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar (more or less, depending on variety of apples)
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup butter (12 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
pinch of cinnamon

In a large bowl, toss apples with sugar and cinnamon. Pour into 9×13-inch baking dish. Combine crumb topping ingredients in a bowl with a pastry cutter or two forks. Mix until coarse and spread over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until apples are tender.

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.

Guess who’d rather plant garden barefooted?

As I write this, we are almost through March. April 1 is already Friday. Next week our three children will be home from school for spring break. Parent/teacher conferences will be held on Thursday. After spring break there are only nine more weeks of school left. It is hard to believe how fast this term is going.

My husband Joe planted quite a few Red Pontiac seed potatoes on Saturday. We have been wanting to also get some peas and radishes planted. We are hearing that we will have another cold week coming with temperatures below freezing. I hope it will miss us but we can’t control the weather and need to accept what God sends.

Joe is always eager to start planting garden. It’s a good thing that he is because I like to put it off as long as possible. I like planting garden when it’s warm and I can go out barefooted to plant.

Daughter Susan has started training her pony, “Tough Boy,” now. He is already two years old. She is line driving him and teaching him the commands. He is almost ready to hitch to the pony cart. Susan works at the RV factory then spends her evenings working with Tough Boy.

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On Good Friday we had a nice relaxing family day. We set the table for all the family. The men and boys grilled the chicken while the girls and I prepared the rest of the menu.

Our meal consisted of mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, barbequed chicken, corn, taco salad, Easter eggs, dill pickles, hot peppers, celery and carrot sticks, sliced Colby and Swiss cheese, homemade bread, butter and strawberry jam. Also Swiss roll bars (that daughter Elizabeth brought), cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream.

It is always such a good feeling to sit down at the table when the whole family is present. Not everyone can do this and my heart goes out to broken families and also to families that have had loved ones that passed on before. God has given us so many blessings and so much to be thankful for. Do we thank God enough for all he provides for us?

Our five daughters fixed a tray of food to take over to our 88-year-old neighbor Irene. They walked it over to her house before we started eating. We also made mashed potatoes for our neighbor Joe’s little daughter Jaylyn. She had her tonsils removed and is only allowed soft foods. She loves mashed potatoes and we had more than enough for us. It is nice to have good neighbors.

Our afternoon was spent playing games. Joe has a croquet set that eight people can play but outside the wind was chilly so it was decided to play games indoors.

Daughter Susan is still only working four days at the factory so she will be home on Friday. Daughter Elizabeth has plans to come home on Friday. It’s always enjoyable to work with the girls.

Son-in-law Timothy is allowed to start putting weight on his foot. He is slowly getting around but still relies on his crutches at times.

This week I’ll share the recipe for Ho Ho Cake, which is kind of like a giant Hostess Ho Ho if you’re familiar with those. Several readers have requested it.

God’s blessings to all!

Ho Ho Cake

Bake one chocolate cake in a 9×13 inch pan. Let cool.

Topping 1:
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oleo
1 cup shortening

Mix flour and milk in saucepan and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Cream together sugar, oleo, and shortening. Add flour mixture, beat well and put on cake.

Topping 2:

1/2 cup oleo
1 egg
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt oleo and cocoa together. Cool. Beat egg, vanilla, and water; add powdered sugar, blending well. Stir with oleo/cocoa mixture. Pour this topping over first topping on cake and refrigerate.

 

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.

 

When husband Joe surprised two little boys Easter morning

DaffodilsFriday is Good Friday and we look forward to Easter on Sunday. Good Friday we traditionally keep as a holiday, so no one in our family will go to work or school. The Amish churches in this community have “Fast” (no eating) and prayer until noon. Our family will all be here and have family time. Then we’ll gather here for the noon meal.

On Easter Sunday we will go to church. Easter is the time to rejoice and be thankful for the gift of life Jesus gave for someone like you and me.

Photo040418491The younger children still enjoy coloring eggs for Easter. As I was growing up we always colored eggs. The bright colored eggs always remind me of the colors of the rainbow. Our parents taught us the true meaning of Easter. May we all remember the true meaning of Easter.

Son Benjamin always gathered the eggs when he was a little boy around four and five. One Easter morning Jacob and Emma and family were here. My husband Joe knew Benjamin and Jacob would go gather the eggs from the hen house as soon as they were awake. Joe took all the eggs out and replaced them with colored eggs. I still remember the excitement those two little boys had when they discovered the colored eggs.

Dandelion greens are getting bigger every day. We had our first meal of dandelion salad this week, and I shared that recipe last week. This is a good way to use up the extra colored eggs since it takes hard-cooked eggs. I keep watching for the asparagus to pop through. The rhubarbs are looking good.

I love spring and all the signs of it. I know it brings more work but it is so nice to go out on a nice warm and sunny day and feel the gentle breeze blowing. I enjoy hanging the clothes outside again. What a wonderful creator God is!

Last Friday (the week before Good Friday), sister Verena had a Tupperware party in the forenoon. She and sister Susan made lunch for all who attended. They served hash brown casserole, potato salad, jello cake, golden M&M bars, apple and strawberry slices with fruit dip, punch, and coffee. After everyone else left, sister Emma and my daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Verena, and Loretta stayed and spent the afternoon with sisters Verena and Susan. Daughter Elizabeth came here in the morning and went with us to the party. Susan biked and Elizabeth, Verena, Loretta and I took Stormy our pony and the pony buggy. The ride was a little chilly but we didn’t have far to go. Stormy was eager to run and was a little rowdy. He doesn’t get out too much in the winter months.

Saturday evening Timothy and Elizabeth came for the evening and stayed here all night. Daughter Verena left them sleep in her bedroom, which was Elizabeth’s room before she was married. It seemed really good to have them here for the night. Mose (Susan’s friend) went home with Timothy to do their chores Sunday morning while the girls and I made breakfast.

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Tim and Elizabeth have a new colt, born to their horse, Shi Ann.

On our menu were eggs, potatoes, bacon, cheese, toast, strawberry jam, butter, and hot peppers, with chocolate milk, orange juice and coffee for drinks.

Timothy and Elizabeth stayed all day. We played games in the afternoon and enjoyed each other’s company.

I’ll share the recipe for golden M&M bars. We like them!

God bless and I hope you all have a blessed Good Friday and Easter.

Golden M&M Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla chips
1 3/4 cups M&M’s, divided

Cream together sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into butter mixture. Fold in chips and M&M’s, reserving 3/4 cup M&M’s. Spread in 9 x 12 greased pan. Sprinkle reserved M&Ms on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 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.

 

Cookies, memories, and a long-lost rolling pin that wended its way back home

P1080484This will be my final column for 2015. After that, we enter into a brand new year. What does it have in store for us? The future is unknown, but if we trust in God to lead our way, it seems so much more encouraging.

Our life brought changes in 2015, with the first of our children, Elizabeth, getting married and leaving home. It was hard to see our firstborn move out and start a life of her own. What made it easier was that we know she is happily married.

Yesterday Elizabeth came home for the day to help since she and Susan are off from the factory for two weeks. The girls made Christmas cut-out cookies. I know Christmas is now past, but we will have our annual gathering with my sisters who live in the area on New Year’s Day. The cookies were made for that day, and there is enough to snack on before.

While the girls were making the cookies, I had to think of all the years that we made these cookies when they were young. I remember how they would pull up chairs to help cut out all the cookies with my Christmas cookie cutters. They liked to squeeze the dough, and it took forever to get the cookies done!

This week get Lovina's recipe for sour cream cut-out cookies.
This week get Lovina’s recipe for sour cream cut-out cookies.

Lovina, 11, used my recipe for frosting and made it for the first time. To write one of my cookbooks, I had to measure out my ingredients for my frosting recipe. Mom had just taught us to use “a little of this” and “a little of that” and to keep adding until we had what amount we needed. But it now comes in handy to have a recipe. Loretta divided the frosting into three bowls and added green food coloring to one and red food coloring to another to make different colors. They made snowmen, Christmas trees, bells and stars.

As they used the rolling pin to roll out the dough, it brought back lots of memories of my mother. This rolling pin was hers. A friend had made it for my mother; it was all one piece of wood, with the handles carved out, and it was bigger than most rolling pins. When my parents’ belongings were sold through a public auction, I tried hard to get that rolling pin. It went for too high a price, however, and I thought I would never see it again.

This week Lovina tells the story of her mother's rolling pin, pictured here.
This week Lovina tells the story of her mother’s rolling pin, pictured here.

A few years went by. Then one day I received a call from my editor saying that a reader had bought Mom’s rolling pin at the auction that day and no longer needed it. The reader wondered if I would want it. Oh, I was so excited to have it back in my hands! I can’t recall the name of the reader, but if by chance you read this column, I want to thank you again!

Not one time do I not think of my mother when I use this rolling pin. I still thank her for all she taught me. Most of all, I thank her for teaching me about God and to always turn to him when we need help. Rest in peace, Mother—you lived your life to the fullest and have left a legacy to us. No one else could have done any better.

I will share the recipe we use for Christmas cut-out cookies. We love this recipe!

God bless all you readers in 2016 and always!

Sour Cream Cut-Out Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter,  softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk

Food coloring (optional)
Colored sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Chocolate chips, for decorating (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until a soft firm dough is formed. Sometimes more flour needs to be added so the dough rolls out better. Roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a floured surface. Use your favorite shaped cookie cutters to cut out the dough. Place the shapes on the prepared pan.

Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 18 cookies, depending on shapes.

To make the frosting: Cream the shortening with the vanilla and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk and the rest of the powdered sugar, beating constantly. More powdered sugar can be added for desired thickness. Food coloring can also be added. Spread the frosting on the cookies and decorate with colored sprinkles or chocolate chips. Let the frosting set before storing.

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.

Year winds down with farewell to a favorite cousin

One day after another goes by, bringing 2015 closer to history. We do not have snow. We had seven inches of snow several weeks ago, and last week a few flurries that stuck to the ground for a few hours. Our children are hoping it snows for Christmas. Snow does bring in the holiday spirit more, but we cannot forget the real reason for the season—Jesus our Savior was born!

Our church will have our annual potluck Christmas dinner on December 20—our next church service. I will take a casserole, although I’m not sure what kind yet.

Tomorrow is daughter Verena’s 18th birthday! I just try to grasp the fact that 18 years have passed since she was born to us. What a precious young lady she has become. I still remember well the day she was born. She was a petite, dark-haired baby. Always little but mighty! At six months old, she was crawling all over the house. She is still petite. With Kevin, 10, growing taller and taller, it won’t be long before he will pass Verena in height. My wish for Verena is to have a very happy birthday and God’s guidance through her teenage years and always. Verena will never leave or go to bed without giving me a hug and a kiss. What a joy to be her mother!

Along with joy, life also brings us sorrow. Our hearts are still in shock from hearing the news of cousin Larry Coblentz’s death. It is with regret that we were unable to attend the visitation or funeral. The funeral was yesterday with visitation only an hour before the funeral. Several of our children had appointments that were unable to be changed. Our hearts and prayers were with the family as they laid to rest a kind-hearted son, father, brother, uncle and grandpa. Larry was one of my favorite cousins. He always had time to visit even though we didn’t get to see each other as often in the recent years. Larry was a big supporter of my column and a great encouragement to me to keep writing when it would have been easier to just quit. There was more than once at a book signing that I would spot Larry’s face in the crowd. How comforting to know he drove several hours to be there.

Larry was the oldest of my cousins on the Coblentz side. His dad, Albert Jr., was my dad’s oldest sibling and will be 86 in January. Our sympathy goes to Uncle Albert Jr. and Aunt Shirley and also to Larry’s son, David, and children and his extended family. Rest in peace, Larry! Your life touched many!

Son Joseph, 13, was very excited to shoot his first deer last Saturday. He went hunting with Mose (daughter Susan’s special friend). But after he had shot the doe and they had tracked it, Joseph was disappointed to find that someone else was taking it! It was not worth an argument, and I told Joseph maybe the other hunter needed the meat more than we did. It is hard for a 13-year-old to understand that God wants us to forgive someone before the person even asks to be forgiven.

Daughter Verena made pecan-white chocolate chip cookies for the Eicher family this week.
Daughter Verena made pecan-white chocolate chip cookies for the Eicher family this week.

This week I will share the recipe for pecan–white chocolate chip cookies. Daughter Verena baked these last week.

God bless all of you!

Pecan–White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix together butter and brown and white sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in oatmeal. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda and add to rest of ingredients. Stir until combined. Add pecans and chocolate chips. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Note: for a soft, chewy cookie, bake only 9-10 minutes. A longer bake time will make a crisper cookie.

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.

 

Aggravation–the game, earache, sinus infection, and friends in a tragic accident

It is 7 a.m. Joseph, 13, Lovina, 11, and Kevin, 10, just left for school. It sounds very windy outside, but the temperature isn’t that cold, 58 degrees.

Son Benjamin, 16, is outside doing the morning chores. He doesn’t have work today. Mose is putting a new motor in his saw if I understood right. The motor came from Wisconsin so it’s all taking time to get repaired. Benjamin has been enjoying hunting on some days.

Opening day for shotgun season was on Sunday. Mose bought daughter Susan, 19, a gun and they went hunting on Monday. Susan didn’t get anything.

This week I have been sewing work pants for son Benjamin. I want to cut out some dress pants for him yet.

On Sunday my sisters Verena and Susan, our daughter Elizabeth and her husband Timothy, and Jacob and Emma’s three sons Jacob Jr., Benjamin, and Steven were here for dinner. Jacob and Emma went to church in a neighboring district and came over in the afternoon. The family enjoyed the game Aggravation which can get pretty loud when the game is almost over. Jacob Jr. makes the Aggravation boards. On one side four people can play and on the other side six people can play. The board is big and fits a card table.

Jacob Jr. had his sixteenth birthday on November 17. He has muscular dystrophy. He enjoys making things from wood. It helps give him an income since he doesn’t always have work.

Sunday evening Verena and Benjamin took Jacob Jr. along to the youth singing and supper. Daughters Verena and Loretta have been cleaning windows here the last few days. It’s nice to have them all cleaned before the snow starts flying. We have a lot of windows in our house.

Our church Sunday has changed now as our church divided into two districts. We had around forty families and now only have about twenty families in our district. All together we have around sixty adults and over fifty children in our district. It looks like church services will be held here at our place in January. After the holidays we will need to get busy cleaning. We also need to butcher beef and pork sometime. I would be glad if we could get that done before we do the cleaning, but we will see.

Last week my husband Joe was home every day except Monday. He was on an antibiotic for ear infection from the doctor at work. His ear kept getting worse so he went to the local walk-in clinic when our family doctor couldn’t see him. The clinic doctor gave him another antibiotic and medicated ear drops. His temperature was around 102 to 103 degrees most of the week. He felt a little better by this past Monday and went back to work again. But then he came home that evening with his ear throbbing again. Finally our family doctor was able to work him in that evening. He gave Joe a five-day antibiotic and said he has fluid behind the ears from a sinus infection. We are hoping the five-day antibiotic will cure it as he’s been pretty miserable with this pain. It makes his whole head hurt. It he doesn’t get relief from this, the doctor wants him to come back. This has interrupted Joe’s deer hunting too. I will be glad once he’s free from all the pain that ear has given him.

We are praying for a complete recovery of Suzanne (a friend of Verena and Loretta). She was in a bad accident in South Africa while on a mission trip from her church. She is in critical condition and two of her friends died from the accident. May God guide the families through this tragic time! Our sympathy to the families of the deceased. Suzanne is in a hospital in South Africa.

God’s blessings to all. Here is a different kind of dessert using pumpkin.

OreoPumpkinCheesecakeOreo Pumpkin Cheesecake

24–30 crushed Oreo cookies
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups milk
3 small packages instant vanilla pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 8-ounce whipped topping

Mix Oreo crumbs and melted butter. Press into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add in heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form. In another bowl beat milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and spice until well mixed and thick. Layer cream cheese mixture and then pumpkin mixture on Oreo crust. Top with whipped topping. Serve cold.

 

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

 

 

Contact: DorothyH@MennoMedia.org; 540-980-2438

 

Meat grinder and fruit press produces yummy cider for the Eicher family

We are almost halfway through November. So far we are having beautiful weather for November.

My husband Joe started our coal stove on Saturday for the first time this season. It seemed later than usual to start it. The house is nice and cozy now.

Saturday we were at Jacob and Emma’s. Joe and our sons Benjamin and Joseph helped put siding on the new addition they are adding to the house. Things are falling into place. They will be so glad for more space. The windows and doors are in and some of the drywall is hung in the upstairs bedrooms.

Saturday evening Mose (Susan’s special friend) grilled chicken and banana poppers while we prepared more food in the house. Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy joined us for supper. It was so enjoyable to have the whole family together. After we ate we sat in the living room and visited and sang some songs. Of course Izzy and Crystal (the Yorkies) were the center of attention. They love the attention they get here.

Son Benjamin, 16, and daughter Verena, 17, left to go to the community building where the youth gather on Saturday evenings to play basketball, volleyball, etc., and enjoy snacks. Two or more sets of parents usually go to chaperone and take the snacks. The building is usually closed at midnight. Verena and Benjamin didn’t take the heater in the buggy so they had a cold ride home. It is still warmer with a covered buggy than the open buggy that I was raised with. We had some awful cold rides and the umbrella was a big help to block the wind. I feel spoiled now when we drive in the covered buggies. Some have heaters in them which makes for a warm ride to town and back.

Friday evening Mose helped us make our first cider with a fruitPressingCider press. He brought us apples from his parents’ apple trees. We don’t have anything to chop up that many apples so we used our meat grinder and it worked real well. The cider tastes really good. We are enjoying popcorn and cider on some evenings. We want to make more and think we have a better idea of what we are doing now. It is surprising how many apples it takes to press one gallon of cider. But we enjoy working together as a family on projects like that.

We are excited to hear the news of the birth of a baby girl, LaRose. LaRose was born to niece Elizabeth and Samuel on November 10. This makes my sister Liz and Levi grandparents for the first time. We wish them all well. I’m sure they are all excited for the new arrival.
GingersNewFilly+IttyBitAndBlackBeautySome readers have MidnightAndBlackBeautyYoungHorsesbeen asking what we named our fillies that were born this past spring (photo on right). Itty Bit’s filly we named Black Beauty and for Ginger’s filly, we finally decided on Midnight. They are both black and are hard to tell apart. The children are teaching them how to lead. They are calming down a lot. (Recent photo of Black Beauty and Midnight to left.)

I had several requests for the buttermilk brownies recipe so I’ll share it this week.

 

 

Buttermilk Brownies

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the sugar, flour, salt, and cocoa together in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, and oil to a boil. Pour over the sugar mixture and beat until creamy. Add the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla. Stir thoroughly. The batter will be thin and soupy. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes until sides begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes about 15 (3-inch) brownies.

 

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.

Brief lake vacation closes out busy summer; fresh peaches to can and enjoy

CannedPeaches2015Edited
Lovina’s peaches ready for winter.

We had a nice few days staying by the lake. Our family enjoyed fishing and swimming. We had some very hot days so it was nice to be close to the lake. Thanks to my friend Ruth for writing the column for me last week.

We attended the wedding of Leander and Karen. Joe’s Uncle Solomon and Aunt Nancy from Ohio joined us at Timothy and Elizabeth’s house for supper. Joe helped Timothy unload some hay. We had a good supper with barbequed chicken on the menu. Solomon and Nancy came to our house for the night. I made breakfast for all of us before they left the next morning. We enjoyed having them here!

On September 2 our youngest child Kevin turned ten years old. He was excited to go to church as he gets to sit with the boys now instead of with Joe. When the boys and girls turn ten, they can sit with the girls and boys ten years and older.

School started yesterday and Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin had a nice first day of school.

We have peaches here that need to be canned. I’ll probably put some in the freezer too.

Last week Timothy’s sister had a Norwex shower for Elizabeth. I had never been to a Norwex party (cleaning products that are chemically safer). Elizabeth received all the hostess benefits. A wash line was also presented to Timothy and Elizabeth that night. Family members had filled gallon, quart, or sandwich size bags with small gifts for Timothy or Elizabeth. It was interesting to see what people came up with. An example of items in the bags were soup plates, bowls, spices, seasonings, kitchen items, nails, screws, baking supplies, buttons, pins, needles, band aids, etc. They received a lot of nice things. The bags were all pinned to a clothes line hung outside with clothes pins.

Sunday our neighbor girl Ruth was published to be married on October 16 to Aden. Aden is also a member of our church. I was asked to help cook. Joe was asked to help wash dishes at night. Loretta was asked to be a babysitter. The babysitters help watch the cooks’ babies and toddlers. Loretta and I both need to have a new aqua dress sewn for this wedding.

On Saturday sister Liz and Levi are hosting our family gathering. I’m not sure what the exact number is for our family count now, but I know it’s over one hundred. Next year it will be our turn to host the gathering. It seems like the family has been together more this year since there were a few weddings in the family.

I am hoping to answer the letters to readers this week. I apologize for taking this long to answer some of the letters while we were so busy with the wedding and church services. Thank you so much for your patience. God bless you all!

Try this peach crisp recipe while peaches are in season!

Peach Crisp

6 fresh peaches (peeled, pitted, and sliced)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oatmeal

Place peaches in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with almond extract. In a bowl combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like crumbs. Sprinkle the flour mixture in an even layer over the top of the peaches and sprinkle the oatmeal on top. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes until peaches are bubbling and topping 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.