Category Archives: Desserts

Elizabeth’s wedding day brings sacred vows and 1,000 meals served

The wedding day of Timothy and daughter Elizabeth (August 14) is now past. We had a few sprinkles of rain early in the morning and then nice weather the rest of the day. After everything was over and cleaned up, we had a thunderstorm and more than an inch of rain. We were thankful that it waited to rain until all was over.

It was hard to believe this day was finally here after so much preparation to get ready for it! Joe’s cousin Samuel started grilling the 350 pounds of chicken at 4:00 a.m on Friday. Around 6:30 a.m. the cooks started arriving to get the food prepared. Wedding services were held at our neighbors’, Joas and Susan’s. Timothy, Elizabeth and their four witnesses—Mose, Susan, Ernie and Martha (Tim’s sister and her husband)—left to go to the neighbors soon after 7:00 a.m.

Verena, Loretta, and Lovina wore these dresses for Elizabeth’s wedding.
Verena, Loretta and Lovina wore these dresses for Elizabeth’s wedding.

Elizabeth likes the color burgundy and Timothy likes purple, so the wedding colors were those two colors. Elizabeth got married in a burgundy-colored dress with a white cape and apron. The grooms always wear a black suit and white shirt, as do the witnesses. Susan and Martha wore purple dresses with white cape and aprons. Family members wore a shade of rose, and the table waiter girls wore another shade of raspberry-colored material. Timothy’s mother and I wore dresses of a dark plum color, and some of the helpers wore purple. The cooks all wore dark gray. The men and boys all wore black pants and vests with white shirts. Timothy’s nephews wore rose-colored shirts and sharkskin-gray pants. His nieces wore rose-colored dresses.

An Amish couple says these vows to each other on their wedding day. Here they appear in German and English.
An Amish couple says these vows to each other on their wedding day. Here they appear in German and English.

Around 11:30 a.m., toward the end of the service, Bishop Leroy asked Timothy and Elizabeth all the marriage vows, which they responded to with yes. There are six questions that are asked. Then everyone is asked to stand for a prayer for the couple. After the prayer the bishop takes the hand of the bride, places it in the hand of the bridegroom and pronounces them man and wife.

After the service ended around noon, everyone came to our house for the noon meal. We estimated that there were more than 500 people here for the noon meal. Our menu consisted of barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, corn, cheese, lettuce salad, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, angel food cake (with frosting and Danish dessert topping), dirt pudding, mixed fruit, and cherry, pecan, and peanut butter pies. We made 25 of each kind of pie. Candy bars were passed around after the meal. The same menu was served at night, but smoked sausage and ice cream were added to the meal. We served around 575 for supper.

The Eicher family served more than 1,000 meals on the day of Elizabeth and Timothy's wedding.
The Eicher family served more than 1,000 meals on the day of Elizabeth and Timothy’s wedding.

Timothy and Elizabeth opened their gifts in the afternoon. They have a lot of nice gifts to add to their new home. The gifts are usually household items such as kitchen items, towels and bedding, and some give things like tools and shovels for the groom. Money is given by some who aren’t sure what to give, which is also nice because the bride and groom can go buy what they didn’t get.

There is a lot more to write about the wedding, so I’ll share more in future columns. We are having to adjust here at home without Elizabeth here. We really miss her, and the children also miss her dogs, Izzy and Crystal. Verena has moved her things into Elizabeth’s bedroom. It’s surprising how empty the house feels with one of the children not here.

I have to thank my friend Ruth for all her help over this wedding. She was here to go and get whatever we ran out of or forgot. She took me shopping, one trip after another, to get the many groceries needed for this wedding. She also did loads of laundry for me when we had rainy weather. She washed all the towels and dishcloths after each meal. I don’t know how I can ever repay her. A true friend indeed! Thanks so much, Ruth!

Also, a thank you from Timothy and Elizabeth to all the readers who so kindly sent cards and gifts.  They were greatly appreciated! God bless! God’s blessings to Timothy, Elizabeth and all you readers.

Here is the recipe for pecan pie that we served at the wedding.

Pecan Pie

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 cup water
2 cups pecans, whole or crushed

Mix together all ingredients except pecans. Pour mixture into a 9-inch unbaked crust. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300° and bake until pie is set. Makes two 9-inch pies.

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’s prayers of blessing for her daughter on the eve of the wedding

It is a hot and humid Sunday afternoon. My husband, Joe, and I and our four youngest children are the only ones home this afternoon. Everyone is taking naps. It would be nice to take one too, but I need to get another column written before next week.

Church services were held at our neighbors Joas and Susan’s house. The next services will be here in two weeks. Joas and Susan will also host the wedding services for Timothy and daughter Elizabeth in their nice new pole barn on Friday. The receptions will be here.

On the day of the wedding, we serve a meal after the services and marriage, which are usually all done by noon. Then we serve a 5:00 p.m. supper for guests and a 7:00 p.m. supper for the youth and family. The bride and groom usually open their wedding gifts in the afternoon.

The inside of the wedding wagon, a portable kitchen that Lovina and her family are using to prepare the food for hundreds of wedding guests.
The inside of the wedding wagon, a portable kitchen that Lovina and her family are using to prepare the food for hundreds of wedding guests.

We are renting a wedding wagon, which comes with seven stoves and two sinks, plus all the pots, pans and dishes you need for the wedding. It also has a big cooler/freezer to put all the food in after it has been prepared. An 8×16-foot trailer comes with it, carrying all the tables, shelves and dishes.

Yesterday we had a lot of help to get the tables set for the wedding. There are enough place settings for 350. We have enough room in the new pole barn to seat 350 people at one time plus the bride, groom and their four witnesses. The wedding wagon, cooler, and trailer with dishes and tables have to be ready to leave here at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. It will go to another place for another wedding.

The tables are set for the big wedding day of Elizabeth, Lovina and Joe's oldest daughter, and Timothy.
The tables are set for the big wedding day of Elizabeth, Lovina and Joe’s oldest daughter, and Timothy.

My thoughts and prayers are with my firstborn this afternoon as I think of her taking this big step in life. She will have a lot of changes, but I have no doubt in my mind that they will be good ones. It is just a mother’s nature to worry for her children, but there needs to be a time to let them experience life without the presence of their parents.

Elizabeth has been a great daughter and never caused us any trouble. She was always obedient to us, which means so much to parents. My advice to her is to always start her day with her husband in prayer together and to end it with prayer together. What a great way to start and end your day with God being the guide. Every marriage has its ups and downs, but if you have love and respect for each other, things can always be healed. Marriage vows should be taken very seriously. Elizabeth, I pray that you and Timothy will always remain in love as much as you are now. Joe and I were fortunate to have parents who encouraged us and let us make decisions on our own. We asked for a lot of advice, but parents can only give so much advice. It takes husband and wife alone to work things out together, with God as their guide.

Elizabeth and Timothy, may you have a long and happy married life together. May God grant you both good health and a family to care for. I hope and pray your wedding day will be a day you want to remember. My love to both of you. Now we will gain a son, not lose a daughter! God bless!

Here's Lovina's pie crust recipe from her card file.
Here’s Lovina’s pie crust recipe from her card file.

This week I’ll share Timothy’s mother’s pie dough recipe, which we will use to make all the pies for the wedding. I’m not sure yet, but I think we will make 75–80 pies for that day.

Pie crusts wait for filling as preparations continue for Elizabeth's wedding.
Pie crusts wait for filling as preparations continue for Elizabeth’s wedding.

Pie Crust

6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups lard
2 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vinegar

Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir lard into flour mixture to make crumbs. It’s best if crumbs are quite moist; add a little more lard if necessary.

Beat together eggs, water and vinegar and pour over crumbs. Mix with a fork until right consistency. Don’t overmix. Roll out and press into pie pans. Makes six single-crust or three double-crust pies.

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’s diary, one week and two days before wedding!

P1060407For this week I’m going to write a daily diary for August 5.

3:15 a.m. Time to get up and pack my husband Joe’s lunch. For his lunch he wants bread slices, sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden, and mayonnaise. I also put frozen peaches, some cheese crackers, and a piece of rhubarb pie in his lunch. I fill his water jug with ice and water and make him a mug of coffee to take along.

3:40 a.m. Joe’s ride is here. I go back to bed and set the alarm for 5:00 a.m.

5:00 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth, 21, is ready for work.

5:15 a.m. Elizabeth’s ride is here. I wake up Benjamin, 16, to get ready for work. He is doing something different this morning. He will bike the 18 miles to work. He has wanted to do this for a long time already. Benjamin loves biking and after a long, hard day’s work, he still likes to bike four to eight miles at night. I pack ham and cheese sandwiches for Benjamin’s lunch. He never wants more than a few ham and cheese sandwiches every day. I would get tired of the same thing over and over, but he says he likes it.

5:45 a.m. After checking his lights and tires Benjamin heads out for his long ride to work. They start work at 7:00 a.m. and he thinks he will make it in time. Verena, 17, and Lovina, 11, get up to get ready for their ride. They will work at the flea market today for a friend. They are both getting great at waiting on customers and sharpening their math skills.

6:45 a.m. Verena and Lovina leave. Susan, 19, is making the rest of us scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. She doesn’t have a job at present but I’m sure glad for her help with all the work getting ready for Elizabeth’s wedding. Joseph, 13, is out milking Bessie the cow. Kevin, 9, makes sure his little kitten gets some of Bessie’s warm milk for breakfast. Loretta, 15, helps Susan and I mend a few shirts.

8:00 a.m. My sister Verena walks over to help us today. My sister Susan is working so Verena decided to come help us.

9:30 a.m. My sister Emma and children come to help today too.

1:00 p.m. A lot of cleaning is in process: the walls and ceilings are being washed off in the kitchen and dining room area; windows are being cleaned, and some cabinets have been washed out.

I finally have lunch ready for everyone. Our lunch consists of One Kettle Soup in which I used some the noodles we made last week. They taste very good. Also sliced tomatoes, cheese bread, and hot peppers. Verena brought Swiss roll bars and Emma brought brownies for dessert.

2:00 p.m. They continue with the cleaning. The noodles we made last week, which are still on tables drying, are ready to be put into containers. My sisters weighed them and we have well over 30 pounds of noodles so we will have more than enough for the wedding next week.

3:00 p.m. My sister Susan came here from work and pitches in to help. Daughter Elizabeth and Joe are home from their jobs. Emma and her daughter Emma pick two five-gallon buckets full of tomatoes in my garden. Looks like I’ll have to be canning tomatoes soon. I hope it can wait until after the wedding. We will use some of the tomatoes in the salads for the wedding.

3:30 p.m. Benjamin is home from work. He caught a ride home so he didn’t have to bike home. He said this morning it took him one hour and fifteen minutes to bike the 18 plus miles, but he made it there in time to start working at 7:00.

4:00 p.m. My other helpers leave for their homes. Joseph finishes mowing; I do some tilling in the garden.

6:30 p.m. Supper time. On the menu are hamburger sandwiches and lettuce salad.

9:00 p.m. Everyone is cleaning up for the night. We decided to quit early and get a good night’s sleep for once. God’s blessings!

This week I’ll share the recipe that I got from sister Emma. She brought it here on Saturday when they came to help. It is delicious!

Orange Cream CheesecakeOrangeCheeseCake

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter. Press into bottom of 9×13 pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Filling:

1 3-ounce package orange gelatin
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8-ounce Cool Whip

Prepare gelatin according to package directions. Set aside 1/2 cup at room temperature. Chill remaining gelatin until slightly thickened, about 80 minutes.

Meanwhile in mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Gradually beat in milk and lemon juice on medium speed for 2 minutes. Gradually beat in orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and room temperature gelatin. Fold in Cool Whip and pour over prepared crust.

Topping:

2 cups Cool Whip
1/4 cup sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat Cool Whip and sugar. Beat in refrigerated gelatin. Mixture will be thin. Chill for 30 minutes. Gently spoon over filling. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Note: We place mandarin orange slices on top also. Delicious!

 

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 and family will manage helping with two Amish weddings in one day!

June is here already! As I write this, tonight will be daughter Loretta’s eighth grade graduation at the school. This will be the fifth of our eight children completing their school years. Time slips by so fast. Life brings so many changes through the years.

Today, June 2, also marks five years now that daughter Verena, 17, had that bad brain concussion. At the time doctors told us that she will heal one hundred percent, but it will take time. We can now see what they meant, but there were some hard years for Verena and our family. How thankful we are. God is good and has given us many blessings.

This week is a very busy week with neighbor Joe and Susie’s wedding and nephew Ben and Lovina’s wedding, both on Thursday. We will work in both! We decided to go to Berne, Ind. and attend Ben and Lovina’s wedding, and after lunch, we’ll come back home and go to Joe and Susie’s wedding for the evening meal.

TableWaiterGift4
Table waiter gift for Verena at Ben and Lovina’s wedding, June 4, 2015.

I was asked to be cook at both weddings. Timothy and daughter Elizabeth were asked to be table waiters at both weddings. They were asked several weeks earlier to be table waiters at Joe and Susie’s wedding and had already said they would before Ben and Lovina’s plans were published. Joe and Susie bought the house just down the road from us and will be our new neighbors. Daughter Verena will be a table waiter at Ben and Lovina’s wedding. She will find a way home (back from Berne) with someone from my family. I need to do the finishing touches on her peacock colored dress suit yet. Elizabeth has to wear a tan colored suit to be table waiter.

Tomorrow morning I will go help bake pies for Joe and Susie’s wedding. I was also asked to help for Ben and Lovina’s wedding but since this is closer I’ll just walk over to help. I really wish both weddings wouldn’t have been on the same day but sometimes that happens.

The school will also have the school picnic on Thursday. Doors will close after the picnic until next term. They always do lots of fun things on the last day so Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin want to go to school. They will go with us to Joe and Susie’s wedding in the evening. Loretta can’t participate in a lot of the activities on fun day so she will go with us to Berne, Ind. My sisters Verena and Susan will travel with us to Berne and also come back for Joe and Susie’s wedding as they were asked to be dish washers. Usually the dish washers make sure all the dishes get packed back up in boxes and put in the wedding wagon. This takes a lot of the work load off the cooks and helps out cleaning up the next day.

GingerAndFilly1
Ginger and her newborn filly. Help the Eichers name her!

Our highlight of the week is our horse Ginger giving birth to a little filly. She is pure black like Itty Bit’s filly, Black Beauty. They could pass for twins but Black Beauty is a month older and has grown a lot.

GingersNewFilly+IttyBitAndBlackBeauty
Pastoral scene at the Eichers: newborn filly with her mother, Ginger, and Itty Bit with her growing filly Black Beauty, now a month old. Both colts are pure black!

We are still trying to figure out a name. Everyone has a different suggestion. Feel free to send your ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries are in season. Try this cheesecake. God bless!

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

16 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
3/4 teaspoon almond extract, divided
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 angel food cake torn into bite-size pieces
2 quarts fresh strawberries thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sugar

In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Set aside.

In a small deep bowl, whip the cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and sugar. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Add cake pieces; set aside. Combine strawberries, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Layer together in a large clear glass dish starting with strawberries and then adding cake mixture. Continue layering, finishing with strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Serves 24.

 

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.

 

 

Birthday celebration for Lovina includes eating out, new gas grill

I am already a day late in getting this column to my editors. I appreciate their patience.

Tomorrow morning we leave at 5:30 a.m. for nephew John and Arlene’s wedding day. Everything is sewn as needed for this wedding. I am making Verena’s dress, cape, and apron for nephew Ben’s wedding next week. It is the color peacock. I need to cut out and sew mine yet. I am supposed to wear periwinkle.

I want to thank all the readers for their happy birthday wishes. My 44th birthday was on Friday May 22. My husband Joe took the family and I out to eat at Ponderosa. What a treat! The children asked the waitresses and waiters to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Joe also gave me a gas grill for my birthday. I have always wanted NewGrill2015one but Joe prefers to grill on a charcoal grill. I have it on my front porch and have used it to grill hamburgers and pork steak. It has a burner on the side which I’m sure I’ll use a lot this summer to cook on to keep the house cooler and cleaner.

Daughter Elizabeth is enjoying her week off from the RV factory. She is getting a lot of sewing done. She has two more weddings to sew dresses for, where Timothy and she will be table waiters.

Saturday the younger children helped me get most of the garden planted. I wasn’t going to put out as many plants since I’m short in space with the pole barn going up where my other garden was. I went to get my plants at the green house and should have been counting how many tomato and pepper plants I was getting. I like to try different varieties and before I knew it I had 80 tomato plants and 40 green pepper plants to squeeze in one garden. It looks like I’ll be canning lots of salsa, pizza, and spaghetti sauce, V-8, tomato juice, etc. That is if they all produce well.

The men are here today finishing the pole barn. It is looking really nice! Neighbors Joas and Susan walked over here last night to look at it. Their son is getting married next week and they will be our new neighbors. The wedding is at Joas and Susan’s house so they are really busy right now.

HorseBuggyMighty2015The horse “Mighty” that we bought from brother Amos is still doing great for us. Daughter Susan drove him to work one day. She picked up my sister Susan and another girl on her way to work. Susan is still training Prancer every chance she gets. They are putting in longer hours at nephew Emanul’s woodworking shop so her time is limited in the evenings.

Our thoughts and prayers are with a family in our community. The 49-year-old mother died of that dreadful disease, cancer. She was laid to rest last week. Her daughter is getting married in a few weeks. Our sympathy goes out to the lonely husband and children. May God help them through this difficult trial in life.

Readers of my mother’s former column requested that I share her CutOutColumnRhubarbCrunchrecipe with my new readers. They sent me a copy marked with several changes. They say it’s a winner!

Blessings to all you readers!

Rhubarb Crunch

3 cups rhubarb (cut into small pieces)
1 box strawberry or cherry Jell-O
1 box cake mix (yellow or white)
3/4 cup melted margarine or butter
1 10.5-ounce package marshmallows

Put rhubarb cuts in buttered 9×13 baking dish. Pour dry Jell-O and marshmallows over this. Pour dry cake mix over all of this and drizzle margarine on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 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.

 

Smells like spring: boiling fresh maple syrup and laundry drying outside

Spring will officially be here this week as I write this! Monday was a very beautiful day with the temperature going up in the 60s. We hung all the laundry outside to dry. It was so nice to be able to fold all the clothes and put them away the same day.

Susan’s friend Mose tapped all our maple trees for sap and also some of the trees at my sisters Verena and Susan’s place. He also tapped a few of neighbor Irene’s trees.

The sap is running but not as much as some years. Mose cooked the sap on Saturday and we now have fresh maple syrup. It is surprising how many gallons of sap it takes to get one gallon of maple syrup. A lot of work goes into it all.

BoilingMapleSyrup
Family friend Mose boils off some authentic maple syrup from the Eicher farm.

 

We all love the maple syrup. It tastes so much better on pancakes than pancake syrup. The children like to warm it and put it on vanilla ice cream.

CannedMapleSyrup
Five quarts of home canned real maple syrup taste way better than the store kind.

We had a nice day for Alvin and Susanna’s wedding last week. The wind was a little chilly but the sun was shining so that helped.

On the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, baked chicken, dressing, mixed vegetables, lettuce salad, sliced cheese, homemade bread, butter and strawberry jam, angel food cake with a strawberry topping, mixed fruit, and pecan, blueberry and cherry pies. Ice cream was also added for the evening meal. We wish Alvin and Susanna a long, happy married life together with all of God’s richest blessings!

We have several more wedding invitations for this spring. Joe’s cousin Ben and Elizabeth will exchange vows on April 3 in Rochester, Ind. They both lost their first partners. We wish them a happy, blessed life together!

Also, congratulations to Orlie Wayne and LaVera Ann! They will exchange vows on April 23. Joe and Orlie work at the same RV factory. We appreciate the invitations and hope to be able to attend.

We also received a “Save the Date” and an “invitation-to-follow” card from cousin Jane’s daughter Tiffany and her fiancé Samual. They plan to exchange vows on Sept. 5. Congratulations to the couple!

Our thoughts are with niece Suzanne, age 14 (sister Liz and Levi’s daughter). She has been in the hospital since Monday. She has asthmatic bronchitis pneumonia and a virus. We hope she will be well enough to go home soon and have a speedy recovery. It’s always a worry for the parents when our children are sick. Sounds like she was dehydrated with a high fever and was a very sick girl.

Sunday we had dinner with sisters Verena and Susan. Another beautiful day! The children enjoyed playing outside, biking, and riding the pony. Timothy and Mose also were there and sister Emma, Jacob, and family. Also their daughters’ friends, Menno and Manuel. Daughters Verena and Loretta spent the weekend in Indiana with friends so they weren’t there.

Joe and the boys took advantage of the nice weather on Saturday and hauled some manure out of the barn. I love spring! It’s always nice to see everything start blooming. I am keeping my eye open for those dandelion greens. Rhubarb stems should be peeping through too. This morning we had 23 degrees so we might have a few cold days yet.

A lady from our church shared this recipe with me. I bought the raised doughnut mix and cinnamon doughnut sugar at a bulk food store. I’m not sure if other stores would have it as well. Our children love these and it’s easier to make than doughnuts. Enjoy! God Bless!

RiseNRollBars1
Lovina’s recipe of the week is for an easy raised-type donut pastry, Rise and Roll Bars.

Rise and Roll Bars

2 packages yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 cups warm water
5 1/2 cups raised doughnut mix
1 1/2–2 cups cinnamon doughnut sugar (for topping)

Mix together yeast, sugar and warm water. Then add raised doughnut mix. Let rise 30–45 minutes. Knead and spread in a buttered 10 x 15 cookie sheet and let rise again for 30–45 minutes. Bake at 350° for 15–20 minutes.

Brown Sugar Frosting

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar

Cook together brown sugar and butter for 2–3 minutes. Add milk and bring to a boil. Take off heat and cool to lukewarm. Add powdered sugar. Spread bars with frosting then sprinkle with cinnamon doughnut sugar before the frosting dries.

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.

Happy preparations for Thursday wedding include homemade angel food cake

We had a lot of fog this morning. The schools had a two-hour delay because of the fog. This made for some happy children!

It has been a lot warmer this week with the temperature almost reaching 50 degrees on Monday. Sure gives a person spring fever. I am hoping it will be nice and warm for Alvin and Susanna’s wedding tomorrow.

I went to help prepare for the wedding on Monday at the bride’s home. Daughters Elizabeth and Susan didn’t have to work so they helped Verena with the laundry. They hung some of it outside and it dried really well. I was glad the laundry was done when I came home.

Other women were at the bride’s home too, helping prepare for the wedding. Women made pie crusts and crushed corn flakes to mix with ranch seasoning to coat the chicken for the wedding meals. We smashed and prepared two five-gallon-sized buckets of crushed corn flakes. Then I helped make angel food cakes. All the ladies brought in something for lunch which makes it so much easier on the bride’s mother. I took macaroni salad. There was so much left over I sent it with one of the ladies to the visitation for a man from our community. He passed away on Saturday evening and has lots of relatives in this community.

Lovina and daughters have been busy sewing new outfits for the wedding where they helped as cooks or servers.
Lovina and daughters have been busy sewing new outfits for the wedding where they helped as cooks or servers.

Yesterday I spent part of the day sewing on my dress for the wedding. The cooks have to wear a plum-colored dress. Mose and Susan are witnesses and Susan has to wear a purple dress with a white cape and apron. Timothy and Elizabeth are table waiters and Elizabeth will wear a different shade of purple for her dress, cape, and apron. The boys have to wear black pants and vests with white shirts. My job at the wedding will be to help prepare the chicken. It will all be baked for both meals.

The sun is shining brightly now and the fog has faded. I still need to finish sewing my cape for tomorrow, so that’s next on my list. Our snow is disappearing fast and the ground is getting really soft. We need some sidewalks from the ramp to the driveway. Hopefully the sun will help dry out the ground. The melting snow needs somewhere to go.

The Eicher family’s new cow, Bessie, eagerly provided the cream for the butter.
The Eicher family’s new cow, Bessie, eagerly provided the cream for the butter.

The children have been helping make butter from our cow Bessie’s cream that we get from her milk. I am hoping to get a butter churn or an easier way to make butter than shaking it in a jar. It is nice to not have to buy butter and milk now. Our children like the taste of homemade butter so we will be making lots more. Everyone takes turns shaking the jars and we soon have a lump of butter formed.

Butter
Lovina and her family make butter from the milk they get from their cow, Bessie.

 

We also have our own chickens so we have eggs and can make noodles from those.

This week I will share the recipe of the angel food cakes we made for the wedding tomorrow. After helping to make so many, I memorized the recipe.

Angel Food Cake (White)

Beat until foamy:
2 cups egg whites

Add:
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Beat in until stiff peaks form:
1 cup of white sugar, sifted

Sift together and fold in gradually:
1 cup pastry or cake flour
1 cup powdered sugar

Pour into angel food cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cake feels springy.

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.

New cow provides cream for homemade treat


March! This year is going way too fast for me!

Daughter Verena and I just came in from milking our new cow, Bessie, and doing the outside chores. Son Joseph usually takes care of feeding the horses. I left the school children sleep later this morning so there wasn’t enough time. We are getting plenty of milk from Bessie.

BessieCow

I haven’t milked a cow since I was married almost 22 years ago. It was fun to milk a cow again but not something I want to do daily. The boys have been milking Bessie at night. Until Joseph gets faster at it, Verena and I usually milk her in the mornings. I can feel my arms aren’t used to it anymore.

When I was seven years old I started helping to milk our cows at home. Every morning and evening we had 12 to 14 cows we milked by hand. When Joe and I were married my parents gave us a milk cow, but Joe always milked her as I was always busy with the little children. Now our children aren’t so little anymore; this makes a person sometimes wish time would slow down.

Friday evening quite a few people attended the birthday party for niece Salome at the community building. Our family attended and so did Timothy and Mose. Guests played basketball and volleyball and also other games. Some of us sat and visited after supper. The community building is a nice, big place to have such an event in the cold winter months.

Joe’s sister Christine, Jake, and nine children came here for the night after the birthday supper. They were here until Saturday afternoon.

Saturday morning for breakfast we had biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, cheese, hot peppers, coffee, milk, grape juice, and rhubarb juice.

For the noon meal Joe and Mose grilled ham and hot wings. Jake and his sons froze ice cream. Christine mixed the ingredients for the ice cream. We used the cream off of our cow’s milk. It sure makes so much better tasting ice cream. I also made a pasta casserole to have with the grilled meat and ice cream.

IceCream

The forenoon was spent playing games. Verena also had some friends over so there were plenty of people to play games.

Matthew (Jake and Christine’s son) and son Kevin had a hard time going to sleep Friday evening. They were so excited about being able to spend the night together.

Daughter Susan took Edwin and Rosetta (Jake and Christine’s two youngest children) for a pony ride with Tiger, our pony. Matthew and Kevin also went along. It was a cold ride but they dressed warm and enjoyed it! Daughter Lovina and Jake’s daughter Miriam also went along for the pony ride.

Kevin went to bed before dark Saturday evening and slept until the next morning. He was very tired from a long day and not sleeping much Friday evening.

Sunday we spent the day at home. Our afternoon visitors were nephews Jacob Jr. and Benjamin, and niece Emma, and her special friend Menno. Timothy and Mose were here for the day as well. The boys froze another batch of ice cream. Our children like my new ice cream recipe a lot better. I’ll share it with you this week. God’s blessings to all!

Homemade Ice Cream

6 cups cream
6 eggs
3 1/2 cups sugar
6 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Freeze in your ice cream freezer according to directions.

 

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.

Fond memories—and peanut butter cups—grace year’s end

We are almost to the end of 2014. A brand new year lies ahead. What will it have in store for us? If we would know, would we be able to go on? Anything is possible if we let God lead the way and keep our full trust in him.

As I sit here thinking of how my family always spent New Year’s Day, a lot of memories come to my mind. When my maternal grandparents were still living they would have their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren home for the Christmas gathering. The day would start out early. We would get up early to get the cows milked and have breakfast. We lived very close to my grandparents, so some of the uncles, aunts and cousins would start gathering at our house as soon as breakfast was done.

It would still be very dark outside, and all of us children would be so excited. We would all walk over to my grandparents’ house in the dark, and sometimes we had a lot of snow to trudge through. We lived on a road that wasn’t traveled much back then, so it was an enjoyable walk. My grandparents had eight children and more than 80 grandchildren. Uncle Henry and Aunt Barbara lived in the big house attached to Grandpa and Grandma’s little house. They would set up tables in their dining room and living room to seat all the adults and the older children. The younger ones were fed before everyone else ate.

When we arrived at Grandpa and Grandma’s, all of us would stand outside their door singing the traditional New Year’s Song in German. The New Year’s Song is a song wishing everyone a good year. The English translation is as follows:

’Tis time now to welcome the happy new year,
God grant you to live and enjoy the new year.
Good fortune and blessings to dwell in your home,
God grant you such blessings in this year in your home.
In heaven before the great heavenly throne,
God grant thee reward in that heavenly home.
In closing this year we repeat this one wish,
God grant you on high once that heavenly bliss.

While it was being sung, everyone would go into the house. All of us grandchildren would line up to take our turn to wish Grandpa and Grandma a happy new year and give them a kiss. They would sit in their hickory rocking chairs.

After the noon meal was over and the dishes were all washed, Grandpa and Grandma would pass out gifts to all of us. For the grandchildren it was usually a dish of some kind, or a mug. And we would all get a lunch-sized bag with candy and an orange in it. I remember how my cousins and I would dump all our candy out of our bags and look at it before putting it back in our bags to take home. My mother would mark all the dishes they gave us and what year we got them. When I got married, I had a different dish or mug for every year.

After Grandpa and Grandma died, my parents always had our family Christmas gathering on New Year’s Day. We would all gather there for breakfast and set the tables again for the noon meal.

I will share with you my mother’s recipe for peanut butter cups. She would make these every Christmas season. She would have to hide them from us children as we loved them so much!

I wish all of you God’s richest blessings in the New Year 2015 and always!

Peanut Butter Cups

2 pounds peanut butter
1 pound margarine
3 pounds powdered sugar
melted semi-sweet chocolate

Mix peanut butter and margarine. Then work in powdered sugar until smooth. Shape into balls the size of big marbles. Dip in melted chocolate.

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.