Category Archives: Meats

Travels and wedding celebrations

Another week has passed by since my last column. We made it to Kentucky and Tennessee for both weddings and are now back in Michigan. We were thankful for safe travels to and from the weddings. Dan’s (who died in the accident with son-in-law Mose) wife Jodi was our driver and she did a wonderful job. It couldn’t have been easy driving for all of us. She is a nice person to have around. I know she is still hurting just like daughter Susan, both missing their loved ones. It always makes me sad when I see Susan and her children drive in without her beloved Mose beside her. Seeing sister Emma without Jacob and sister Verena without sister Susan seems so unreal. It can get overwhelming and that is why we need to let go and let God. We need to trust his plans are different than what we want sometimes.

At Michael and Laura’s wedding I was a cook and my job was to prepare the fresh fruit for the fruit bowls. It was a good combination of strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and kiwi. The menu consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered noodles, dressing, mixed vegetables, broccoli/cauliflower salad, bread, butter and jam, several kinds of pies, angel food cake, mixed fruit, and pudding.

In the afternoon we started out on the 4 1/2 hour drive to Tennessee. We stayed at a motel and attended the wedding at the church for Jamin and Saloma. Their weddings are different than ours as the father walks the bride down the aisle. The couple left after the wedding for their several week honeymoon. We wish both couples God’s blessings as they start their lives together as one.

The menu for this wedding was boneless chicken breasts and barbequed chicken, diced red potatoes, coleslaw, dinner rolls, ice cream, donuts, lemonade, and coffee.

We had supper with Saloma’s parents Pete and Carol (Joe’s sister) along with some of Joe’s family and others who had attended the wedding. We then headed back to the motel. The children enjoyed swimming at the pool. The next day we drove towards home about 5 1/2 hours then slept in a motel outside of Indianapolis, IN. The next day we spent the day at the Indianapolis zoo. We had a little over three hours to drive home.

We had a nice time but everyone was glad to be home again.

The Eicher family celebrated Kevin’s 16th birthday with cake and ice cream, after a supper of sausage and potatoes (recipe in this week’s column). Photo provided.

Son Kevin turned 16 on September 2nd while we were gone. Monday night we had cake and ice cream in honor of his birthday. Also on the menu were banana poppers and Italian potatoes and sausage.

We had some storms go through our area again but we didn’t get anything much. Hopefully no one else did either. Daughter Susan and children and daughter Verena came for the night.

Today Joe’s sisters and nieces will come help us clean. Plans are to clean the basement and can room, and if we get that far, our breezeway.

Saturday we have more help coming. Church services were set to be here September 19th. That isn’t far off and then the wedding of daughter Loretta and Dustin is coming up right after that.

God bless all of you as we travel into the unknown future.

Italian Sausage and Potatoes
6 potatoes, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2 large green peppers, sliced
2 pounds Italian sausage (sweet, mild or hot)
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 a 9×13 inch pan covered for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and drain. Cut sausage in pieces and add to potato mixture. Continue cooking for 1 hour or until sausage is done. Some prefer to broil uncovered, cooking until sausage is browned.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Peaceful moments at the end of a summer evening

Tomorrow will be the last day of June. Is it possible that half of 2021 has passed? July 1st brings daughter Loretta another year older, marking it number 21 this time.

Supper is over, dishes washed, as I sit on our wrap-around porch. There is a light, relaxing rain falling tonight. We have had over three inches of rain this past week and so many rainbows—God’s promise to those who believe in him. There is always some excitement to see a rainbow, and only our master artist could create such beauty. Our life has been turned upside down these past seven months, but we do have a great God. Although there are times bitterness wants to take over, we want to trust in God and put our faith in him. After another busy day, it is nice to sit out here alone and have some peaceful moments. God understands all our troubles.

I see a few deer across the road feasting on Dustin’s hayfield. This rain is helping bring in another crop of hay. Our garden is getting weeds in it, but this wet weather has been keeping us out.

Our supper was easy—BLT sandwiches, although we added eggs to the sandwich. Fresh lettuce from the garden takes the place of bread for me. We have a lot, so I shared with Jodi (Dan’s widow), sister Verena, and my daughters.

Tomorrow, daughters Susan and Lovina and I plan to go thoroughly clean Susan’s neighbor’s house. We will clean it from top to bottom on three floors. Not sure if we will get it all done but if not, we will finish on Thursday.

On Saturday night some of Joe’s cousins came for a visit. We don’t often see Daniel and Dena and Phenis and Effie, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Daniel, Dena, and Phenis are all Joe’s cousins, Dena on his dad’s side. We all sang and yodeled together and had a very nice visit. We appreciated their sympathy on the loss of our dear son-in-law and my sister. Sister Verena, daughters Susan and Verena, granddaughter Jennifer, and grandson Ryan were also here for the night.

On Saturday, daughter Verena, granddaughter Jennifer, and I were at my book signing in Nappanee at the Light of Grace Bookstore. We were so glad to see all the readers who attended and hear all the kind words that were said. The bookstore manager, Jolene, showed us some good hospitality. We appreciated all the kindness.

Daughter Elizabeth dropped her three children off here this morning so she would have more time to help prepare for nephew Perry and Frieda’s wedding. Perry is the son of husband Tim’s brother Mervin and Arlene, and the wedding will be at the home of Frieda’s parents. With three little ones, it’s hard to do quite as much. We kept Abigail, 4, T.J., 2, and Allison, 1 1/2, here while Elizabeth helped them.

It is time to call it a day, and darkness has overtaken the daylight. I am surprised the mosquitoes didn’t bother me.

I will share a recipe for goulash. I like using fresh peeled and chunked tomatoes in mine during the summer months when we have some in the garden.

Good night and God bless!

Goulash

4 cups uncooked macaroni
2 pounds hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onions, optional
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste
butter to taste
1 26-ounce jar tomato juice
1 10.5-ounce can tomato soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 pounds Velveeta cheese, in chunks

Cook macaroni. Meanwhile, brown hamburger with onion. Drain grease and add seasonings. Drain macaroni; add butter to taste. Mix in hamburger, tomato juice, tomato soup, and sugar. Stir in cheese. Heat to boiling; turn off heat. Cover and let set until cheese is melted. Serve.

 

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

The first tastes of spring

We are having cooler weather again this week. On Monday it was rainy, and yesterday was cloudy. At least today the sun is shining at times.

Son Joseph, 18, is home today. He has been busy outside cleaning the yard and filling in dirt on the low spots before we roll the yard.

We had success with our garage sale last week, but we still have some things left. I want to take it to a thrift store, or the free store, or give it to someone who can use it. It was time consuming to have the sale but makes more space now in my storage areas.

Our rhubarb is plentiful, so I have made quite a few rhubarb custard pies. We are also enjoying asparagus from the garden.

My husband Joe planted some more vegetables in the garden on Saturday: lettuce, radishes, peas, and corn.

Sunday is Mother’s Day, so I wish all mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I am blessed to have 8 wonderful children who call me Mother: Elizabeth, 26, Susan, 25, Verena, 23, Benjamin, 21, Loretta, 20, Joseph, 18, Lovina, 16, and Kevin, 15. I thank God for their love, and I hope I will always be a good example to them. It takes daily prayers to raise a family. I also have 5 precious grandchildren who call me Grandma: Abigail, 4, Jennifer, 3, Timothy (T.J.), 2, Ryan, 21 months, and Allison, 16 months.

Father’s Day will be hard on daughter Susan, to have 2 little children who won’t have a father to give their love to. Mose would buy a flower for the children to give to Susan on Mother’s Day. May God continue to guide her and comfort her. Let us remind ourselves that God makes no mistakes.

On Sunday we had communion services at our neighbors’ home. Daughter Susan and children and sister Verena were here for the night on Saturday and went to church with us.

Ryan was so excited to have a little black hat to wear to church. When we came to church, he thought he could wear it during the service, so it took a little persuading to get him to hang it up until afterward.

Sister Verena and daughter Susan and children stayed overnight again Sunday night. When Ryan woke up Monday morning Joe had left for work already. Ryan went to our bedroom, to Joe’s side of the bed, asking where Grandpa was. I told him he was working. He then pointed to the cabinet on the wall where Joe keeps his hat and asked for Joe’s hat. He thought he should have both his and Grandpa’s hat, but I told Ryan we need to leave it there for when we go to church again. Such sweet little angels. What do they have to see in the future?

I answered all the reader mail now. I want to again thank everyone for their support and encouragement. It is all greatly appreciated. May God bless all of you!

I will share the recipe for asparagus shepherd’s pie this week for those of you who love asparagus. We had asparagus last night just fried in butter.

Take care! Until next week…God bless!

Asparagus Shepherd’s Pie
6 medium potatoes, diced
1-2 pounds hamburger
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of chicken or asparagus soup
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut in pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes in water until tender. Brown hamburger with onion and garlic; drain grease. Stir in soup and pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Cook asparagus in small amount of water until crisp and tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and layer over beef mixture. Drain the potatoes and mash, adding milk, butter, and salt. Spread mashed potatoes over asparagus and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Finding a new normal

It’s the last week of February…time does not stand still.

It is much warmer than it was a week ago. It’s 40 degrees and the eastern sky is full of pink, so hopefully it will be another sunny day like we had yesterday.

Son Joseph, 18, is still off work from his construction job since his boss is in Florida for several weeks. He’s been kept busy doing things around home. Yesterday my husband Joe and Joseph went to daughter Susan’s house to work on the second bedroom downstairs. Daughter Verena is staying there with Susan.

Daughter Lovina comes home from work around 2:30 p.m., then leaves at night to go stay with sister Verena. She leaves for work at 5:30 a.m. from there. The house seems empty, and I’m trying to teach myself how to cook smaller portions.

We have been getting things together so we can file our 2020 taxes. It seems harder to think with all that has been going on. We are also going through closets and storage, and we hope to have a garage sale this spring. It’s getting closer to spring cleaning time. May God put some sunshine back in our life so we can go on, not to normal but a new normal.

I do want to take time again to thank all of you for the cards, gifts, and for being such a tremendous support during the last few months. It was greatly appreciated, and may God bless you for your kindness.

I sat down after supper last night to try to pen this column, but no words seemed to form in my mind. After a night’s sleep and seeing the start of another day, I feel more like writing.

On both Friday and Saturday evening, sister Verena and daughter Susan and children were here for the night. On Saturday night, daughter Elizabeth and Tim and children also decided to come for the night. It felt good to have everyone home again.

Steaks cut and ready to package from beef freshly butchered by the Eicher family. Photo provided.

On Sunday we were invited to sister Emma and Jacob’s house for lunch. Menno furnished most of the food in honor of his wife, niece Emma’s, 23rd birthday, which was February 15. We were served a delicious meal consisting of barbecue chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans, coleslaw, cheese, cake, ice cream, cupcakes, etc.

Our church services were held on Saturday this time due to a bigger than normal service, and three young souls were baptized, accepting Jesus as their Savior. It is such a blessing to partake in the joy of baptismal services.

Daughter Elizabeth had quite an ordeal with her children. She said they were playing really nicely, so she slipped downstairs to sort the laundry. She came back up and Abigail, 4, had a small children’s scissors and was giving T.J. quite a haircut. When she saw it upset her mother, Abigail said, “Mom, hair will grow back.” Elizabeth was thankful that no one was hurt, but T.J. might have lopsided hair for a while.

With three children ages 1, 2, and 4, it keeps Elizabeth on the go.

I better get busy—we have laundry to fold and put away before I leave for town. Daughter Lovina has an appointment after work, so I will pick her up.

God’s blessings to all!

Beef Pot Roast

1 (7 – 8 pound) beef roast, chuck, round, or rump
12 medium carrots, peeled and left whole
salt
pepper
8 – 10 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
6 onions, halved
garlic cloves, optional

Brown roast thoroughly on all sides over medium heat in roaster. If using garlic, cut narrow slits in meat and insert cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover roaster and reduce heat to low, cooking meat about 3 hours or until nearly done. Arrange potatoes, carrots, and onion around roast, adding salt as desired. Baste with meat juices. Cover again and cook over medium heat about 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove meat and vegetables. Strain juices and thicken if you wish to serve with gravy.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Mourning another loss in the community

The mercury dipped down below zero degrees this morning. Brrr! It is cold outside and even colder with the wind chill. Yesterday we woke up to over ten inches of snow, which cancelled work for everyone.

Daughter Susan and her children Jennifer and Ryan were here since Sunday. She brought her laundry, and we both helped each other wash clothes on Monday and hung it all in the basement. Daughter Verena went over to sister Verena’s on Sunday night and stayed there until last night. She then went home with Susan and her children. Sons Joseph, 18, and Kevin, 15, went over to stay the night with sister Verena last night. Joseph isn’t working this week, so it’s easier for him and Kevin to go than daughter Lovina, 16, right now.

Daughter Lovina is waiting for our neighbor lady to pick her up to go to work. They both work at McDonald’s. It is almost 5:30 a.m. She starts at 6 a.m. and works until 2 p.m.

Today I’ll go to town with sister Verena. After we come back, Joe and I, sister Verena, and daughter Susan will go to the visitation of Ida, 72, a lady who lived a couple miles from here who battled with Alzheimer’s for years. She and her husband Joni have thirteen children, and two of them are our neighbors. She will be laid to rest in the cemetery down the road from us, where son-in-law Mose and sister Susan are buried. In two months’ time, three people will be laid to rest in that new cemetery. Mose was the first to be buried in there. It’s a short walk from our house, so daughter Susan often walks to Mose’s grave when she’s here.

On Sunday, daughter Elizabeth and Tim dropped off Abigail, 4, and T.J., 2, on their way to church in another church district, where their nephew was being baptized. Both children love books and were soon cuddled on the recliner with Grandpa Joe, reading books while I made breakfast. Tim and Elizabeth came for supper then and Susan and children were here, too, as well as Loretta and Lovina’s special friends Dustin and Daniel. It’s a comfort to all be together, but Mose is missed so much when we are all together. Tim and Elizabeth and Mose and Susan would often leave at the same time and drive behind each other until Mose and Susan would turn off on their road. Tim and Mose did so much together, helping each other out as they lived a few miles from each other. God makes no mistakes, we know, so we need to trust that He has a plan.

On Sunday, Abigail was playing with two dolls and had another doll laying on a small table. She kept walking past it, and I asked what she was doing. She said, “I am acting like my husband died and these are my two children.” Such innocence from sweet little children who can’t quite grasp what happened.

Over ten inches of snow fell this week at the Eicher homestead. Photo provided.

Dustin cleaned our drive out yesterday with his skid loader and also went over to clean out the drive at sister Verena’s house. He pushed a lot of snow. After he was done, he and Joe went to daughter Susan’s house and shoveled her drive out, too, before she left for home.

I made a casserole to take to the visitation tonight. I need to have it heated, ready to eat, and there by 4 p.m. today. I am glad to help out. We had so much help over both funerals. It is a blessing to have all the support of a church, friends, and family at times like those. Our sympathy goes to the family of Ida. Stay healthy and safe. God bless you!

Hamburger Noodle Casserole

3 pounds hamburger
1 cup onion, diced
1 16-ounce package of noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
breadcrumbs

Fry hamburger with onion until meat is browned. Prepare noodles as directed on package and mix with hamburger. Add both soups and sour cream. Top with buttered breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Variation: Add frozen or canned peas and top with shredded cheese before adding breadcrumbs.

 

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

In loving memory of Sister Susan

Our hearts are once again mourning the loss of a dear loved one. Sister Susan, age 44, lost her battle and passed away on January 31. Three years ago on the same day, brother Amos died unexpectedly at age 56. Please keep praying for God to give us the strength we need to go on.

Sisters Susan and Verena made a cookbook with recipes from the family members of Ben and Elizabeth Coblentz, my parents. The memories and recipes this week are from their book.

Susan’s Memories

There are a lot of memories we could talk about. When I was a sixth grader at school, our class was supposed to bring in some kind of food. Then we had to prepare it in front of the class so we could all see how different foods were made. We just had to make enough so the class could all have a taste of what everyone prepared. So I made a potato salad. I had the potato mixture in one container and then the salad dressing mixture in another. Everything was already cut up and diced; I just had to mix it together then tell the class what and how much was in it. Mom helped me with the potato salad recipe and also got everything prepared. She was an excellent cook, baker, and mother. My sixth-grade teacher said she wanted to taste my potato salad, as she said she knows what a good cook Mom is! My teacher liked the potato salad! I still get hungry for Mom’s food. I put the potato salad recipe in the cookbook that Mom had gotten ready for me to take to school that day.

Dad was a great carpenter and father! He loved watching his birds and had his Martin houses, and he’d watch to see how many sets of Martins he would have.

I always like playing games with Dad and Mom. With Dad I liked to play the game Connect 4 and with Mom, Aggravation! Good old memories—they are gone, but not forgotten.

Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cooked (whole) until tender
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups salad dressing
2 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt

Dice potatoes or put through a slicer. Combine potatoes, eggs, celery, and onion together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together salad dressing, mustard, vinegar, sugar, milk, and salt. Pour over potato mixture and stir together.

Susan’s Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
3/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup tomato juice or V8 juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, beaten

Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Combine hamburger, oats, onion, eggs, tomato juice, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Shape into 2 logs in a 9×13-inch pan or 2 loaf pans; pack firmly into pan. Whisk sauce ingredients together and spread on top of meatloaf. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.

Beef and Gravy

This is a recipe sister Susan wrote in her own words from watching Mother make the gravy.

4 heaping tablespoons flour
1 pint canned beef chunks
1 medium onion
Potato water (from mashed potatoes)

Put 4 heaping tablespoons flour in a pan and brown flour until it’s dark. Let flour cool. In a 3 1/2-quart kettle, add 1 pint of beef and 2 pints of water. Put 1 whole onion in it. When it starts to boil, take out beef and put potato water in it. If you don’t have potato water, then use water. If extra water is needed, just put more water in kettle. Then mix the cooled flour and water to make a thickening until it is a little watery. Then mix the beef and thickening in the kettle until it boils.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

A week filled with family time and visiting

It is a Friday night and we had a nice, sunny day in the 60s. I spent the day with our children who have muscular dystrophy at their annual appointments in Ann Arbor. It was a long day, leaving home at 5:30 a.m. and returning at 3 p.m. It’s also a stressful, tiresome day for them to do all the testing, etc. It’s a two-hour drive each way so we hired a driver to take us.

My husband Joe mixed up 25 pounds of deer jerky yesterday and was putting it in the dehydrator today. Son-in-law Tim brought us a doe he shot. We were glad for the meat.

Joe is grilling chicken for our supper and I heated up leftover spaghetti and meatballs from last night to go with the chicken.

Sons Benjamin and Joseph will leave after supper. Benjamin will go spend the night at Mose and Susan’s and go deer hunting in the morning. Joseph will go to Tim and Elizabeth’s and go deer hunting with Tim.

Little granddaughter Allison (Tim and Elizabeth) is really walking everywhere now. She likes to sing the song “High Cotton,” and we just think it’s the cutest thing. She acts so much older than her age.

Last week we had pon hoss. Last winter we canned pork broth, so Joe opened up some broth, added flour, salt and pepper, and made pon hoss. Usually we only have that after butchering pork in the winter months. It made two cake pans of pon hoss, which was used up in a few meals. Of course, they wanted coffee soup with the pon hoss.

Joe hauled manure on the garden too. It seems he is getting lots of jobs done around here but there is only one problem—it doesn’t bring in a paycheck. It’s frustrating but we need to trust in God. He will help us through difficult times. We have so much to be thankful for.

Last Sunday we attended church at nephew Benjamin’s girlfriend’s (Crystal) house about 45 minutes from here. We went with sister Emma, Jacob and sons, sisters Verena and Susan, niece Emma, Menno and children, and niece Elizabeth and Manuel. It was an enjoyable day meeting new people. We appreciated all the hospitality and am glad I got to talk with readers of this column! They have no idea how much their encouragement meant to me.

This is now Monday morning at 4:45 a.m. Sons Benjamin and Joseph are off to work.

Yesterday daughters Loretta and Lovina and son Joseph went to church with Dustin and Daniel (Loretta and Lovina’s boyfriends) to their church district. (Our community has 15 church districts with each having an average of 20-plus families. When a district gets too big, they divide and a new set of ministers, a deacon and a bishop are ordained in whichever side needs a replacement. The dividing line is what determines which side you are going to go to.)

Sons Benjamin and Kevin and daughter Verena spent yesterday at sister Emma and Jacob’s house. Joe and I were home alone so we decided after breakfast to go for a ride. We went to Mose and Susan’s house and enjoyed playing with Jennifer, 2, and Ryan, 1. Then we headed to Tim and Elizabeth’s house to enjoy some time with Abigail, 4, T.J., 23 months, and Allison, 10 1/2 months. They put out snacks such as venison jerky, popcorn, chips and salsa for us to enjoy before heading home the 6 1/2 miles. It was snowing but nothing stayed. Stay safe and healthy and God bless!

 

Turkey & Dressing Casserole

2 1/2 cups leftover dressing
1/2 cup canned mushrooms
2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream

Spread the dressing in the bottom of a two-quart casserole or 9×9 inch baking pan. Add the mushrooms in a layer, then the turkey. Combine the soup and sour cream and spread over the turkey layer. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Additional note: Leftover mashed potatoes can also be added or used to replace the sour cream and chicken soup. I sprinkle mixed vegetables on top and add cheese too.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available now from the publisher, Herald Press, 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 email  LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Painting project combines work with family visits

Supper is over with, and I need to start writing this column. We had potato soup, side pork (from our pork we butchered last winter), cheese, and crackers. Daughters Loretta, 20, and Lovina, 16, aren’t home tonight. Loretta’s friend Dustin’s family is having a belated birthday supper for him, so that is where they are. Lovina is dating Dustin’s brother Daniel, so she’s included too.

The three boys were hungry so at least it makes it worth while to make supper. Daughter Verena helped me make it. I was glad for her help.

I helped paint at Mose and Susan’s house last week Friday and Saturday. The girls brought Jennifer and Ryan (Mose and Susan’s children) here both days so Mose, Susan, and I could keep painting uninterrupted. We painted three coats on the bathroom and bedroom and two coats on the living room. Friday was a drying day and the paint dried fast but Saturday it took longer.

The cabinets are ready to be installed in the kitchen now. It all takes time and money. We are hoping they can be moved in by the end of the month. It really looks nice how they remodeled. They are adding a second bathroom which is good to have.

Saturday while we were painting at Mose and Susan’s house, daughter Elizabeth and Tim and their three children stopped in to look at the progress. They were all still tired from getting home from the wedding in Kentucky at 2 a.m. on Friday. Elizabeth helped us paint while we visited. Not only was the seven hour trip each way exhausting to the parents but the children do not like being in their seats that long. T.J., 22 months, is so energetic that it’s hard for him to be strapped in a seat that long. Abigail, 4, can entertain herself so it’s not so bad for her.

I am going to finish this in the morning so good night to all!

Good morning! It is already 10:30 a.m. and I need to get this column finished.

Daughters Verena and Lovina left to go stay with Elizabeth and Tim’s three little ones while Elizabeth runs some errands. Kevin, 15, is sorting tomatoes and throwing the bad ones away. We picked all our tomatoes (green ones too) and had them on two tables. Some went bad on us. I had always wanted to make juice with them but too much else was going on. Loretta is washing dishes. I want to sew niece Emma’s little girl Jessica a dress to take along tonight. I had it cut out a long time ago and never got it sewed.

Niece Emma is hosting a Pampered Chef party tonight which is actually a belated wedding shower for her sister Elizabeth. The girls and I plan to attend. Emma said the men folks can come after the party to eat supper, so I don’t have to cook for them. I want to have the girls make a dessert to take along.

Monday evening our family helped Dustin with his patio again. It’s close to being done. It started raining so they worked between the rain. Loretta and I made spaghetti and meatballs and garlic toast for everyone that came. Daughter Susan made a cake to bring along and Elizabeth sent apple pie. She stayed home with their girls and T.J. came with Tim.

Lovina hosted her family for the Sunday noon meal, setting the table for a crowd. Photo provided.

Sunday we had fast and prayer day in preparation for communion services. Our family came for the noon meal. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, meatloaf, corn, cheese, dinner rolls, butter, jam, hot peppers, apple slices, fruit dip, brownies, and ice cream. We set the table for all of us. After lunch we played games.

I’ll share my recipe for meatloaf. Enjoy!

God’s blessings to all!

 

Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
3/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 cup tomato juice or V8 juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, beaten

Sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Then shape it into two logs in a 9×13-inch pan or two loaf pans. Pack firmly into pan. Mix the sauce together and put on top of meat loaf. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Let sit five minutes before slicing. Optional: add a little barbecue sauce with the ketchup and mustard mixture.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available now from the publisher, Herald Press, 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 email  LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Spring Cleaning and Fresh Breezes

Last week my sisters Verena and Susan did a good job cleaning the windows in the upstairs bedrooms. We like to take the screens out and bring them to the basement to spray off with soap and hot water. The summer dust accumulates on them.

Just before lunch time Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty from Geneva, Indiana, drove in. They stayed for lunch and visited with all of us. I want to wish them a happy 50th wedding anniversary on March 14. Not everyone gets to see their 50th anniversary anymore, so I think that’s special!

We also washed laundry that day and with the temperature in the 50’s and the sun shining, we hung everything outside. We washed the curtains from the bedrooms upstairs while the windows were getting cleaned. All the laundry was dry, folded, and put away again, which is a sure sign spring is not too far away. The curtains were ironed and hung back on the sparkling windows.

Along with spring cleaning in preparation for hosting church services, Lovina and daughters did many loads of laundry this week and took advantage of the sunshine and warmer temperatures to hang it outside to dry. Photo Credit: D. Lucas Landis

Monday, daughter Susan and children and daughter Verena drove the five miles to the doctor’s office to have 7 1/2-month-old Ryan checked out. He had been running a temperature and was very fussy so Susan stayed home from church with him. The doctor says he had inner ear infection and gave him an antibiotic and ear drops. I had Susan bring her laundry here, and daughter Loretta and I washed it while they were in town. We washed ours too, so we put through quite a few loads of laundry. I hung most of it outside and it dried fast in the wind. It’s always harder to hang clothes on the lines on windy days, but they dry fast.

Wednesdays are usually the day our married daughters Elizabeth and Susan come home for the day along with our five sweet grandchildren. Yesterday Elizabeth and Susan washed off the walls and ceiling in the master bedroom, and also cleaned the windows and furniture. It was relaxing to go to bed last night with our bedroom so refreshed. The master bathroom still needs to be cleaned but that won’t take long for me to do one day.

My other daughters were baking cookies and washing dishes, rocking babies, etc. They made chocolate crinkle cookies. This recipe will be in my new cookbook coming out next month. They also made ranger cookies, which are an oatmeal cookie. They wanted to make outrageous cookies but we were out of chocolate chips. Granddaughters Abigail, 3, and Jennifer, 2, love when their aunts let them help mix and bake the cookies. Some turned out very small because the little girls were helping, but they enjoyed it. Ryan is back to smiling and chattering and is acting so much better than a few days ago.

I made a list of everything we hope to accomplish in cleaning before we host church services in April. It’s not that we can’t host the services if this doesn’t get done, but I like to set a goal and the list helps to get everything done. How refreshing once the house has a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. Plans are for me to do quite a few book signings after my new cookbook is out. I know I will relax much better leaving and knowing my house is cleaned for the summer months ahead. The girls are always happy to mark things off my list. They will also be glad when we are done.

This month 16 years ago my husband Joe and I and our six children made the move here to our home in Michigan from our home in Indiana. Eight weeks later we were blessed with our seventh child, Lovina. She came earlier than expected and I had her by emergency c-section and spent a week in the hospital. Sixteen months later we added another son, Kevin, to our family. Sixteen years went by so fast! Time does not stand still.

I want to get to answering my reader mail today. I am so sorry for the delay in answering but it’s so easy to put off for another day, week, etc. God bless!

 

Chicken ’n Rice Casserole
1 cup cooked chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup cooked rice
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
2 hard-boiled eggs

Mix together all the ingredients and put in a two-quart casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs, crushed crackers or tortilla chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, will be available in April 2020 from the publisher, Herald Press, 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 email  LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Winter weather returns amid butchering and painting projects

Winter weather is back! We’ve received around three inches of snow and it’s still snowing. The roads must not be the best as school is cancelled for today! I let son Kevin sleep in, so he doesn’t yet know school is cancelled. He will be happy when he wakes up.

Lovina and family received over three inches of snow after a brief thaw. Photo provided.

Son-in-law Mose had a birthday yesterday, February 5. Mose, Susan, and Jennifer all had the flu so he didn’t have the nicest birthday. We will wash their laundry here for them today, since Susan didn’t feel up to washing clothes this week. In the winter months I like to add a laundry disinfectant to the water to help with germs during the flu season. I really think it helps.

Tuesday the girls and I spent the day at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. We washed a lot of laundry for them and cleaned her house. She was glad to have everything clean again. Daughter Lovina stayed there for the night and came home with Elizabeth and all three children the next morning. Daughter Susan and children couldn’t come as they still had the flu.

Monday the temperature went over 50 degrees so we hung some of our laundry out on the lines to dry. The bedding smelled so fresh when put back on the beds. We also cleaned our windows while the temperature was warmer.

Daughter Verena bought aqua colored paint to have her bedroom painted. So far, this week has been too busy to start with it. The boys did move Verena’s bed into Loretta and Lovina’s bedroom. The dressers will be moved to the middle of her room and covered up. Her bedroom walls are still the same color daughter Elizabeth had when she had that bedroom. It’s a burgundy color and Verena prefers aqua. Elizabeth has been married four and a half years and we still haven’t changed the color. It will brighten up the bedroom.

Saturday, we helped sister Emma and Jacob butcher two hogs. Sister Emma served us all breakfast when we arrived which was a breakfast casserole.

Read in this week’s column about how pon hoss is made (pictured here, sliced and ready to fry). Photo provided.

After the meat was cut up, we rendered the lard and cooked the pork off the bones. The meat from the bones was put through the grinder and then added back to the cooking water. Flour, salt, and black pepper were added to the cooking water making 17 gallons of pon hoss! We added four cups of flour, two tablespoons of salt, and one tablespoon of black pepper to each gallon of juice. The flour is sifted so it doesn’t get chunky, and someone stirs constantly to keep it from sticking to the big kettle while it cooks over an open fire. After the pon hoss is thickened, it is taken off the fire and poured into pans to cool. After it is cooled it can be sliced and fried in a pan until golden on each side. It can be fried longer for a crispier taste if preferred.

The sausage was all ground, seasoned, and packaged for the freezer. Some was processed in quart- and pint-sized jars. We usually season our sausage with brat and ranch seasoning we get at the meat market. It makes a good flavor for sausage patties or sausage gravy. The pork chops, ham, and bacon were also all sliced and packaged for the freezer.

Everything was mostly done by 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. then we had a delicious lunch of mashed potatoes, gravy, pork tenderloin, coleslaw, lettuce salad, cheese, Jello cake, cowboy bars, donuts, cake, and ice cream.

Baby Allison will be six weeks old tomorrow. She has the brightest blue eyes and smiles when you talk to her. So adorable and precious!

Stay healthy during this flu season! God bless!

 

Sausage Delights

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1/3 cup shortening
1-pound bulk sausage, fried
1-1 1/2 cup shredded Colby or cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Add the fried sausage and shredded cheese. Stir in milk and egg and mix well. Drop onto greased pans and bake at 375 degrees until done. Serve plain or with butter or sausage gravy.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, will be available in April 2020 from the publisher, Herald Press, 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 email  LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.