Category Archives: Pies

Lovina Helps Prepare Pies for a Wedding

It’s Tuesday, and it’s almost time to start supper. I am not sure yet what I’ll make besides sweet corn, cucumber salad, and sliced tomatoes. For me, that is enough. I love the fresh veggies from the garden.

Last week daughter Loretta and I canned peaches for her and Dustin. I also want to can pickled beets for her. Her mother-in-law is canning corn and green beans for them. That will all help them to have vegetables in jars for future use.

Lovina and her daughter Loretta canned peaches together. Photo provided.

Loretta and five-and-a-half-week-old baby Denzel are here right now. She’s elevating her legs and feeding the little sweetie. He weighs eight pounds two ounces now, so he’s gaining well. It is so fun to get him smiling that sweet little smile.

Dustin is mowing hay. It’s nice weather for that right now.

Today, I went to help with preparations for niece Leanna and Alvin’s wedding. It will be at her parent’s (my brother Albert and Sarah Irene) house. Sisters Verena and Emma also went with me to help.

My job was to roll out dough for pie crusts. Two of Alvin’s aunts were also helping me. We rolled out around 70 pie crusts. Some were baked empty, and some were put in the cooler to have ready-to-bake pecan pies tomorrow.

Sisters Liz, Emma, and I will have to make gravy at the wedding.

The tables are all set, and everything looks like it’s coming into place for the wedding Thursday, August 18th.

August 18th is also daughter Susan’s friend Ervin’s daughter Kaitlyn’s sixth birthday. We will go to Ervin’s house for a birthday party for her on Friday night. Kaitlyn is such a sweetheart. She’ll come hug me when she sees me and say, “Grandma—I love you, and I missed you.”

I haven’t met Kaitlyn’s mother’s family yet, but they are planning to be at her birthday party too.

Granddaughter Abigail and Kaitlyn will start kindergarten next week. They are excited about it. Nephew Benjamin and Crystal’s son Isaiah will also be in their class. They all get along really well, so I’m sure they will have fun together.

Sunday, August 14th, was daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s seventh anniversary. Our family went there for lunch in their honor. Tim made fish and fries in the deep fryer outside. Along with that, we also had coleslaw, cheese, watermelon, peaches, chocolate pie, brownies, and ice cream. Everything was delicious!

It is now past my bedtime. Dustin and Loretta left for home. They were here for supper. Daughter Verena also surprised us and came home for supper and will stay here for the night. It’s always good to have her home.

Son Joseph went over to help son-in-law Tim with his hay. Son Benjamin left with his horse and buggy to pick Joseph up and bring him home. I always feel like I need to wait up until everyone is home and in bed.

Daughter Loretta had another stack of cards from readers. This means so much to her. Thank you for all the cards and gifts being sent to her. It is greatly appreciated! May God bless you!

I wanted to get this column written tonight, so I can start sewing in the morning. I still need to sew Lovina’s dress, cape, and apron for the wedding on Thursday.

God’s blessings to all!

Zucchini Pie
3 cups finely chopped or grated zucchini
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons lemon juice
pat of butter
9-inch pie shell, double crust

Mix all ingredients and put in an unbaked pie shell. Place crust on top and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. It tastes like apple pie.

 

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.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

 

Lovina Shares About Daughter Loretta’s Recovery

It’s Wednesday morning at 4:40 a.m. and a cool 57 degrees outside. Daughter Lovina walked over to Dustin and Loretta’s house shortly after 4 a.m. to be with Loretta while Dustin’s at work. Son Joseph just left for work. They are building a barn nine miles from here, so he’s not working too far. Usually, they work one and a half to two hours away. Daughter Verena is probably a mile from here, staying with Ervin’s (Susan’s friend) three children. Son Benjamin leaves for his work around 5:30 a.m.

My husband Joe won’t go work until after his doctor’s appointment today, so he gets to sleep in. I will go with him, so I need to get this column done before I leave.

Daughter Loretta gave us quite a scare when she was hospitalized for six days with a massive blood clot the whole length of her leg. She also had one in her lungs. Surgery was done to remove parts of the blood clots on her leg. Doctors are hoping the blood thinner will break up the one in her lungs and help dissolve the ones in her leg. She will go in again in five weeks to have tests to see how the clots are. If needed, another surgery will be done to put in a stent. We are hoping and praying it won’t need to be done.

This was to be baby Denzel’s outfit for the wedding of nephew Benjamin and Crystal, but he didn’t get to attend.

Dustin and Loretta could not attend nephew Benjamin and Crystal’s wedding as she was still in the hospital. Daughter Verena stayed here and helped daughter Lovina and me. We had four-week-old baby Denzel here while Loretta was in the hospital. Verena took care of him at night. He did pretty good but likes to wait to settle down until after midnight. He’s such a sweetie. He weighs 7 pounds and 13 ounces now. Loretta missed him so much. We took him up to her for a while, and she cried when we took him to go home again. It was like medicine to see her newborn baby.

On a happy note—Benjamin and Crystal had a very nice sunny day for their wedding. It did get hot later in the day.

Their lunch menu was mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, corn, barbequed chicken, pasta salad, cinnamon pudding, Key lime pie, Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie, pecan pie, bread, butter and jelly, and candy bars. The supper menu had Poor Man’s Steak instead of chicken and ice cream instead of cinnamon pudding. The wedding cake was cut and served at 7:00 p.m. supper. The tradition at our weddings is that the bride and groom’s fathers carry out the cake to be cut and passed out. Since Benjamin’s father Jacob passed away a year ago, Benjamin picked my husband Joe to take his place to carry the cake with Crystal’s father.

Jacob died on August 8th, 2021, so this week is a year. Sister Emma said it feels good to have Crystal and her son Isaiah moving into her house. With the house so empty after her husband’s death, it’ll help fill the void. Benjamin, Crystal, and Isaiah will live in with Emma until they make living quarters in her pole barn for now. Crystal’s parents will miss five-year-old Isaiah after having him at their house since birth.

I went to help prepare for the wedding Wednesday, and my job was to bake 30 pecan pies. Neighbor Barbara was also there to help me make them. The Saturday before the wedding, Joe and I went to help set the wedding tables.

Tonight, our whole church is invited to neighbors Joas and Susan for a fish fry. Joas loves to fish, so every year they invite the church one night for a fish fry. Everyone brings a dish, so there is plenty of food to eat.

I want to thank all of you readers who have sent cards to Loretta and for all the prayers. They were felt, and what a comfort to have such great support! May God bless you for your kindness! The doctors say Loretta has a long road of recovery, but we are so thankful she is still here. Her leg was swollen twice its size. She has to keep it often elevated, so daughter Lovina helps her while Dustin is at work. He is working only three days each week, which makes it tough on the young married couple as well. God bless!

Key Lime Pie
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh Key lime juice
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Combine the first 3 ingredients. Press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake the pie crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool. Stir together sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until blended. Pour into prepared crust. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer just until foamy. Add granulated sugar gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes). Spread meringue over filling. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes. Chill for 8 hours.

 

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.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Midsummer Celebrations and Camping Memories

Time keeps going on and I really need to get this column written. We had a good soaking rain during the night, along with a thunderstorm. The garden needed rain, so it was greatly appreciated.

Joe and I, with son Joseph and his special friend Grace, attended the wedding last Thursday of nephew Sam and KatieAnn. They had a nice day for their wedding. It was nice to see family and friends. Sisters Liz, Verena, and I made the chicken noodles for the meals. Sisters Leah, Emma, and sister-in-law Sarah Irene made the gravy, so we were close enough to get a lot of visiting done as well. The menu was mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, fried chicken, corn, salad, with pecan, pumpkin custard, and strawberry pies, angel food cake, caramel pudding, and fresh fruit with a fruit glaze. For the evening meal, meatballs were added to the menu as well. The tables were also lined with stacks of nothings (a pastry also known as elephant ears). This is a custom at weddings in the Berne, Indiana area.

I was a cook at the wedding, and Joseph and Grace were table waiters. We traveled the two hours with sisters Verena and Emma, nephew Benjamin, and his friend Crystal. Benjamin and Crystal were also table waiters. We left home at 5:30 a.m. and arrived back home safely after 10 p.m.

We wish the couple a long, happy life together! Brother Amos was missed by many at the wedding, and a very nice poem in a frame hung in the wedding corner in his memory. Sam and KatieAnn will live with sister-in-law Nancy and have separate living quarters. Amos and Nancy’s big house that was so fully occupied is now very empty. Life goes on and time brings changes that we must accept, although it isn’t easy.

Brother-in-law Jacob and sister Susan were also missed, as they would’ve always traveled with us to the wedding in Berne.

Friday was daughter Loretta’s 22nd birthday. Our family gathered at their house in honor of her birthday. We were served a delicious supper of pizza, ham and beans, chips, cheese ball and crackers, ice cream, and cake.

On July 4th, we spent the day at home. Then later Joe and I decided to go join daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, daughter Verena, daughter Susan and children, and Susan’s friend Ervin and his children on a wagon ride to town to watch the fireworks. It started to rain lightly and we were afraid we might get wet, but it quit then. It was around 11:30 or later by the time we arrived back home to Tim’s house. The children were all cuddled in blankets sleeping when we arrived there.

It was enjoyable to spend time with the children. I held little Andrea and she watched the fireworks with big eyes.

Tonight, daughter Lovina and son Joseph leave to go camping with their special friends’ family by the lake for three nights. Hopefully the weather will be good as they will sleep in tents.

I remember one year when Joe and I had only a few children we went camping with sister Liz and Levi and their children back by his parent’s cabin and pond. Levi’s and us all slept in a big tent, and once we were almost all settled for the night sister Liz flashed around the tent to make sure there weren’t any spiders in there. Well, she spotted one, and of course she and I freaked out, so Levi and Joe had to look for that spider and kill it so their wives could sleep. After all the excitement and all was settled again, it started pouring and then storming, so everyone sleeping in tents decided to move into the cabin for safety. Levi and Joe carried the sleeping children one by one through the rain to the cabin. We all slept on blankets on the floor. Several more of Levi’s siblings were also camping there, so it was quite packed. The next morning the sun came out and they made a delicious breakfast over the open fire. It was a memorable camping trip! God bless!

This isn’t the recipe used at the wedding, but I’ll share a recipe for Pumpkin Custard Pie this week.

Pumpkin Custard Pie
1 9-inch pie shell
3 eggs
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine eggs, evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, sugars, flour, salt, allspice and cinnamon. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Pour into pie shell and bake 60-65 minutes or until pie is set in center. Optional—top with Cool Whip.

 

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.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Celebrating Easter with Family

April has brought us a week of cooler temperatures, with the ground covered with snow one morning. It didn’t last long, and the green grass is again showing. The rhubarb and tea plants are growing as well as all the early spring flowers. We look forward to warmer weather coming to stay for the summer months ahead.

Today daughter Susan had a dentist appointment, so she left Jennifer, 4, and Ryan, 2, here while she went. They are both growing up so fast! And such precious sweeties!

Last week we attended a Norwex party and stayed for lunch at nephew John and Arlene’s house. Daughter Elizabeth and children T.J., Allison, and Andrea, daughter Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, daughter Verena, sister Verena, and I went with our friend Jodi.

After the party, we were served a delicious lunch. My husband Joe’s sisters MaryAnn and Ruth and nephew Noah’s wife Ruth were there, so we had an enjoyable time visiting as well. It is so nice to have Joe’s sister Ruth this close again. They moved from Oklahoma to a place 11 miles from our house. It is close enough to reach with a horse and buggy. Ruth’s husband Chris hasn’t been doing so great health-wise. They are in the process of building a house which can take a lot of time.

Daughter Elizabeth and the Norwex Consultant Corinna were surprised to see that they knew each other. Both have married and changed their last names since they last saw each other years ago while in their teenage years.

Nephew John was working, so we didn’t get to see him, unfortunately. John entertained our older children a lot when they were growing up by giving swing rides or pulling the little wagon, giving them ride after ride.

On Good Friday, our family came home for an Easter dinner. It is a time of renewal and rebirth of the spirit when hope is brought to life through the resurrection of the Lord.

It was a chilly day, but the children bundled up in their coats to go collect the hidden eggs. They were excited to find the eggs. This year I put little toys in the eggs instead of candy, and they enjoyed that even more. And it’s a healthier option. We played some games, and it was just a nice day being with family. Our community has “Fast and Prayer Day” on Good Friday until lunchtime. How thankful we can be that our Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. I hope every one of you had a blessed Easter holiday. May the blessings of the Lord guide you, protect you, and be with you always!

I need to bake raspberry pies to take to our Amish community’s fundraiser for a few of the local fire departments. Smoked pork chops and grilled chicken will also be on the menu for the meal served Friday at our local community building.

Last night daughter Verena and her friend Laura and son Kevin and his friend Daniel traveled with horses and buggies to the community youth center for an appreciation supper for the youth and to listen to the guidelines of the youth gatherings on Saturday evenings. Verena and Laura used our horse Midnight as Susan’s horse Lightning is older and couldn’t go that far.

After they came back, we played games and visited before they headed back home.

I was glad to meet all the readers that attended the Nappanee library book signing. Thank you for all the encouragement. And thanks to daughters Verena and Lovina and son Kevin for going with me and helping out. God’s blessings!

 

Raspberry Pie
1 9-inch double pie crust
4 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon whole milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix raspberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt until raspberries are well covered. Pour into a 9-inch pie shell, dot with butter, add top crust, and crimp edge. If not using a slotted crust, make slits in the crust and brush with cream. Bake for 15 minutes to set the crust, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about 25 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.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Sewing Projects and Minister’s Delight

It’s Tuesday evening and I’m sitting here writing by the table. I can hear the wind blowing outside. The temperature is 40 degrees, but the wind chill makes it feel colder than that. We are so ready for warmer temperatures, and April being here in a few days makes us yearn for warmer days. The forecast sounds like snow will be coming yet this week. It is good that God controls the weather, and we must accept what we are given. I enjoy the four seasons of the year here in Southern Michigan.

My husband Joe and sons have been building raised garden beds for our one garden. They are also taking orders to sell any size, so that keeps them busy on some nights.

Today I was gone most of the day at appointments, so I didn’t get anything done here at home.

Last week I sewed several dresses and shirts. Some were for a friend, so I am glad I filled that order. I have several more shirts cut out to sew, hopefully this week yet. Daughter Susan had a shirt cut out for Mose before he died. She gave it to me to sew, and it fits son Benjamin so she gave it to him. As I sewed Mose’s shirt it made me think of how much we still miss him. Gone but never forgotten. Life goes on, and although we miss him dearly, we know he isn’t coming back. God makes no mistakes, so we trust He has a plan. Susan does so well raising her children and keeping everything going at her house.

On Sunday we were just going to be home for the day, except Joseph and Lovina had plans to go with their special friends to church. I invited our family, sister Emma and her family, and sister Verena to come for the noon meal (dinner, as we call it). Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and family couldn’t come, as his parents and sister and family were going there for the day. Emma’s daughters and families couldn’t make it either, as they were attending church at a co-worker’s place.

Those coming were sister Verena, sister Emma and sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Benjamin’s special friend Crystal and her son Isaiah, daughter Loretta and Dustin, daughter Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan, and daughter Verena.

Our menu was mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, buttered beets, meatloaf, cheese, hot peppers, chocolate, vanilla, and pecan pies, Minister’s Delight (see below), cookies, and ice cream.

The afternoon was spent visiting and playing games. The game Cover Your Assets was the main game being played.

Before everyone left for home, I heated up some of the leftovers and set out snacks to eat.

Sister Verena went home with daughters Susan and Verena and spent a couple days there.

Joe misses Jacob not being here to visit with. It’s not easy for sister Emma to go home without her beloved husband. Remember to visit and stay in contact with these lonely widows if you are family. So often they are forgotten after time goes on. They didn’t choose to be alone and would be so happy if their life was back to normal. Again we must put it in God’s hands, because He maketh no mistakes!

I’ll share the recipe for Minister’s Delight, which sister Verena made for Sunday’s dinner. God bless!

Minister’s Delight

1 pint homemade or 21-ounce can cherry or apple pie filling
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Place pie filling in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Combine cake mix and butter (mixture will be crumbly) and sprinkle over filling. Top with walnuts if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 20–30 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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Flying Paper Lanterns and Remembering Loved Ones

It’s just past 5:30 a.m. and a cold 29 degrees outside. We still haven’t had any snow except a few flurries yesterday. I won’t complain about that. This weekend daylight savings time ends so we fall back an hour. I really wish it would just stay one way or the other. I don’t like changing the time on all our clocks.

Daughter Lovina, 17, just left for work. She took some time off from working at McDonalds over the wedding of Dustin and Loretta so she could help me. Now this week she went back but only works three days a week for now.

Monday, November 1st was brother-in-law Jacob’s 49th birthday. We had sister Emma and sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Crystal and Isaiah (Benjamin’s special friend and son), Emma’s daughters Elizabeth and Manuel, Emma, Menno, and children Jessica and Menno Ray, sister Verena, daughter Elizabeth, Tim and children Abigail, T.J., and Allison, daughters Verena and Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan, daughter Loretta and Dustin, Grace and Daniel (Joseph and Lovina’s special friends) here for supper in memory of Jacob.

We all went over to the graves of our three loved ones that were taken from us in eight months’ time.

We then came back here for supper. Our menu was cheesy potatoes, meatloaf, barbequed chicken, lettuce salad, cheese, pecan pie, brownies, bar cookies, and ice cream.

Flying paper lanterns with messages to missing loved ones brought comfort to Lovina’s family. Photo provided.

After we ate it was dark, so we went outside, and each one lit a paper lantern to let fly that said “Miss you forever, love you always. We will remember you every single day.” Everyone wrote a little something on the lanterns, and the children traced their handprints on them. It was very emotional, but it felt comforting watching the lanterns lift and fly up toward heaven.

On Saturday we attended my family gathering at sister-in-law Nancy’s house. It was brother Amos’s 60th birthday. He has been gone three and half years now. He would’ve been so happy to have us all there. Nancy served a good meal of barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, buttered noodles, and corn. All the salads, desserts, and snacks were brought in by everyone else. Our loved ones were greatly missed.

Sunday we went with daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, and daughter Susan and children to church services at Mose’s parents’ house. It brought a lot of memories back for Susan. It just seemed like Mose should be there with us. Mose has a nephew that reminds me of him and a brother that sounds like him. When I heard him laugh, I would think it was Mose. Rest in peace Mose! You will always be remembered.

Sunday we will also attend church services in another district. Daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel will start following instructions for baptism. We will all go in his honor. It is a step in life that always make parents thankful, when their children accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

I made pecan pie to take to the gathering Saturday since I had quite a bit of pecans and corn syrup left from Loretta and Dustin’s wedding. I made ten pies, and I put the last piece in my husband Joe’s lunch today. I gave a few to friends and family. I’ll share the recipe this week. God’s blessings to all!

Pecan Pie

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water
2 (9-inch) pie shells, unbaked
2 cups pecans (halves or pieces), divided

Mix together beaten eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and water. Divide mixture evenly between the two pie shells. Sprinkle 1 cup pecans on top of each pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 300 degrees for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until middle of pie is set. Cool completely before serving. Makes 2 pies.

 

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.

Getting Ready for Cooler Weather

Son-in-law Tim had a birthday on Monday, October 18. We wish him many more happy, healthy years as we travel into the unknown future.

Tonight, daughter Verena and Susan and children brought supper in and are staying the night. Dustin and Loretta also came for supper. Three-year-old Jennifer wanted to go home with Loretta and Dustin for the night. It’s hard on Susan to not have her here with her but at least she is just across the road. Jennifer loves going to their house.

Susan and Verena’s supper consisted of cheesy potatoes, chili soup, and peanut butter pie. I sliced cheese and put out crackers to eat with that. It was so nice to not have to make supper. It was very delicious.

We are having nice, sunny weather the last few days. We took advantage of the weather and washed all the windows. Laundry dried so nice as well. I know these days are limited this year, so we enjoy them all we can.

We had to get a new hopper-fed coal stove for our house, but after hearing how much a new one was, we decided to buy a used one. It is one-and-a-half years old, so hopefully it will last us awhile yet. We had no idea the price went up that much since we bought our last one.

We have the stove in the basement under a big vent in our living room. The heat comes up through the vent. There is a jacket around the stove that we can open the door of if it gets too warm up here. We heat three floors with that stove. We pour coal into the hopper and as the coal burns more coal feeds down.

Our coal didn’t come yet. But we have some left from last year, so my husband Joe started the stove tonight for the first time this fall. It feels cozier now. It probably won’t be long until the snow starts. Our leaves are falling from the trees, but they really thinned out from the storm damage this summer.

Tomorrow daughter Susan and children will go with our neighbor lady to serve lunch to the Amish school that is close by. Daughter Verena will stay here for the day. It is always so good to have Verena back home for a night.

Sister Verena spent a few days with sister Emma and sons. Emma washed all Verena’s laundry. She hadn’t been feeling well and had quite a bit of laundry that needed to be washed. She came here for several nights then went back home. Sister Emma and I want to go help Verena with her cleaning one day this week yet.

Emma also has many lonely days without her dear beloved husband Jacob. She hides so much of her sorrow and braces up for the family. It is so easy to go on with our lives and not know the pain of what these grieving widows feel, especially at night. God doesn’t give us more than we can bear. Let us pray for each other. Jacob’s 49th birthday would be the first of November. That will be a hard day for the family, I’m sure. Rest in peace, Jacob—you are still so greatly missed!

Everyone has gone to bed, so I think I’ll wrap this up and call it a day as well. Daughter Susan brought me a book she wants me to read called Into the Deep. It is about a man losing his wife and four children when caught in a flash flood. Such a tragedy, but God makes no mistakes. So, we trust He knows best. Stay healthy and God bless all of you richly!

Peanut Butter Pie

8 cups milk
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
4 (9-inch) pie shells, baked
Whipped topping

Crumbs

9 cups powdered sugar
3 cups peanut butter

Heat milk to scalding. In a separate bowl, mix granulated sugar, flour, salt, and eggs. Add mixture to hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until think. Remove from heat.

Make crumbs: Stir together the powdered sugar and peanut butter until it has a crumbly texture. Place 3/4 cup of this crumb mixture into bottom of each baked pie shell. Reserve the remaining crumbs for topping.

Divide cooked mixture among pie shells. Let pies cool, then refrigerate.

When ready to serve, top with whipped topping and sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the four pies.

 

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.

Joyful wedding preparations

The first day of autumn is bringing cool, rainy weather with the temperature at 51 degrees this morning.

Church services were held here on Sunday. It was council meeting, so we served everyone lunch throughout the service. Around 11:30 a.m. a few at a time come in to eat. We had one table set for men, one for women, and a smaller table for the younger children. On our menu was chicken noodle soup, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, bologna, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, grape jelly, butter, homemade wheat and white bread, several kinds of cookies, tea, and coffee. Sister Emma made the soup for me. She made four twelve-quart kettles of soup.

We appreciate all the help we have had with Dustin’s pole barn and getting ready here for the wedding. So many have sent over meals or a casserole to make my workload easier. May God bless their kind hearts. It is greatly appreciated.

Last night nephew Benjamin and niece Emma’s husband Menno helped on the pole barn. The east side of the pole barn is now closed up. It looks like Dustin’s cousin is over there today. I think they are installing the two overhead doors. The rest of the doors and windows are installed already. It looks like we will actually get done on time.

I have my dress, cape, and apron to sew yet for the wedding. I plan to do that today.

Saturday we will set up all the tables. The plates, silverware, and glasses will be set and then we cover all of it, so it stays okay until next Friday for the wedding.

Yesterday my three head cooks came, and we went through the recipes to see what all we need. It takes a lot of head work to come up with a grocery list for over 1000 people. Now it’s time to go shopping. Do I ever have a list to get! I should’ve started sooner, but I’ll wait until after Saturday when the cooler will be here to get the groceries that have to stay cold.

The wedding cook wagon, cooler, and dishes all come Friday afternoon. The tent will be set up next week. This is where the cooks can work to peel potatoes, mix dressing, etc. We have around 50 cooks but I’m sure a few of them might not be able to come. There will be a lot of activity going on next week around here. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the cooks will each come for a day to help prepare whatever needs to be done such as bake bread, pies, etc.

During this busy time my oldest grandchild Abigail started school. She goes four days a week and she loves it! She tells all kinds of stories about school and her new friends. Life has changed for daughter Elizabeth. Abigail kept an eye on the two little ones. Now it sounds like T.J., 2, and Allison, 1, are into everything. T.J. cried when Abigail left the first day and said he wants to go to school too. Nephew Steven is in the eighth grade so when sister Emma and daughter Elizabeth were here helping one day Steven and Abigail came off the bus here. She had made beads for all the other children here. Such a sweetie!

Memorial flowers planted for Dan and Mose by their families. Photo provided.

Our three loved ones are so missed over this time. They were always here to help out with the other weddings. We try not to dampen Loretta and Dustin’s excitement, but our hearts still ache so much. Rest in peace Mose, Susan, and Jacob!

God’s blessings to all!

 

 

 

 

No-Cook Fruit Pie Filling

2 cups fruit, such as blueberry, cherry, apple, blackberry, etc.
1/4 cup clear jel
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water

Put fruit in 8-inch pie shell, piling in a peak in center. Mix sugar and clear jel and pour over fruit. Pour water over everything and mix gently. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

For apple pie, add brown sugar and cinnamon.

For cherry pie, use more sugar and add almond flavoring.

For blackberry pie, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

 

 

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.

Medical concerns mount for Eicher family

A brand new year is before us. What does it hold for us? It is so good we don’t know our future.

Saturday we decided to wash our laundry and also daughter Susan’s. We have a heated basement with lines in it so it’s nice to dry clothes in these cold winter months. We weren’t started too long when my husband Joe came to tell me we had a call from sister Verena to ask if I could come right away to help with sister Susan. Sons Benjamin and Joseph went with me. Sisters Verena and Susan live just down the road from us. When we got there, Verena said Susan was having bad stomach pains. This had been bothering her quite some time already, but it was very bad to the point she could hardly walk. I asked her if it was okay if I called the ambulance to take her in to get help. She said it would cost too much but I told her that her life was worth far more than any amount of money. Susan was rushed to the hospital. Sister Verena and I went up with an Amish driver, following the ambulance. The doctors soon decided that she needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital over an hour away. Verena was able to sit with her until the ambulance came to transfer her. I was so glad one of the nurses let me go in to say a few words to her. A COVID test was performed, which was negative. They told Verena if the test is negative she can sit with Susan. Sister Verena was told only she can visit Susan each day from noon to 8 p.m. Since it was after 8 by the time she was transferred, Verena and I came back home. Daughter Lovina, 16, went home with Verena for the night. Our daughter Verena was still staying with daughter Susan and children. Makes our house seem empty.

On Sunday sister Emma and Jacob went to the hospital with sister Verena so she could visit with Susan. Jacob and Emma couldn’t go in the hospital, so they had a long wait until Verena came out again.

They performed a CT scan and MRI, among other tests. Doctors said she was bleeding in her abdomen and suspected a tumor or a possible small aneurysm, but they said she was losing a lot of blood and had to give her blood.

Around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, daughters Lovina and Verena were staying with sister Verena (daughter Susan and children stayed with us) when the doctor called to tell Verena to bring the family up as Susan is on life support and losing out fast. All my siblings and sister-in-law Nancy were contacted and rushed to the hospital. The six siblings were all allowed to go in to Susan. We talked and prayed with her, but she was sedated. It was still comforting to hold her hand and tell her we love her. The doctors told us to stay in the waiting room during the surgery (to try to stop the bleeding). They didn’t think she might survive the surgery. It was comforting for all of the siblings to be together. Daughter Verena and a few of the nephews were also along. We prayed, visited, and cried together, not knowing what we would find out. The doctor came out to let us know the surgery was over and she would have one again in a few days to take out the packs they put in her to stop the bleeding. The siblings all got to go see her for a few minutes and then we were told to go back home. The visiting went back to only sister Verena from noon to 8 p.m. each day. It was 7 a.m. when we arrived back home.

Today (Tuesday) they had surgery again and were able to stop the bleeding. The life support is still on her. Sister Verena goes to sit by her bed each day as is allowed. Then daughters Lovina and Verena take turns staying with sister Verena for the night. The other one stays with daughter Susan and children.

Daughters Elizabeth and Lovina and I assisted sister Emma in cleaning today as church services are set to be there Sunday, Lord willing! Thank you for all the prayers during this past month. God bless!

Shoestring Potato Pie

2 unbaked pie shells
potatoes, peeled and shredded
cubed ham or meat of your choice
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water (or more)

Fill pie shell heaping full with potatoes, ham, and seasonings. Add water and place second crust on top. Cut slits in top crust to let steam escape. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are done. Pie can be served with your choice of 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.