Category Archives: Salads

Time Enough: Signs of spring and a new baby “Lovina”!

Our time changed to what we call “fast time” on Sunday. I do not like the changing of clocks back and forth. I wish it would stay one way or the other.

My husband Joe tilled one of our gardens on Saturday. He is getting spring fever and is eager to get some potatoes planted. I on the other hand think we have enough time yet. Joe and sons Benjamin, 16, Joseph, 13, and Kevin, 10, have the yard raked and it’s ready to be rolled. We had a big truck get stuck in our yard. He thought he could drive through it and it was already too soft so it needs some straightening out.

I noticed the dandelion greens are peeping through enough where Idandelion.salad think I can get enough for a dandelion salad. We like to put this salad on top of steamed potatoes with bacon or fresh ham. Not all of our children will eat dandelion greens. Rhubarbs are peeping through—all signs of spring around us.

ice.cream&maple.syrupMose (daughter Susan’s friend) has pulled the taps from the maple trees. Maple syrup cooking is now over with for another year. The maple syrup has a really good flavor this year. I tried eating it on ice cream for the first time. They were telling me how good it is and I just didn’t think it would be that good. I really did like it.

Saturday morning I had a voicemail from nephew Joe Coblentz. This is brother Albert’s son. He wanted to let me know that he and Amanda had their third child Friday evening, a little girl they named Lovina! So now their daughter has the same name as I did until I married Joe: Lovina Coblentz. Nephew Joe laughed and said, “Now it’s going to cost you.” It looks like I better get sewing and make something special for this sweet little baby that shares my name. Joe and Amanda have three children now: Susannah, Harley, and baby Lovina.

Tuesday the women from several church districts gathered at an Amish family’s home to quilt on two quilts that will be donated to the Community Health Center benefit auction. Everyone packed their lunch. I love quilting so it’s always enjoyable to me. We all stopped to eat our lunch together, and then continued quilting.

There are ten church districts in our community so every district is scheduled to quilt a certain day. When we got there the quilts weren’t started yet. Both quilts had a very nice pattern but I’m not sure what the one was called. One of them was a diamond pattern. The one I quilted had feathers around the edge. We were all glad to get the feathers quilted and move on to some faster stitching further in on the quilt.

Yesterday I spent part of the day in a town about one-half hour from here by car. A friend took Kevin and I. Kevin’s leg braces had to be adjusted and he hadn’t been able to wear them. He wore them to school today and hopefully they won’t bother him. I told him if they bother him to take them off. It’s always hard to get a new pair worn in. He doesn’t like wearing them at all but the doctors really think we might be able to prevent surgery. They were really happy at the results at his last doctor visit. Kevin is not so happy about it. He did not have a good morning. The braces slow him down and he just gets all frustrated about it.

I’ll share my recipe for dandelion sour cream salad this week.

God’s blessings!

Dandelion Sour Cream Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
salt
4 hard-boiled eggs, diced
4 cups packed young dandelion greens

Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, milk, and salt to taste in a quart jar. Shake until smooth. Put the eggs, and dandelion greens in a large bowl and pour the sour cream mixture over them.

 

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.

Mild, dreary holiday weather has Eichers hoping for colder, sunnier days

Monday evening: supper is over, and everyone is relaxing for the evening. It is Christmas week already. Only a few days of 2015 left!

Daughter Susan is on a two-week break from the RV factory. The school has also closed its doors for two weeks. My husband, Joe, worked today but is now off work until January 4 as well. These two weeks will fly by so fast. Along with the holidays, we are also cleaning for church services, which will be held here in four weeks.

On Sunday our church district had our annual Christmas potluck dinner after church services. As usual, there was more than enough food. There were five different casseroles, all kinds of salads and desserts.

Tomorrow is my husband Joe’s forty-seventh birthday. His birthday always comes so close to the holidays. We want to have our family all together in honor of his birthday, but it doesn’t look like it will work for everyone until this coming weekend.

The last few weeks we have had rainy and dreary weather. This is making it hard for our solar panels to keep our battery pack charged. We have been using a generator to help charge the batteries. It is surprising how just one day of sunlight helps with the solar panels! We are always especially thankful for a sunshiny day since our water, freezer, and other items depend on the sun. Usually, we would have snowy weather in December, which makes the whole world seem brighter. The local newspaper said this December is making a record of being the warmest in December in years.

On Saturday morning the roads were covered in ice until the temperature rose and melted most of it. A lot of vehicles went off the road due to the slippery conditions. We had a friend take us to do some Christmas shopping around noon, and it was still really slippery. Now today it rained most of the day, with the temperature reaching 50 degrees. Joe turned our coal stove down as far as he can without it going out, and we still have to open a few windows. We are really saving on coal so far. I wonder if our whole winter will be this mild. I really am hoping we will get some colder weather, as it makes it nicer to butcher beef and pork. We will take whatever God sends for us and be thankful.

I wish all of you readers a merry Christmas. May God be with all of you this holiday season. I wish good health and safe travels to everyone. God bless all of you!

Delicious Fall Salad

6-8 slices bacon
3 cups sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
8 cups Chinese cabbage, chopped
Italian dressing

Fry and crumble bacon. Fry sweet potatoes in bacon grease, stirring several times until soft with crispy edges. Add crumbled bacon and fry several more minutes. Layer Chinese cabbage in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Top with hot bacon mixture. Do not stir. Serve immediately with Italian dressing.

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.

 

Bacon on the turkey, games and errands compose Thanksgiving weekend

Lovina's Thanksgiving Day table awaits her guests.
Lovina’s Thanksgiving Day table awaits her guests.

We had a nice, enjoyable Thanksgiving Day. We have so many blessings and so much to be thankful for!

My sister Emma, Jacob and family, sisters Verena and Susan, and daughter Elizabeth and Timothy spent the day with us. We set the table for all of us. I stuffed two turkeys with dressing. I like to lay strips of bacon on top. Joe’s dad always did this. It keeps the turkey moist while baking it, and the flavor of bacon adds an extra taste to the turkey.

Bacon-draped turkey was the signature dish for the Eicher family Thanksgiving.
Bacon-draped turkey was the signature dish for the Eicher family Thanksgiving.

Also on the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, macaroni salad, corn chip salad, a variety of sliced cheeses (such as pepper jack, Colby, and Swiss), veggies and dip, homemade bread, butter and strawberry jam, dill pickles, hot peppers, fruit dip (with orange, apple and pineapple slices), pumpkin roll, pumpkin pies, a variety of cookies, and ice cream. We had way too much food, but when everyone brings something, it all adds up! I don’t think many were hungry for dessert. We snacked later in the day.

Scrumptious side dishes rounded out the Thanksgiving menu.
Scrumptious side dishes rounded out the Thanksgiving menu.

Games were played, with Connect Four and Aggravation being the main ones. We have a game board that nephew Jacob made, and we like playing with six people in three teams. It can get really exciting—and aggravating as well! Joe and I, Mose and Susan, and Timothy and Elizabeth played this in the evening too. Daughters Verena and Loretta left with friends in the afternoon and had supper with them.

Sons Joseph, 13, and Kevin, 10, went home with Timothy and Elizabeth. Joseph wants to go deer hunting with Timothy. Kevin enjoys going to spend time with their dogs, Crystal and Izzy.

On Friday Joe and I went to Jacob and Emma’s house. Joe helped with mudding drywall in the new upstairs bedrooms. I took our leftover food from Thanksgiving dinner and helped Emma prepare the meal for the men working there. Timothy and Elizabeth dropped the boys off there on their way to town to go shopping. The girls stayed home and washed clothes and mopped the floors and cleaned up from Thanksgiving Day. Son Benjamin went to work helping Mose at his sawmill. I want to help Emma with painting the walls when she is ready to start on that.

Kevin was fitted for new leg braces to help him with his muscular dystrophy. We have seen a lot of improvement with the braces, although Kevin does not look forward to wearing them again. The doctors suggest he keep wearing them, so we will try them again.

Yesterday daughters Verena and Loretta and I went to a Tupperware shower for our neighbor girl Ruth, who was married in October. Lunch was served to all of us. From there we traveled a few miles farther to go see what bargains we could find on material at the local Amish store that was having a sale. We found enough material to keep us busy sewing for Christmas gifts. Time is limited between now and Christmas!

I’ll share the corn chip salad recipe that daughter Elizabeth brought on Thanksgiving Day.

Corn Chip Salad

Salad

1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 1/2 cups corn chips, crushed

Dressing

1 cup Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar

Toss together all salad ingredients except corn chips. In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients and then stir into salad. Add corn chips just before serving.

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.

 

Eicher family adjusts to new routine after daughter’s marriage

This is already the last day of September. Only three more months of 2015 remain. Time—it does not stand still.

Joe and I traveled to New Haven, Ind., one evening with sister Emma and Jacob and sisters Verena and Susan. We attended the viewing of my dad’s cousin Frances. Our sympathy goes to the family. It is so hard to part with loved ones. God’s ways are not our ways!

Saturday and Sunday seemed empty around here. Susan, Verena and Benjamin traveled with Mose and his family to visit relatives in another community.

Timothy and Elizabeth joined us for Sunday dinner. And of course also Izzy and Crystal. Timothy helped Joe grill some pork chops and banana peppers. Scalloped potatoes, baked beans, potato salad, sliced cheese, brownies (which Liz brought), and ice cream were also on the menu.

MightyHorse
Mighty, shown here, is one of the horses the Eicher family counts on to pull their buggy.

In the afternoon Timothy and Joe walked back to the woods. Joe spent part of Saturday back there getting ready for deer season. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing.

We ended up with 62 quarts of pickled red beets. I gave Elizabeth 12 quarts to take home. We had a bumper crop!

Daughter Susan is back at the RV factory so she gets to eat lunch with Elizabeth every day. The girls are glad to have this time together again. It sure feels empty without Elizabeth home anymore but she is happily married and that makes it easier to let go. Susan quit working at the woodworking shop. There was a lot more heavy lifting and the stain smell gets bad. She has her old fast-paced job again.

Jacob, Emma and family took a few days off and traveled to upper Michigan and spent time by Lake Superior. Our children went to do chores for them while they were gone. Jacob and Emma have a big project they are starting. They are adding an addition to their house and remodeling. It will be a mess to go through, but they will be glad for the space afterward.

Tomorrow we are invited to Joe and Viola’s wedding. Viola is a girl in our church. Some of the children and I plan to attend. Joe doesn’t want to take off since he used so many vacation days up already on weddings this year.

We have invitations for two more weddings in October. Both are on a Friday and Joe doesn’t have to work on those two Fridays. Congratulations to Lester and Loretta from New Haven, Ind. Daughter Verena is a table waiter at their wedding. Verena and Loretta have been friends for quite a few years.

Also congratulations go to Aden and Ruth, who are published for an Oct. 16 wedding. I need to sew daughter Loretta’s dress and my own for this wedding. I hope to get the material today.

I am trying to get my cabbage used up. We had a great crop from the garden. Try this coleslaw recipe.

God bless!

Coleslaw

8 cups cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine cabbage, carrots, onion, and celery in a bowl. Beat the remaining ingredients in another bowl until smooth. Mix with cabbage mixture. Cool for at least two hours before serving.

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.

Grateful for safekeeping, help from friends and children, plus dandelions!


A beautiful April spring day! Sun is shining and the mercury on the thermometer keeps rising. I love this weather and all the signs that spring is here. The tulips are looking really nice.

Everyone here at the Eicher house is gone for the day except me. My husband Joe, son Benjamin, and daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena are all at their jobs working. The four youngest are at school.

It is too quiet with everyone gone except for Elizabeth’s two Yorkie dogs, Crystal and Izzy. Right now they are both sleeping.

Crytal_Izyy_JoesChair

It takes me longer to get things done without Verena’s help. Yesterday I washed all the laundry and it is surprising how much longer it takes if you do it all alone. It was a nice laundry day and the girls helped me get the clothes in and fold them after they were home from work. It goes so much faster when everyone takes their own clothes up to their bedrooms.

On Friday, son Benjamin was in a two-vehicle accident on his way home from helping Mose at his sawmill. We are thankful he wasn’t hurt and the rest involved had only minor injuries. It could have been such a different ending. God truly was watching over them. It reminds us how quickly life could change.

We are enjoying dandelion salad. I will share the recipe this week since we have quite a few new readers that might like the recipe.

We had to get back into the school routine after the children were home for a week on spring break. Joseph, 12, milks our cow Bessie before he gets ready for school in the mornings. He times himself on how long it takes to milk her. He is getting faster at it. He said he wants to milk her in eight to ten minutes like I can. I told him he has to build his muscles up and he should be able to. When we milked cows at home we had some that milked easy and some harder. Bessie is an easy cow to milk.

I want to make butter from the cream this afternoon. Susan brought a yogurt starter home from Mose’s mother Rosanna and tried her luck at making yogurt with Bessie’s milk. She tasted Rosanna’s yogurt and really liked it when she was at their house. I never made yogurt so hopefully I will learn now.

Before I go on with my work I want to answer some letters from my readers. It is a busy time of the year so please bear with me. I’ll try my best to answer everyone.

I owe a big thank you to my friends Jim and Ruth. I live in Michigan and my mail goes to South Holland, Illinois. Jim or Ruth always delivers my mail. I really do appreciate the time they take to do this.

Also, thanks to Pauline for sending the box of books for the girls. They were very excited. You will receive a personal reply from them.

May God bless everyone who has in some way helped or encouraged me to keep writing!

DandelionSaladDressing

Dandelion Sour Cream Salad

Serves 4 to 6

This is a recipe for dandelions smothered in our favorite homemade sour cream. You can, however, use just the sour cream part for other seasonal greens as well. This same sour cream is great when used with in-season, fresh-from-the-garden lettuce and endive. Home-cured ham also goes well with it. Any unused sour cream can be refrigerated for up to two days.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
Salt (to taste)
4 hard-boiled eggs, diced
4 cups packed young dandelion greens

Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, milk, and salt in a quart jar. Shake until smooth. Put the eggs and dandelion greens in a large bowl and pour the sour cream mixture over them.

 

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.

Grilling for 60 at family picnic: 12-layer Jell-O salad echoes colorful fall

We have entered the month of October. It’s so hard to believe that autumn is here and the trees are showing their autumn splendor. Our yard is accumulating more leaves every day.

U-pick grape arbor
U-pick grape arbor.

Daughter Verena, 16, and I just came home from town. Verena had a dentist appointment and we picked up some groceries. I decided to quickly write my column before the children come home from school when the house won’t be so quiet.

Tomorrow we plan to go to a “U-pick” to gather grapes. Friday and Saturday will be spent canning grape juice. I have two steamers now so canning the juice should go faster. I’ll be glad when that job is done, and will be even happier to have some grape juice again.

Cooking the grapes to make grape juice.
Cooking the grapes to make grape juice.

Sunday we hosted a dinner for almost 60 people. Some were local families and we also had quite a few out of state visitors. Timothy and Mose (daughters Elizabeth’s and Susan’s special friends) helped my husband Joe grill pork steak and chicken for the noon meal. They had several grills going and started around 9 a.m. We raised the chickens ourselves, and readers will remember when we butchered and froze them a few weeks ago.

Also on the menu besides pork steak and chicken were: mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, coleslaw, dill pickles, homemade bread, strawberry jam, butter, Jell-O cake, cheesecake, peanut butter and sugar cookies, 12-layer rainbow Jell-O, ice cream, coffee and lemonade. The men also grilled banana and jalapeño peppers with sour cream and seasoning.

It was a very nice, sunny day. The afternoon was spent with some playing croquet, and visiting out on the front porch. It was so nice to enjoy the lovely day outside. I’m sure we won’t have too many more days like that before winter arrives.

Joe and sons Benjamin, 15, Joseph, 12, and Kevin, 9, spent Saturday cleaning out our other garden. They planted winter radishes for a cover crop in the garden.

We still had green tomatoes on our tomato plants. The boys picked them all. A good way to keep the green tomatoes from ripening too fast is to wrap them in newspaper and store in a cool place. I think it gives them a better flavor than if they are just out in the open to ripen.

The sun is shining in through the door and Elizabeth’s puppy, Izzy, lays on the floor where the sun hits it. Like most dogs, she loves to soak the warmth of the sun on these chilly days. That puppy gets so spoiled around here.

For this week’s recipe I’ll share the 12-layer rainbow Jell-O that sister Emma made, from a cookbook that my sisters Verena and Susan put together and are selling now. It is recipes collected from my brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and their children. They also have pictures throughout the book, including of the house in which we grew up. The recipe for the 12-layer rainbow Jell-O was submitted by Sara Graber, a granddaughter to brother Albert.

Until next week … God bless!

12-Layer Rainbow Jell-O

6 – 3 oz. boxes of cherry, orange, pineapple/lemon, lime, blueberry and grape Jell-O
16 oz. sour cream

Dissolve Jell-O powder for one layer at a time, adding 2 cups hot water for each box of Jell-O. Put 1/2 of dissolved Jell-O and water in a 9x13x4-inch pan. Chill. Save the other half and add 2 to 3 ounces of sour cream. Stir together.

Let first layer harden, then put sour cream and Jell-O mixture over that. Do this alternately with every flavor/color, letting each layer chill, and making 12 layers in all. You will have a beautiful rainbow when finished. Keep cold until served.

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.