Category Archives: Side Dishes

Lovina Attends a Comfort Knotting

It’s Tuesday morning around 5:30 a.m. and son Benjamin is getting ready to go to work. Yesterday was his first day of work in over two months. He certainly is looking forward to a paycheck again. He was pretty sore last night after work. His leg is still in a boot—the doctor told him to come back in four weeks. He is doing home therapy, and he is allowed to wear his shoe several hours a day and gradually get out of the boot. Benjamin wants to thank everyone for their lovely cards, letters, and gifts. He always looked forward to opening his cards. Yesterday I even received a letter from sister Leah with their card to Benjamin. I haven’t seen Leah since daughter Susan and Ervin’s wedding last year, on December 30. Hopefully I get to see her soon. Leah is the oldest of us eight siblings—she is 64. We miss our two siblings Amos and Susan. They both left us way too soon. May we all meet again someday.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to neighbor Amy as she mourns the death of her dear husband. They moved in shortly after we did in 2004 and have been great neighbors. May God help and comfort Amy as she goes though this difficult time. Rest in peace Ed—you will be missed!

On Sunday our church services were at our neighbors Dave and Barbara’s. If I’m not mistaken, there were 25 families visiting from other church districts. Church services were held in their basement, and it was filled to capacity. Our church has over 40 families, so we are big already.

At night our church had a carry-in farewell supper for a young couple, Samuel and Wilma, and their two children. They moved in close to daughters Susan and Verena several years ago and now will move to Tennessee. They live down the road a quarter mile from daughter Verena since Susan moved in with Ervin after their marriage last year. On the menu was a haystack dinner and lots of desserts. We sang songs for them after supper. We wish them the best as they start life in a different state.

I quite well remember almost 20 years ago moving to another state and having six children, with the seventh one born soon after our move. It was a challenge, and sometimes I don’t see how I managed, but we did and we have made this home. Home is where the heart is!

These comforters are the type that Lovina and the community women will be making at the comfort knotting. Photo provided.

My plans for today are to go to the community building for a comfort knotting. Several ladies from our church are going, including sisters Verena and Emma. The comforters are made to give away to those in need. We all pack a sack lunch. I told sister Verena I’ll pack her lunch with mine. With her living alone and not getting to town too often, she doesn’t always have much on hand to pack a lunch.

Tomorrow gun season opens for the deer hunters, which brings a lot of excitement for them. For me, I am well contented staying in the warm house. Sons-in-law Tim and Ervin have both shot deer with bow and have meat for their freezer. Ervin shot a nine-point buck. Both men can hunt on their own property, which makes it handy for them.

Our plans for Thanksgiving Day are to go to sister Emma’s house. We take turns hosting Thanksgiving dinner. This year, she hosts Thanksgiving and we host Christmas dinner. Next year we will exchange holidays. Wish you all God’s blessings.


Broccoli Cheddar Brunch Bake
8 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 cup chopped onion
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
12–13 eggs, beaten
1 1/2–2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Garlic salt to taste

Sauté broccoli and onion in oil or butter until crisp-tender. Combine the eggs, 1 cup cheese, milk, and seasonings in a large bowl; stir in broccoli mixture. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40–50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and let set 10 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.

Lovina and Family Celebrate Many July Anniversaries and Birthdays

Today is July 18—a day that is always remembered. My mother would be 87 if she were still with us. Rest in peace dear, sweet Mother! Tomorrow, July 19, is sister Emma’s 50th birthday. On July 15 my husband Joe and I celebrated 30 years of marriage together. July 15 was also brother Albert’s 59th birthday. Happy birthday to all July birthdays.

Son Benjamin’s 24th birthday was July 14 and son Joseph’s 21st birthday will be July 24. Yes, our family has many birthdays in July. Benjamin treated us with Pizza Hut pizza and wings on his birthday. That was a treat for all of us. The years fly by so fast.

Our horse Midnight’s little colt is really growing. He is 4 1/2 weeks old and is changing color. So far, he is still nameless. Joe hasn’t decided on a name for him. It is fun to watch him run and play in the field.

Today my plans are to cut out daughter Lovina’s dress, cape, and apron for nephew Menno and Diane’s wedding. They will exchange vows on July 22 in Clare, Michigan. Lovina and her special friend Daniel were asked to be servers at their wedding. Joe and I will be unable to attend but daughters Verena and Lovina (and Daniel), sons Benjamin, Joseph (and special friend Grace) and Kevin have plans to drive the three hours to attend the wedding. We wish them a long, happy married life with God’s richest blessings.

Lovina’s color dress will be pink and Daniel will wear black pants and vest with a white shirt. The color is very pretty, but it will look much better to me once my job of cutting it out and sewing it is done. I tend to put jobs like this off until the last minute.

Daughter Loretta has another appointment today an hour away. Dustin stayed home so he can help her to her appointment. He has missed many days of work to go with her but never grumbles and is always glad to help. They will bring Denzel, age 1, here this afternoon while they leave. He is always fun to have around.

Yesterday we had granddaughters Allison, 3, and Andrea, 17 months, here for a few hours. They are also so precious. Both took a nap while they were here.

Last week daughter Susan and children, daughter Verena, daughter Loretta and Denzel, daughter Lovina, son Kevin and I spent a day helping daughter Elizabeth with her work. They will host church services soon. We cleaned their basement and the can room (where all her canned food is stored), as well as the windows in the basement, plus some other odd and end jobs she needed to have done.

Loretta and Denzel, Lovina, and I all went out with Loretta and Dustin’s handicap buggy with son Benjamin’s horse Beauty. I tied Beauty outside in the shade and gave her some hay to eat. She somehow got the rope around her foot and that made her fall. When daughter Verena came back from taking the children on a walk, she heard Beauty gasping and saw her laying there. Needless to say, when Verena yelled to us in the basement to come, we all ran to see what was wrong. We couldn’t get Beauty untangled, so we cut the rope and she could get up. She was fine, but how thankful we were that someone saw it in time. Beauty is a good, safe horse and that is worth so much. We were all shook up for a while. Of course, that morning I used a brand-new tie rope, but that’s replaceable.

God’s blessings to all!

Pepper Poppers
Jalapeño peppers (small), approximately 10
cream cheese

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Take the jalapeño peppers, cut off the tops, and remove the seeds. Fill with cream cheese and set aside. Mix batter ingredients together in small bowl. Roll peppers in batter and deep fry at 350–375 degrees. Eat with dip. Lovina’s family prefers ranch dip or cheese sauce. The batter can also be used with fish or chicken.


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 and Her Family Help with Wedding Preparations

Wednesday morning is here again, and it’s time for another column. I enjoyed the two weeks I didn’t have to write one. Daughter Verena thought of the idea to have all my children write. How special to my heart as a mother to read all they wrote. I admit I cried, but they were tears of joy and thankfulness. My children have brought me so much joy in life. We have faced many trials together, but they made us stronger. I thank God for them and ask him to guide me so I can improve my many, many mistakes as I travel into the unknown future. Let us pray for each other. Life doesn’t get easier, but the support and prayers from others help so much.

The children all said they could have written so much more, so maybe I can get them to write a whole column sometime. I had a very nice birthday. Thank you to all you readers for the cards and gifts. They were greatly appreciated. May God bless you for your kindness.

Last week we attended the kindergarten graduation for granddaughters Abigail, six, and Kaitlyn, six. Those two little girls were so excited to see us all sitting there watching them. They sang a few songs before turning their tassels. Next year, they will be in first grade but in different schools. Granddaughter Jennifer, five, and Isaiah, five, will be in kindergarten. This grandma feels all her 52 years when seeing all the grandchildren getting older. They sure are precious to me.

Grandson Timothy (T.J.), four, is so glad to be able to go without a Band-Aid on his finger. Gradually, he will get it strengthened.

Yesterday, we went to Ann Arbor for appointments, so it was around four hours on the road. Makes for a long day.

Today, daughter Loretta and I will go to neighbors Joas and Susan to help prepare for their daughter Beth’s wedding on Friday. Loretta and I will be cooks at the wedding. I sewed dresses, capes, and aprons for both of us. We have to wear the color olive. I still need to hem my dress and apron, but most of the sewing work is done. Then I want to iron both suits.

We are enjoying radishes and lettuce. The lettuce is from daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s garden. Mine didn’t come up for some reason, so I planted more. We are also still enjoying asparagus and rhubarb. Strawberry season is here. I have to take a dessert today for lunch, so I made rhubarb dream bars.

Sisters Verena and Emma will also be cooks at the wedding, so it will be enjoyable to work together. They will go help tomorrow instead.

Brother Albert and Sarah Irene are in the same church as the groom (Mervin), so they have plans to drive up Thursday evening. They will spend the night at sister Verena’s house and then attend Mervin and Beth’s wedding on Friday. Albert lives in northern Indiana and is around 19 miles from here, so it will take a little time by horse and buggy to travel to Michigan.

Sunday evening, most of the family came for supper. Joe grilled chicken, I made creamed potatoes, and we had chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for dessert. It was a simple meal, but everyone thought it was delicious. The children always love “Dad’s chicken.” Creamed potatoes are a simple dish to make. I don’t have a recipe but will try to make one for it. God’s blessings!

Creamed Potatoes
6–8 potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
6–8 slices cheese (we love Colby)
season to taste

Whisk together flour and milk and set aside. Boil potatoes in water with about a tablespoon of salt until almost soft; drain water. Then add the flour and milk mixture. Stir until thickened. Then add cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*The amounts of flour and milk will vary. If it’s not thick enough, add a little more flour and milk, but mix it before adding to the potatoes.


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 Explains an Amish Communion Service

We are already into the fifth month of the year—May! Hopefully May will bring warmer temperatures again. The gardens are really wet yet from all the rain we had this past week.

It was a cold, rainy day on Sunday when communion services were held at Dustin and Loretta’s. It was a challenge to keep the pole barn heated. It isn’t insulated, so quite a few tanks of propane were burned to heat the big building. The barn was divided in half with canvas hung from the rafters. On one side, the benches were set for the church services. On the other side, tables were set up as well as a small area for a nursery for the mothers with small children and babies.

For those of you new to this column or the Amish lifestyle, I’ll try to explain how we do communion.

Everyone gathers by 9 a.m., and church services start at 9 or before. Around 11 a.m., we (the family that hosts church and their help) have lunch ready. Tables are set, one for the men and one for the women. With our church being so big, we set a third table for the young boys and girls to eat at. At each place setting is a glass for water, a cup for coffee or hot water, a bowl, spoon, fork, and knife.

On Sunday, we could serve 50 people at once. On the menu was chicken noodle soup (I made four 12-quart kettles), homemade wheat and white bread, ham, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, pickles, pickled red beets, hot peppers, strawberry jam, butter, coffee and spearmint tea, and a variety of four different cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, and lemon). When someone was finished eating, their spot at the table would be cleaned and reset. By 12:30, everyone was fed and back in the services.

Around 3 p.m. communion is held, with the bread and wine being passed out, then the feet washing, etc. By 4 p.m. everything is done, and everyone leaves for home. Grandson Isaiah (Ervin and daughter Susan’s son), 4, was sitting beside me when the members were washing each other’s feet. He was trying to figure all this out. I asked him if he wants his feet washed and he said, “No, I do not want to.” He was quite entertained watching one after another come to wash their feet. It made me smile to see him so deep in thought.

It was a long day for Loretta, but she is glad everything is now cleaned and back to normal. Grandson Denzel popped through his first two teeth! He holds his mouth different trying to feel the teeth. He can feel something is there now and found out pretty fast to not chew on his fingers. His two top ones are almost through, too.

On Monday, Ervin and Susan’s four children, Jennifer, 5, Isaiah, 4, Ryan, 3, and Curtis, 3, were here while Susan went to help in preparation for a wedding that she will be cook at on Friday. Kaitlyn, 6, was in school.

Today our plans are to all go help niece Elizabeth (Manuel) clean. Elizabeth and Manuel will host next church services at their house.

Daughters Loretta and Lovina and I will go together with our horse Midnight and Dustin and Loretta’s buggy. Their buggy is a handicap buggy and has a lift in the back so Loretta can get in with her mobility scooter. Also going today to help are sisters Verena and Emma, nieces Emma and Crystal, and daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena. I made a casserole, and Loretta made a salad to take along. It’s nice to have lunch made so we can keep cleaning. God’s blessings to all!

I will share the cheese spread recipe. It is also in my cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook.

Homemade Church Cheese Spread
6 pounds processed cheese spread (Velveeta)
1 1/2 cups butter
8 cups cream

Put all three ingredients in a big roasting pan and bake at 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring every 15 minutes, until all is melted.

Cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from getting a crusty top while cooling. The spread is served on a sandwich with or without meat. It is good just spread on bread with some pickles.


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.

Spring Cleaning, Family Night, and an Encouraging Update from the Doctor

Our thermometer shows 28 degrees this morning. We were spoiled by the nice, warm, sunny days in the upper 70s. This weather is a challenge for anyone with sensitive plants. We still haven’t planted our sweet onions. We’re waiting until it dries up, and the temperature gets a little warmer. We have had quite a lot of rain lately. April showers bring May flowers!

Son Benjamin mowed our grass for the first time this year. It looks so lush and green. I love spring and the new growth everywhere.

Saturday, many of us assisted Dustin and Loretta with their work in cleaning. There were Joe and me; sons Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin; daughter Lovina; Daniel and Grace (Dustin’s siblings and also Joseph and Lovina’s special friends); and daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children. The menfolk cleaned up outside and power-washed the pole barn where church services will be hosted. They also mowed, trimmed, tilled, and did whatever Dustin needed to have done around there. The women washed the windows and stoves, did laundry, made lunch, and more.

The lunch menu included ranch potatoes and grilled hamburgers with all the trimmings like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and bread. Also, we had cake delight and pumpkin cookies for dessert.

Friday night was family night for our family at Tim and Elizabeth’s house. We do this once a month, alternating at each other’s house. Susan and Ervin brought a casserole, daughter Verena brought a salad, Loretta and Dustin brought a dessert, I brought snacks, and Tim and Elizabeth had ice cream. It’s always enjoyable. We play games after we eat and just catch up with each other. Next month it will be at Ervin and Susan’s house.

The doctors said that T.J.’s finger was healing better than expected. Photo provided.

Monday morning, Dustin and Loretta stopped in to leave Denzel here while they went to Kalamazoo for Loretta’s appointment. Tim and Elizabeth dropped Allison, three, and Andrea, one, off around the same time. They were also heading to Kalamazoo with Timothy (T.J.), four. He was having surgery again on his finger. The doctors were afraid they would have to take more of the finger off. How thankful we were when they said it was healing okay and actually better than they anticipated. They said he would actually have part of a fingernail. After seven and a half weeks of having a cast the length of his whole arm, he was a pretty happy boy to have only a finger and hand wrap. He’d had four different color casts during all those weeks.

Daughter Verena came here on Sunday afternoon and has been here since. It’s been so nice having her home. She helped Lovina and me with the three little ones on Monday. Abigail came off the bus here from school.

While Verena and Lovina rocked the children and put them down for a nap, I washed our laundry. It was chilly while I hung it out on the lines, but the nice breeze made it dry very well.

Yesterday, Verena, Lovina, and I went to Dustin and Loretta’s house. Dustin didn’t have work because it was raining, and they couldn’t work on the construction job. He and Loretta went to town and to the bulk food store to get groceries for church. Denzel stayed home with us. This was the first time Dustin and Loretta shopped for church groceries since they were married in October 2021. I remember well how that used to be a big thing, but after shopping for weddings, it seems like nothing. God’s blessings to all!

Ranch Potatoes
6–8 potatoes, peeled and chunked
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
2 tablespoons diced parsley
1 cup shredded cheese (plus extra for top)

Cook potatoes in salted water just until tender. Drain and set aside. Combine other ingredients; toss gently with potatoes. Place in greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 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.

Lovina Remembers a Fond Childhood Memory

It is already mid-April. Yesterday, I put a letter and card out in the mail for sister Leah and Paul. They had their forty-second anniversary on April 16. I was a third grader when they were married. I still remember sitting beside my mother as they were getting married and seeing her crying. I couldn’t figure out why she was crying, but now I understand. It’s not that she was crying because of the wedding but because life was changing, and her firstborn was leaving home. I remember as I was walking home from Uncle Elmer’s (where the wedding ceremony was) back to our place with a few of my cousins. I was trying hard to cry because I thought I probably should because my mother was. My cousins asked me why I was crying, and I told them I wasn’t sure, but I thought you were supposed to cry when a family member got married. Now I have to laugh at that memory. My biggest concern probably should’ve been that I didn’t have a big sister to pick up after me and bake cookies. Haha!

Saturday, we planted potatoes, peas, and radishes. We didn’t put the sweet onions out because we had a few days of “cold” weather again and even more snow. It didn’t stay long, of course, but it did stay long enough to warn us not to get in too big of a hurry to plant more in the garden. We are having asparagus now. Our rhubarb and horseradish are coming up, but our tea for some reason didn’t come up last year and this year. We have had tea there for years and are trying to figure out what could’ve killed it.

Sunday, we had council church at our neighbors in preparation for communion services that will be held at daughter Loretta and Dustin’s, Lord willing, on April 30.

Last week, when my sisters, nieces, daughters, and I went to help Loretta clean, we accomplished a lot. Her bathroom and back entrance are the only things left to clean. Daughter Lovina and I will go help work on that this afternoon.

Saturday, we will assist them again to clean the pole barn where services will be held.

Rare beef, thin sliced steak seasoned well with pepper and salt, was one of the items on the menu for supper on Sunday. Photo provided.

After church on Sunday, all our family and sister Verena came here. I told them I would make supper for them before they left for home. The menu included vegetable soup, creamed asparagus, rare beef, cheese, crackers, and ice cream. A fast, simple meal, but it was still good. After supper, everyone pitched in to help wash dishes, pick up the toys, and more before they left for home. Sister Verena stayed here and went home Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday, we had grandson Denzel, nine months, here while Dustin went with Loretta to her appointment in Kalamazoo, which is around an hour from here. Loretta will need to go every week for the next three months. It will be a little hard for them with Dustin taking off work once a week, but he needs to go along to help her in the vehicle. He does it gladly though. She still has to have a blood thinner shot daily.

Denzel is quite content when he’s here. I was holding him on Sunday in church, and when we sang, he tried to help. He loves when Grandpa yodels for him here at home. His words are few yet, but he calls everyone “mom,” and he goes “moo” when he sees a toy cow. He clicks his tongue for a horse, making a clip-clop noise. We have lots of fun with him at his age.

I will share my creamed asparagus recipe this week. God bless!

Creamed Asparagus
2 cups fresh asparagus, chopped into 1–2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups milk
seasonings to taste
3/4 cup soft cheese, diced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water

Cook fresh asparagus just until tender. Add milk, then add seasonings to taste. When hot, add soft cheese. Mix the cornstarch and water and stir in when the cheese is melted. Vary thickness by using more or less cheese.


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 and Her Family Celebrate Easter

I need to write this column this morning before I leave. Sisters Verena and Emma, nieces Elizabeth and Emma, Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s wife), daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Verena, Lovina, and I are going to daughter Loretta’s house to clean today. Walls, ceilings, windows, furniture, floors, etc. will be cleaned thoroughly. It’s always a good feeling once all is cleaned again. This is in preparation for communion services, which Dustin and Loretta will host on April 30, Lord willing. It will be an enjoyable day to spend together.

I cleaned some windows yesterday here in my house. Some of that rain makes the windows dirty and then of course there are the little love prints on the inside left by my precious grandchildren. I need to do some spring cleaning since we won’t host church services again here until December. All the families that need to have a tent to host church take it during the summer months. Since we have a pole barn we can get heat, we take our turn in the winter months, early spring, or late fall. The last time we hosted church was in May 2022. So I almost need to do deep cleaning in between that time. We have around 35 families that host church, so it’s a while until our turn comes around again.

Loretta is going to make breakfast for us all this morning before we clean. She plans to have pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and rhubarb juice and coffee. Lunch is being brought in by everyone.

Sister Emma has four grandchildren, and I have 10, but four of those are in school. We will still have 10 children there, ages four and younger. It should be an interesting day!

We are having a lovely week weatherwise. Son Joseph hauled manure on the garden and in the garden beds last night. My husband Joe wants to till the garden again now since the manure is added. We have a small tiller that they use to till in the garden beds. Joe is getting eager to get potatoes planted. I also want to plant peas, some radishes, and sweet onions soon. This week, the temperature is in the 70s. I do hope our cold weather is pretty well over for this season.

On Good Friday, we had a nice day with the family all being home. The menu included mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, pork and beans, grilled chicken, lettuce salad, a veggie tray, cheese, hot peppers, colored eggs, and more. There were a few dessert options of berry cream cheese muffins, swiss roll bars (homemade of course), and dirt pudding. The desserts and salad were brought in by my daughters, so that made it easier for me. Sister Verena also came for lunch and then stayed a few nights.

Lovina made Easter baskets for each of her grandchildren. Photo provided.

After lunch, Joe and I gave our 10 grandchildren Easter baskets. I make them myself, filling them with little goodies such as a coloring book, colors, bubbles, and more. It’s much cheaper to do it this way. Then came the time for the children to go look for the plastic eggs we hid filled with candy. They were beyond excited, and it was so fun to see their excited little faces when they found the eggs. The day was nice and sunny but chilly. At least it wasn’t raining. I hope everyone had a blessed Easter.

Sunday evening, Joe and I went to daughter Verena’s for a hobo supper by the campfire. It was a nice evening to sit by the fire. Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children; daughter Susan, Ervin, and children; sons Benjamin and Kevin, and nephew Henry were also there for the evening.

I need to get started with the morning work before I head over to Loretta’s. God bless!

Deep-Fried Morels
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive oil for panfrying
12 to 15 large Morel mushrooms

Stir the flour, milk, egg, and salt together in a large bowl. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet until sizzling. Dip the mushrooms in the batter and put them in the skillet. Fry each side until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.


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 More from Susan and Ervin’s Wedding

A brand new year lies before us—2023. What does it hold in store for us? Do we thank God enough for all the many blessings he sends to us?

This is now 11 days since the wedding of daughter Susan and Ervin. The five children are enjoying living together in one house. It’s like having their friends come to stay all the time. Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan moved in with Ervin and children Kaitlyn, Isaiah, and Curtis. It’s not “his” children or “her” children now…it’s their children. They are a well-blended family already. May God give them many happy years together.

On Saturday we moved some more of Susan’s belonging to their house and moved all of daughter Verena’s belongings to Susan’s house. It tugged at my mother heart, and a few tears were shed, to have another child fully moved out of our house. Life goes on, and we must accept the changes. Verena is brave to attempt living on her own, especially with the extra challenges she has with her muscular dystrophy. We wish her many happy days as she adjusts to yet another different living arrangement. She has a lot of good neighbors, and Ervin and Susan are only a few minutes’ walk away. Ervin has horses in the barn there, so he goes over to do the daily chores.

Ervin and Susan had a very nice wedding. We appreciate all the support they received and everyone that helped in any way. A big thank you to my friend Ruth, who ran after all the last-minute errands and furnished transportation, took photos, etc. She and her friend Dawn made all the centerpieces for the tables. We were glad for their help!

The menu was grilled chicken (350 pounds of boneless thighs), mashed potatoes (16 eight-quart kettles), buttered noodles (20 pounds of noodles), dressing (three batches of the recipe included in column today), corn (60 quarts but had a lot left), taco salad (30 heads of lettuce and 30 pounds of hamburger—we had way too much), mocha pudding, peanut butter pies (25) and pumpkin pies (25-plus), and wedding cake.

Sister Emma and her daughter Elizabeth did a great job being head cooks and lining up jobs for the women that came the days before the wedding.

On Tuesday, Ervin and Susan’s family gathered at the community building to set up tables and benches, unload all the groceries, etc. Everyone brought a dish to eat lunch there. The cook wagon and cooler were set up Monday afternoon.

On Wednesday, over 20 women came to help chop vegetables for the dressings, make mocha pudding, and all the little jobs needed to be done.

On Thursday, another 20-plus women came to help, baking the crusts for the peanut butter pies and baking over 25 pumpkin pies, plus a lot of other jobs that needed to be done. Both days everything was done early.

On Friday, over 40 cooks were there to make the meal. Wedding services were in the other section of the building. Sarah’s father Omer had the opening of the wedding, then Mose’s father William read a chapter from the bible. Our bishop Marlin married the couple. They were married around 11:30 a.m.

After the wedding meal and visiting with the guests, it was time for cleanup. By 5:30 p.m. everything was back in place. Ervin and Susan had rented an enclosed trailer to take everything back and forth. We went to their house and helped unload the trailer and get the food put on the tables in the cold pole barn so they could put it in the freezer the next day.

Ervin and Susan spent a few nights in White Cloud, Michigan, at The Shack. It was a short honeymoon, but they didn’t want to be away from their children longer. Daughter Verena and Sarah’s sister Regina stayed at Ervin and Susan’s house with the five children. They had a nice time together but I’m sure five children six and under kept them busy.

Ervin and Susan want to thank all the readers that sent cards and gifts. May God bless you for your kindness.

I have quite a few readers that have received mail back because they sent it to the old address. Please send all mail to P.O. Box 234, Sturgis, MI 49091.

Dressing for a Wedding
1 cup chicken base
5 quarts chicken broth and pieces
10 loaves bread, cut in small pieces and toasted
2 quarts celery, diced
2 quarts carrots, diced or shredded
1 1/2 quarts onions, diced
4 quarts potatoes, diced
4 quarts milk
4 1/2 dozen eggs
1 cup dried parsley
1/2 cup seasoning salt
1 cup butter, melted (browned optional)

Dissolve chicken base in broth. Then mix broth and all remaining ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until set. One batch makes four roasters.


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.

Cold Settles in at the Eicher Homestead

It is Saturday evening here at the Eicher homestead. It is 7 p.m. and the mercury on the thermometer is down to 33 degrees. We are having snow flurries all day, with no accumulation though. I think our warm weather is history for 2022. Last Saturday I was out without a coat raking leaves, and now today, with a high of 36 degrees, I limited outdoor work to only the necessity.

It is a quiet night here. The three boys and Lovina all had plans tonight, and all left before supper. My husband Joe is showering now, and we will call it an early night. Our church services are hosted by a family that lives 11 miles from here. Everyone will need to make an early start.

Last night we had our whole family here for supper. It has been awhile since everyone was home, at least at the same time. The menfolk grilled 20 pounds of chicken as well as some wings. We made mashed potatoes and noodles along with cheese and then brownies, jello cake, and ice cream for dessert.

The grandchildren had a great time with Grandma’s new toys (from Karen in Kansas). They were quite entertained all night. After supper we all gathered around the table and sang songs. Making memories as a family is so very precious to me. The little grandchildren enjoyed listening to all of us singing. And when Grandpa Joe started playing the harmonica, they were amazed and sat there and stared at him. Joe doesn’t often play it anymore, so he had to get some practice, but they enjoyed it just the same. Joe has some very talented harmonica players in his family. I never could get the hang of it, so I would always tease Joe that I’m not windy enough to play it.

Today the boys and Joe tackled the job of organizing our pole barn, on the tool shed side and the side where we have church and large gatherings, etc. It looks quite a lot better. Joe started the coal stove in there, and it’s much cooler than the house it but keeps the water from freezing. Also the battery pack from our solar power needs a little heat in the cold months.

Sister Verena was here a few days and nights. She went home today. I think she likes to leave once in a while for a change of mind. It’s lonely for her, living alone. Last Sunday our family had brunch at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. Sister Verena joined us there, too.

Tim and Elizabeth had a delicious meal of ham and cheese oven omelet, biscuits, sausage gravy, etc. I took cherry, pumpkin, and apple pies. Dessert also was ice cream and gelatin.

We played games in the afternoon and were served good snacks, with one being venison summer sausage that Tim made. It is very good! He also made good jerky.

Son-in-law Dustin harvested an eight-point buck this week. It helps fill the freezer for them.

This is now Monday. Grandson Denzel is now four months old. He’s around 15 pounds. He sure is a happy baby. He giggles so easy. Yesterday I was holding him in church, and he looked over towards the men and spotted his daddy (Dustin). He started grinning and reaching to want to go there. Dustin came to get him, and I could hear him giggling over there. Granddaughter Andrea (daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s) is now nine months. I held her during church, too. She’s very active and pushes the push toy around and gets around walking by furniture or crawling. They grow so fast.

I will share the recipe for my dressing that I use for Thanksgiving dinner.

God bless!

2 tablespoons chicken-flavored soup base
2 cups hot water (use potato water, if you have some)
10 slices bread, crumbled
4 eggs
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery or celery leaves
1/4 cup chopped onions

Dissolve soup base in hot water, then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased casserole dish or cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 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.

Lovina’s Community Pulls Together for Benefit Dinner

Our house feels nice and cozy since Joe started our coal stove in the basement. With the temperature outside at 61 degrees, it’s almost too warm, so I have some windows open. It’s too cold in here without heat and too warm with heat. I imagine it won’t be long before we will be needing the coal stove going full blast.

Saturday we plan to attend my family gathering at brother Albert’s.

Yesterday I spent the day at Susan’s friend Ervin’s house. Susan and I washed off walls and ceilings, cabinets, etc. Ervin has most of his belongings there but has a lot of unpacking to do. The children were excited to show me their bedrooms.

All five children had a disappointment on Sunday night. Ervin and Susan had bought them a miniature pony that had just been weaned from his mom. They led this pony everywhere and became attached to him fast. He was a calm little pony, just perfect to entertain five little children. On Sunday night they saw it wasn’t acting right and called the vet. But before he came out, the pony died. The vet thinks it had something to do with being away from his mom and maybe developing parasites. He said weanlings have been known to do this. Well, little four-year-old Jennifer’s explanation was, “We need to get a pony that’s not allergic to our food.” She thinks the pony was allergic.

A small portion of the 1200 pounds of grilled chicken prepared for this week’s benefit dinner. Photo provided.

We had a good outcome with the benefit grilled chicken and pulled pork dinner on Friday evening, to help Dustin and Loretta with hospital and ongoing medical expenses. We appreciated everyone that helped in any way. It takes many hands to do a benefit like this.

The menu was pulled pork, grilled chicken, chicken noodle soup, baked beans, potato salad, peanut butter, strawberry, pecan, and pumpkin pies, lemonade, and coffee. To prepare for this we had one hog roasted, but we ran out so we could’ve had two. We had 1200 pounds of grilled chicken and it took 700 pounds. (The rest was taken around to places in a nearby community for donation.) It is so hard to know how much to have as you don’t have any idea how many people will show up, and we had carry-outs available, too. We bought 80 pounds of noodles from an Amish bulk food store, and 75 quarts of chicken broth were donated by the local families. There were 23 kettles (12-quart size) of chicken noodle soup made. It took 21 kettles. Women in the community made 30 gallons of potato salad and 30 gallons of baked beans. We had more than enough of that. Close to 130 pies came in, and we ran out of strawberry and peanut butter pies.

Son-in-law Dustin had a birthday on Saturday, October 8 (the day after the benefit). Loretta baked him a cake and brought it here Sunday for our noon meal. Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and four children, daughter Susan and two children, Ervin and three children, daughter Verena, and sister Verena were all here. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken noodles, chicken, baked beans, potato salad, pecan and pumpkin pies, and cake. A lot of the food was leftovers from the benefit so the meal was easy.

Deer hunting season is in (bow season). Son-in-law Tim shot two and daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel shot two, also. One was an eight-point buck. Tim is making jerky with some of his deer.

Sister Verena spent a few nights here. Her heat wasn’t on yet so her house was quite chilly.

God’s blessings to all!

Glazed Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds medium sweet potatoes or 2 (18-ounce cans) sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

If using fresh sweet potatoes, place in a kettle; cover with water and cook, covered for 25–35 minutes or just until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Peel and cut into chunks. Place cooked or canned sweet potatoes in a 2-quart baking dish. In a small saucepan, combine butter, syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon; cook and stir until mixture boils. Pour over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30–40 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.