Category Archives: Vegetables

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.

Recycling lumber, worries over illness, and more weddings in the works

There is a lot of activity going on around here this week. Our neighbors Abe and Fredia are taking our old pole barn down to save the lumber that is still good enough to reuse. Abe, his sons, my husband Joe, and our boys have been busy taking it all apart. Last night they finished saving the rafters. Today the walls were taken down and all the wood that’s not reusable is being burned as I write this.

Our neighbor Marlin cut our oats and he will bale that crop for us. Neighbor Harlan is here digging the water line and hooking up more solar power. All three men and Joe work in RV factories and are on vacation this week. It isn’t proving to be much of a vacation for them. Joe and the boys are building a work bench in the new pole building when time allows. They want to organize all the tools.

Daughter Elizabeth is also on vacation for two weeks. The bad news is she is laid up with double pneumonia. She sure has had a hard time to recover. The doctor put her on some pretty strong antibiotics and she had to go back in for another shot. The doctor said if she didn’t improve with everything she is taking, then she would have to be admitted to the hospital. She showed improvement the next day so hopefully she can keep recovering at home. She has a hard time accepting the fact that she needs rest in order to get better. I think she worries too much that we won’t get things done before her wedding. I’m sure everything will fall into place. With all the extra projects going on, it did look hopeless for a while.

Tomorrow, July 1, is daughter Loretta’s 15th birthday. Her age is always easy to remember as she was born in the year 2000.

We have two more wedding invitations on our refrigerator. Niece Katie Edna and Ben are getting married on July 23. I was asked to be a cook. Mose and Susan and Verena will all be table waiters. This wedding is in Berne, Indiana.

And congratulations also go to Leander and Karen. They picked August 28 for their special day. This wedding is in our community.

I was happy to have a short visit with my friend Ruth and her church friends. The week was too busy to go spend some time with all of them on Monday. Maybe next year will work out.

This week I’ll share with you the recipe that we are having for supper. It is called sliced baked potatoes. I don’t measure the ingredients; I just make this recipe according to how much of each item I want on the potato slices. Enjoy! God bless each of you and stay healthy!

SlicedBakedPotatoes+Toppings
A cookie sheet filled with sliced potatoes and baked with toppings.

Sliced Baked Potatoes

4-5 raw potatoes, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 cup grated cheese of your choice
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°. Slice potatoes about 1/4 inch thick and brush both sides of potato slices with butter. Place them on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides, turning once. When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, and green onion. Continue baking until the cheese is melted.

Optional: add sour cream on top after baking.

BakedPotatoSliceUpclose
Close-up of a single sliced potato after baking.

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.

 

Pondering on the porch in the cool of a summer evening

We are officially in the summer months now. We have had a few cool nights, with the temperature in the 50s by morning. Sure makes for good sleeping after some hot evenings with temperature in the 80s. Actually, this morning we had to close most of our windows. The thermometer showed 54 degrees. Not really normal June temperatures.

Yesterday we canned 45 quarts of rhubarb juice from 30 pounds of rhubarb. Our friend Barb and my sisters Verena and Susan gave us the rhubarb. I have rhubarb plants, but never enough to make a year’s supply of rhubarb juice. I think the children have already emptied two gallons of it! Rhubarb juice is a good thirst-quencher on hot days.

The Eicher family canned 45 quarts of rhubarb juice one day last week.
The Eicher family canned 45 quarts of rhubarb juice one day last week.

Joseph, 12, and Kevin, 9, were tilling and weeding the garden, so they wanted rhubarb juice when they took a break. Joseph is a good gardener and seems to take an interest in caring for the garden. Verena, 17, keeps my flowers watered, and they are looking very healthy. If it is left to me to water them, they usually die of thirst. I can make things grow in the garden, but flowers seem to not do well for me. I love flowers, so I am glad someone has taken over the duty to care for them!

My husband, Joe, brought in our first hot peppers from the garden tonight. Our tomato plants are loaded with tomatoes, and everything else looks like it is doing great.

We are all done with work for the evening. I’m sitting out here on the porch writing this. It’s a very cool and peaceful evening. Oh, the many blessings God gives us. We have so much to be thankful for, and so often we take it for granted. Let us remember to thank our wonderful God daily for all our blessings.

This column was pushed off until this evening, but I feel like we accomplished a lot today. The girls are cleaning their closets and getting ready to start some major cleaning in the upstairs bedrooms. Elizabeth is gradually packing the things she won’t need for now. She will move them over to Timothy’s house for after their wedding. It gives me a sad feeling, but I don’t want to take the joy away from her. I remember the exciting time of preparing for my wedding to Joe. With God’s help, I will get used to my firstborn leaving home to start her life with her husband. I’m sure a lot of parents have dealt with this feeling.

I think I will call it a night. I was up until midnight last night, waiting until the last of the rhubarb juice was cold-packed. Our neighbor has hooked our water over to solar power. It had previously run by a propane motor. From now on, the sun will power our water! It seems different to not hear the motor kick in when the water pressure gets low. Since the water was shut off due to the switch, I had a late start canning the juice, so that’s why it was so late until I was done.

A reader shared this recipe for green tomato bread with me. She said her family likes this bread better than zucchini bread. She grates her green tomatoes in the fall and puts them in the freezer to make this in the winter months.

Green Tomato Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
2 cups grated green tomatoes

Mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla together. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well, and then add nuts and tomatoes. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until done.

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.

Wedding, a new buggy horse “Mighty,” and birthday highlight week

The sun is shining bringing a little warmth with the chilly weather. Our mercury on the thermometer dipped down all the way to 35 degrees this morning. Brrr! Without heat in the house it felt good to wear a sweater. Even Izzy (Elizabeth’s Yorkie) is trying to find a spot to lie where the sun is shining into the house. This is the second day of this cool weather. I’m hoping the rest of the week will be warmer as we would like to put the rest of my garden out.

Today is Elizabeth’s last day of work at the factory until June 1. They get Friday and next week off and tomorrow she is taking the day off to go to her friend Linda’s wedding. Timothy and Elizabeth will be evening servers at the wedding. Elizabeth has to wear mint green and Timothy a white shirt with black pants and vest.

Next week is nephew John’s wedding and Elizabeth and Verena’s teal colored dresses have to be cut out and sewn yet. Timothy also needs to wear a teal color shirt for this wedding. Elizabeth will sew all three outfits so I’m so glad she gets some time off.

The wedding of nephew Levi and Barbara is now history. We arrived home around 11:00 p.m. A little over four hours later my husband Joe had to get up to go work at the factory. Needless to say, he was ready for an early bedtime Friday evening.

It was a nice, cool and sunny day for the wedding. Fried chicken was on the menu so the cool weather made it easier on the cooks that had to fry the chicken. My job was to help with the mashed potatoes. They had over fifty cooks so it didn’t seem like I had too much to do that day. Daughter Verena was a table waiter and had to wear light blue. The cooks all wore royal blue.

Typically the table waiters are given gifts for their service similar to the ones you see here. The middle one in white was given to Verena by Levi and Barbara.

TableWaiterGift3TableWaiterGift1TableWaiterGift2

All eight of us siblings were at the wedding. Brother Amos had a three year old horse at the wedding that he trained and was going to sell. Joe and I decided to buy him as we are in need of another horse. His name is “Mighty” and is a very gentle horse. Nieces Elizabeth and Emma’s special friends, Menno and Manuel, brought “Mighty” along up with them to our house on Friday evening. It was greatly appreciated.

Joe and I took Mighty to town on Saturday to get groceries. He’s so calm around the traffic and the farm equipment. That means a lot to have a horse who handles traffic well, keeping us safe and sound.

Daughter Lovina had her eleventh birthday on Monday May 18. She wanted to make her own cake. She used a heart-shaped pan. I helped her decorate it.

LovinaDaughter11thBirthdayCakeWe had grilled hamburgers and macaroni and cheese along with the cake and ice cream in honor of her birthday. Joseph, 12, and Lovina made cheddar and sour cream popcorn for Lovina to take to school to treat her classmates. Some of her classmates asked her to bring the popcorn that she makes for a birthday treat.

On Friday evening, Mose (Susan’s friend) brought brats and grilled them for our supper. Then on Saturday Timothy (Elizabeth’s friend) deep-fried blue gill fish for our supper. Elizabeth made French fries to go with the fish. I appreciated getting out of the cooking several nights.

Friday, Rhoda (a friend of our daughters), brought lunch for the men working here on our pole building. Her boyfriend Nate works with the crew and she wanted to surprise him. She served ranch potatoes, sloppy joe sandwiches, pork and beans, ice cream, and cake. I’ll share her recipe for ranch potatoes.

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 parsley
1 cup shredded cheese (plus extra for top)

Cook potatoes in salt water just until tender. Drain and set aside. Combine other ingredients; toss gently with potatoes. Place in greased 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes.

 

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

 

 

 

Baby colt delights Eicher children; Lovina offers delicious spring asparagus recipe

BlackBeautyFoal
Black Beauty was born to Itty Bit May 1, 2015!

May is here already. It seems as though 2015 just began and now we are already in the month of May.

The first of May brought some excitement here. Our horse Itty Bit gave birth to a little filly. She is all black, so we named her Black Beauty. Such a lively young foal! Itty Bit is a very protective mother to the foal and it took some time for her to let us get too close to the foal.

PoleBuildingFraming
Framing went up on a new pole building, with the help of a contractor.

The construction crew started building our pole barn this morning. The poles are all set. Daughter Verena didn’t have to work today so she made chocolate chip bars and lemonade to serve to the men for their break.

My rhubarb is ready to use and I need to make rhubarb custard pie. My husband Joe always likes that.

Joe found out yesterday that they will soon be working nine hour days on Saturdays for a while. This makes him glad he hired help to put up the pole barn and didn’t attempt to put it up himself.

Last week I bought the royal blue material that I need to make address for nephew Levi’s wedding next week. I want to cut it out today and start sewing on it. I was so glad Verena could have the day off to help with the other work.

Our sympathy goes to Elizabeth’s special friend Timothy and his extended family. His grandpa died yesterday. The funeral is planned for Friday in northern Indiana.

We have radishes, peas, and corn up in the garden. We also have sweet onions planted. We had a few rainy days so once the garden dries off again we would like to plant some more of the garden. Our horseradish plant is looking nice. We want to make horseradish sauce. We grind up the root real fine and season it.

Son Kevin, 9, and Lovina are enjoying their ducks and amazed at how fast they are growing. I haven’t been out to the barn lately to see how big they are. Kevin is getting annoyed with our new rooster. He said this rooster is starting to get mean like the old one.

Thursday evening we will go to the middle school orientation with daughter Lovina, 10. Lovina and her classmates will present their career prep portfolio exit interviews to the parents. It doesn’t seem possible that number seven of our eight children has reached middle school level.

Saturday we attended the annual consignment auction. We sold our pony Tiger at the auction. Susan really hated to see him be sold but we have too many ponies around. We gave our miniature pony Minnie to Jacob and Emma’s son Steven. Lovina and Kevin are almost too big for her. Susan is training Minnie’s colt Prancer. She says he is easy to train.

It looks like we need to get the yard mowed. With the rain, the grass is growing fast.

We are enjoying asparagus fixed in different ways. Try it in this recipe. God bless!

Bunch of Green Asparagus
Bunch of green asparagus; (ThinkStock Photo)

Asparagus Ham Swirls

16 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
16 slices fully cooked ham
16 slices processed Swiss cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup dry bread crumbs
cooking oil

In a skillet, cook asparagus in a small amount of water until tender-crisp, about six to eight minutes; drain well. Spread about one teaspoon of mustard on each ham slice. Top with one cheese slice. Place one asparagus spear on each piece of cheese (trim to fit if needed). Roll up each ham slice tightly; secure with three toothpicks. Dip ham rolls in egg, then in bread crumbs.

In skillet, heat one inch of oil to 350°. Fry rolls until golden brown (about three to four minutes). Drain on paper towels; keep warm. Cut each roll between the toothpicks into three pieces.

 

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.

 

 

Eichers anticipate spring training for the pony, and homemade butter and cheese

This column will wrap up my columns for February 2015. This year is going way too fast for me to keep up. I remember Mother telling me that the older your children get, the faster time goes. I see that is very true!

I often would be glad to have one more conversation with Mother. God had other plans, and I need to accept His will. Mother always had good advice. Especially when the children were sick, she would come over and take care of everybody. Memories—I’ll treasure them always!

Lovina’s daughter Susan is looking forward to warmer weather so that she can train her miniature pony, Prancer.
Lovina’s daughter Susan is looking forward to warmer weather so that she can train her miniature pony, Prancer.

We are all well again here at the Eichers. So many blessings to thank God for! Susan is still under a doctor’s care but is back to work. The chiropractor says she has pinched nerves in her neck. Susan is active and always full of energy. She is looking forward to training Prancer, our miniature pony, as the weather warms up. Prancer will be two years old in April. Benjamin is also glad to be going back to work.

Tonight we are getting a milk cow. This has been all the boys have been talking about. We sold our cow when we lived in Indiana. Since our move to Michigan almost 11 years ago, we have not had a milking cow. We go through so many gallons of milk in a week so the milk will be good to have. I would also like to make our own butter. Another thing I would like to try that I’ve never done is making cheese. If any of you readers have a good recipe for cheese, I would be happy to have it.

Susan’s pony, Prancer, soon after he was born.
Susan’s pony, Prancer, soon after he was born.

Sunday our family, Timothy, and Mose attended the baptismal services in Nappanee, Indiana, for niece Salome. Her special friend, Myron, was also baptized with her. What a blessing to the family and church!

We were all able to meet Henry and Loretta’s sweet little Damaris. The girls and I had fun holding her during church services. She was really smiling. She’s just a tiny bundle of joy, but her smile lit up the whole room.

Niece Verena and Melvin’s little Micah is already 11 months old. He is growing fast too. He’s a sweetie! Joe’s sister Christine, husband Jake, and nine children from Hershey, Michigan, were also there. It was good to see Melvin and Verena and Jakes again.

We also met Myron’s family. Everyone was friendly. We appreciated the hospitality. It’s always nice to visit other church districts in other communities and meet new people.

Friday evening we are invited to the local community building for Salome’s 19th birthday supper. Salome was born on February 29. Jake, Christine, and family have plans to come for this. It sounds like they might come to our house to sleep on Friday and Saturday evenings. Daughter Verena has some friends coming for the night as well. Somehow we will find room for everyone—the more the merrier!

Son Kevin and Jake and Christine’s son Matthew always have so much fun together. On Sunday after church, Kevin and Matthew were walking beside each other. Both were talking at the same time. I don’t think either of them was listening to the other! We had to laugh as we watched them. Seemed like they had so much to catch up on.

I’ll share a recipe for a favorite soup of ours this week.

This week's recipe for vegetable cheese soup makes a colorful and easy dish for late winter evenings.
This week’s recipe for vegetable cheese soup makes a colorful and easy dish for late winter evenings.

Vegetable Cheese Soup

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
pinch salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 10-ounce package mixed vegetables, cooked

Melt butter in saucepan. Add onions and sauté until onions are clear. Blend in flour, milk, and salt to taste. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add cooked vegetables. Let simmer for a while. You can add your own vegetables from the garden, such as corn, peas, or carrots.

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.

Remembering an uncle and enjoying an autumn haystack meal

Another week has passed, and it is time to get this column on its way.

Last Friday around 8:30 a.m. sisters Verena and Susan; sister Emma and her husband Jacob; and my husband, Joe, and I hired a driver with a minivan to take us to Lafayette, Ind., to Uncle Andy’s funeral. It took us more than three hours of driving time each way. All but two of Dad’s eight siblings made it to the funeral. Dad came from a family of three girls and ten boys, but eight of the boys are left now. It is sad to see the group of siblings get smaller. It was 7:30 p.m. until we made it back home safe and sound.

Baptismal church services were held at Emma and Jacob’s house on Sunday to take in two young souls as members. The services were held in a big pole barn. As baptismal church services are usually bigger in attendance, another bench wagon was borrowed from a neighboring district.

Amish baptism services are larger than normal church services, so extra benches like these are brought on the bench wagon to the house or barn where the special church service will be held.
Amish baptism services are larger than normal church services, so extra benches like these are brought on the bench wagon to the house or barn where the special church service will be held.

There were a lot of people to serve lunch to, but we had plenty of everything. Sixty-four loaves of white and wheat bread were brought in. Also on the menu were bologna, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, freezer pickles, dill pickles, pickled red beets, sliced tomatoes, strawberry jam, butter, coffee, and iced tea. There were also various kinds of cookies, such as sugar, oatmeal, chocolate chip, and chocolate crinkles.

Some of the church families and the youth were invited back for supper and singing. We had a haystack meal. A haystack is a variety of vegetables, toppings, and hamburger with taco seasoning. Sister Emma’s version consisted of layers of crushed Saltine crackers, hamburger, rice, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped green peppers and onions, crushed tortilla chips, cheese sauce, and salsa. Dessert was a fresh fruit mixture of watermelon, muskmelon, grapes, and apples, as well as M&M bars, peanut butter swirl bars, Jell-O cake, and ice cream.

Daughters Elizabeth, 20, and Susan, 18, didn’t have work at the factory this week. Elizabeth is sewing her dress, cape, and apron and Timothy’s shirt for niece Elizabeth’s wedding in Berne, Ind., next week. Timothy and Elizabeth will be table waiters at the wedding. Daughter Verena, 16, will also be a table waiter at the wedding. I have her dress suit (the dress, cape, and apron) cut out but still need to sew it. The color they will wear is raspberry. I will help cook and need to wear a burgundy-colored dress suit. I still need to cut them out. It seems the weeks slip by so fast, and the wedding is suddenly closer than you think!

Lovina has been busy sewing dresses for her and her daughters for a family wedding next week. This is the dress her daughter Verena will wear as a “table waiter,” or server, at the wedding meal.
Lovina has been busy sewing dresses for her and her daughters for a family wedding next week. This is the dress her daughter Verena will wear as a “table waiter,” or server, at the wedding meal.

I need to take Joseph to his post-op checkup tomorrow. He still seems to be gaining back his health.

The girls are making bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast for our supper. I should be helping, but wanted to get this column done so I can start sewing early tomorrow morning.

Recently we picked up a lot of potatoes that the potato-picking machine missed from a neighbor’s field. They are not keepers, so we needed to get them used up. We shredded some of the potatoes to put in the freezer so that we can use them in casseroles later. This recipe is another good way to use them up. God’s blessings!

Seasoned Potato Wedges

  •  6 large potatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Beat egg and milk. Combine flour and seasonings. Dip potatoes into egg-and-milk mixture. Dust with flour mixture. Place single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake at 450° for 20–25 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Busy butchering day proves a blessing

Today is our youngest child Kevin’s ninth birthday. Has it really been that long? It was also the first day of school, so he was a tired little boy tonight. Daughter Verena baked a horseshoe-shaped cake for him today since I wasn’t home all day. He requested a horseshoe cake and wanted chocolate cake.

Lovina's youngest child, Kevin, turned 9 this week, and his older sister made him this horseshoe cake.
Lovina’s youngest child turned nine this week, and his older sister made him this horseshoe cake.

Foremost on our minds is the sad news that Uncle Andy Coblentz, 81, passed away last night. He was the brother right after my dad in age. Dad would be 83 if he were still here. We are glad we were able to see Uncle Andy and Aunt Caroline at the reunion in July. Our sympathy goes to Aunt Caroline and cousins Andrea, Lori, and David, and also to all the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our plans are to attend the funeral on Friday, which is over three hours from here. I’m sure Andy will be missed by many. May God be with them as they mourn for such a great man. Only God can bring us comfort in times like this.

On Labor Day we had a very busy day. A few of the girls washed the laundry while the rest of us butchered 51 chickens. In four hours we had the chickens all cut up. We soaked the meat in ice water to cool off before bagging it for the freezer. These chickens were broilers, which one can eat fresh or freeze. They were six weeks old and weighed around three and a half to five pounds. We had over 180 pounds of meat total. What a blessing to be able to put it all in the freezer for later use. We appreciated the help of Timothy and Mose, which made everything go faster. We had an assembly line, with one guy chopping off the heads of the chickens and a few people plucking the feathers after they were dipped in scalding water. Then they were gutted, cleaned and cut up into pieces. The gizzards and hearts were also saved to clean. The wings were bagged separately to be grilled for hot wings. After butchering chickens, none of us are ready for a meal of chicken for a while!

Sunday evening we had supper with sisters Verena and Susan, as brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and family were there. Albert’s married sons, Joe and Albert Jr., and their families were also there. Jacob and Emma’s children were also there, but Jacob and Emma couldn’t attend as Jacob wasn’t feeling good. We were served a good supper of barbecued chicken and all the trimmings.

My husband, Joe, doesn’t have work this week. Today Joe and I and sisters Verena and Susan traveled to Berne, Indiana. We spent most of the day at sister Liz’s house, helping her clean for the upcoming wedding of their oldest daughter, Elizabeth. Sister Leah was also there. Sister Emma has church services at her house on Sunday, so she wasn’t able to go. It was enjoyable to work together again, but we missed Emma. Tomorrow I will go help Emma with preparations for church services.

And like I don’t have enough to do, the peaches I ordered came today. Life gets too busy at times! Let us always take time for God. How easy it is to neglect God when we get busy.

Joseph, who had two surgeries recently, seems to keep gaining strength every day. We are so happy for that.

It is already 10:30 p.m. Everyone has gone to bed. I need to join them, but I knew I needed to write this column. Try this chicken biscuit stew sometime.

Wishing you all God’s richest blessings!

Chicken Biscuit Stew

  •  ¼ cup margarine or butter
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1⅓ cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup onions
  • biscuits

Melt butter and add flour, salt and pepper. Add milk to form a white sauce, stirring until thick. In a separate pan, boil potatoes, carrots and peas; drain. Add to white sauce and then add broth, chicken and onions. Put into 9×13 pan and top with unbaked biscuits. (You can use storebought biscuits in a tube or your own favorite biscuit recipe.) Bake at 375° for 20–25 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at Editor@LovinasAmishKitchen.com.

Garden goodies and a midsummer night’s sleepover

We are having all kinds of garden goodies lately. It makes meal planning so much easier. Our first batch of sweet corn is ready. We’ve also been enjoying tomatoes, green beans, buttered red beets, zucchini, cucumbers and hot peppers. The peas are now over for the season.

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Onions hang to dry on the porch.

The boys pulled all the onions from the garden and we tied them in bunches to hang under the porch to dry. Before it gets too cold we will move them to the basement. I hardly ever have to buy onions from year to year if I plant enough to store for the winter. We also like to plant enough potatoes but this year they didn’t do so well. I’m surprised if we will have enough for storage. There is a potato field close by, where we can go pick up potatoes after the picker goes through. They miss a lot and it’s easy to get plenty from the ground.

This Thursday we plan to travel to Berne, Indiana, to attend niece Marlene and Chris Troyer’s wedding. Daughter Elizabeth has almost completed sewing her periwinkle-colored dress for this occasion. Elizabeth and her friend Timothy will be table waiters and I’ll help cook. More on that next week.

Congratulations go to niece Elizabeth and Sam as they announced their wedding plans for September. This would be sister Liz’s oldest daughter and the first wedding to prepare for. Liz has a wedding wagon she rents out to people so she should be well prepared with all the tables, stoves and dishes that she will need for the wedding.

For my own wedding my mother had to borrow stoves, pots and pans, and some dishes—as wedding wagons were unheard of then. It was a lot of work to gather these things and then make sure everything was delivered back to its owner.

We are enjoying making banana poppers on the grill lately since our banana peppers are big enough to stuff with cream cheese and shredded Colby cheese. We then wrap bacon around the peppers and grill them. We make a few with jalapeños for Joe and me but the children prefer the banana peppers as they aren’t quite as hot. It seems like the banana peppers can’t grow fast enough to keep up with making the poppers.

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Banana peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. This is just before putting them on the grill.
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The finished banana peppers.

Son Kevin, 8, loves to husk the corn for me when we have sweet corn. I thought it was funny when he asked where he should put the wrappers when he takes them off. He was talking about the husk.

Son Joseph, 12, had four of his school buddies here for the night on his birthday, July 24. They slept out in a tent in our backyard. I think they told each other so many scary stories that they were a little scared to go to sleep. They came in and told me they saw eyes in the barn. After investigating, it happened to be our dog Rover. At 5:30 a.m. they all moved up to the boys’ bedroom as they said it was getting really cold sleeping in the tent. We had 54 degrees that morning, unusually cool weather for July.

Joseph wanted cupcakes instead of cake for his birthday. Daughter Verena, 16, baked chocolate and white cupcakes for him. She topped them with vanilla pudding frosting.

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Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for Joseph’s birthday. To make the frosting, add 1 box instant vanilla pudding to a container of Cool Whip.

I want to thank all of you readers that have taken time to encourage me to keep writing. Life brings us disappointments in various ways. Being honest in all things and letting God be our guide is such great advice.

Until next week, God bless.

Green Bean-Egg Casserole

  • 1 quart green beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup cheese, grated

Cook green beans until tender (or use canned beans). Chop onion and sauté in 2 tablespoons butter. Slice or dice eggs and mix with the beans. Pour beans, eggs, and onions in 1½ quart casserole dish. Pour mushroom soup over all. Toast bread crumbs in 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle casserole with cheese and toasted bread crumbs. Bake 40 minutes at 350°.

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 or at Editor@LovinasAmishKitchen.com.

Wedding prep and washer breakdown: all in a week’s work

All is quiet here at the Eicher household. Everyone has retired for the evening. I will be glad to join them, but I can’t neglect the duty of getting this column ready for the mail tomorrow. I will leave early to go help bake pies at brother Albert’s house.

Albert and Sarah Irene’s daughter, Irene, is getting married to Levi Raber on Wednesday. I will be a cook at the wedding, so some of us go to help prepare whatever needs to be done and bake pies. I still need to sew my cape and apron for the wedding. I finished my dress. Daughter Elizabeth and her friend, Timothy, are table waiters and Elizabeth has to wear the color berry. She has her outfit all sewn. It’s such a help to me that she can cut out and sew her own dress, cape, and apron.

On July 31 another of my nieces is getting married. Brother Amos’s daughter Marlene is getting married to Chris Troyer. This wedding will be in Berne, Indiana.

I was asked to be a cook, and Elizabeth and Timothy are table waiters again. Elizabeth will have to wear a periwinkle-colored dress for this wedding. Marlene chose the same dark blue color for the cooks as Irene did. That will make less sewing for me.

We were invited back to the place where church was held at today for supper. We decided to just stay home. It was a relaxing evening with all the family home and Timothy and Mose were here as well. Joe and our three sons, Timothy, and Mose played a few games of croquet. The girls aren’t very fond of playing that game so all five daughters went for a walk.

For supper, I made an Italian sausage and potato casserole, and also a garden salad with fresh lettuce from our garden. I will share the casserole recipe at the end of my column. Sisters Verena and Susan shared this recipe with me that a friend had given to them. I like trying something different, and it was a winner in the family as most of it was eaten up. There was just enough for Joe’s lunch for tomorrow at work.

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Fresh veggies from the Eicher family garden.

The girls did the chores for sisters Verena and Susan from Wednesday to Saturday. They went on a sight-seeing tour to Niagara Falls with a busload of their friends. There were 42 girls in all on the bus. It sounds like they had a nice trip.

On Friday while we were washing the laundry the wringer stopped working. We have a spare wringer when something like this happens, and guess what—the last time my wringer broke we laid it aside, never taking time to take it to be fixed. So there we were without a wringer and halfway through the washing of our clothes. Luckily, I have a spinner to help spin water out of the clothes but it was still a chore to wring all those clothes out by hand.

Sisters Verena and Susan do not have to work tomorrow and said the girls could bring the clothes over to wash at their house. Since I’m leaving they might just do that. I’m not sure how quickly our washing machine will be in working order again. We had to take the washing machine to get it checked out as well, as Joe thinks it could be the gears in there instead of the wringer.

We were excited to hear that we are uncle and aunt again. Joe’s brother, Benjamin, and Miriam from Sugarcreek, Ohio, were blessed with a little girl, Victoria Joy, recently. We look forward to meeting her.

Blessings to all!

Italian Sausage and Potato Casserole

  • 5 sliced potatoes
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 large green pepper (chopped)
  • 2 pounds Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and oregano to taste

Mix sliced potatoes, onion, green pepper, and seasonings with olive oil. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan, covered, for one half hour at 350°. Remove from oven and drain, if necessary. Cut sausage in pieces and add to potato mixture. Continue cooking for one hour or until sausage is done.