Children learning to read German; grape juice boiling and family reunion

Saturday we attended my family gathering at my sister Liz and brother-in-law Levi’s place in Berne, Indiana. All eight of us siblings were in attendance. Some of the married nieces and nephews didn’t attend but we still made a nice-sized group to enjoy the day.

Like every year, our parents are greatly missed at these family gatherings. Everyone took some food, but Levi and Liz furnished the hot food. The menu included barbequed chicken and pork steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, corn, peas, homemade bread, plus all the dishes that were brought in.

Nephew Ben (age 32 and the oldest of my parents’ grandchildren) and his family recently moved back to Berne, Ind. after living in Wisconsin since they were married in 2007. My parents’ youngest living grandchild is Steven, eight, in second grade (Jacob and Emma’s son). The youngest baby present was Lyle, born August 13 to niece Susan and Joe. He was born the day before Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding.

The afternoon was spent playing outdoor games, visiting, and singing. Snacks were served before everyone left for home. We arrived home around 7:00 p.m.

GermanFlashCards
German alphabet and sounds the children are practicing.

This week and next week the evenings will be short. The children are leaving every night to take German classes. Our church has these classes for the children that attend public school and don’t have the option of learning to read German in school. It seems empty when they are all gone in the evenings until 8:30 p.m. Lovina and Kevin seem to be enjoying learning the new sounds of the German alphabet. Every evening they come home excited about new words they learned. A special thanks goes to the ones that donate their time to teach these classes.

Yesterday our school had to cancel school due to water issues they were having. I don’t think the children were too excited that this also happened to be the day we had to go pick grapes. It sure did help, thought, to have them along to help pick them. There is an Amish family in our community that has a “U pick” for grapes. It was a very nice day to travel the eight miles.

Today we are canning grape juice. I have two steamers which speedsGrapeJuiceMaking the process. I don’t add sugar until I open the jars. I can the concentrate and add sugar and water when we open the jars.

Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy went to pick their grapes last night. I want to let her use my steamers to can her juice. It’s hard for her to get things done with her working every day at the RV factory yet.

I want to get apples soon to can applesauce. I must get back to my work.

Until next week—God bless!

Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Beating well, combine sugar and oil. Add eggs; beat until well mixed. Mix in flour which has been sifted with cinnamon, salt, and soda. Slowly mix in carrots and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.

Frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Soften cream cheese. Blend in butter, then add all other ingredients.


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.

Brief lake vacation closes out busy summer; fresh peaches to can and enjoy

CannedPeaches2015Edited
Lovina’s peaches ready for winter.

We had a nice few days staying by the lake. Our family enjoyed fishing and swimming. We had some very hot days so it was nice to be close to the lake. Thanks to my friend Ruth for writing the column for me last week.

We attended the wedding of Leander and Karen. Joe’s Uncle Solomon and Aunt Nancy from Ohio joined us at Timothy and Elizabeth’s house for supper. Joe helped Timothy unload some hay. We had a good supper with barbequed chicken on the menu. Solomon and Nancy came to our house for the night. I made breakfast for all of us before they left the next morning. We enjoyed having them here!

On September 2 our youngest child Kevin turned ten years old. He was excited to go to church as he gets to sit with the boys now instead of with Joe. When the boys and girls turn ten, they can sit with the girls and boys ten years and older.

School started yesterday and Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin had a nice first day of school.

We have peaches here that need to be canned. I’ll probably put some in the freezer too.

Last week Timothy’s sister had a Norwex shower for Elizabeth. I had never been to a Norwex party (cleaning products that are chemically safer). Elizabeth received all the hostess benefits. A wash line was also presented to Timothy and Elizabeth that night. Family members had filled gallon, quart, or sandwich size bags with small gifts for Timothy or Elizabeth. It was interesting to see what people came up with. An example of items in the bags were soup plates, bowls, spices, seasonings, kitchen items, nails, screws, baking supplies, buttons, pins, needles, band aids, etc. They received a lot of nice things. The bags were all pinned to a clothes line hung outside with clothes pins.

Sunday our neighbor girl Ruth was published to be married on October 16 to Aden. Aden is also a member of our church. I was asked to help cook. Joe was asked to help wash dishes at night. Loretta was asked to be a babysitter. The babysitters help watch the cooks’ babies and toddlers. Loretta and I both need to have a new aqua dress sewn for this wedding.

On Saturday sister Liz and Levi are hosting our family gathering. I’m not sure what the exact number is for our family count now, but I know it’s over one hundred. Next year it will be our turn to host the gathering. It seems like the family has been together more this year since there were a few weddings in the family.

I am hoping to answer the letters to readers this week. I apologize for taking this long to answer some of the letters while we were so busy with the wedding and church services. Thank you so much for your patience. God bless you all!

Try this peach crisp recipe while peaches are in season!

Peach Crisp

6 fresh peaches (peeled, pitted, and sliced)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oatmeal

Place peaches in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with almond extract. In a bowl combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like crumbs. Sprinkle the flour mixture in an even layer over the top of the peaches and sprinkle the oatmeal on top. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes until peaches are bubbling and topping is browned.

 

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.

Lovina’s friend Ruth provides additional background on Amish wedding

Editor’s Note: Lovina Eicher is on vacation. Guest columnist Ruth Boss, an “English” friend of Lovina’s, shares her perspective on the wedding of Tim and Elizabeth from her ringside seat as a “gopher” leading up to the wedding August 14.

HorsesWaitingAugust 7. One week until the big wedding! Lovina tells me they’ve invited 700 for the noon meal, 600 for the evening meal, and 200 for the youth meal. But about 30 percent won’t come; still, she will be serving 1,000 meals. Some of the people are invited to both meals so there won’t be 1,000 actual guests— but who’s counting?

August 12. How much food do you need to serve 1,000 meals? A lot! For the dressing we bought 45 loaves of bread (to be cubed and toasted), 12 stalks of celery, and 10 pounds of onions. We picked up 350 pounds of chicken leg quarters to grill the morning of the wedding. Today 20-30 women will come to Lovina’s house to make cherry and pecan pies and angel food cake. PotatoesTim, Liz, and I will pick up the 250 pounds of potatoes and 1,000 candy bars this afternoon. It’s an Amish tradition in this community for the bride and groom to hand one out to each guest. It’s fascinating to watch the family, friends, and church family work together to prepare for this wedding. The Amish community quietly and cooperatively gets the job done.
SheetsOnLineDayBeforeWeddingAugust 13, early morning. It’s another cool morning in Michigan. The cooks in the wedding wagon are grateful for the cool breeze with seven ovens going, which also has two large sinks and plenty of prep counters and open shelves. The cooks are chatting in German, probably catching up about their families and news. The bread is being made along with peanut butter pie and “dirt pudding.” Two women cut the chicken leg quarters into two pieces. Susan is washing all the bed sheets today. Small children are playing and babies are being watched by young girls. A large pot of coffee is brewing with snacks on a table. Yesterday Elizabeth gave Timothy a haircut for the wedding. After tomorrow he will not shave his beard as that is the tradition for a married man. Tonight all the sisters are having a sleepover in one bedroom for their last night together.

August 13, afternoon. There is literally a bee hive of women workingBreadDoughRising in Lovina’s kitchen. Two are doing dishes, three are washing windows, more are sweeping and mopping floors. Laundry is being folded by another while yet another is cleaning the bathroom. Outside, in the wedding wagon, the bread baking and dessert making continues. In the middle of the kitchen four men sit at the table with coffee, talking about work and other stuff men talk about—and taking a break from cleaning out the barn. The homemade bread is out of the oven; after brief cooling, it will be put in used bread bags to make it softer.

LakeNearLovina

August 14: Tim and Elizabeth are officially married! We had beautiful weather. The cooks arrived around 6:30 a.m. to start cooking. The wedding, which was at the neighbors, started at 9:00 a.m. with songs and then preaching until about 11:30. Tim, Liz, and their witnesses sat in the middle with benches in a u-shape surrounding them. The men sat on one side facing the middle and the women sat opposite them facing the middle. About 11:00 all the cooks and table waiters filed in and took seats. It was all in German, so I didn’t understand what was being said but towards the end the bishop asked Liz and Tim six questions which are their marriage vows, to which they answered yes. After a prayer the bishop placed Liz’s hand in Tim’s and pronounced them husband and wife.  A wonderful meal was served at noon and another at 5:00 p.m., and a separate supper for the young people at 7:00 p.m. At the end of the evening the men and women all pitched in to wash the dishes and pack up the wedding wagons. There was a bit of mischief that involved a “silly string” war at the youth dinner and some TP’ing of Tim and Liz’s new house.

Lovina and I have been friends for a number of years; she is just asBonnetsAtWedding genuine as you may imagine her to be. She is patient and loving with her children, and generous with her time when it comes to helping others. She is deep rooted in her faith and that is what has gotten her through the trials they have experienced through the years. There is fun and laughter in their home, and often the source of jokes is Lovina herself! She speaks often of her gratitude for her readers and how the prayers and support of all of you have helped her through some difficult times. She cherishes your friendship even though she will never meet many of you. I am glad to call her my friend.

WeddingMenusHere’s the Peanut Butter Pie Lovina’s family made for the wedding, (listed on the extensive menu, right).

Peanut Butter Pie (makes two)

2 baked pie shells
4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
12 ounces whipped topping, divided

Crumb Mixture (make one batch for each pie)

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter

Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter with fork until it is coarse and crumbly.  Place 3/4 cup of mixture into each baked pie shell.

Heat milk to scalding. In a separate bowl combine sugar, salt, and flour. Stir in 3 beaten eggs. Stir 1/4 cup of the scalding milk into this mixture. Pour mixture into pan of warm milk and cook over medium-low heat until thick, stirring often. Stir in vanilla.

When thick, pour into pie shells. Let cool, then refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Top with whipped topping and remainder of crumb mixture.

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.

 

Whew! No time to catch breath after wedding when you host church the next week

Another week has passed, and it is time to write another column.

The Eichers set up benches for church services in their new pole barn.
The Eichers set up benches for church services in their new pole barn.

Church services were held here Sunday in our new pole barn. Made a lot more room than when we had it in the basement. Benches were all filled, even though some of our church families were attending baptismal services in another church district. We had quite a few visitors from northern Indiana.

Our menu for lunch consisted of homemade wheat and white bread (out of 50 loaves, we had only a few left), smoked sausage links (which we heated up in the oven before serving), cheese spread, peanut butter spread, dill pickles, freezer pickles, red beets, hot peppers, butter, strawberry jam, coffee, iced tea and cookies. We had butterscotch, chocolate chip, sugar and ranger cookies.

We served seven tables at one time and four of them were reset, so we had eleven tables to serve altogether. I didn’t have anyone back for the evening meal like we usually do. We were all worn out from having Elizabeth’s wedding here a week before!

This week we are busy canning. Yesterday we canned 34 pints of salsa. We still have more tomatoes that need to be canned into something. I would like to make pizza and spaghetti sauce, and I also want to can some salsa for daughter Elizabeth, who just got married. She went back to work and is working ten-hour days. It wears her out to get much done in the evenings.

Our cabbage heads are ready to be harvested. We made coleslaw and chili soup for our supper last night. Sons Benjamin, 16, and Joseph, 13, took some garden goodies over to Timothy and Elizabeth. They don’t have a garden, so we want to share with them. We have green beans and hot peppers waiting here to be put into jars. I might freeze the green beans. Also have peaches coming next week.

I did take a half-day break and went to neighbor Barbara’s for a Tupperware party one day. It was a Tupperware shower for neighbor Susie, who was married on June 4. They served lunch to us before we left. Sometimes getting away from home for a while boosts your energy.

Tomorrow we plan to attend the wedding of Leander and Karen. The wedding will be about six miles from our house. Leander is a son of Joe’s cousin Leander and his wife Rosina. Son Leander recently moved to our community.

School doors will open on September 8. Our three youngest are ready for that day. Joseph will be in seventh grade, Lovina in fifth (and in middle school), and Kevin will be in fourth grade (his last year in elementary). The years keep going by way too fast!

This week Lovina shares a recipe for homemade salsa. Her recipe makes 15 pints of canned salsa.
This week Lovina shares a recipe for homemade salsa. Her recipe makes 15 pints of canned salsa.

This week I’ll share my salsa recipe with you readers. God’s blessings to all!

Salsa

14 pounds tomatoes, scalded, peeled, and diced
5 cups onions, chopped
10 green peppers, chopped
4–6 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons oregano flakes
3 teaspoons chili powder
10–12 tablespoons Clear Jel (not instant)

Mix all of the ingredients except Clear Jel in a big pot. After the mixture boils, cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then mix Clear Jel with 1–2 cups of water before adding to the rest of the ingredients to thicken. More jalepeño peppers can be added to desired taste, and more Clear Jel can be added for a thicker salsa. Cold pack according to your canner’s instructions. Makes about 15 pints.

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.

Elizabeth’s wedding day brings sacred vows and 1,000 meals served

The wedding day of Timothy and daughter Elizabeth (August 14) is now past. We had a few sprinkles of rain early in the morning and then nice weather the rest of the day. After everything was over and cleaned up, we had a thunderstorm and more than an inch of rain. We were thankful that it waited to rain until all was over.

It was hard to believe this day was finally here after so much preparation to get ready for it! Joe’s cousin Samuel started grilling the 350 pounds of chicken at 4:00 a.m on Friday. Around 6:30 a.m. the cooks started arriving to get the food prepared. Wedding services were held at our neighbors’, Joas and Susan’s. Timothy, Elizabeth and their four witnesses—Mose, Susan, Ernie and Martha (Tim’s sister and her husband)—left to go to the neighbors soon after 7:00 a.m.

Verena, Loretta, and Lovina wore these dresses for Elizabeth’s wedding.
Verena, Loretta and Lovina wore these dresses for Elizabeth’s wedding.

Elizabeth likes the color burgundy and Timothy likes purple, so the wedding colors were those two colors. Elizabeth got married in a burgundy-colored dress with a white cape and apron. The grooms always wear a black suit and white shirt, as do the witnesses. Susan and Martha wore purple dresses with white cape and aprons. Family members wore a shade of rose, and the table waiter girls wore another shade of raspberry-colored material. Timothy’s mother and I wore dresses of a dark plum color, and some of the helpers wore purple. The cooks all wore dark gray. The men and boys all wore black pants and vests with white shirts. Timothy’s nephews wore rose-colored shirts and sharkskin-gray pants. His nieces wore rose-colored dresses.

An Amish couple says these vows to each other on their wedding day. Here they appear in German and English.
An Amish couple says these vows to each other on their wedding day. Here they appear in German and English.

Around 11:30 a.m., toward the end of the service, Bishop Leroy asked Timothy and Elizabeth all the marriage vows, which they responded to with yes. There are six questions that are asked. Then everyone is asked to stand for a prayer for the couple. After the prayer the bishop takes the hand of the bride, places it in the hand of the bridegroom and pronounces them man and wife.

After the service ended around noon, everyone came to our house for the noon meal. We estimated that there were more than 500 people here for the noon meal. Our menu consisted of barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, dressing, corn, cheese, lettuce salad, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, angel food cake (with frosting and Danish dessert topping), dirt pudding, mixed fruit, and cherry, pecan, and peanut butter pies. We made 25 of each kind of pie. Candy bars were passed around after the meal. The same menu was served at night, but smoked sausage and ice cream were added to the meal. We served around 575 for supper.

The Eicher family served more than 1,000 meals on the day of Elizabeth and Timothy's wedding.
The Eicher family served more than 1,000 meals on the day of Elizabeth and Timothy’s wedding.

Timothy and Elizabeth opened their gifts in the afternoon. They have a lot of nice gifts to add to their new home. The gifts are usually household items such as kitchen items, towels and bedding, and some give things like tools and shovels for the groom. Money is given by some who aren’t sure what to give, which is also nice because the bride and groom can go buy what they didn’t get.

There is a lot more to write about the wedding, so I’ll share more in future columns. We are having to adjust here at home without Elizabeth here. We really miss her, and the children also miss her dogs, Izzy and Crystal. Verena has moved her things into Elizabeth’s bedroom. It’s surprising how empty the house feels with one of the children not here.

I have to thank my friend Ruth for all her help over this wedding. She was here to go and get whatever we ran out of or forgot. She took me shopping, one trip after another, to get the many groceries needed for this wedding. She also did loads of laundry for me when we had rainy weather. She washed all the towels and dishcloths after each meal. I don’t know how I can ever repay her. A true friend indeed! Thanks so much, Ruth!

Also, a thank you from Timothy and Elizabeth to all the readers who so kindly sent cards and gifts.  They were greatly appreciated! God bless! God’s blessings to Timothy, Elizabeth and all you readers.

Here is the recipe for pecan pie that we served at the wedding.

Pecan Pie

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 cup water
2 cups pecans, whole or crushed

Mix together all ingredients except pecans. Pour mixture into a 9-inch unbaked crust. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300° and bake until pie is set. Makes two 9-inch pies.

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.

Lovina’s prayers of blessing for her daughter on the eve of the wedding

It is a hot and humid Sunday afternoon. My husband, Joe, and I and our four youngest children are the only ones home this afternoon. Everyone is taking naps. It would be nice to take one too, but I need to get another column written before next week.

Church services were held at our neighbors Joas and Susan’s house. The next services will be here in two weeks. Joas and Susan will also host the wedding services for Timothy and daughter Elizabeth in their nice new pole barn on Friday. The receptions will be here.

On the day of the wedding, we serve a meal after the services and marriage, which are usually all done by noon. Then we serve a 5:00 p.m. supper for guests and a 7:00 p.m. supper for the youth and family. The bride and groom usually open their wedding gifts in the afternoon.

The inside of the wedding wagon, a portable kitchen that Lovina and her family are using to prepare the food for hundreds of wedding guests.
The inside of the wedding wagon, a portable kitchen that Lovina and her family are using to prepare the food for hundreds of wedding guests.

We are renting a wedding wagon, which comes with seven stoves and two sinks, plus all the pots, pans and dishes you need for the wedding. It also has a big cooler/freezer to put all the food in after it has been prepared. An 8×16-foot trailer comes with it, carrying all the tables, shelves and dishes.

Yesterday we had a lot of help to get the tables set for the wedding. There are enough place settings for 350. We have enough room in the new pole barn to seat 350 people at one time plus the bride, groom and their four witnesses. The wedding wagon, cooler, and trailer with dishes and tables have to be ready to leave here at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. It will go to another place for another wedding.

The tables are set for the big wedding day of Elizabeth, Lovina and Joe's oldest daughter, and Timothy.
The tables are set for the big wedding day of Elizabeth, Lovina and Joe’s oldest daughter, and Timothy.

My thoughts and prayers are with my firstborn this afternoon as I think of her taking this big step in life. She will have a lot of changes, but I have no doubt in my mind that they will be good ones. It is just a mother’s nature to worry for her children, but there needs to be a time to let them experience life without the presence of their parents.

Elizabeth has been a great daughter and never caused us any trouble. She was always obedient to us, which means so much to parents. My advice to her is to always start her day with her husband in prayer together and to end it with prayer together. What a great way to start and end your day with God being the guide. Every marriage has its ups and downs, but if you have love and respect for each other, things can always be healed. Marriage vows should be taken very seriously. Elizabeth, I pray that you and Timothy will always remain in love as much as you are now. Joe and I were fortunate to have parents who encouraged us and let us make decisions on our own. We asked for a lot of advice, but parents can only give so much advice. It takes husband and wife alone to work things out together, with God as their guide.

Elizabeth and Timothy, may you have a long and happy married life together. May God grant you both good health and a family to care for. I hope and pray your wedding day will be a day you want to remember. My love to both of you. Now we will gain a son, not lose a daughter! God bless!

Here's Lovina's pie crust recipe from her card file.
Here’s Lovina’s pie crust recipe from her card file.

This week I’ll share Timothy’s mother’s pie dough recipe, which we will use to make all the pies for the wedding. I’m not sure yet, but I think we will make 75–80 pies for that day.

Pie crusts wait for filling as preparations continue for Elizabeth's wedding.
Pie crusts wait for filling as preparations continue for Elizabeth’s wedding.

Pie Crust

6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups lard
2 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vinegar

Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir lard into flour mixture to make crumbs. It’s best if crumbs are quite moist; add a little more lard if necessary.

Beat together eggs, water and vinegar and pour over crumbs. Mix with a fork until right consistency. Don’t overmix. Roll out and press into pie pans. Makes six single-crust or three double-crust pies.

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.

 

Lovina’s diary, one week and two days before wedding!

P1060407For this week I’m going to write a daily diary for August 5.

3:15 a.m. Time to get up and pack my husband Joe’s lunch. For his lunch he wants bread slices, sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden, and mayonnaise. I also put frozen peaches, some cheese crackers, and a piece of rhubarb pie in his lunch. I fill his water jug with ice and water and make him a mug of coffee to take along.

3:40 a.m. Joe’s ride is here. I go back to bed and set the alarm for 5:00 a.m.

5:00 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth, 21, is ready for work.

5:15 a.m. Elizabeth’s ride is here. I wake up Benjamin, 16, to get ready for work. He is doing something different this morning. He will bike the 18 miles to work. He has wanted to do this for a long time already. Benjamin loves biking and after a long, hard day’s work, he still likes to bike four to eight miles at night. I pack ham and cheese sandwiches for Benjamin’s lunch. He never wants more than a few ham and cheese sandwiches every day. I would get tired of the same thing over and over, but he says he likes it.

5:45 a.m. After checking his lights and tires Benjamin heads out for his long ride to work. They start work at 7:00 a.m. and he thinks he will make it in time. Verena, 17, and Lovina, 11, get up to get ready for their ride. They will work at the flea market today for a friend. They are both getting great at waiting on customers and sharpening their math skills.

6:45 a.m. Verena and Lovina leave. Susan, 19, is making the rest of us scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. She doesn’t have a job at present but I’m sure glad for her help with all the work getting ready for Elizabeth’s wedding. Joseph, 13, is out milking Bessie the cow. Kevin, 9, makes sure his little kitten gets some of Bessie’s warm milk for breakfast. Loretta, 15, helps Susan and I mend a few shirts.

8:00 a.m. My sister Verena walks over to help us today. My sister Susan is working so Verena decided to come help us.

9:30 a.m. My sister Emma and children come to help today too.

1:00 p.m. A lot of cleaning is in process: the walls and ceilings are being washed off in the kitchen and dining room area; windows are being cleaned, and some cabinets have been washed out.

I finally have lunch ready for everyone. Our lunch consists of One Kettle Soup in which I used some the noodles we made last week. They taste very good. Also sliced tomatoes, cheese bread, and hot peppers. Verena brought Swiss roll bars and Emma brought brownies for dessert.

2:00 p.m. They continue with the cleaning. The noodles we made last week, which are still on tables drying, are ready to be put into containers. My sisters weighed them and we have well over 30 pounds of noodles so we will have more than enough for the wedding next week.

3:00 p.m. My sister Susan came here from work and pitches in to help. Daughter Elizabeth and Joe are home from their jobs. Emma and her daughter Emma pick two five-gallon buckets full of tomatoes in my garden. Looks like I’ll have to be canning tomatoes soon. I hope it can wait until after the wedding. We will use some of the tomatoes in the salads for the wedding.

3:30 p.m. Benjamin is home from work. He caught a ride home so he didn’t have to bike home. He said this morning it took him one hour and fifteen minutes to bike the 18 plus miles, but he made it there in time to start working at 7:00.

4:00 p.m. My other helpers leave for their homes. Joseph finishes mowing; I do some tilling in the garden.

6:30 p.m. Supper time. On the menu are hamburger sandwiches and lettuce salad.

9:00 p.m. Everyone is cleaning up for the night. We decided to quit early and get a good night’s sleep for once. God’s blessings!

This week I’ll share the recipe that I got from sister Emma. She brought it here on Saturday when they came to help. It is delicious!

Orange Cream CheesecakeOrangeCheeseCake

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter. Press into bottom of 9×13 pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Filling:

1 3-ounce package orange gelatin
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8-ounce Cool Whip

Prepare gelatin according to package directions. Set aside 1/2 cup at room temperature. Chill remaining gelatin until slightly thickened, about 80 minutes.

Meanwhile in mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Gradually beat in milk and lemon juice on medium speed for 2 minutes. Gradually beat in orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and room temperature gelatin. Fold in Cool Whip and pour over prepared crust.

Topping:

2 cups Cool Whip
1/4 cup sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat Cool Whip and sugar. Beat in refrigerated gelatin. Mixture will be thin. Chill for 30 minutes. Gently spoon over filling. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Note: We place mandarin orange slices on top also. Delicious!

 

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.

Noodle making, cleaning and fixing up fill the weeks before the wedding


This is already Thursday and it’s time I get this column written. Today, July 30, is nephew Steven’s eighth birthday so happy birthday wishes go to him!

It seems like the days are flying by. Tomorrow in two weeks is the wedding for Timothy and daughter Elizabeth. I ordered 350 pounds of chicken this morning for that day. Joe’s cousin will grill it for us on the morning of the wedding.

Last week we attended the wedding of niece Katie Edna and Ben. They had a very nice day for their wedding. All of Joe’s siblings were there except for one of his brothers. There are twelve siblings so it was nice that most could be there. Hopefully all of them will be able to make it here for Elizabeth’s wedding.

We arrived back home at midnight from the wedding and we had to get up a little after 3:00 a.m. for Joe to go to work. I could go back to bed but Joe had a rough day and was glad to see Friday evening come.

NoodlesDrying
Oodles of noodles — Amish style. These are made and dried to be cooked and served at the wedding of Elizabeth and Time.

Yesterday Timothy’s parents, sisters, sister-in-law and some of their children, my sisters Verena, Susan, Emma, and Emma’s children Emma and Steven, came to help us. They made noodles using well over 200 eggs. We saved the egg whites and put them in bags in the freezer—which will be used to make angel food cakes for the wedding.

The helpers washed all the dishes in both my cupboards and corner cupboard. Some went out to work in the garden and finished weeding and tilling most of it. The younger girls washed off the outside porch and railings. So much was accomplished! Everyone brought something for lunch so I didn’t have to take time to make lunch.

JosephCupcakes2015
Son Joseph was not forgotten amid the wedding preparations: colorful cupcakes for his birthday!

I painted the new closet that Joe put in for me in our bedroom. Joe put in a new floor and brother-in-law Jacob hung the doors and trim. Now today I’m excited to be able to fill it and I know that won’t take long. I also want to wash off walls and ceilings in our bedroom today. The girls are washing clothes. Joseph, 13, has been going with Benjamin, 16, every day to help Mose at his sawmill. Mose’s brother Freeman injured his leg so he needed help stacking wood.

I still haven’t sewn my dress for the wedding. I have it cut out already. My goal is to work on it tomorrow. It seems I keep pushing it off every week, and I need to sew it before I can’t concentrate on it. Most of the other sewing is done, thanks to Elizabeth.

Church services will be held here a little over a week after the wedding. We will have it in the pole barn where we will have the tables for the wedding. What a relief it will be when all of it is over.

We hope tomorrow will be a nice day for Lyle and Leah. I saw them in town one evening this week. I told them I’m not sure if we will make it to their wedding as Joe is having a hard time taking more days off from the factory. They said if we can’t make it for the wedding, we can come for supper, so we will see if we can make it. Appreciate the invitation!

Try this chicken noodle casserole. God’s blessings to all!

Chicken Noodle Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
4 cups cooked noodles (8 oz.)
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken
2 cups cooked peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

In a large saucepan blend soup and sour cream. Cook together for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Heat; stir occasionally. Can serve immediately. Makes 10 cups. If frozen, place in covered casserole in cold oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 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.

 

 

A whirlwind of cleaning and more precedes a home Amish wedding

Twenty-three days left until the wedding of Timothy and Elizabeth. We have a lot of work left to do before then but we have accomplished a lot already.

Saturday was a full day. At 7:00 a.m. we had some cement delivered to pour sidewalks around the house and in front of the new pole barn. My husband Joe and sons Benjamin and Joseph, Timothy and his brother Joseph Jr., and Mose and his brother Freeman were here to help with the cement work. Pouring concrete is hard work so their help was appreciated!

My sisters Verena and Susan also came to help us. Also sister Emma, Jacob, and sons came later in the forenoon to help. Jacob hung the closet doors in the bedrooms upstairs that still needed doors and trim. I am so glad that is done now.

Sister Susan and daughter Verena worked in the garden. With all the rain we had, the weeds have taken over.

Sisters Verena and Emma, daughters Elizabeth, Loretta, and Lovina worked in getting the basement cleaned. Yesterday daughters Susan and Verena cleaned the boys’ bedroom. They are scrubbing the walls and ceilings in the hallway today and then that finishes the upstairs. We just have the main level to clean. Loretta and Lovina have been washing out the kitchen cabinets.

Next week Timothy’s mother, sisters, and sister-in-laws plan to come help make noodles for the wedding and help clean.

Timothy and Mose have been working on laying landscaping blocks to make flower beds in front of the house. The blocks will make it look more finished off.

On Sunday we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for pizza, ice cream and cake in honor of Emma’s forty-second birthday.

Tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. we will leave for the wedding of niece Katie Edna and Ben in Berne, Indiana. Mose, Susan, and Verena are all table waiters. I have to help cook and wear the color royal blue. The girls have to wear dark blue. We were all in luck and have those colors already, so no extra sewing.

Friday, July 24, son Joseph will have his thirteenth birthday. He is really getting tall. I think he and Benjamin are almost the same height.

I appreciate my friend Ruth coming to my rescue and picking up some groceries for me when I happen to discover I’m out of something. Going to town takes more of my time so it’s nice to have a friend run errands over this busy time. Thank you Ruth—you do so much for us! It is greatly appreciated!

GardenVegetables2015Edited

We had our first tomatoes from our garden and are also enjoying green peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, and green onions. Radishes are over with in my garden. Sister Emma sent green beans and zucchini over this morning. I planted my garden late this year.

Readers have been asking for my ice tea recipe. I use fresh spearmint tea leaves from my garden. This tea you can drink warm or ice cold. Until next week—God bless!

Tea Concentrate

6 cups water
1 cup packed tea leaves
1 1/2 cups sugar

Boil 4 cups water. Add the leaves. Put the lid on the kettle and take off burner. Let set 10-15 minutes. Strain and pour over 1 1/2 cups sugar. Then rinse leaves with 2 cups cold water. Put 1 cup concentrate in containers and freeze. One cup concentrate makes a 2-quart pitcher of tea.

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 celebrate wedding anniversary; countdown begins for daughter’s wedding

BensBirthdayCake2015WhippedToppingEditedToday, July 14, is son Benjamin’s 16th birthday. We want to bake him a cake, but I forgot to ask him what kind he wants before he left for work at 5:30 a.m. With eight children it’s hard to remember which is everyone’s favorite.

Tomorrow, July 15, my husband Joe and I will have our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Where have all the years gone? It hardly seems possible that it’s been that many years. We have so many blessings to thank our Heavenly Father for. I remember on the morning of our wedding when my mother, some of my sisters and I got all the chicken in skillets on the kerosene stoves to fry. Mom, sister Liz, and her husband Levi took care of the chicken until the cooks came to take over. Eighteen skillets of chicken were used to fry 300 pounds of chicken. We started frying chicken at 4:15 a.m. I helped until it was time to get ready before the guests started arriving between 6:30 to 7:00 a.m.

Daughter Elizabeth is back to work at the RV factory after two weeks of vacation. I think she is probably having more of a vacation back at work! She put in some long days helping clean and sew here at home. It’s hard to get her to take it easy, but I told her she has to be careful with having had double pneumonia. She still feels weak from it.

Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding is now a month away. Elizabeth sewed everyone clothes for the wedding except she still needs to sew her and Susan a white cape and apron that they will wear at the wedding. Mose and Susan will be their witnesses. The bride and groom both choose witnesses so Timothy will choose someone from his family. I still need to cut out and sew my dress for the wedding.

We have three bedrooms cleaned upstairs and still need to clean the boy’s bedroom. We are also cleaning the canning room. So, lots of jars to clean and put back on the shelf. Joe has been working evenings on making a bigger closet in our bedroom. That will need to be painted when he is finished with mudding the drywall. He installed a new shower in the bathroom, so the bathroom needs to be repainted too yet before the wedding.

Daughter Susan had a nice vacation. We are glad to have her home again. They could feed the deer from their hand in the cabin where they stayed and also saw black bears. They had a nice fishing trip.

We were surprised on Thursday with a visit from Uncle Joe and Betty from Geneva, Indiana and Uncle Menno and Martha from Phoenix, Arizona. Menno and Martha were out in the Berne, Ind. area to attend the annual Coblentz reunion. We were unable to attend but sounds like the Coblentzs had a lot of fun—like usual. Menno and Joe are my Dad’s brothers.

Sunday evening Timothy’s family surprised Elizabeth with a birthday cake for her June 14th birthday. Timothy’s sister-in-law Rachel made and decorated the cake.

This is now Wednesday morning and I need to finish this. We ended up making a chocolate cake for Benjamin’s birthday last night. He didn’t want us to put candles on it. I’ll share the chocolate sheet cake recipe I use. A reader requested a homemade cake recipe. God bless you all!

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10 x15-inch baking pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to blend. Combine the margarine, water, and cocoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the hot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Whipped Topping Frosting

1 4-ounce box instant pudding mix (any flavor)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping

Add pudding mix, powdered sugar, and milk to a mixing bowl. Mix until blended. Let mixture stand three minutes then fold in defrosted whipped topping. Frost and keep refrigerated.

 

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.