Tag Archives: Amish wedding

Son’s eighth-grade graduation tugs at Lovina’s heartstrings

It’s a sunny pleasant evening in June. The temperature stayed in the low 70s today. Tomorrow evening we will be putting in hay. It has been a good week for haymaking.

Last night our family attended the eighth-grade graduation for the class of 2017. Son Joseph was among the twenty students who graduated. Sixteen boys and four girls were in the class. Four of the boys and girls were Amish students, so this will be the last of their school education. The rest of the students will go on to high school.

It always tears at my heartstrings when another one of our eight children has their final day of school. Two out of the eight are still in school, with Lovina headed for seventh grade and Kevin for sixth grade. At the graduation, little nine-month-old Abigail enjoyed clapping with the crowd. And of course she liked to chatter while everyone else was quiet!

Daughter Elizabeth and Abigail were here today. Abigail gives kisses now, and we have just so much fun with her.

Last week niece Rosa and Menno had a nice wedding day. On the menu were: mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken and noodles, dressing, mixed vegetables, broasted chicken, lettuce salad, carrot salad, sliced American and Colby cheese, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, cake, cookies, bars, frozen mocha dessert, mixed fresh fruit, cherry, pecan and chocolate peanut butter pies, and wedding nothings. The broasted chicken was made by brother-in-law Levi’s cousins. We had our driver pick-up time set for 5:00 a.m. and were back home around 1:00 a.m. It was a long day, but we enjoyed it.

Sisters Verena, Emma and I and a local lady from their church were the head cooks, so we had to keep everyone busy with their assigned jobs. It seemed like everything fell into place really well. Many hands make light work.

Sisters Verena and Susan went out there on Thursday morning with sister Emma and I. We helped with all the work that goes with preparing for a wedding crowd of people: “nothings” were made, seventy-five pies were baked, and vegetables were diced for dressing and salad. Sisters Verena and Susan stayed until Sunday evening to help sister Liz clean up from the wedding.

Friday is a half day of school and the last day for this term. We plan to attend the school picnic on Friday. Our youth are invited to the wedding of Richard and Hannah on Thursday evening and to the wedding of Robert and Eva on Friday night. There is also a funeral Friday. It is one of son-in-law Timothy’s aunts. Our sympathy goes to the family. Thirteen years ago, when we moved to this community, I don’t think two weddings and a funeral in two days would have been possible. Our community here has grown so much in the last few years!

This is now the following morning. It’s another beautiful day, and it’s laundry day for Loretta and me. My husband Joe, son Benjamin and daughter Verena are at their jobs. The three youngest have left for the last day of school.

Last night I finally stepped foot in our garden for the first time this year. Son-in-law Mose was tilling the garden while husband Joe and son Joseph helped me lay weed-control landscape fabric where we planted our cucumbers and watermelon. I always like to use that where my viney plants are, because it keeps the weeds down around them. We are enjoying radishes, green onions and garden lettuce.

The girls made macaroni casserole. It’s a new recipe I wanted to try, as I wrote it down for niece Rosa’s recipe shower. It was a hit in this family! It says it serves eight to ten people, but I would say twelve to fourteen. Our casserole mixture filled a 9 x 13-inch pan plus a two-quart baking dish. To those of you with small families, I would suggest cutting the recipe in half.

Lovina’s daughters made a new macaroni casserole that the whole family enjoyed.

We enjoyed meeting readers at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery in Shipshewana, Ind., on Saturday, June 3. We also met some more people who never read the column but were interested to find out where they can read it. After six Saturdays of book signings, I am looking forward to this Saturday at home!

Macaroni Casserole

4 cups uncooked macaroni
3 cups cooked peas
1 pound any kind of cooked meat, cubed
1 pound processed cheese, cubed
2 cups milk
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
2 teaspoons salt

Cook macaroni according to package instructions and drain; add peas and meat. In another pot, simmer cheese, milk, soup and salt until cheese is melted. Add to macaroni mixture and place in greased baking dish. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour. Serves 8–10.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, is available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to 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 spring days mean accepting that one person can’t do everything

It is past time for me to get this column on its way. There’s so much that should be done, but a person can only do so much. One day at a time!

We did manage to get our windows cleaned on Saturday. It doesn’t take long for them to get dirty, especially because of the rainy weather and running the coal stove. We haven’t had any heat in the house for several weeks now. On a few of the colder mornings, it would have felt good to have some! The propane lights heat up the house. We use a lot more battery lights on days that we don’t need heat.

My husband Joe, our sons and son-in-law Mose have planted some garden. This is the first year I haven’t helped plant. I’m not complaining if I don’t need to help! But we will still have the big garden to plant, so I’ll get my chance. They planted red potatoes, onions, radishes, lettuce and cucumbers. I’m not sure if they have any corn planted yet. I need to go get more seeds so we can finish the planting.

This week I have been busy sewing for the wedding next week. I have Loretta’s dress, cape and apron done. I hope to sew Verena’s today and hopefully I’ll get started on mine. I sewed Benjamin, 17, a pair of dress pants. He also needs work pants.

Laundry needs to be done today, but I am waiting to see what the weather is going to be. It is very windy and the sun comes out a little bit and then it rains a little.

We are enjoying asparagus from our garden. I like to fix it several different ways. Joe reminded me last night that we have rhubarb ready to use. I did get the hint that he’s hungry for rhubarb custard pie!

Loretta, 16, and I are alone today. The rest of the family are either at work or at school. Joseph, 14, reminded me this morning that he only has thirty more days of school left. He is in eighth grade, so this will complete his school years. He signed up to help detassel corn this summer. Joseph is tall for his age, so he will find that helpful when he works in the corn fields.

Posing in the mailboxes: Izzy has been Elizabeth’s Yorkie for many years, and puppy Ricky (also a Yorkie) has just joined the Eicher family as Verena’s special pet.

Yesterday daughter Elizabeth and Abigail came for the day. Abigail is getting everywhere on her tummy. She scoots herself around, and so I need to keep my floors clean! Abigail is growing up with Yorkie dogs, so she wasn’t scared of Verena’s new little Yorkie, Ricky. Ricky is doing great and is doing well with the potty training. He likes to hide from us. His favorite place to hide is under Joe’s recliner, where he peeks out at us. Yesterday everyone was looking for him. A few decided to look outside, because he loves to slip out when someone goes through the door. I looked around the living room and bedroom. I happened to look back and he was following me.

We are looking forward to meeting the readers in South Holland, Ill., this Saturday. Our good friend Ruth is once again doing so much for us. Since we live several hours from South Holland, she will come get us Friday evening and then we will stay at her house for the night and go to the book signing on Saturday. Joe, daughters Verena and Lovina and sons Joseph and Kevin are planning to go with me. Loretta and Dustin will go help up set wedding tables on Saturday for his brother Jake’s wedding. This will be at Jake’s girlfriend’s parent’s house, which is about one and one-half hours from here. Jake is the first of Dustin’s siblings to get married, so this will make a big change for their family.

With all of us leaving, that will put son Benjamin in charge of doing the chores here at home. Mose and Susan will be here to help him.

I’ll share Uncle Solomon’s horseradish recipe. Joe and I made some to serve with the colored eggs at Easter. Our horseradish plant is really big already.

God bless you all!

Uncle Solomon’s Homemade Horseradish

horseradish root
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt

Clean and chop horseradish root very fine. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and pinch of salt, adding only enough horseradish to make it the thickness you like. Add more sugar or salt to taste. Store in sealed container and refrigerate or use immediately.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Kitchen, is available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.

Definition of a ‘handful’? Loading baby and two dogs into a buggy

It is Thursday already, and this column should have been written yesterday! The sun is shining brightly, with the thermometer showing 62 degrees this morning.

Son Benjamin is home, as he doesn’t have work today. I hope he can clean up the remainder of the garden. We still have hot peppers, green peppers and cabbage in there.

Hot peppers from the Eicher garden, canned and ready to spice up winter meals.
Hot peppers from the Eicher garden, canned and ready to spice up winter meals.

Tonight we will go pick Concord grapes at the local U-Pick. We will also get our apples for applesauce. We are out of grape juice and applesauce, so it will be good to fill some jars with both. Timothy and Elizabeth and Mose and Susan will also go along to get grapes and apples.

Baby Abigail will be four weeks old on Saturday. She is sweeter than ever!

Daughter Elizabeth and Abigail came here for the day yesterday, and of course Crystal and Izzy (the Yorkies) came along. So Elizabeth has a handful as she gets Abigail and the dogs into the buggy! Abigail loves buggy rides, so at least she isn’t crying while they travel the almost seven miles. Their horse, ShiAnn, is a safe and sound horse for Elizabeth to drive. I keep reminding Elizabeth to take it easy, but she has a hard time not working too long. Since she became a mother, she has found out how your all nights of sleep are gone.

Monday was a cold, rainy day, so we put off laundry until Tuesday. Since we skipped washing clothes I cut out daughter Loretta’s dress, cape and apron for an upcoming wedding. I sewed most of it yesterday.

Tuesday we did our laundry, and after it was all washed and hung on the lines, we went over to Timothy and Elizabeth’s house to wash their laundry. It was a nice sunny, breezy day, so the clothes dried really well. It was almost dark by the time we made it home.

Mose had grilled hamburgers and Susan had heated up leftover pizza casserole for supper. Susan had made pizza casserole and baked five loaves of bread on Monday after she came home from work. She made a small casserole for us to take to Elizabeth’s. We took it along to her on Tuesday so she had an easy supper for her and Timothy.

Last Thursday Joe and I, along with daughter Verena and my sisters Susan and Verena, traveled to a wedding in Berne, Indiana. It turned out to be a beautiful day for the wedding of niece Arlene and Robert. Daughter Verena was a tablewaiter at the wedding. I was a cook and had to help make the lettuce salad. My five sisters—Leah, Verena, Liz, Emma and Susan—and I, and also sister-in-law Sarah Irene, were all on the job of making salad. It is always enjoyable to work with family.

On the menu were barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken and noodles, dressing, mixed vegetables, lettuce salad, cheese, homemade bread and cinnabutter (peanut butter with cinnamon flavor). Niece Susan made it but I didn’t get the recipe. Desserts were tapioca pudding, mixed fruit salad, pecan, cherry, blueberry and pumpkin pie and angel food cake with strawberry topping. Wedding Nothings were on the menu as well.

Crispy Chicken

1 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup melted butter
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Combine the first five ingredients. Dip chicken in butter and then into cereal mixture. Put in an 11 x 7-inch pan. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake at 400 degrees 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.

September means back to school, grilled stuffed peppers, and another wedding

School doors opened yesterday, September 6, throughout the county. It seems quiet around here with Joseph, 14, Lovina, 12, and Kevin, 11, all back to school. The bus is here around 7:00 a.m. We are so glad the pickup time is later this term. Joseph milks our cow Bessie in the morning, and then showers and gets ready for the bus.

It was a nice day last Friday for Mose’s brother Joe and Mary’s wedding. It was nice and cool in the morning, which made it bettter for the cooks.

My job was to help with mashed potatoes. For the noon meal we made twelve eight-quart kettles of mashed potatoes. For the evening meal we had three twenty-quart kettles of mashed potatoes. They had a larger group of people in the evening. After everyone had eaten we had a ten-quart kettle left over. The potatoes were easy to mash using the Bosch mixers that the wedding cook wagon has.

On the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, barbequed chicken, corn, lettuce salad, butterhorns, butter, and strawberry jam. Dessert was apple crumb, pecan, and peanut butter pies, date pudding, and lime fruit salad. Ice cream was served with the evening meal as well.

Kevin’s eleventh birthday was the day of the wedding (September 2). Since we were there we waited to celebrate his birthday until Labor Day. We had cupcakes instead of a cake. We gave him a youth bowKevinsCompoundBow for his birthday. He is glad to be able to target practice with Mose and his brothers. Daughter Lovina is really interested in their bows. It looks like we will have another hunter in the family. She wants to take the hunter’s safety course sometime. She is an outdoors girl like Susan. If we can’t find her she is usually out in the field petting the horses and ponies.

Joe put in eleven hours at the RV factory yesterday. Since they were off work on Monday for Labor Day they will have to put in longer hours this week. With this hot humid weather Joe is ready to call it a day when he gets home from work.

Joseph and Lovina picked the jalapeño, serrano, Hungarian wax, and sweet banana peppers from the garden. I have to get those canned. We like to stuff and grill the sweet banana and Hungarian wax peppers. We stuff them with cream cheese mixed with shredded Colby cheese, and wrap them with bacon. Our family just loves them.

One night Joe made a chili soup outside in the kettle while Mose grilled chicken. We are glad when we don’t have to get supper in the house on these hot evenings.

Mose and Susan took Joe and me out for supper in town one evening just as an appreciation for us letting them live here. We enjoy having them here and when Tim and Elizabeth come home to join us for a meal, it makes everything seem complete.

Loretta spent Labor Day at her special friend Dustin’s house with his family.

I’ll share the recipe for butterhorns I received from a friend. Enjoy! God bless!

Butterhorns RollsButterhornsSept2016

1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

Blend yeast with water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add eggs, rest of sugar, salt, and margarine. Add flour and mix well. Put in greased bowl and refrigerate overnight. Roll out like pie dough, cut
in pie-shaped pieces and roll up. Dip in melted margarine or brush lightly with margarine. Let rise 3 hours. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. If you leave in refrigerator several days, punch down each day.

 

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.

 

Neighborliness and community: paying back past kindnesses

FrontPorch
Lovina enjoys writing from her front porch.

As I write this, we mark the last day of August. I’m just amazed at how time seems to fly by faster each year. Do we take enough time in our busy lives for God? Our children also need us in their lives so much. Let us pray for them daily so that they will let God be their guide. Life doesn’t get easier and his guiding hand helps so much.

Son, Kevin (our youngest) will have his eleventh birthday on Friday, September 2. It is unbelievable but true that he is that old and starting middle school (fifth grade) on Tuesday. Son Joseph will be in eighth grade, the final year of his school years. Daughter Lovina will be in sixth grade.

Friday we are invited to Mose’s brother Joe’s wedding. Joe and Mary will have their wedding at Mose’s parents’ house. Mary’s parents live in Wisconsin and she has made Michigan her home for several years. Joe lives about one-and-a-half hours north of our community. They will live at Joe’s house after their marriage.

I was asked to be cook at their wedding. I have to wear a sage dress, cape, and apron to the wedding. I was in luck as this was the same color the mothers wore at Mose and Susan’s wedding.

Mose and Susan are table waiters. Susan has to wear another shade of green. She finally cut out her dress, cape and apron last night. It looks like I will get the job of sewing it. With her working every day she doesn’t get much extra time. Last Saturday, Susan and Mose went to help set tables for the wedding. Tomorrow (Thursday) I will go help get ready for the wedding. Not sure what jobs they will have for me but most likely bake pies, bread, etc. Lots of vegetables have to also be cut up. I will take a casserole to help out with lunch.

Saturday a new family from Iowa is moving into our church district. They will make their home a few miles from here. Since they don’t have much family in the community, some members from our church will go help them unload and get settled in their new home. From what we heard they have three small children. We wish them God’s blessing on their move.

It brings back memories of twelve-and-a-half years ago when we were making such a move. It’s a big change to move from the community where you were born and raised. We enjoy our new home and community which made it easier to adjust to changes. The good deeds that were done to help make our move easier will always be remembered. Now I hope we can go help lighten the load for someone else.

We canned another bushel of peaches yesterday. Now we should be done canning until applesauce and grapes are ready to be canned.

I came across this recipe for “Turkey Cabbage Bake” and since we have so much cabbage I like to try different recipes with cabbage. Our children don’t eat cabbage so well. I always think that I might find a way that they will like it better. The meat doesn’t have to be turkey. It can be replaced with chicken or hamburger, etc. The crescent rolls could be replaced with regular pie dough.

Turkey Cabbage Bake

2 8-ounce tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 can (10 3/4 ounce) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 6–8 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook turkey, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add cabbage, soup and thyme. Pour over crust; sprinkle with cheese. On a lightly floured surface press second tube of crescent dough into a 13×9 rectangle, sealing seams and perforations. Place over the casserole. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 14–16 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6 servings

 

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.

Susan’s wedding is past, but the leftovers remain

It’s Thursday again, and my plan to have this column on its way yesterday failed. The weeks still fly by since the wedding is past!

Three little pigs are great ways to get rid of excess garden produce.
Three little pigs? What great ways to get rid of excess garden produce!

Our refrigerators are finally getting emptier. With all the wedding leftovers, they were packed. The garden is also getting emptied quickly. The boys pulled the rest of the corn, green beans, zucchini and cucumbers. They brought in red beets and hot peppers that are waiting to be canned, as well as tomatoes that need to be made into juice or something. After a busy summer, I really don’t mind if the garden is done early. Our tomatoes had blight but are doing better. We made the old-fashioned remedy—a mixture of raw milk and water—and sprayed the plants several times. It seemed to help. Our cow Bessie provides us with more than enough milk to use. We now have three little piggies that help drink the milk and eat all the excess garden vegetables.

Our new chickens still aren’t laying, but the old chickens provide enough for us yet. I was glad to have sister Emma and Jacob share their eggs for the wedding. Last year for Timothy and Elizabeth’s wedding I didn’t have to buy any eggs, as we had plenty of our own. It takes a lot of eggs to make the noodles, pies, dressing and other food at a wedding.

Sunday, August 14, was Timothy and Elizabeth’s first anniversary. We took barbecued chicken in and stayed to eat with them. Mose and Susan were also there. Most couples around this community save the top tier of their wedding cake and put it in the freezer until their first anniversary. But Timothy and Elizabeth didn’t get theirs out yet, as they still had cake from Mose and Susan’s wedding.

Lovina and her daughters canned two bushels of peaches last week.
Lovina and her daughters canned two bushels of peaches last week.

We canned and froze two bushels of peaches for Mose and Susan and us. I have another bushel on order. Last week we went to help daughter Elizabeth on Tuesday and Friday. We cleaned her basement and canned tomato juice and salsa for her on Tuesday. Then on Friday we washed off some walls and ceilings and cleaned her whole house. We also washed windows, curtains and bedding. I think she felt refreshed to have everything cleaned. She had been sewing for the wedding and helping here so much that her cleaning was neglected. Today she comes here to spend the day with us. We will probably do some canning.

We had a lot of rain on Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. We had a total of 4.25 inches. The ground was so dry and needed it badly. Half of our huge load of laundry on Monday wasn’t quite dry when the rain started. Hanging outside in all that rain, it was wetter when we brought it in than when we put it out! Yesterday we had a nice day, so we just rewashed it all. So we ended up having an extra big laundry yesterday. We had a very nice day to dry everything.

My dad’s cousin Dave from this area passed away, and his funeral was on the same day as Mose and Susan’s wedding. Joe and I took some time the evening before the wedding to go to the viewing and visitation. Our sympathy goes out to his wife, Ruth, and family. Their daughter Sherri was a teacher to several of our children in the recent years. Ruth is a cousin to Joe’s dad, so we saw relatives there from both of our families. Dad’s cousin Leroy from Ohio stopped in at Mose and Susan’s wedding after the funeral to say “Hi” to all my family that was here.

I still remember that when I was a little girl, our family would go to visit dad’s uncle Mose and Amanda Coblentz in Hartville, Ohio. Mose and Amanda were Dave and LeRoy’s parents. The part I remember the most was the hills in their yard and the fun of running down them.

I will share the green bean recipe we used at the wedding. God bless you all!

Green Beans

2 pounds green beans
1/4 cup onions
salt to taste
3 tablespoons butter, browned
1/4 cup bacon bits
salt and pepper
seasoning salt

Cook green beans and onions until tender. Add salt as desired. Drain. Add browned butter to green beans and stir to coat. Continue to heat until the green beans are steaming hot. Add the bacon bits along with salt, pepper and seasoning salt.

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.

An Eicher family friend lifts the veil on Susan’s wedding preparations

Editor’s Note: Lovina Eicher is busy with preparations for her daughter Susan’s wedding. Guest columnist Ruth Boss, an “English” friend of Lovina’s, provides a ringside seat for the big August 5 wedding.

Wedding preparations have been in full swing all week for Susan and Mose’s wedding this Friday. Last Saturday the wedding wagons were delivered: a cook wagon, a refrigerated wagon, and a supply wagon holding all the serving dishes, plates and silverware.

Family members and friends pitched in to get the tables set up in the shed, or pole barn. Susan has chosen green for her wedding color, so cooks, table waiters, attendants, coffee servers, family members and anyone else helping will be wearing hunter green, sage, mint, or grass green shades.

Friends, neighbors and family came by buggy to help during the days before Susan and Mose's wedding
Friends, neighbors and family came by buggy to help during the days before Susan and Mose’s wedding.

The cooks began arriving very early Wednesday morning. By 7 a.m. the cook wagon was filled with women making cinnamon pudding. It is baked and will be cut into small pieces and layered with whipped topping and topped with nuts. It can be served right out of the pan as a cake. Other cooks started making the angel food cakes, all made from scratch. Some of the egg whites that Lovina had frozen ahead of time for the wedding weren’t stiffening up, so someone was sent to Susan’s (who is a baker) house down the street to get the jar she had in her refrigerator.

Next came baking pecan pies. By now the wedding wagon was very warm, with seven ovens and cooktops going! Other pie shells were baked to be used to make fresh strawberry pie, which is Susan’s favorite. Other cooks cleaned, chopped and bagged celery, carrots and onions to be used in the dressing. Some cooked, deboned and shredded chicken to be used in the stuffing and noodles.

Women helping Lovina prepare for the wedding made many classic, lattice-topped cherry pies.
Women helping Lovina prepare for the wedding made many classic, lattice-topped cherry pies.

At mid-morning, all the women stopped for a coffee break with cookies and bars that the women had brought to share. Family members and friends who don’t live close by used this opportunity to catch up on news from back home. Neighbors chatted about their families, new recipes and local news. Some of the cooks are young mothers and brought their young children with them. The older children seem to enjoy watching over the babies as their moms work.

Next, Lovina’s sisters began the time-consuming job of making “Nothings,” which are a traditional wedding treat from their home town of Berne, Indiana. Nothings are made from special dough that is rolled thin and then deep-fat fried. This is very hard work, and it took the sisters a few hours to get all the dough rolled. Once the Nothings are puffy, they are taken out of the oil, drained and topped with sugar. The stacks of Nothings were covered and will be passed at the meal as a special treat.

BrocAndCalifSaladAt noon, the helpers enjoyed a delicious meal of casseroles, salads and desserts, all provided by the cooks. All together there are 52 cooks helping with the wedding. They will make homemade bread, chop broccoli and cauliflower for salad, clean strawberries and finish up whatever else needs to be done. All the cooks will assemble the morning of the wedding to peel and cook potatoes, assemble hot foods to cook, and prepare salads. They will ready dishes to begin the first serving at about noon, after the marriage ceremony, which will start about 9 a.m.

This is a big undertaking! What strikes me as I observe the work being done is that there is no arguing or complaining from anyone. Everyone is excited and willing to work. There is laughter and horseplay. The Amish focus a lot on family togetherness and don’t have many of the distractions that we English people have. Lovina’s family is close-knit and loving. They have hard times and disappointments like everyone else, but their faith in God and close family sustains them through those times.

The table, or "eck corner," for the wedding party is set days in advance, as the family finishes final details.
The table, or “eck corner,” for the wedding party is set days in advance, as the family finishes final details.

This week, as the Eicher family gets ready for Mose and Susan’s big day, will be filled with hard work, amazing food, good conversation and lots of laughter.

Here is a recipe for a small quantity of Amish Wedding Nothings.

NothingsOnTables2Amish Wedding Nothings

1 egg, well beaten
3/4 cup cream (3 large “cook spoons” of heavy cream)
salt
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar (for topping only)
2-3 cups shortening (for frying, may need to adjust for size of pan or kettle)

Beat egg and stir in cream, salt, and enough flour to make elastic dough. Make 6 or 7 balls out of the dough. Roll out each ball of dough very flat and thin, about 1/16-inch think. Cut about six 3-inch slits in the middle of the circles.

Heat shortening in a large kettle over high heat (or use an electric frying pan with a temperature control). When the shortening is 365 degrees, test a piece of dough to see if it sizzles; put a rolled-out Nothing into the kettle or fry pan. Fry one at a time, unless you have a huge kettle. Turn each piece over with forks or large spatula once it turns golden on the bottom. Remove from oil and place on plate covered with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top while warm. Stack the Nothings on top of each other to serve. Makes 6-7.

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

Eicher family makes final preparations for Amish wedding

WeddingNoodlesIt is Thursday morning  as I write this, [July 28], and time keeps moving on faster and faster it seems. The wedding is tomorrow in a week! It’s getting too close for comfort! Tomorrow evening the wedding cook wagon, the cooler, and the trailer with the tables, dishes, etc. will arrive.

Saturday Mose’s family, Jacob, Emma and family, Verena and Susan (my sisters), Timothy and Elizabeth, and a few friends will come help set the tables for the wedding in the pole barn. The wedding wagon comes with a 350-place setting. We finished and insulated the other part of the pole barn so we can spread out the tables a little more. It seems you can never have too much space.

I still need to go shop for a lot of groceries. My list keeps getting longer and longer! It will be a relief once we have all the groceries. It’s easier to wait to get the groceries until the walk-in cooler and cook wagon are here so that we can put everything in there.

Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin are washing down the walls in the pole barn. Verena and Loretta will clean the windows once they finish their list of things to do in the house. My list of cleaning keeps getting smaller and smaller.WeddingNoodles

On Friday, sisters Verena, Susan, and Emma, and daughter Elizabeth came to help put 228 eggs into noodles. We have over 30 pounds of noodles made for the wedding now.

On Saturday, Timothy, Elizabeth, and sisters Verena and Susan came again to help. Verena and Susan had the pleasure of cleaning the boys’ bedroom. Daughters Verena and Susan and I were organizing drawers, the closet, etc., and trying to stay ahead of my sisters. The room looks so much better but I wonder for how long. It should stay cleaner after the wedding since Benjamin will move all his things into Susan’s bedroom. With just Joseph and Kevin’s things maybe it will stay more organized. Kevin has a bad habit of collecting everything, which doesn’t help.

Joseph still didn’t get a birthday cake but we have been so busy. Joseph said he can wait until after the wedding if we don’t find time before, but hopefully Sunday we will be able to. I don’t know what we would have done without Joseph’s help. He has done so many jobs for us that the girls and I couldn’t do.

Yesterday Mose’s mother Rosanna, his sisters Hannah and Linda, his sister-in-law Suzanne, my sister Emma, and daughter Elizabeth assisted us in our work. Hannah has four little children and Suzanne has a little boy. She also brought along Mose’s sister LeAnna’s little girl. Kevin and Steven helped keep the little ones entertained. Mose was here helping all day, too. He started a new job at an RV factory today. I hope he will like it. It will take a lot off him not to be running after saw mill parts all the time.

My neighbor Susan came over to help me get my grocery list ready and help see how much of everything I need. She took the pants I had cut out for Kevin and said she will get her daughter Barbara to sew them. I really appreciated that! I have my dress sewn and this afternoon I want to sew my cape and apron.

Daughter Susan was off work yesterday. She somehow hurt her shoulder and was having a lot of pain. She was still sore this morning but said she can’t miss another day. I really hope she doesn’t make it worse. She has an appointment after work today to get it checked out. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

I must get back to my work. Take care everyone and God’s blessings to all of you! Try this cabbage sausage soup with cabbage out of your garden.

Cabbage Sausage Soup

4 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
1 small cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound smoked sausage, fully cooked
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Velveeta cheese to taste

Bring water, soup base, cabbage, and onion to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until cabbage is tender. Halve sausage lengthwise and slice. Add sausage and heat through. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and milk in a gravy shaker. Shake until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Add cheese to taste.

 

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 work frolic planned; sister promises eggs to help make wedding noodles

FrontPorch
Not much time to relax on the porch these days …

Today, 17 years ago, our oldest son was born to us after having three daughters. I remember seeing the look on my husband Joe’s face when he told me “It’s a boy!” He loved his daughters too but was excited to have a son. Benjamin was only four pounds and thirteen ounces at birth and caught the flu at a few weeks old. He ended up in the hospital and went down to four pounds. He was just a tiny baby but now he is far from that. We will give him a tool chest on wheels with various tools tonight. He enjoys working with tools and doing construction work.

Tonight in honor of Benjamin’s birthday, 20 to 25 youth will gather at our local Pizza Hut. Benjamin loves pizza so he will enjoy that and also being with his friends. Daughter Verena called Pizza Hut to reserve seats for all of them. I will need to make a cake for Ben but might wait until Saturday to have cake and ice cream since he won’t be home tonight.

Benjamin didn’t have to go to work yesterday so he and our son Joseph were mowing our pasture field with our big walk behind mower. It helps keep the weeds out to mow it down every once in a while.

Saturday we are having a “work frolic” for anyone who wants to come help us prepare for the wedding. Joe ordered material to insulate and finish the other end of the pole barn. We will use both parts of the building for the wedding and be able to spread out. Mose will be here to help but none of his family will be able to make it. Mose’s older brother Joe is getting married September 2 and that wedding will be at Mose’s parents’ house. They put up a new pole barn and are working on finishing that too. Hopefully we will get plenty of help to get a lot done.

We also want to have someone put a roof coating on our barn roof. We are springing a few leaks, so that should help. Joe also ordered stain for our ramp and deck. We wanted to let the wood season awhile before we apply the stain. The wedding is three weeks away so we need to keep busy. Joe has to work Saturday in a week so that’s one Saturday less for him to get ready.

I still haven’t made noodles for the wedding. Our chickens have not been laying so well. We have new ones started but they won’t lay eggs for a few months. We will butcher the older chickens and can the broth once the new hens are laying eggs. We like to get new hens every two years. I will use all my chicken broth I have left at the wedding so I will need more. The broth is used in the noodles and dressing.

Sister Emma and sons were here assisting us with our work yesterday. She said I can have some of their eggs to make noodles for the wedding.

I have had enough pickles to make three batches of freezer pickles. I am clear out of any canned or freezer pickles. Hopefully my plants keep doing well so I can restock with those. Plans are that church will be here in October so I want to have plenty of pickles.

Today I want to try and get started sewing my dress for the wedding. I once again have put it off too long.

Friday sisters Verena and Susan will come help me with some more cleaning. Daughter Elizabeth plans to come as well.

On Friday, July 15, Joe and I will have our twenty-third wedding anniversary. Twenty-three years! How can that be possible? I am blessed to be married to a kind, loving husband. Every marriage has ups and downs but with God’s help it all ends up making our love stronger for each other. Without God in a marriage, I can’t imagine it working well. God’s love for us is unconditional. May He bless each of you!

Cucumbers are the crop of choice in Lovina’s garden right now, and this week she shares a favorite recipe for cucumber salad.
Cucumbers to make a few batches of Freezer Pickles.

Freezer Pickles

Makes about 4 pints

I store these in large containers in the freezer so when I have church I can serve them for the meal afterward. But I can also freeze them in smaller containers so we can eat them at home on sandwiches. It is really surprising how crisp they are. These pickles will stay good in the freezer for up to a year. They taste so fresh and crunchy. The making of these pickles does stretch out over three days, so plan accordingly!

4 to 5 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons salt
1 large onion, sliced
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

Day 1: Put the cucumbers, salt, and onion in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Day 2: Drain the juice from the cucumbers. Combine the sugar and vinegar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Day 3: Take the pickles out of the refrigerator and pack into a freezer-safe container(s). Pour the syrup over the pickles and freeze until ready to use.

 

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.

 

Cleaning house for Susan’s wedding, Eichers save worst bedroom for last . . .

We are wrapping up the month of June. The year 2016 is now already halfway done. Amazing how time seems to go faster and faster. The wedding for Mose and Susan is only five weeks away. It’s getting too close way too fast for me!

We still want to make noodles for the wedding, and there is still a lot of cleaning that needs to be done. Sisters Verena and Susan were helping us Saturday. The girls’ bedrooms upstairs are all cleaned. We saved the worst for last: the boys’ bedroom. I have been organizing in there. After the wedding, Benjamin will move into Susan’s bedroom. Joseph and Benjamin share a lot of the same clothes. We are separating the clothes so half of them can get moved into Benjamin’s bedroom. Susan has quite a bit of her own furniture in her bedroom, so the room will look empty.

As of now, Mose and Susan plan to make living quarters in a small part of our pole building until they find a place suitable for them to live. I am happy Susan won’t be moving off the property yet. She and Mose both will be working, and this way she won’t have to keep a house going.

After Joe and I were married, we lived with my dad and mom until Elizabeth was born. We then moved into a trailer house across the driveway until after Susan was born. We then moved to a place about two and a half miles from there. That is where we lived until our move to Michigan in 2004.

Now it is 2016, and daughter Loretta will be sixteen on July 1. We will have pizza and ice cream cake tomorrow evening in honor of her birthday. Loretta and Lovina share a bedroom. Loretta doesn’t like anything out of place, and her bed is made every day. Lovina gets annoyed at the neatness and is learning fast that her end of the room has to stay “cleaned up” as well. If I let things clutter up too much, Loretta takes over cleaning up my things. It’s good to have someone stay organized after working in the boys’ bedroom. I teased them and said we are going to put Loretta in charge of cleaning their bedroom. They said she would probably call their treasures “junk.”

Tomorrow we are invited to the wedding of one of Joe’s coworkers, Joseph and Edna. We won’t be able to attend but appreciate the invitation. Another of Joe’s coworkers, Jerry, was married to Diane on June 16. We were all invited but unable to attend. We wish God’s blessings to both young couples. May they have a long and happy married life together, letting God lead their way.

Lovina’s husband, Joe, loves salad for lunch, and right now all the vegetables for his salad come from their garden.
Lovina’s husband, Joe, loves salad for lunch, and right now all the vegetables for his salad come from their garden.

Today is Joe’s last day in the factory until July 11. His vacation won’t be much of a vacation, though, with the upcoming wedding to prepare for. We will take a few days off and take the whole family up north for a few days. I’ll write more about that next week.

Saturday, July 2, Joe’s sister Christine and Jake have Joe’s family gathering at their house. They live around three hours from here in Hersey, Michigan.

Last Sunday, Jacob and sister Emma and family, my sisters Verena and Susan, and Timothy and Elizabeth were all here for a fish fry, with Joe cooking. He also made French fries. Verena and Susan each brought a salad, and Emma and Elizabeth brought desserts, so it was an easy lunch for me. We set up tables on the porch to eat. The men and boys enjoyed playing croquet in the afternoon while the rest of us just visited and relaxed.

Cucumbers are the crop of choice in Lovina’s garden right now, and this week she shares a favorite recipe for cucumber salad.
Cucumbers are the crop of choice in Lovina’s garden right now, and this week she shares a favorite recipe for cucumber salad.

Our cucumbers are really getting ready fast. We are enjoying cucumber salad a lot. I’ll share this recipe with you. May God bless each of you always!

Cucumber and Onion Salad

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1–2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup onions, sliced

Mix first four ingredients well to make the dressing. Add cucumbers and onion. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve cold.

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.