Tag Archives: Brownies

Beginning a new year and a new decade

A new year, a new decade lies before us. What does it hold for us? Only God knows. A new year always seems like a fresh start or new beginning to break some old habits or make new resolutions. It doesn’t take a new year to start fresh, though. Our God is such a great help and we have much to thank him for during this past year.

Baby Allison is 12 days old today. She is back to her birth weight now, 6 pounds and 1 ounce. She went down to 5 pounds and 10 ounces. She is doing good but daughter Elizabeth is still a little anemic and feeling as well as can be expected.

Daughter Lovina is helping daughter Elizabeth and Tim with household duties this week. Little T.J. is a busy body and keeps them on their feet.

Daughters Verena and Lovina were staying with them last week, assisting them with their work and children. Last Thursday I also spent the day there, helping out with the work and spoiling the grandbabies.

Last week we washed their bedding and, since it was a nice sunshiny day in the upper 40’s, I hung the quilts and sheets out on the line to dry and then put them back on their beds. Daughter Susan and children also came in the afternoon. With five children age three and under, it takes a lot of care with the little ones but is so much fun.

Sunday, our family and Mose, Susan, and children went to Tim and Elizabeth’s house and took in dinner. We had barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, lettuce salad, blueberry pie, and jello cake. Sisters Verena and Susan also came and stayed to eat dinner with us.

Monday, January 6 was Old Christmas (Epiphany), a holiday that the Amish in this community honor. Those that gathered at my sisters Verena and Susan’s house for the noon meal were brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and their children Leanna, Andrew, Susan, and Sylvia; sister Emma, Jacob, and their sons Jacob Jr., Benjamin, and Steven; niece Elizabeth and Manuel; niece Emma, Menno, and Jessica; Mose, Susan, Jennifer, and Ryan; my husband Joe and I and children Verena, Benjamin, Loretta, Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin, and Loretta’s special friend Dustin.

With everyone bringing food, we had a good dinner. On the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, meatballs, corn, potato salad, cheese, hot peppers, bread, butter, jelly, a variety of pies, peach dessert, brownies, cookies, etc. A variety of snacks were also set out, such as party mix, deer jerky, Christmas candy, etc.

The afternoon was spent playing games. Brother Albert, brother-in-law Jacob, and my husband Joe teamed up against their wives in Aggravation. The game’s name proved true for the women’s team. We lost almost every game, but it still was fun! Other Aggravation games were also being played, as well as Ten Thousand with dice. The house was a bit noisy from all the games being played in the same room. The Aggravation boards were made by nephew Jacob. He makes them to earn money, as he is limited in what he can do by his muscular dystrophy. He still has both legs/feet in casts up to his knees. He seems to be doing okay with the surgery so far. He will need lots of therapy after he’s out of the casts.

Daughter Verena has been going to the eye doctor about a scratch on her cornea that flared up. She has already made two trips to the eye doctor and needs to go back again tomorrow to have the contact lens that the doctor put in removed. They want to check if it’s doing better. Our eye doctor in town has several locations and wasn’t in the office nearby so Verena needs to go to the other office, 25 miles away. It sure isn’t cheap with all the trips, but it’s worth taking care of it. She was so miserable and had lots of pain since Monday morning.

Until next week—God bless!



2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick margarine
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 stick margarine, melted
4 teaspoons cocoa
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk

Mix sugar, flour, and salt; set aside. Bring to a boil the margarine, cocoa, water, and shortening and pour it over the sugar, flour and salt mixture. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, soda, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour into a greased cookie sheet pan with edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Frosting: Mix the frosting ingredients well and pour over brownies while hot.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, will be available in April 2020 from the publisher, Herald Press, 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 email  LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Meat grinder and fruit press produces yummy cider for the Eicher family

We are almost halfway through November. So far we are having beautiful weather for November.

My husband Joe started our coal stove on Saturday for the first time this season. It seemed later than usual to start it. The house is nice and cozy now.

Saturday we were at Jacob and Emma’s. Joe and our sons Benjamin and Joseph helped put siding on the new addition they are adding to the house. Things are falling into place. They will be so glad for more space. The windows and doors are in and some of the drywall is hung in the upstairs bedrooms.

Saturday evening Mose (Susan’s special friend) grilled chicken and banana poppers while we prepared more food in the house. Daughter Elizabeth and Timothy joined us for supper. It was so enjoyable to have the whole family together. After we ate we sat in the living room and visited and sang some songs. Of course Izzy and Crystal (the Yorkies) were the center of attention. They love the attention they get here.

Son Benjamin, 16, and daughter Verena, 17, left to go to the community building where the youth gather on Saturday evenings to play basketball, volleyball, etc., and enjoy snacks. Two or more sets of parents usually go to chaperone and take the snacks. The building is usually closed at midnight. Verena and Benjamin didn’t take the heater in the buggy so they had a cold ride home. It is still warmer with a covered buggy than the open buggy that I was raised with. We had some awful cold rides and the umbrella was a big help to block the wind. I feel spoiled now when we drive in the covered buggies. Some have heaters in them which makes for a warm ride to town and back.

Friday evening Mose helped us make our first cider with a fruitPressingCider press. He brought us apples from his parents’ apple trees. We don’t have anything to chop up that many apples so we used our meat grinder and it worked real well. The cider tastes really good. We are enjoying popcorn and cider on some evenings. We want to make more and think we have a better idea of what we are doing now. It is surprising how many apples it takes to press one gallon of cider. But we enjoy working together as a family on projects like that.

We are excited to hear the news of the birth of a baby girl, LaRose. LaRose was born to niece Elizabeth and Samuel on November 10. This makes my sister Liz and Levi grandparents for the first time. We wish them all well. I’m sure they are all excited for the new arrival.
GingersNewFilly+IttyBitAndBlackBeautySome readers have MidnightAndBlackBeautyYoungHorsesbeen asking what we named our fillies that were born this past spring (photo on right). Itty Bit’s filly we named Black Beauty and for Ginger’s filly, we finally decided on Midnight. They are both black and are hard to tell apart. The children are teaching them how to lead. They are calming down a lot. (Recent photo of Black Beauty and Midnight to left.)

I had several requests for the buttermilk brownies recipe so I’ll share it this week.



Buttermilk Brownies

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the sugar, flour, salt, and cocoa together in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, and oil to a boil. Pour over the sugar mixture and beat until creamy. Add the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla. Stir thoroughly. The batter will be thin and soupy. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes until sides begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes about 15 (3-inch) brownies.


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.