Tag Archives: One-Kettle Soup

Lovina’s diary offers glimpse of an Amish woman’s ordinary day

Lovina’s diary offers glimpse of an Amish woman’s ordinary day

3:00 a.m. Alarm rings—time to get up and pack husband Joe’s lunch, fill his water jug with ice and water, make a pot of coffee, etc.

3:45 a.m. Joe’s ride is here to go work in the factory. In January it was 13 years ago that he started working there. On March 20 it will be 14 years that we made the move to Michigan from Indiana.

4:00 a.m. Son Benjamin, 18, is up and getting ready for his job at the RV factory. He usually packs his own lunch. He does well to always hear his alarm.

4:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work; he only has a 15-minute drive to the factory where he works. A coworker picks him up and brings him home.

4:40 a.m. Nephew Henry leaves for work. He works for a local Amish family. They build trusses for lumber companies, if I understand correctly. I go back to bed for awhile and take advantage of getting some more sleep!

5:45 a.m. Son Joseph gets up to do our morning chores. I pack his lunch.

6:30 a.m. Joseph leaves to go help our nephew Noah on his construction crew. Son Kevin, 12, is getting ready for school.

6:45 a.m. The bus is here. Kevin leaves. I take a little nap on my recliner. I have a headache and think it might help.

8:00 a.m. I feel much better. The girls are up, and we are getting breakfast started. Daughters Elizabeth and Susan have plans to come for the day. It sure is hard to get used to the time change again! I really wish the time would stay one way or another all year long.

8:30 a.m. The girls have arrived. Susan picked up Elizabeth this week with their horse and buggy. Elizabeth and Susan come together each week, taking turns driving their horses and buggies. We bring the girls Abigail, Jennifer and Nikiah (the girl Elizabeth babysits) in from the buggy. They get plenty of hugs and kisses from Grandma and all the aunts. Abigail wants to get Ruby (Verena’s little puppy) right away. She can carry her around. Jennifer smiles at us in recognition. At eight weeks old, she is learning new things all the time.

9:30 a.m. Breakfast is ready. Abigail likes to sit in a booster seat on a “real” chair at the table instead of a high chair. Baby Jennifer gets to lie on a blanket in the middle of the big table so we can all watch her while we eat! Our breakfast is scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, pon hoss (from Jacob’s butchering), coffee soup, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, cheese. We also have milk, grape juice, and coffee.

10:30 a.m. Dishes are being washed. Sometimes when too much is going on in the house, like today, Lovina does her schoolwork in the heated pole barn. She also works ahead on some days so she can enjoy her little nieces when they come.

We do some odds and end jobs around the house, but nothing too much. Mostly we visit and enjoy our time together. The girls were working on some names they are making out of plastic canvas. A man from our church is also here (out in the barn) putting new shoes on our horses.

12:30 p.m. Elizabeth feeds Nikiah a lunch before her mother comes to pick her up after she’s done working.

1:00 p.m. Nikiah leaves with her mother. I make a one-kettle soup for our lunch.

1:30 p.m. Ready to eat lunch! My husband Joe comes home from work. Abigail wants Grandpa to show her the Country magazine after she’s done eating. He holds baby Jennifer while we eat. Benjamin comes home while we’re eating and eats a bowl of soup too. He then leaves to take his buggy to the repair shop.

3:30 p.m. The girls and their babies are leaving for their homes. Joe and Joseph are burning some trash. Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty Coblentz come for a visit. Today is their 48th anniversary. We wish them more happy, healthy years together.

5:00 p.m. Daughter Loretta leaves with her special friend, Dustin, to go to the hospital. Dustin’s mother had surgery today.

6:45 p.m. Supper tonight is pizza!

9:30 p.m. Loretta is back home, and everyone is getting ready for bed.

God’s blessings to all!

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons milk
1 pound powdered sugar

Cake: In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, soda and salt; set aside. Combine butter, water and peanut butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour over flour mixture. Add milk, vanilla and eggs; mix. Pour in a greased 11 x 15-inch baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Frosting: Bring butter, peanut butter and milk to a boil in saucepan. Mix in powdered sugar. Pour warm frosting over cooled cake.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her newest cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, 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.



Drawers that stick have got to go: Lovina helps sons organize space

Drawers that stick have got to go: Lovina helps sons organize space

It is Wednesday evening and I still haven’t taken time to write this column. Daughters Verena, Loretta, and Lovina are washing supper dishes. The boys and Joe are just relaxing and getting cleaned up.

Our supper was a simple, easy one. Verena and Loretta made One-Kettle Soup for our meal. Also on the menu were crackers, cheese, and venison summer sausage. One-Kettle Soup is a soup my mother always made at home. It is a favorite in our family. A quick soup when you’re running late for a meal.

While the girls prepared supper, I helped the boys sort through clothes in their bedroom. We put a bedroom suite in there that we bought at a recent auction. We needed some dressers replaced. After our house fire we had some older dressers given to us, but the drawers always would get stuck. Benjamin, 16, has his own bed and Joseph, 13, and Kevin, 10, share a bed. Our bedrooms upstairs are big rooms so there is enough space to fit two beds plus four dressers. Kevin was proud to have his own dresser for his clothes.

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan are off work from the RV factory this week. Elizabeth and her dogs spent the day here yesterday. We had a nice day together. Timothy went deer hunting in the evening and was excited to get a 7-point buck with a 16 1/2 inch spread. This is the fourth deer he shot with his compound bow this year. They are getting their freezer stocked for the winter.

Tomorrow daughters Susan, Verena, Loretta, and I plan to go to Elizabeth’s house to help her do some cleaning. With her working every day she doesn’t always get to do all the extra cleaning. We will probably wash her windows and whatever else she needs done.

When Timothy and Elizabeth were here for supper one night and were ready to leave, Izzy went to hide. It was so cute that she wanted to stay here. She gets so spoiled. Crystal is different and will whine if Elizabeth goes outside without her. Whenever Elizabeth sits down, Crystal is right by her side or on her lap.

Recently, we were surprised to have visitors from Ohio. It was Joe’s Uncle Solomon and his Aunt Rachel. They had been here the evening before with intentions to spend the night here. We had been at our neighbor Ruth’s wedding. We had a voicemail when we came home from Solomon. They had already checked in at a motel but Joe told them to come for breakfast. We had a nice visit with them. This was the first time Rachel saw where we live.

Daughter Susan just came home. She went to Mose’s house tonight and then they went to town. Mose wanted to buy a new mattress for his bed. He took Susan out for supper. The rest are all in bed so I think I’ll join them.

God’s blessings to all!


I’ll share the recipe for One-Kettle Soup this week. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

One-Kettle Soup

1 pint canned chunk beef
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, left whole
1/2 pound noodles or thin spaghetti
salt and pepper

Fill a six-quart kettle with around three quarts of water. Add beef, potatoes, and onion. Boil 8–10 minutes, then add noodles. Stir often and boil until noodles are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove onion.

Note: More or less water can be added and more or less noodles. If I have company we add more to make a bigger amount.

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.