Lovina’s Children Wish Her a Happy Birthday!

To mark Lovina’s 52nd birthday on May 22, each of her children have contributed these short reflections in her honor. We’re sharing the first half of them today, and will share the second half next week.

Elizabeth, 28

There are many stories I could write about my mom. I’ll try to keep it short.

As a school-age child, I remember coming home from school eager to tell Mom all about my day. I’m sure at times those silly school stories were a bit boring for her, but she listened with open ears.

I remember helping Mom mow lawn. We would both use a self-propelled walk behind lawnmower. I enjoyed it! I have always liked mowing lawns, so I didn’t consider it “work.” I remember laughing, trying to keep up with Mom.

When age “sweet 16” came for me, I was overly excited. As most young Amish girls are at that age, I was filled with anticipation about the next step in life. After Tim would bring me home from Saturday evenings at the youth center, or from Sunday night singings (as we call it), wedding dinners, etc., I loved to tell Mom the stories of my evening.

Mom and I (and my siblings) have become best of friends over the years of us growing up. As we continue to move on with our lives, Mom is there with us each step of the way. She always has advice and love to give us, and I know she prays for us always.

Now, being the mother of four children, I realize the love, patience, and many prayers it takes to raise a child. My mom is a strong woman! She conquered many challenges that came her way—not just in motherhood, but in life itself. She is a true inspiration and a wonderful loving mom/grandma!

Mom, I hope you have a wonderful 52nd birthday! We love you!

Susan, 27

To this day I still ask Mom how to do some of the canning or sewing, and I’m married with children. Moms never stop being a mom. She was a good teacher if we listened. Some of us could be a little hard-headed…like me when she tried to teach me how to sew. Now I wish I would have listened. There are a lot of memories with Mom. One memory I have is when Mom sang with all of us girls. She taught us how to sing praise to God. I also recall waking up in the morning and hearing Mom singing in the kitchen while preparing breakfast. The house would smell like bacon. I would lay there just listening to Mom. I love to hear her sing.

Happy 52nd birthday, Mom. May God bless you. Love you.

Verena, 25

Monday, May 22 is my mom’s birthday, so I had all my siblings write a story they remember with her or just write something in honor of her birthday.

I have many, many stories I could write down, but I would never get done. I want to thank my mom for being my biggest support—she is always there for me and the rest of her children. Which I know we all appreciate very much!

I remember the days that Mom would put all five of us girls’ hair up for us. Having our long hair combed would sometimes make us say “oww” from a tangle. Dad would always sit there and ask us, “What kind of bird are you?” Mom would tug at our hair a little and we’d say, “Oww” (Owl). Ha!

Mom used to play kickball with us when we were all younger.  Every time it was her turn to kick the ball, I would run in the house and go upstairs and hide because I worried she’d hurt herself. I always looked up to her, and I still do, so I never liked to see mom hurt or do anything that could get her hurt. The reason I worried so much about her playing kickball was because she did get a blood clot when the ball hit one of her veins one of the times.

Living on my own is a good experience. I see how often I depended on my mom, and I still do. When I dealt with my brain injury, it was very scary to me, and I remember how Mom and my sister Susan were my biggest comforters.

I thank God every day for giving me such a great mom. I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said she had no plans, but she deserves to have a good birthday and every birthday should be celebrated. The plans as of right now are to gather at Dad and Mom’s on Monday night to have a birthday supper for her.

Happy 52nd birthday to Mom! I love you.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Enjoys Mother’s Day and Looks Ahead to an Eventful Week

May 18 is daughter Lovina’s 19th birthday. It is unbelievable at how fast time seems to go. She only has one more year of being a teenager. Her birthday is also on Ascension Day this year. This Amish community keeps this day as a holiday. We have a fast and prayer day until lunch time, so everyone will be home from work.

Daughter Elizabeth was explaining to her daughter Abigail, 6, that Ascension Day was the ascent of Jesus Christ into heaven on the fortieth day after his resurrection. She told her that the Amish children will stay home from school but the other children will still go to school. When her dad Tim came home from work, Abigail told him that she knows what Ascension Day is. She said it’s when all the Amish children stay home from school and the rest still go. Children in their innocence can say the cutest things.

Grandson Timothy (T.J.) is released from doctor’s care and only has a Band-Aid on his finger.

Church services on Sunday were held in the tent at niece Elizabeth and Manuel’s house. In honor of Mother’s Day, the mothers were all seated first for lunch except a few of us who were serving. After lunch the men washed the dishes so the women could sit and visit. This was quite funny, seeing how those men washed dishes. They were all joking about what they are planning for Father’s Day. We will see what they come up with.

Yesterday was a work day at daughter Verena’s house. Sisters Verena and Emma, nieces Elizabeth, Emma, and Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s wife), daughters Elizabeth, Loretta, and Lovina, and I assisted with the work. Of course all the little children were there as well, except for the ones in school. Daughter Susan and Ervin went with granddaughter Jennifer on a field trip. They came after that and helped, too. They worked on flower beds, etc. Walls, ceilings, windows, and furniture were cleaned in the bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen. Verena was so happy that all was so refreshed. With her handicap, it’s hard for her to do some of those jobs. Now today I will wash her laundry when I wash mine.

Joe and I plan to attend the 5:30 p.m. wedding dinner of neighbor Paul and Regina. They will exchange vows on Ascension Day. We have wedding invitations from two neighbor girls as well, with their weddings being in June. Then also a wedding invitation from nephew Menno for a July wedding. Congratulations to all the couples—Paul and Regina, Mervin and Beth, Michael and Rose Ellen, and Menno and Diane. We wish you all God’s blessings!

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Joe had another aunt pass away. Aunt Rachel Hershberger, age 69, from Trail, Ohio, died Monday, May 15. She leaves to mourn three daughters, a son, nine grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. We are hoping to make it to her funeral on Saturday, but with it being 4 1/2 hours away we are having a hard time finding a ride there. Oure sympathy goes out to the family. Rachel was a very friendly person to all who knew her. She will be missed greatly. Rest in peace, dear Aunt Rachel.

This was the fifth of our (Joe and I) aunts and uncles to pass away since January. Four of those were from the same family.

God bless you!

Strawberry Pizza
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart fresh strawberries, cut in half


1 cup berry juice (cook a few strawberries in enough water to make 1 cup juice)
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons clear jel

In a bowl, mix flour, powdered sugar, and butter as for pie crumbs. Spread evenly over 12- or 13-inch pizza pan. Press firmly. Bake at 325 degrees for 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

In a separate bowl, cream together cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Spread over cooled crust. Let chill.

Arrange cut berries on cream cheese. Bring berry juice to a boil, then add the clear gel followed by the sugar. Boil until thickened and spread over berries.

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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Enjoys Birthdays and Fun with Family

Today—May 10—is grandson Isaiah’s (Ervin and Susan) 5th birthday. It would also have been my sister Susan’s 47th birthday if she was still here. We miss her! Rest in peace, dear sister.

May 11 is son-in-law Ervin’s birthday. He will be 29. Happy birthday to Ervin and Isaiah!

Our family night will be held at Ervin and Susan’s house on Friday night, so the birthdays will be celebrated then. Also, happy 21st birthday to nephew Ben!

Last week we washed walls, ceilings, and windows at niece Elizabeth’s house. It was a fun work day to spend with sisters, nieces, daughters, and grandchildren. Elizabeth and Manuel moved into our church district last year and are neighbors with niece Emma and Menno.

Church services will be held at Manuel and Elizabeth’s on Sunday, Lord willing. Son Joseph, 20, and daughter Lovina (almost 19) will start classes for baptism on Sunday. What great joy it brings to parents when their children want to accept Jesus as their Savior and join the church. It takes many prayers raising children. Without God’s help I would be so lost at times. I am thankful for all my children and appreciate their respect. Our family experienced losing close loved ones, and that makes us appreciate each other so much more.

Today sister Emma and I have plans to go spend the day with sister Verena. It is sister Susan’s birthday, so it isn’t the easiest day for Verena. It is over two years since she passed away. We will eat breakfast together. I want to write this column before I go.

Last night, son Joseph took our mower to sister Verena’s house and mowed her grass for the first time this year. It was in need to be mowed. Now hopefully tonight one of the boys can mow ours.

Sunday, our children came home for lunch. It was such a nice day! On the menu was grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, noodles, green beans (with cheese sauce and bacon), grilled asparagus, cottage cheese, Colby cheese, pickles, hot peppers, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and ice cream. The children enjoyed playing outside while us adults sat out on the front porch enjoying the day.

I thought it was funny when granddaughter Allison (Tim and Elizabeth), 3, wanted to start eating and she said, “Mom, come peel my chicken.” We laughed that she thought when Elizabeth pulls her chicken into smaller pieces, she’s peeling it.

Daughter Loretta said that Denzel, 10 months, discovered how to go into the bathroom and unroll a whole roll of toilet tissue. The fun has begun! Haha! He crawls all over the place and can go behind the couch and recliners and hide from Loretta. I’m sure before long he will be trying to climb on everything.

Granddaughter Andrea was a year old on February 14, and she loves cleaning out cabinets. When she was here one day, she discovered the cabinet with my Tupperware. When I asked for the container and said thank you, she thought she needed to go back and get more. She would come walking with a Tupperware container saying, “Thank You.” So precious!

Fresh rhubarb ready for pie making. Photo provided.

Sunday will be Mother’s Day, so niece Elizabeth and Manuel will serve rhubarb and peanut butter pies with lunch. I will make six rhubarb custard pies to help out.

I wish all you mothers a great day! May you get time to spend the day with your children.

God’s blessings to all!

I will share my rhubarb custard pie recipe this week.

Rhubarb Custard Pie
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup cream
2 eggs
1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked

Place rhubarb in the unbaked pie shell. In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, cream, and eggs and beat well. Pour over the rhubarb and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.


Lovina Explains an Amish Communion Service

We are already into the fifth month of the year—May! Hopefully May will bring warmer temperatures again. The gardens are really wet yet from all the rain we had this past week.

It was a cold, rainy day on Sunday when communion services were held at Dustin and Loretta’s. It was a challenge to keep the pole barn heated. It isn’t insulated, so quite a few tanks of propane were burned to heat the big building. The barn was divided in half with canvas hung from the rafters. On one side, the benches were set for the church services. On the other side, tables were set up as well as a small area for a nursery for the mothers with small children and babies.

For those of you new to this column or the Amish lifestyle, I’ll try to explain how we do communion.

Everyone gathers by 9 a.m., and church services start at 9 or before. Around 11 a.m., we (the family that hosts church and their help) have lunch ready. Tables are set, one for the men and one for the women. With our church being so big, we set a third table for the young boys and girls to eat at. At each place setting is a glass for water, a cup for coffee or hot water, a bowl, spoon, fork, and knife.

On Sunday, we could serve 50 people at once. On the menu was chicken noodle soup (I made four 12-quart kettles), homemade wheat and white bread, ham, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, pickles, pickled red beets, hot peppers, strawberry jam, butter, coffee and spearmint tea, and a variety of four different cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, and lemon). When someone was finished eating, their spot at the table would be cleaned and reset. By 12:30, everyone was fed and back in the services.

Around 3 p.m. communion is held, with the bread and wine being passed out, then the feet washing, etc. By 4 p.m. everything is done, and everyone leaves for home. Grandson Isaiah (Ervin and daughter Susan’s son), 4, was sitting beside me when the members were washing each other’s feet. He was trying to figure all this out. I asked him if he wants his feet washed and he said, “No, I do not want to.” He was quite entertained watching one after another come to wash their feet. It made me smile to see him so deep in thought.

It was a long day for Loretta, but she is glad everything is now cleaned and back to normal. Grandson Denzel popped through his first two teeth! He holds his mouth different trying to feel the teeth. He can feel something is there now and found out pretty fast to not chew on his fingers. His two top ones are almost through, too.

On Monday, Ervin and Susan’s four children, Jennifer, 5, Isaiah, 4, Ryan, 3, and Curtis, 3, were here while Susan went to help in preparation for a wedding that she will be cook at on Friday. Kaitlyn, 6, was in school.

Today our plans are to all go help niece Elizabeth (Manuel) clean. Elizabeth and Manuel will host next church services at their house.

Daughters Loretta and Lovina and I will go together with our horse Midnight and Dustin and Loretta’s buggy. Their buggy is a handicap buggy and has a lift in the back so Loretta can get in with her mobility scooter. Also going today to help are sisters Verena and Emma, nieces Emma and Crystal, and daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena. I made a casserole, and Loretta made a salad to take along. It’s nice to have lunch made so we can keep cleaning. God’s blessings to all!

I will share the cheese spread recipe. It is also in my cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook.

Homemade Church Cheese Spread
6 pounds processed cheese spread (Velveeta)
1 1/2 cups butter
8 cups cream

Put all three ingredients in a big roasting pan and bake at 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring every 15 minutes, until all is melted.

Cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from getting a crusty top while cooling. The spread is served on a sandwich with or without meat. It is good just spread on bread with some pickles.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Spring Cleaning, Family Night, and an Encouraging Update from the Doctor

Our thermometer shows 28 degrees this morning. We were spoiled by the nice, warm, sunny days in the upper 70s. This weather is a challenge for anyone with sensitive plants. We still haven’t planted our sweet onions. We’re waiting until it dries up, and the temperature gets a little warmer. We have had quite a lot of rain lately. April showers bring May flowers!

Son Benjamin mowed our grass for the first time this year. It looks so lush and green. I love spring and the new growth everywhere.

Saturday, many of us assisted Dustin and Loretta with their work in cleaning. There were Joe and me; sons Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin; daughter Lovina; Daniel and Grace (Dustin’s siblings and also Joseph and Lovina’s special friends); and daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children. The menfolk cleaned up outside and power-washed the pole barn where church services will be hosted. They also mowed, trimmed, tilled, and did whatever Dustin needed to have done around there. The women washed the windows and stoves, did laundry, made lunch, and more.

The lunch menu included ranch potatoes and grilled hamburgers with all the trimmings like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and bread. Also, we had cake delight and pumpkin cookies for dessert.

Friday night was family night for our family at Tim and Elizabeth’s house. We do this once a month, alternating at each other’s house. Susan and Ervin brought a casserole, daughter Verena brought a salad, Loretta and Dustin brought a dessert, I brought snacks, and Tim and Elizabeth had ice cream. It’s always enjoyable. We play games after we eat and just catch up with each other. Next month it will be at Ervin and Susan’s house.

The doctors said that T.J.’s finger was healing better than expected. Photo provided.

Monday morning, Dustin and Loretta stopped in to leave Denzel here while they went to Kalamazoo for Loretta’s appointment. Tim and Elizabeth dropped Allison, three, and Andrea, one, off around the same time. They were also heading to Kalamazoo with Timothy (T.J.), four. He was having surgery again on his finger. The doctors were afraid they would have to take more of the finger off. How thankful we were when they said it was healing okay and actually better than they anticipated. They said he would actually have part of a fingernail. After seven and a half weeks of having a cast the length of his whole arm, he was a pretty happy boy to have only a finger and hand wrap. He’d had four different color casts during all those weeks.

Daughter Verena came here on Sunday afternoon and has been here since. It’s been so nice having her home. She helped Lovina and me with the three little ones on Monday. Abigail came off the bus here from school.

While Verena and Lovina rocked the children and put them down for a nap, I washed our laundry. It was chilly while I hung it out on the lines, but the nice breeze made it dry very well.

Yesterday, Verena, Lovina, and I went to Dustin and Loretta’s house. Dustin didn’t have work because it was raining, and they couldn’t work on the construction job. He and Loretta went to town and to the bulk food store to get groceries for church. Denzel stayed home with us. This was the first time Dustin and Loretta shopped for church groceries since they were married in October 2021. I remember well how that used to be a big thing, but after shopping for weddings, it seems like nothing. God’s blessings to all!

Ranch Potatoes
6–8 potatoes, peeled and chunked
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
2 tablespoons diced parsley
1 cup shredded cheese (plus extra for top)

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


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Remembers a Fond Childhood Memory

It is already mid-April. Yesterday, I put a letter and card out in the mail for sister Leah and Paul. They had their forty-second anniversary on April 16. I was a third grader when they were married. I still remember sitting beside my mother as they were getting married and seeing her crying. I couldn’t figure out why she was crying, but now I understand. It’s not that she was crying because of the wedding but because life was changing, and her firstborn was leaving home. I remember as I was walking home from Uncle Elmer’s (where the wedding ceremony was) back to our place with a few of my cousins. I was trying hard to cry because I thought I probably should because my mother was. My cousins asked me why I was crying, and I told them I wasn’t sure, but I thought you were supposed to cry when a family member got married. Now I have to laugh at that memory. My biggest concern probably should’ve been that I didn’t have a big sister to pick up after me and bake cookies. Haha!

Saturday, we planted potatoes, peas, and radishes. We didn’t put the sweet onions out because we had a few days of “cold” weather again and even more snow. It didn’t stay long, of course, but it did stay long enough to warn us not to get in too big of a hurry to plant more in the garden. We are having asparagus now. Our rhubarb and horseradish are coming up, but our tea for some reason didn’t come up last year and this year. We have had tea there for years and are trying to figure out what could’ve killed it.

Sunday, we had council church at our neighbors in preparation for communion services that will be held at daughter Loretta and Dustin’s, Lord willing, on April 30.

Last week, when my sisters, nieces, daughters, and I went to help Loretta clean, we accomplished a lot. Her bathroom and back entrance are the only things left to clean. Daughter Lovina and I will go help work on that this afternoon.

Saturday, we will assist them again to clean the pole barn where services will be held.

Rare beef, thin sliced steak seasoned well with pepper and salt, was one of the items on the menu for supper on Sunday. Photo provided.

After church on Sunday, all our family and sister Verena came here. I told them I would make supper for them before they left for home. The menu included vegetable soup, creamed asparagus, rare beef, cheese, crackers, and ice cream. A fast, simple meal, but it was still good. After supper, everyone pitched in to help wash dishes, pick up the toys, and more before they left for home. Sister Verena stayed here and went home Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday, we had grandson Denzel, nine months, here while Dustin went with Loretta to her appointment in Kalamazoo, which is around an hour from here. Loretta will need to go every week for the next three months. It will be a little hard for them with Dustin taking off work once a week, but he needs to go along to help her in the vehicle. He does it gladly though. She still has to have a blood thinner shot daily.

Denzel is quite content when he’s here. I was holding him on Sunday in church, and when we sang, he tried to help. He loves when Grandpa yodels for him here at home. His words are few yet, but he calls everyone “mom,” and he goes “moo” when he sees a toy cow. He clicks his tongue for a horse, making a clip-clop noise. We have lots of fun with him at his age.

I will share my creamed asparagus recipe this week. God bless!

Creamed Asparagus
2 cups fresh asparagus, chopped into 1–2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups milk
seasonings to taste
3/4 cup soft cheese, diced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water

Cook fresh asparagus just until tender. Add milk, then add seasonings to taste. When hot, add soft cheese. Mix the cornstarch and water and stir in when the cheese is melted. Vary thickness by using more or less cheese.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina and Her Family Celebrate Easter

I need to write this column this morning before I leave. Sisters Verena and Emma, nieces Elizabeth and Emma, Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s wife), daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Verena, Lovina, and I are going to daughter Loretta’s house to clean today. Walls, ceilings, windows, furniture, floors, etc. will be cleaned thoroughly. It’s always a good feeling once all is cleaned again. This is in preparation for communion services, which Dustin and Loretta will host on April 30, Lord willing. It will be an enjoyable day to spend together.

I cleaned some windows yesterday here in my house. Some of that rain makes the windows dirty and then of course there are the little love prints on the inside left by my precious grandchildren. I need to do some spring cleaning since we won’t host church services again here until December. All the families that need to have a tent to host church take it during the summer months. Since we have a pole barn we can get heat, we take our turn in the winter months, early spring, or late fall. The last time we hosted church was in May 2022. So I almost need to do deep cleaning in between that time. We have around 35 families that host church, so it’s a while until our turn comes around again.

Loretta is going to make breakfast for us all this morning before we clean. She plans to have pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and rhubarb juice and coffee. Lunch is being brought in by everyone.

Sister Emma has four grandchildren, and I have 10, but four of those are in school. We will still have 10 children there, ages four and younger. It should be an interesting day!

We are having a lovely week weatherwise. Son Joseph hauled manure on the garden and in the garden beds last night. My husband Joe wants to till the garden again now since the manure is added. We have a small tiller that they use to till in the garden beds. Joe is getting eager to get potatoes planted. I also want to plant peas, some radishes, and sweet onions soon. This week, the temperature is in the 70s. I do hope our cold weather is pretty well over for this season.

On Good Friday, we had a nice day with the family all being home. The menu included mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, pork and beans, grilled chicken, lettuce salad, a veggie tray, cheese, hot peppers, colored eggs, and more. There were a few dessert options of berry cream cheese muffins, swiss roll bars (homemade of course), and dirt pudding. The desserts and salad were brought in by my daughters, so that made it easier for me. Sister Verena also came for lunch and then stayed a few nights.

Lovina made Easter baskets for each of her grandchildren. Photo provided.

After lunch, Joe and I gave our 10 grandchildren Easter baskets. I make them myself, filling them with little goodies such as a coloring book, colors, bubbles, and more. It’s much cheaper to do it this way. Then came the time for the children to go look for the plastic eggs we hid filled with candy. They were beyond excited, and it was so fun to see their excited little faces when they found the eggs. The day was nice and sunny but chilly. At least it wasn’t raining. I hope everyone had a blessed Easter.

Sunday evening, Joe and I went to daughter Verena’s for a hobo supper by the campfire. It was a nice evening to sit by the fire. Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children; daughter Susan, Ervin, and children; sons Benjamin and Kevin, and nephew Henry were also there for the evening.

I need to get started with the morning work before I head over to Loretta’s. God bless!

Deep-Fried Morels
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive oil for panfrying
12 to 15 large Morel mushrooms

Stir the flour, milk, egg, and salt together in a large bowl. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet until sizzling. Dip the mushrooms in the batter and put them in the skillet. Fry each side until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Meets Old and New Readers at a Book Signing

It’s 5 a.m. here at the Eicher house. All is quiet. My husband Joe and son Joseph left for work already. Son Benjamin is working in Ohio. He’s been gone since Monday morning. The house seems empty without him around.

Sister Verena came here last night and stayed the night. They were calling for storms, and she felt it was better not to be alone. So far, we haven’t had anything, but it sounds like it will start this morning. Years ago during a storm, lightning struck sister Verena and Susan’s house and started a fire. They were in bed, and it’s a good thing they saw a glow from the fire and got help. They had to do a lot of repairs from water damage. They moved into our basement for around three months while their house was being redone. I think that is one reason storms bother her so much during the night.

Son Joseph went to help rebuild a barn that was damaged by the tornado that hit Allen County last weekend. There were quite a few buildings that were hit. The crew Joseph works with donated a day to help. He said he thinks there were around 200 men and boys there helping. It is so nice to help each other in times of need like that. The men and boys were working on more than one pole barn that was damaged. Many hands make light work. Tornado destruction can be devasting! A lot of people had hail the night of that tornado. I know Tim and Elizabeth and Ervin and Susan had pretty good-sized hail, but we only had wind here.

Daughter Verena and granddaughters Kaitlyn, Abigail, and Jennifer came here last Friday evening (the night of the tornado in Allen County). They all had gone upstairs to bed with Verena, but when it started storming, they wanted to come down again. We made beds for them on the sofa and recliners, and they slept on those. We were fortunate to only have had a storm and wind.

The next morning, daughters Verena and Lovina, the three girls, and I went to Shipshewana, Indiana, to the Plain and Simple Craft Show. We were glad to meet old and new readers. There was a great turnout for the book signing for my cookbooks, The Essential Amish Cookbook and Amish Family Recipes. Plain and Simple is an Amish craft and decor magazine that I write in every other month. The editors host a craft show every Spring with lots of vendors there. Sisters Verena and Emma, Crystal (Emma’s daughter-in-law) and son Isaiah, and Renee (daughters Verena and Susan and Ervin’s neighbor) all came to the craft show. They surprised us and didn’t let us know they were coming.

It was a cold day but interesting. I think the three little girls were tired by the time we were back home, but they said they had fun and had lots of stories to tell.

Friday is Good Friday, and Easter is Sunday. We will have our family over on Good Friday. I usually have an egg hunt for all the little ones. They always enjoy that. Last year, we hid eggs for six grandchildren. This year it increased to 10 grandchildren. Kaitlyn, Isaiah, Curtis, and Denzel are added to our family. We will hide more eggs. It will be even more interesting with more children. It is nice to celebrate Easter with our family. Nothing can be a better holiday to spend with family than to celebrate the journey of the life of Jesus. Jesus who died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. We wish you all a blessed Easter and God’s many blessings!

I will share a recipe for Berry Cream Cheese Muffins this week. A reader lost her recipe that I had in the column over three years ago so I’ll run it again.

Berry Cream Cheese Muffins
1 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, blueberries, or raspberries dusted with 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and gradually add to the butter mixture. Fold in berries and nuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for three minutes before removing from the pans. Makes 18 muffins.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Enjoys Lots of Time with Children and Grandchildren

This column will wrap up March 2023 and another month down in history. It’s unbelievable how fast time goes.

We moved to Michigan from Indiana in March 2004, which is 19 years already. Lots of changes in those 19 years. Our oldest child was 9 when we moved, and we only had our six oldest children. In May 2004, daughter Lovina was born, and then Kevin in 2005.

We have been helping daughter Loretta and Dustin, and hopefully next week we can go again. They will host church services at their house at the end of April, Lord willing. This is their first time hosting it. On Saturday, son Joseph and daughter Lovina and Daniel (Lovina’s special friend and Dustin’s brother) were helping. Lovina cleaned out some cabinets, and the boys helped Dustin get some more trim on that wasn’t finished from when they remodeled their house. The services will be held in their pole barn, so that has to be cleaned out yet.

On Saturday we had supper at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. Tim had the grill and deep fryer going. On the menu was grilled ham, fries, cheese curds, cheese, chips, cinnamon rolls, cookies, ice cream bars, and ice cream sandwiches. All of our family was there except son Joseph and daughter Lovina. After supper we played games.

On Sunday, Joe and I were the only ones home all day. In the afternoon we walked across the road to daughter Loretta and Dustin’s house. We played Marble Chase with them, and they told us to stay for supper. They put pepper poppers and ham on the grill. After supper we played Marble Chase again. Joe and I were teamed up against Dustin and Loretta, and we were ahead in the games we won. We probably should’ve quit while we were ahead. Haha! They ended up winning the most games. It can get pretty exciting, and it’s always fun to see which team wins. Denzel was happy watching and sitting on our laps until he decided he should move the marbles, too. He’s okay letting me hold him until Grandpa Joe comes around, then he wants to go there. For some reason it’s way more fun hanging out with Grandpa.

Yesterday, daughter Elizabeth dropped her daughters Allison, 3, and Andrea, 1, off here before she picked Tim up from work. They took Timothy (T.J.) to the doctor and they changed his cast to see how his finger is doing.

The doctor said it’s healing well but his finger won’t look normal the way it did before. He won’t have a fingernail on it, and it’s going to be shorter than it was. Basically, what they did is use the part that was cut off to cover the open wound. By doing this they didn’t have to cut below the first joint. It won’t look normal but at least it wasn’t worse than that. T.J. was excited to show us his new cast, and this time the doctor put on a blue cast. Last time it was white, so he was glad he could have a colored one. T.J. is an active little boy, so it was a good thing he had the cast changed. His other one looked dirty already. Typical for a 4-year-old boy.

Abigail, 6, came off the bus here, and she was glad to spend some time here before her parents came to pick the three girls up. We enjoyed having the girls here.

Daughter Verena came home after her dentist appointment yesterday and stayed the night. Today daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Loretta and all their little ones will come for the day. I want to get a breakfast casserole in the oven soon so it’s ready to eat when they come. It’s been a while since they all came home for a day together. Susan has a few more to bring than she used to, but she enjoys it. She is a good mother to their five little ones.

Ervin and Susan left their five children here Saturday while they went to town. Five children from ages 3 to 6 makes for never a dull moment. They are all precious. God’s blessings!


Cinnamon Bun Cake
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped nuts, optional

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in 2 tablespoons melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

In another large bowl, mix the two sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon and use a knife to marble swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean from the center.

Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Best served warm straight from the oven or then at room temperature.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Lovina Remembers Aunt Lovina

Yesterday we finished up with the rest of the beef. My husband Joe, son Joseph, and sons-in-law Tim and Dustin had dressed two beefs on March 11—that was the day we heard Aunt Lovina passed away. We waited to start on ours until we were back from Ohio. Dustin and Loretta split half of their beef with his brother Clint and Hannah. Clint picked up their two quarters and Dustins cut up their meat here. We had a lot of nice hamburger and steaks to fill our freezer. I canned some beef chunks, and now I want to make beef jerky today. We had another cold spell, which was nice to keep the beefs chilled. This puts an end to our butchering for this season. It sure is a relief to be done, but it is such a blessing to be able to have meat in the freezer and in cans.

Granddaughter Jennifer, 5, is back to good health since she had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids. She was very happy to receive a sunshine box from our church on Sunday. She had a lot of nice gifts.

Our church also made a sunshine box for grandson Timothy (T.J.) on Sunday. While we were in Ohio, he had surgery to reattach part of his right pointer finger. He somehow got it in a bike chain, tearing it completely off. Tim and Elizabeth’s neighbor took Tim and T.J. to the hospital, but it was bleeding so badly that they didn’t know part of the finger was off. After Tim left, Elizabeth found the other part of the finger and had someone take her to the hospital to see if the doctors could reattach it. They did surgery at a bigger hospital and have his whole arm in a cast for six to eight weeks. The doctors hope it will reconnect with the rest of the finger. If not, it will be taken back off. T.J. is an active little four-year-old, so the cast is driving him crazy. He sat beside me Sunday in church and kept trying to scratch the cast because his arm was itchy.

He was very excited for the sunshine box, and he also received nice gifts. Hopefully this will keep him entertained while his right hand and arm are casted.

Brother Albert and Sarah Irene, nephew Albert Jr., sisters Verena and Emma, Joe and I, and daughter Verena traveled to Baltic, Ohio, last Tuesday morning. We attended the viewing/visitation of Aunt Lovina on Tuesday then went to a motel for the night. We attended her funeral on Wednesday, and we arrived back home Wednesday evening.

Aunt Lovina was 83 when she passed. I was named after her. My mother said Aunt Lovina took care of her five older children when I was born at home, so they decided to name me after her. Lovina was married to Uncle Toby for 39 years. She later remarried Abe Raber from Ohio and was married to him for 17 years. Abe passed away in August 2020. Lovina had recently moved to Kentucky to live with her daughter Leah and Elmer.

Uncle Toby and Aunt Lovina had nine children and lived around four miles from us growing up. We were in the same church ever since I was born until Toby died in 1999 and Aunt Lovina later moved to LaGrange, Indiana, and then on to Baltic, Ohio, after getting married to Abe.

I have many so memories of our two families together. I spent many nights over at Uncle Toby’s. I was right between their daughters Emma and Verena in age. It was very nice to see all the family again, and also many other cousins and friends. Aunt Emma was also there. She fell somehow while traveling to Ohio, by slipping on ice if I understood right. Aunt Emma is 82. My mother has three sisters living.

My cousin Leah’s daughter brought Aunt Lovina here for a day last year. Sister Emma and her daughters and my daughters were all here, too. We had a good day with Lovina. She still had a good mind and was active for her age. She will be missed greatly by all who loved her. I called Aunt Lovina on her 83rd birthday, which was on July 20, and we had a nice talk. She had left me a voicemail on July 18, saying that she was thinking of us on Mother’s 86th birthday. Rest in peace, dear Aunt Lovina.

Our sympathy goes to all her nine children and spouses, 87 grandchildren, 67 great grandchildren, 10 stepchildren, step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

On Friday morning we received word that Joe’s Uncle Jake died in Ohio. We regret that we were unable to attend his funeral. We are glad we got to visit with him at his sister’s (Aunt Nancy) viewing. Our sympathy goes to Aunt Mary and the family.

On April 1, some of my family and I will be at the Plain and Simple Craft Show selling and signing cookbooks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Lord willing! I would love to meet any readers that can come. The address is 345 South Van Buren Street, Shipshewana, Indiana 46565. God’s blessings to all!

I’ll share a recipe that is often served at our local funerals. Slips are passed out and there is always a variety of pie fillings and cake used. A great dish and very tasty.

Cake Delight

1 cake mix (any kind)
12 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces whipped topping
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 quarts pie filling, any flavor

Mix and bake cake mix as directed on the box. Pour into a greased 11×15 inch jelly roll pan. Then cream together cream cheese, whipped topping, and powdered sugar and spread on cooled cake. Top with pie filling.


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, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.