All posts by Lovinas Amish Kitchen

Celebrating Epiphany with Family and a Haystack Brunch

2022—A brand new year is before us. I wish you all good health and happiness, and most of all God’s blessings as we start another year.

Tomorrow, January 6th, is Epiphany (Old Christmas) and a holiday for the Amish in this community. A lot of families have a Christmas gathering on this day. We will be hosting sister Emma and her extended family, sister Verena, and our whole family. We are a total of 33 to set the table for. It would’ve been 36 if our loved ones could’ve been here, but we will leave it in God’s hands and keep their memory alive.

The tables (5 – six-foot tables) are ready to be set for our guests tomorrow. We will also have a gift exchange after our haystack brunch. Snacks will be served in the afternoon, games played, and hopefully some singing together.

I hope you all enjoyed the letters from daughters Lovina, Verena, and Susan the last three weeks. It gave me a break over the holidays, and I think they all did a wonderful job. I keep asking Elizabeth, Loretta, and the boys if they want to write also.

Elizabeth and Tim have had a lot going on lately. They left for Florida on December 23rd and arrived back home on January 1st. They had a very nice time, but their bus was delayed on the way home. They spent 29 1/2 hours on the bus coming home. They were sitting in traffic for four hours due to a three-car accident on New Year’s Eve. Elizabeth said she felt bad for whomever was involved knowing that their new year wasn’t starting out good. Needless to say, Tim and Elizabeth were two happy parents once they were off the bus and safely home again.

Daughters Susan and Verena had their house all cleaned, and I had their laundry washed, dried, and folded. I’m sure that was a great help.

Sunday afternoon Joe and I went for a ride. We received around four inches of snow or more Saturday evening and during the night. We were the only ones home. I do not like that empty nest feeling. It’s just too quiet around here. Daughter Loretta and Dustin left Saturday evening and spent the night at daughters Susan and Verena’s house. Jennifer and Ryan were excited to have them there.

Joe and I stopped at sister Emma’s for a visit. We also visited with sister Verena. She is mostly staying with Emma and her sons. Both sisters have lost their best friend and can feel the emptiness.

We then headed on to daughter Susan’s and ended up staying there for supper. Dustin and Loretta were still there, and Tim and Elizabeth also came over. I was so glad to see all the grandchildren again. In the afternoon, Dustin gave Jennifer and Ryan a sled ride with the new sled someone gave them for Christmas. They miss having a daddy to do that for them.

Elizabeth is all tan from the Florida sun. It was good to see everyone. Susan and Verena served us a good supper then we headed home. Soon after we were home, Benjamin and Kevin came home, and a little later Joseph and Lovina so the house wasn’t quiet anymore. Its always nice to catch up before going to bed. God is good, and we can’t thank Him enough for the many wonderful blessings. Until next week.

I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

Guests my chose their own ingredients to layer for their haystack breakfast at the Eicher family gathering. Photo provided.

Haystack Breakfast

scrambled eggs
hash brown potatoes
crumbled bacon
diced ham
diced smokies or smoked sausage
crumbled biscuits
diced tomatoes
diced green peppers
diced onions
hot peppers
salsa
cheese sauce
sausage gravy

Prepare the amounts according to how many guests you have. Everyone layers whatever they want on a plate for their serving. We put all the leftovers together to make a breakfast casserole for another morning.

 

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. 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.

Daughter Susan shares her experiences

This column was written the week before Christmas.

Dear Readers,

I’m Lovina’s daughter Susan. It’s sunny and very windy today. I just finished with the laundry. I hung it all inside because it is too cold and windy outside.

Daughter Loretta made this beautiful fruit tree for the Eicher family Christmas gathering.

Today my sister Verena and I had sister Elizabeth’s children, T.J. and Allison, here while she attended her oldest daughter Abigail’s class Christmas party at school. My Jennifer and Ryan love when their cousins come over to play with them.

Last night was Abigail’s Christmas program at the school. Jennifer was really excited to see Abigail’s school. She wants to go to school now too.

It is now over a year since my dear husband Mose passed away. It seemed like a long and overwhelming year. And then other times it feels short, when I look back. I feel like the children and I came a long way. When times got hard, I would tell myself, “If life on earth has to be tough to make it to our Heavenly home, then I’ll fight the battle until the end.”

Mom took us out for the day on the anniversary of Mose’s death. She wanted to keep me busy so I didn’t sit and think about it. She took us out to eat, and we had a nice day together.

Sunday night, Martha (a widow in our community) and her five children are coming to visit. Her husband passed away from cancer. It is three years that he passed away, also in December. She has been an inspiration to me. She’s a very brave woman. We want to go to her children’s Christmas program to help support her and to just be there for them.

Recently, some of Mose’s family came to stay with me and others from his family came to also help for a weekend. They put new siding on my house. It isn’t finished yet but it is looking so much better.

My family and Mose’s family have helped me a lot through this past year. They were all a great support.

Please pray for all the families that lost loved ones and belongings in the recent tornadoes. Life is too short. It’s hard to lose one family member; I can’t imagine how the family feels that lost four. After Mose passed, the pain was so great. It felt like with every breath pain slashed through my heart.

I best be going now. I need to feed the horses, chickens, and dogs. Jennifer and Ryan like to go with me to pick up the eggs. Sometimes Ryan will let the eggs drop too hard in the bucket and break the egg.

I will share the recipe of fruit dip. I’m taking fruit and the fruit dip to Dad and Mom’s for the Christmas gathering. I think the hardest part of the day is when we all sit down at the set table and my beloved Mose isn’t there beside me. Mose enjoyed Christmas time and getting together with family. Around strangers he would be very quiet but when he knew someone he was talkative and would always have fun playing games or talk about hunting or fishing.

Someday I hope to be reunited again in Heaven.

Take care and God bless!

 

Fruit Dip

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup whipped topping
Whip all together. Serve with different kinds of fruit.

 

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. 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.

 

December events penned by Daughter Verena

This column was written the week before Christmas.

Hello Readers,

I am Lovina’s daughter Verena. Mom has been telling us girls we should take a turn writing.

It has been over ten months now that I have moved in with sister Susan. When I first moved in, my niece Jennifer (almost 4) had a hard time understanding why I’m staying with them and her daddy wasn’t coming back. She didn’t like the idea at first but has grown to love having me here.

Jennifer and Ryan (age 2) are playing “doll” right now. Jennifer is the mom, and Ryan is the dad. Ryan left the “baby” sit on the couch alone, and Jennifer is lecturing him because no baby should be left alone on the couch. Ha! It is just so fun to see them play.

Friday, December 10th I turned 24. Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, and I went to Dad and Mom’s for supper. Some of the youth from our community came Christmas caroling for us. It was a very nice thought, and we enjoyed it.

I heard the horrible news about the tornados that went through Kentucky and the other states killing so many people. My heart broke for all the families who lost a loved one. So many families grieving. So many lives changed in an instant. So many homes demolished. God is above all, and He makes no mistakes. I’ll continue to pray for the families who are struggling.

Yesterday morning, church services were held not too far from Susan’s house. We were going to take her horse and buggy but Jodi (widow friend whose husband was killed in the same accident Mose was involved in) was able to take us. It made it easier to not have to worry about the horse when we got to church, especially since there is no man with us.

After church Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, and I took a nap. In the evening we made supper for Dad, Mom, Tim, Elizabeth, and their three children, sister Lovina, and her boyfriend Daniel. It was very enjoyable! Dad, Tim, and Daniel grilled chicken. I always love when Dad grills chicken. He makes it very tasty and juicy.

December 14th was a year that Mose has passed on. It is scary how quickly someone can become just a memory. Please remember to tell your friends and family that you love them because today could be your last day on this earth or it could be their last day. Life is too short to take it for granted.

A special memory of Mose I have is from when before Susan and Mose were married. He took Susan and me blue gill fishing a lot. We didn’t want to touch the worms so Mose came to our rescue and hooked our worms. Pretty soon I had a fish, and Mose took care of it. Then Susan had a fish, and Mose took care of it. Susan and I were reeling the fish in one after another, and Mose was taking our fish and rebaiting our hooks. Mose seemed to enjoy it more watching us get excited then if he was fishing himself.

Festively set, the table is ready for the Eicher family’s Christmas gathering. Photo provided.

December 18th plans are to go to Dad and Mom’s for our family Christmas. I love when the family gets together. More memories are made and there is never a dull moment.

Jennifer’s puppy Rose is four months now. She is a Blue Merle Pomeranian and very beautiful. Rose loves to pull at Ryan’s pant legs. She must think it’s a toy. My pomsky dogs, Lincoln and Kimmy, are very kind to Rose. I love dogs!

Susan and I washed laundry earlier today. It was too cold outside so Susan hung it on clothes racks inside the house. We don’t have enough room to hang it all at once so when some gets dry, we hang up more.

Ryan came up to me and gave me a hug and said, “I love you.” That warms my heart. Children are so precious. Ryan has a hat on and is stomping around. He doesn’t look tired at all, to think it’s his bedtime!

May God be with you all!

 

Yoder’s Restaurant Cookies

3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups butter
2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
8 cups flour

Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
a little water

Beat eggs, then add sugar. Melt butter, then add to sugar mixture. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; mix well. Add flour, one or two cups at a time. Form the dough into balls and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. For frosting, mix powdered sugar and butter with enough water to reach desired consistency.

 

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. 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.

 

Daughter Lovina takes a turn at writing

Dear readers,

I’m Lovina’s youngest daughter (also Lovina). I feel very privileged to share the same name as my mom. I’m proud of how far she has come in life and hope to maybe write a newspaper column someday like she does.

It’s a lot different being the only girl living at home right now. I like to label myself as “Manager of the House” because I do my duty of keeping the boys in line. I even check their rooms to make sure they’re clean.

The other night I was cleaning brother Ben’s room and saw that he had water bottles stuck in between the window and the screen. I couldn’t understand what they were doing there, but he later explained that he gets thirsty through the night and sticking the water bottles outside the window keeps them cold in the wintertime.

When I get thirsty at night, I just walk to the fridge and grab my water bottle, but he decided to “work smarter not harder.” At the end of the day, I got a good laugh and he got a clean room. On the bright side, I have other personality traits other than being a “bossy” sister.

I do miss having sisters here at home, but I’m just thankful that all four of my sisters are alive and healthy. I also learned that if I ask really, really, nicely brothers do help with dishes.

I look forward to decorating Christmas cookies, and I definitely look forward to eating them! Christmas is my favorite holiday and not because we all get gifts, but because of what it stands for.

Mom won’t be home in time to make supper, so she left me with doing the honors. I considered asking her if peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will work but figured my three brothers and dad would protest against that. So instead, I decided to make Barry Salt Casserole. It is one of my favorites and also very easy!

There is a story behind the name of this casserole: Barry Salt was a man that sold stainless steel cookware sets to the Amish families back when my mom was a young girl. Mom’s sister Leah and a cousin of Mom’s would go along when Barry would make supper for the families to show how to use the waterless (no cooking liquid required) cookware. He would make this casserole in a skillet, and it became a favorite of my mom’s family—which was then nicknamed “Barry Salt Casserole.” Leah and her cousin would help wash the dishes for him after supper.

Today has been exactly a year since my sister’s husband Mose passed away. We miss him every day. It’s been a long, lonely year for Susan. Mose was a great husband to her and an amazing father to their kids.

Mom wanted to do something special for Susan, so she took Susan and the kids out to eat. My sister Verena also accompanied them. Jennifer and Ryan have gotten very attached to her since she moved in with Susan.

The other day Mom and I went Christmas shopping. I think she was doing some shopping for me to because when I showed a special interest in something, it magically ended up in the cart.

When I asked her who she bought it for she said, “Probably Kevin.” Although she sounded very convincing, I doubt Kevin started taking a sudden interest in women’s sweaters!

It’s hard to believe that this year is coming to an end. Life goes so fast, and if this year taught me anything, it is that we might not have our loved ones as long as we want.

So, I’d just like to mention that I’m so thankful for my family and friends. I’m also very thankful special friend Daniel is a big part of my life.

Merry Christmas to all! God bless!

 

Simple, but delicious, this casserole is nicknamed Barry Salt Casserole and has a fun story to go with it.

Barry Salt Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, diced
6-8 potatoes, shredded
2 (10.5 ounce) cans of cream of mushroom soup
cheese of your choice
salt and pepper to taste

Press the ground beef on bottom of skillet, spread the onion on top of the meat, then spread the shredded potatoes over that and use seasoning to your taste. Spread the cream of mushroom over all. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Put slices of cheese on top and cover to let cheese melt.

 

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. 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.

Try a new recipe for your holiday baking

Since the holiday season is here, I decided to share some recipes. These were shared with me and my daughters by readers over the 19 years of my writing. So, as you do your holiday baking you might enjoy incorporating a new recipe!

Christmas Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 cup milk

Cream butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine dry ingredients. To the creamed mixture, add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Chill the dough. On a floured board, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool and frost with your favorite icing.

 

Chocolate Delight Dip

12 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 small box instant chocolate pudding

In a bowl, combine all ingredients until creamy. This is good served with apples or vanilla wafers.

 

No-Bake Orange Balls

7 ounces vanilla wafers, crushed
3/4 cup coconut, grated
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup nuts, optional
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring, optional

Mix wafer crumbs, coconut, and powdered sugar. Add orange juice concentrate as it comes from the can and mix well. Form into balls (makes about 25) and roll in powdered sugar. No refrigeration needed.

 

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 unwrapped milk chocolate kisses

In mixing bowl, cream peanut butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. If dough is too sticky to shape, chill for several hours. Roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Immediately after removing baking sheets from oven, press one kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen

 

Chocolate Drops

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter or shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Frosting:

1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk

Sift together flour, salt, soda, and cocoa. Cream butter, adding sugar gradually, until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating well. Blend in dry ingredients and milk alternately. Stir in nuts (if desired). Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool before icing. Makes 4 dozen.

For frosting, cream the shortening with the vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar. Gradually add milk and the rest of the powdered sugar, beating constantly. More powdered sugar can be added to your desired thickness.

 

Haystacks

2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 12-ounce container creamy peanut butter
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Boil sugar and syrup in 2-quart pan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, mixing until smooth. Add Rice Krispies cereal and mix well. Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.

 

I want to thank all of you readers for being patient with me as we experienced a year of grief. God is above all, and without His help it would be hard to go on. The support from all of you has meant more than you know. God be with each of you as this year is coming to an end.

 

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. 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.

Different Ways to Prepare the Thanksgiving Turkey and Eat the Leftovers

December—the final month of 2021!

The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. We are mostly caught up with the leftover food from it. I made a stew with the turkey carcass from the turkey son-in-law Dustin made for us in his deep fryer. Everyone loved the stew, and it really is great way to get the most out of your turkey. I will share my recipe with this column.

Yesterday I spent the day at sister Emma’s house as she hosted a Pampered Chef party so she could earn some free kitchen items. Emma served lunch to all the ladies and children that came.

Daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena and my grandchildren were there too. I got to spend the day with them as well. Granddaughter Abigail came there off the bus after school with Emma’s youngest son Steven. Steven is in eighth grade, so this will be his last year of school.

It is really quiet around here with everyone at work. My husband Joe at the metal shop, son Benjamin, 22, at the RV factory, son Joseph, 19, on his construction job, daughter Lovina, 17, at her job at McDonald’s, and son Kevin, 16, helping out this week at a butchering shop. It’s still hard for me to get used to the emptiness but that is a part of life.

Saturday Joe and I plan to do some Christmas shopping. We will have our family Christmas on December 18th (a year ago, son-in-law Mose’s funeral was on the 18th). We are having it a little earlier than usual as daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and family will travel by charter bus to Florida over Christmas. Tim’s parents and some of his family will be with them, and they well attend Tim’s nephew’s wedding in Florida. They will also travel to Kentucky with some of Tim’s family for a Christmas gathering at his sister’s house on December 11th. Elizabeth has been extra busy preparing for these upcoming trips.

Our family exchanged names for a gift exchange when we get together.

Daughter Verena spent Sunday evening here, while daughter Susan and children went to Mose’s sister’s house to spend the evening with his family.

I attended the Thanksgiving feast at Abigail’s school last week. It’s so different to go for a granddaughter than when I went for my children. It brought back memories of all the years our eight children attended that school. Abigail was excited to have her grandma, mother, siblings, aunts, cousins, and Uncle Kevin come to eat with her. Nephew Steven also ate with us.

We had a nice day together on Thanksgiving Day at sister Emma’s house. They had the table set for all of us. Her sons-in-law prepared a trash can turkey, which is somehow cooked under a trash can with charcoal around it. It was very delicious. Emma also baked a turkey in her oven so we had plenty of turkey. I had made some food to take along, and lo and behold I forgot to take the pumpkin roll. I thought I was forgetting something as I was loading up the food on the buggy but didn’t realize it until the dessert was being passed around. I always think we need a pumpkin roll for Thanksgiving, but we did okay without it. Let us thank God every day. We have so many blessings that we take for granted. God bless and stay safe and healthy!

Turkey Stew

Turkey carcass and mixed bones (your leftover holiday turkey)
1 medium onion, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
6 large carrots, dices
8 medium potatoes, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken soup base
seasonings to taste

Place carcass in large kettle and cover with water. Cook until meat removes from bones. Cool off enough so all the bones can be taken out of water. Then add meat, vegetables, and seasonings back in water and cook until potatoes are soft. Optional—cabbage or other vegetables you prefer can be added. We loved it!

 

 

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. 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.

Trying a new recipe to celebrate Thanksgiving

It’s probably our coldest morning so far this fall. The mercury on the thermometer dipped down to almost 20 degrees. How thankful we are for a cozy house to live in. Some are not so fortunate. We should thank God every day for our many blessings, but as I write this, with Thanksgiving Day in a few days, it reminds us to be thankful.

Joe and I, with sons Benjamin and Kevin, will go to sister Emma’s on Thanksgiving Day. Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, daughters Verena and Susan and her children, sister Verena, and Emma’s family will also be there. Dustin and daughter Loretta, son Joseph, and daughter Lovina will attend Thanksgiving dinner at Dustin’s brother Clint and Hannah’s house.

I am glad to spend the day with sister Emma, daughter Susan, and sister Verena. They all lost a very dear beloved one since last Thanksgiving. They need our prayers!

Yesterday my husband Joe and I, along with sisters Emma and Verena, attended the funeral of Uncle Emanuel, age 91. Uncle Emanuel and Aunt Leah were married 67 years. Aunt Leah is my mother’s sister. She is 86 and a year older than my mother would have been. Uncle Emanuel shared the same birthday as my dad but was a year older than him. For many years Mom and Aunt Leah took turns hosting each other’s family on February 17. It was always enjoyable to get together. It has been many years since I was at Emanuel and Leah’s place. Their son Simon and Judy and family now live in the house. Emanuel and Leah lived in a “Doddy Haus” beside them.

I felt so sorry for Aunt Leah. She had a stroke and broke her ankle recently, and Emanuel had been helping her. If I heard correctly, Emanuel also had a stroke and fell and broke his hip not too many days before his death.

When my sister Susan died in January, Emanuel and Leah both came. They were doing pretty good for their age.

Emanuel and Leah had 15 children with three being stillborn. The living 12 are all married with families of their own. They have more than 100 grandchildren and many, many great grandchildren. I didn’t get the exact count.

Yes, it brought back memories being at their place. Sisters Leah, Liz, Verena, Emma, and I all got to sit together at the funeral. We talked about how we would go with Mom to spend the day at Aunt Leah’s. We would dress up their kittens and have them for our babies. I also remember we would chip off a chunk of salt from their big salt block they had for their animals to lick on. We would take it to the water pump and wash it off really well then lick it. Now I can’t believe we did that. It sounds so gross now. It’s surprising what all little children come up with.

My sympathy goes to all the family as they mourn Uncle Emanuel’s death and especially Aunt Leah. She will have many lonely days ahead. Rest in peace Uncle Emanuel—you were much loved!

It was nice to get to visit with many of my cousins, some friends we don’t see too often, and with Uncle Elmer and Aunt Salome and Aunt Emma (Mom’s sisters).

I plan to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, bread, and hopefully cinnamon rolls to take to Emma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I am thinking of trying this recipe for cinnamon roll cookies instead of cinnamon rolls. It sounds interesting! I wish everyone a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your loved ones! God’s blessings to all!

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup butter or shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup warm water or scalded milk
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

 

Sugar mixture:
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:
1/3 cup butter, slightly browned
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or maple flavoring
2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons hot water

 

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Cream butter or shortening and 3/4 cup sugar. Add vanilla, eggs, and 1 cup warm water or scalded milk. Mix in yeast, flour, and salt. Refrigerate overnight. You may need a little more flour before making rolls. Divide dough in half and roll each in a 12×18 inch rectangle. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll up tightly. Cut into 1/2 inch wide slices; put on cookie sheet; press flat with hand. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool and glaze.

 

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. 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.

Mourning the Loss of a Mother in the Community

Son Kevin is spending the night at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. He will go deer hunting with Tim in the morning.

Tonight we attended the visitation for a 41-year-old woman in our community. We were shocked and saddened when son-in-law Mose’s cousin, Ruth Ann, passed away after giving birth ten days earlier. Ruth Ann leaves to mourn her a husband and eight children. The oldest child is 16 and the youngest ten days old. Our hearts ache for them. We know they will have many hard lonely days ahead. Ruth Ann was an only daughter and had two brothers. She also leaves to mourn her parents, mother-in-law, and her husband’s family.

Tomorrow we plan to attend the funeral. We will take daughter Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan along. It is hard for Susan when she sits with Mose’s relatives and he’s not beside her anymore. She understands the feelings Ruth Ann’s husband will go through in the days, weeks, and months ahead. A baby that will never get to know his mother. Teenagers that could use their mother’s advice, and school age children that will never come home to their mother to tell her how school went. This family needs our prayers. May God guide them through this sorrowful time in their life. We do not always understand why, but we do know God makes no mistakes.

Sunday we awoke to our first snowfall which accumulated around an inch. With the ground still not frozen it didn’t stay long. It was a pretty scene with snow clinging to the tree branches. We have had some nice sunsets lately, too. Only our Master Artist can paint a picture like that. How beautiful heaven must be!

Next week is Thanksgiving. A year ago, our life was complete yet. Our three loved ones were still with us. We all ate together for Thanksgiving dinner. Sister Liz, Levi, and some of their family were able to join us. Little did we realize that within a few weeks, our lives would be forever changed. Time goes on and we must go on, but not without a lot of tears shed and pain in our hearts. Without comfort from God and the support from others we could not go on. We try to be cheerful around others, and daughter Susan says she has learned to smile when inside she doesn’t feel like smiling. She is good at hiding her feelings. She says she has to for her children’s sake.

Yesterday sister Emma and I went to town with sister Verena. She needed help looking for a new stove. Hers gave up, and her house was 45 degrees when we stopped there. She has been staying with us or with Emma. She stayed with daughters Susan and Verena last night.

I think she plans to come here tonight and will go to the funeral with us. Hopefully her house will be heated by tomorrow and her new stove will work okay.

God’s blessings to all!

Cowboy Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups coconut
2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 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. 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.

Making friends with Hatchi, a new dog

4 a.m. Our alarm rings, and it’s time to get up. I was so used to getting up an hour earlier with daylight savings time that I always wake up at 3 a.m. now. Sometimes it’s hard to fall back to sleep for an hour until the alarm rings.

I make son Joseph and my husband Joe sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. Son Benjamin doesn’t want any and takes a protein shake instead.

4:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work. Joseph is feeding the horses. I pack Joseph and Joe’s lunches and fill their water jugs.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work.

5:00 a.m. Joseph leaves for work. Daughter Lovina is getting ready for work.

5:30 a.m. Lovina leaves for work. I wash the breakfast dishes and a few from last night’s supper.

6:30 a.m. Dishes are washed and put away. I take a break and sit in my recliner and read. Everything is quiet and it’s good to have “me” time. Son Kevin is still in bed. He sleeps later since he doesn’t leave. Usually around daylight he lets our new dog out to run around. We have an eight-month-old Blue Heeler/Australian Shepherd named Hatchi that a co-worker gave to Joe. He’s a good dog. It helps fill the spot of our dog Buddy who disappeared one night. We had Buddy (a Border Collie/English Shepherd) for 12 years if I’m thinking correctly. Kevin misses Buddy but is gradually making friends with Hatchi. Hatchi is a lot more energetic than Buddy was.

8:30 a.m. I make scrambled eggs and sausage patties for Kevin, daughter Loretta, and my breakfast. Loretta came over this morning in her mobility scooter. It is nice for her to be this close to home if she needs help.

I am doing mending and other odd jobs today. It seems like some jobs were pushed aside over preparing for the wedding of Loretta and Dustin. It feels nice to heave time to catch up now.

1:00 p.m. Son Benjamin is home from work to shower and get ready for an appointment. Our friend Jodi is taking us to town, so she comes in to visit while Benjamin showers. It’s a hard day for Jodi and Susan as the accident was 11 months ago.

2:00 p.m. We leave for town, run some errands, and go to Benjamin’s appointment. He hurt his leg a while ago and the orthopedic doctor wanted to see how it is doing. He thinks Benjamin should have surgery or try a brace, so Benjamin chose the knee brace.

5:30 p.m. We are back home. Benjamin didn’t want me to have to make supper when we got home, so he bought something for everyone at Dairy Queen. That was a nice treat for me, and I appreciated the kind gesture.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll leave with daughter Lovina and son Kevin to go to their dentist appointments. In the afternoon I’ll go with daughter Verena to her appointment an hour away at an eye specialist. I really hope they can help her. She’s had a lot of eye appointments recently.

Then on Friday are the annual appointments for the ones with muscular dystrophy in Ann Arbor. Another long tiring day.

9:00 p.m. Everyone is getting ready for bed so I think I will join them soon.

Good night and God bless! I’ll share the recipe for monster cookies. Daughter Lovina made over 100 one afternoon last week. They were gone way too fast; needless to say, they were way too good.

Monster Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups plain M&M’s

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition, the vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda, and peanut butter. Mix until smooth. Add the oats and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Then add the M&M’s and mix well.

On ungreased baking sheets, drop the batter by the tablespoon spacing two inches apart. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Cool the cookies on a wire rack or a plate and then put into sealed containers. Makes six dozen cookies.

 

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. 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.

Flying Paper Lanterns and Remembering Loved Ones

It’s just past 5:30 a.m. and a cold 29 degrees outside. We still haven’t had any snow except a few flurries yesterday. I won’t complain about that. This weekend daylight savings time ends so we fall back an hour. I really wish it would just stay one way or the other. I don’t like changing the time on all our clocks.

Daughter Lovina, 17, just left for work. She took some time off from working at McDonalds over the wedding of Dustin and Loretta so she could help me. Now this week she went back but only works three days a week for now.

Monday, November 1st was brother-in-law Jacob’s 49th birthday. We had sister Emma and sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Crystal and Isaiah (Benjamin’s special friend and son), Emma’s daughters Elizabeth and Manuel, Emma, Menno, and children Jessica and Menno Ray, sister Verena, daughter Elizabeth, Tim and children Abigail, T.J., and Allison, daughters Verena and Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan, daughter Loretta and Dustin, Grace and Daniel (Joseph and Lovina’s special friends) here for supper in memory of Jacob.

We all went over to the graves of our three loved ones that were taken from us in eight months’ time.

We then came back here for supper. Our menu was cheesy potatoes, meatloaf, barbequed chicken, lettuce salad, cheese, pecan pie, brownies, bar cookies, and ice cream.

Flying paper lanterns with messages to missing loved ones brought comfort to Lovina’s family. Photo provided.

After we ate it was dark, so we went outside, and each one lit a paper lantern to let fly that said “Miss you forever, love you always. We will remember you every single day.” Everyone wrote a little something on the lanterns, and the children traced their handprints on them. It was very emotional, but it felt comforting watching the lanterns lift and fly up toward heaven.

On Saturday we attended my family gathering at sister-in-law Nancy’s house. It was brother Amos’s 60th birthday. He has been gone three and half years now. He would’ve been so happy to have us all there. Nancy served a good meal of barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, buttered noodles, and corn. All the salads, desserts, and snacks were brought in by everyone else. Our loved ones were greatly missed.

Sunday we went with daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, and daughter Susan and children to church services at Mose’s parents’ house. It brought a lot of memories back for Susan. It just seemed like Mose should be there with us. Mose has a nephew that reminds me of him and a brother that sounds like him. When I heard him laugh, I would think it was Mose. Rest in peace Mose! You will always be remembered.

Sunday we will also attend church services in another district. Daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel will start following instructions for baptism. We will all go in his honor. It is a step in life that always make parents thankful, when their children accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

I made pecan pie to take to the gathering Saturday since I had quite a bit of pecans and corn syrup left from Loretta and Dustin’s wedding. I made ten pies, and I put the last piece in my husband Joe’s lunch today. I gave a few to friends and family. I’ll share the recipe this week. God’s blessings to all!

Pecan Pie

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water
2 (9-inch) pie shells, unbaked
2 cups pecans (halves or pieces), divided

Mix together beaten eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and water. Divide mixture evenly between the two pie shells. Sprinkle 1 cup pecans on top of each pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 300 degrees for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until middle of pie is set. Cool completely before serving. Makes 2 pies.

 

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. 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.