All posts by Lovinas Amish Kitchen

An Update on Daughter Susan

It is time to get this column written and on its way. Although the mercury on the thermometer is already up to 79 degrees, a breeze is coming in the windows. Yesterday was different and much warmer, and there was less breeze with higher humidity.

Daughter Elizabeth and Tim and four children and daughter Loretta and Dustin were here for supper last night. Daughter Lovina made a taco supper for everyone. That is a nice meal on a hot day. Of course, with ice cream afterward. Elizabeth said when two-year-old Allison heard they were coming, she said, “I’m excited to go to Grandpa and Grandma’s.” Her blond hair and blue eyes have such a sparkle to them. She’s little but mighty, and nothing stops her from doing whatever her older siblings do. Tim’s double buggy, which we call a surrey, is being repaired so they brought their two-seated open wagon. As warm as it was, Allison saw her daddy (Tim) put on socks, so she thought she had to also wear socks.

Our family had a very nice time camping for three nights at a local campground. Lots more memories were made.

Sister Verena also went with our family to the campground. Our cabins had AC, so I think she enjoyed that on the hot days.

We all gathered at our cabin to have brunch together in the forenoon, then again for supper. Lots of s’mores were made later at night while sitting by the campfire.

Daughter Susan, 26, is dating a 28-year-old widower now. Ervin has three children and lost his wife Sarah to cancer three months before Mose died. Ervin and Susan have found comfort in each other, and both went through a lot of grief losing their first loves. Their friendship with each other seems to be strengthening. They both know how it is to be a single parent with children.

Ervin is a nice man and a good father to his children. Susan’s children and Ervin’s children blend well.

We have grown attached to his children Kaitlyn Rose, five; Isaiah Edward, four; and Curtis Dale, two. They are so sweet and easy to love. Kaitlyn and Isaiah both remember their mother. So when Ervin and Susan get together, they have two two-year-olds, two four-year-olds, and a five-year-old. Not a dull moment.

Mose and Sarah will never be forgotten, but we do know they will never come back. We do not always understand God’s ways, but we know his ways are not always our way.

I am glad to see Susan laugh again and live life. With God as their guide, I wish the couple his many blessings.

Susan has met Sarah’s family and appreciated the support they offered. This can’t be easy for the families of Mose and Sarah, but hopefully they can all accept the new partners they have and wish them a good future together.

Ervin lives in a community 45 minutes from here. He lives with his parents so his mother can take care of his children while he works. Ervin has plans to move to our community here in Michigan in the future.

With Ervin’s three children and our six grandchildren, there were a lot of little ones five and under at the campground.

If there are readers out there that have lost a partner and remarried, I am sure Susan and Ervin would enjoy hearing from you.

Susan wants to thank all of you readers for all the encouragement and gifts, money, etc., that have been a great help to her with no income since Mose died. You have no idea how this helped her be able to keep up the payments on her property and be able to stay living there.

Daughter Verena also helped move in with her and the children and was there when she needed support when night times became harder. Jennifer’s, four, biggest concern about Susan having a friend is that she wants Aunt Verena never to move away. She has grown so attached to Verena and shares a bedroom with her. She loves when Kaitlyn comes, though. God bless!

A reader requested a dandelion jelly recipe so that they have it for next spring. Here is one to try.

Dandelion Jelly
1 quart dandelion blossoms
1 quart water
1 package fruit pectin
1 teaspoon lemon extract
4 1/2 cups sugar

In the early morning, pick blossoms without stems attached. Boil blossoms in water for 3 minutes. Drain off 3 cups of liquid. Add fruit pectin, lemon extract, and sugar to the drained liquid. Boil for 3 minutes. Put in jars and seal according to guidelines provided by your local extension office.

 

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.

Looking Back on a Special Day of Birth

June 14th was the 28th birthday of our first-born daughter Elizabeth. I wish her many more happy and healthy years. She has been married almost seven years to a nice loving husband, Tim, and they have been blessed with four precious children Abigail, five; Timothy (T.J.), three; Allison, two; and Andrea, four months.

This year was hot on June 14th, just like in 1994. That was a very hot night when Elizabeth was born at 9:58 p.m. We were living with my parents, and Joe’s aunt was my midwife. Dr. Osborne was also there just in case there were complications. Dr. Osborne had delivered me in that same house 23 years earlier. He delivered all eight of us siblings.

I had a long labor, and I remember how warm it was. It was warmer than when all my three July babies were born. We didn’t have fans like we do now, except my dad would use a little square fan that ran with batteries when it was that hot. He had asthma and hay fever, and that little fan would help him breathe. I still remember when Dad saw me having all the hard pain; he handed that fan to me and told me to use it for myself.

I was often thankful to have my mother there those next weeks when I tried to take care of our first baby. I had problems getting her to breastfeed, and Mom spent lots of nighttime hours helping me. I have many precious memories of my parents!

On Monday evening, daughters Verena and Susan and grandchildren Jennifer and Ryan spent the night here. It was supposed to storm, and they felt better to be here. We had a lot of wind. Some places had trees down, etc. We were very fortunate that everything here was okay. We have a sitting area in our basement, and with the heat and the storm coming, it was nicer to just sit down there after supper. Our basement is often a nice place to sit in with these days of excessive heat.

As we sat there visiting, it was funny when Jennifer said, “Kevin, you can smile. It will be okay.” Since he wasn’t smiling, she thought he was worried about the storm. Ryan wasn’t too worried. He found the toys down there and was playing, and of course he brought his black hat (his daddy Mose’s hat) and was wearing it again.

This week daughter Loretta and I made strawberry freezer jam from the 16 quarts of strawberries that neighbor Susan and Joas brought over.

Lovina prepared rhubarb juice with her daughter. Photo provided.

We also canned 66 quarts of rhubarb juice from my rhubarb. Now Loretta has jam and rhubarb juice in stock. We also did laundry yesterday, so it was a full day’s work.

It was so warm yesterday that we just had frozen pizzas to heat up for our supper. We ate over at Dustin and Loretta’s house after the last of the rhubarb juice was canned. I am so glad that is done.

Thursday evening through Sunday, our family has plans to go camping. We are renting three cabins and an RV by the lake. We plan to do some fishing, swimming, and just make more memories together. The grandchildren will have a lot of fun. It is also Father’s Day on Sunday. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.

June 15th is sister Emma and Jacob’s 27th anniversary. It’s her first anniversary without her dear husband. I’m sure today will be a hard day without him. My thoughts and prayers go to all those that have lost loved ones. May they rest in peace!

God’s blessings to all!

Cheese Broccoli Soup
1 tablespoon salad oil
3/8 cup chopped onion
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups (4 ounces) of fine noodles
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli (may use fresh)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3 cups milk
1/2 pound of American cheese
pepper to taste

Sauté onion in oil, add water and bouillon cubes, and heat to boiling until cubes are dissolved. Gradually add noodles and salt and continue boiling uncovered for 3 minutes. Stir in broccoli and garlic salt and cook for 4 more minutes. Add milk, cheese, and pepper and continue cooking until cheese melts, stirring constantly.

 

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.

Saturday Night Supper and Sunday Brunch

After my husband Joe and our sons Benjamin, twenty-two, and Joseph, nineteen, left for work, I took a shower and now want to get this column written.

Daughter Lovina will go to work this morning helping stain trim at a friend’s house. My plans are to go help daughter Loretta get her house cleaned for the Tupperware shower daughter Elizabeth is hosting for her. It’s a belated wedding shower, and lunch will be served afterward.

Sister Verena spent a few nights here again. It gets lonely for her when she doesn’t see anyone for almost a week. She came Sunday night and had supper here, then went home Tuesday.

On Monday, she went with me to daughter Loretta and Dustin’s house. We helped Loretta clean windows, wash some laundry, etc. Then in the evening, daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and four children came to help. Sons Benjamin and Joseph also came over. The men did the plumbing and installed two new toilets and a new vanity for the bathroom. They worked late to try to get the water hooked back up. Dustin was glad for their help. Elizabeth and I helped Loretta make supper which was mashed potatoes, beef and noodles, corn, mixed vegetables, etc. The rest of our family (Joe, daughter Lovina, and son Kevin) also came over to eat supper.

Their house is looking good with the remodeling they have done and much more open space. I think they will be glad when it’s all done. It still needs trim and baseboards, but at least it’s livable now. She has much more cabinet space now as well.

Sister Verena came home with us again that night. It was late by the time we came home, but at least we didn’t have far to go as Dustin and Loretta just live across the road.

The children had fun roasting hot dogs and making s’mores. Photo provided.

Saturday night, our family went to Elizabeth and Tim’s house for supper. We sat around the campfire and sang together. That was something we hadn’t done in a while. The children had fun roasting hot dogs and making s’mores. Some of us stayed the night, and some went home and came back for brunch on Sunday. Air mattresses were put up for extra beds.

It was fun to wake up and play with the little grandchildren. Andrea is almost four months old and is such a sweetie. She tries to talk, and her smile is so precious.

Of course, grandson Ryan, two, has to come with his dad Mose’s old black hat. He thinks he has to wear that all the time even though it’s much too big for his head. When Grandpa Joe puts his hat somewhere, Ryan will take his hat off and set it on top of Grandpa’s.

Brunch was delicious; the menu included biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs, cheese, hot peppers, donuts, brownies, rhubarb and grape juices, and coffee. It was an enjoyable weekend!

Yesterday, son Kevin and I washed laundry. It was a nice day to dry it. In the afternoon and evening, we had grandson T.J., three, and granddaughter Allison, two, here while Tim and Elizabeth, baby Andrea, and Abigail went shopping. It was fun to have them here. I made hamburgers on the gas grill and had buttered beets and macaroni and cheese with that.

T.J. fell asleep on the couch right before supper, so he didn’t have supper yet when Tim came back to pick them up.

Those two little ones put in so many miles in a short time. They kept Grandma busy. They slipped upstairs to daughter Lovina’s bedroom and sprayed perfume all over them, so I had to change their clothes because it was so strong. They were really giggling about it.

I soon remembered that two- and three-year-olds are not safe to be left alone long. Smile! They were enjoyable to have here. God’s blessings to all!

I want to let all readers know that the mailing address has changed, so make sure you send all mail to the new one, which is P.O. Box 234, Sturgis, Michigan 49091.

Pea and Cheese Salad
1 12–16-ounce package of frozen peas, thawed
1 cup chopped celery
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup cubed Colby cheese
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir into pea mixture. Chill until ready to serve.

 

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.

Upcoming Graduations and Weddings

The last day of May brings us temperatures in the 80s. A nice breeze is blowing, helping us stay cool. This breeze will help our hay dry. Hopefully, it will get baled tonight.

Tonight is nephew Steven’s eighth-grade graduation, which we plan to attend. This is the last of sister Emma’s (Jacob) children to graduate from school.

Son Kevin never had his graduation since it was in 2020 when everything was shut down from COVID-19.

A trio of Lovina’s horses. Photo provided.

Emma’s son Benjamin and Crystal have been published to exchange wedding vows on August 5th Lord willing. Congratulations to them. August 5th would be daughter Susan and Mose’s sixth wedding anniversary if he were still with us. We must accept God’s plan and life goes on. Mose will never be forgotten, and we treasure the memories we have of him.

Tomorrow my husband Joe and I will attend the wedding of Jeremiah and Sarah. Jeremiah is from our church district, and they bought a place in our district to live after they are married. We have a few more wedding invitations on our fridge. Congratulations and God’s blessings to all the young couples as they unite in marriage.

We had a great turnout Friday night and the pleasure of listening to Robert Rogers tell his story. Many tears were shed as he told us about losing his wife and four children in a flash flood in Kansas in 2003. His faith in God is amazing. His encouragement to all the families that have lost loved ones is amazing.

We were also happy to meet his second wife, Inga, and their five children.   It was also great to meet Inga’s parents as well. They are readers of my column, and we had a lovely visit.

We appreciated all the church members that came in support as well. Ham and hotdog sandwiches and snacks were enjoyed afterward.

Our hearts ache for the families in Texas who lost loved ones in the school shooting. Also, for the ones who witnessed the tragedy. May God be their guide and his many blessings be showered upon them. Lots of prayers are needed!

We had a few questions about the church meal: Egg salad was made from chopped hot dogs, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and mayonnaise. This mixture is spread on homemade bread, and many add pickles on top. Some also add hot peppers.

Another question was asked if we use both the house and pole barn when we have church. Church services are held in the pole barn, but the house is open as well. The women with babies or young children use the house as a nursery to care for their little ones. With only one bathroom in the pole barn, some come in during the service to use the bathrooms in the house.

I will share the egg salad recipe we used for church. I do not add onions or celery when I make mine.

God’s blessings to all!

Egg Salad

3 pounds of hot dogs (may substitute ham)
2 1/2 dozen hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
2 cups whipped salad dressing
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Grind the hot dogs in a grinder. Place ground hot dogs in a large bowl and stir in the hard-cooked eggs, whipped salad dressing, mayonnaise, onions, and celery until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

 

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.

Happy Birthday, Lovina!

The grandchildren work on adding 51 candles to Lovina’s birthday cake. Photo provided.

I had a very nice birthday on Sunday, May 22. All my family came for supper, bringing pizza, ice cream cake, and chips. Games were played before and after supper, and I was showered with lovely cards and gifts by all. A “5” and “1” were on my cake, but son Benjamin bought 51 candles and let my sweet little grandchildren help put all the candles on the cake. My daughter had a challenge getting all the candles lit. The children enjoyed watching Grandma try to blow out all 51 candles. I feel so blessed to call all of them family. The cards were so meaningful, and much love was shown. It was a memorable birthday!

On Saturday our new neighbors Levi and Leah moved in. They have two little children. Leah is my cousin Esther’s daughter. Esther stopped in on their way home from helping the couple move in and gave me a birthday gift. She is 10 years older than me and said she remembers well the day I was born. She said they had been doing something out in the field and her younger brother Danny came running really fast, jumped the fence, and ran to them. He was so excited to come tell them Uncle Ben and Aunt Elizabeth had another baby. I was born on the birthday of cousin Chris (their brother). Danny was killed in the same accident brother Amos was in here in Michigan eight years ago, along with another cousin of mine. Amos died a little over five years after the accident. He had ended up in our local hospital after the accident and was treated and released that day. I went to go get Amos and bring him to our house until his wife Nancy and children came to get him. He was shaken up from the accident, having seen one cousin dead and the other dying as he was pinned underneath him. Their construction crew was building a Menard’s close by and their van hit black ice and rolled quite a few times.

Included in the gift Esther gave to me were two pints of apple butter. Esther has her dad’s (Uncle Chris) copper kettle that he always used to cook apple butter. Our family and their family always had apple butter cooking days together. The evening before we would all gather at Uncle Chris and Lizzie’s house. We would all sit around their big kitchen table and snitz (slice) bushels of apples. The next day the apples would be cooked down in the copper kettle. I have never tasted apple butter quite as good as that. I look forward to trying this apple butter. I remember coming home from school and eating apple butter sandwiches. We also like it on corn mush or pancakes.

I neglected to write last week about our visitors we had one night for supper the week before we hosted church services here. It was nephew Michael and his wife Laura from Kentucky. It was nice visiting with the young couple. They were married last September. Michael is Joe’s sister Salome’s son.

On Friday night daughters Verena and Susan are hosting Robert Rogers, with his story to “live a life of no regrets.” Robert experienced a tragedy when he lost his wife and four children in a flash flood in Kansas in 2003. Hs is an accomplished worship leader, pianist, songwriter, and author of Into the Deep, 7 Steps to No Regrets, and Rise Above.

This will be held here in our pole barn with sandwiches and snacks afterwards. Susan and Verena invited our church and more people from the community, so we should have quite a crowd here. We look forward to hearing from Robert after reading his books.

God’s blessings to all!

 

Rhubarb Coffee Cake
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups rhubarb
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream shortening, 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla, and egg; add milk. Add soda, salt, and flour, stirring until all flour is moistened. Dice up rhubarb and mix in. Spread in 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar and cinnamon that has been mixed together. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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.

Daugher Lovina’s 18th Birthday & Hosting Church

Today—May 18—is daughter Lovina’s 18th birthday. Lovina was born soon after we moved to Michigan. It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years. She has grown into a lovely young lady with a great sense of humor. Her special friend Daniel is an important part of her life and she has enjoyed his friendship for almost two years. He is a kind, loving young man.

A beautiful cake to celebrate daughter Lovina’s 18th birthday! Photo provided.

Our family plans to come home tonight in honor of Lovina’s birthday. Lovina is baking a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (her favorite). She also requested that she would like “rare beef” on the menu (also her favorite). So now I need to make something that goes well with that.

 

I plan to make the rare beef outside on the porch, on the side burner of my new gas grill. My husband Joe bought me a gas grill for Mother’s Day. I love to cook outside on the porch on hot summer nights. I love it! Last night we cooked asparagus in butter on the grill.

Sunday church services were hosted here. We set a total of eight tables for everyone to eat. Our menu was homemade wheat and white bread, egg salad, cheese, peanut butter spread, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, butter, rhubarb and grape jam, coffee, tea, chocolate crinkles, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies.

While the women washed dishes, popcorn was passed out to everyone. All the bread, cookies, and popcorn are made by the ladies in our church. We take turns furnishing it for each other’s church services.

The eggs for the egg salad were donated to us from daughter Elizabeth and Tim, daughter Susan, and daughter Loretta and Dustin.

On Saturday we cooked 20 dozen eggs, then peeled and chopped them. Also, 24 packs of hot dogs were chopped. Joe sliced 2 horns of Colby cheese with the slicer. The peanut butter mixture—peanut butter, marshmallow crème, and corn syrup—was also mixed.

Those assisting us with our work on Saturday were Dustin and Loretta, Sister Verena, Daniel and Grace (Lovina and Joseph’s special friends), and daughter Verena. Their help was greatly appreciated! Hash brown casseroles were also made, so they were done and ready to heat for supper Sunday evening. Grilled hamburgers, macaroni salad, and a variety of desserts were also on the menu for Sunday supper. The salad and desserts were brought in by family.

The benches were set up in our pole barn to hold the service and meals. With a kitchen area and bathroom out there, it makes it easier.

I still do not have any garden planted. I’m hoping we can do that this week, but it looks like rain today. We are enjoying asparagus and rhubarb.

Dustin and Loretta are remodeling their house—taking out a wall and rearranging her kitchen, and also putting in other kitchen cabinets and making it more handicap accessible for her. It is really looking good and will be so much more space for her. They can still sleep at their house, but they come here for their meals since her kitchen is not usable for now.

Dustin mowed sister Verena’s yard one night this week. No one had mowed it yet this year and it was very high. With all that was going on at his house and helping us, he couldn’t get to it sooner.

I’ll sign off wishing everyone God’s richest blessings as we travel into the unknown future.

Hash Brown Casserole
2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
Seasoning of your choice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pint sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated cheese
1 pound smoked sausage, chopped

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Potatoes should be thawed (unless preparing a day ahead). Pour into greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 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.

Mother’s Day Celebrations & New Clothes for Benjamin

Our warm weather has arrived, bringing 80-degree temperatures this week.

I hope all you mothers had a very nice Mother’s Day. I was blessed with having all my children home for the day. I made a brunch for everyone, with a menu of fried eggs, potatoes, bacon, cheese, toast, jelly, butter, hot peppers, brownies, cookies, rhubarb dream bars, coffee, rhubarb juice, grape juice, and V-8 juice.

I was showered with nice gifts. I feel blessed to be a mother to my eight dear children. They make me glad to be their mother. Although it isn’t always easy being a mother, I try to do the best I can. I am also blessed to be a grandmother and enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

Saturday most of the family was here assisting us with cleaning up for this coming Sunday, when we host church services—Lord willing. The pole barn was emptied and cleaned except the windows. We need to clean those yet this week. The men and boys power washed the pole barn so it looks clean again. The grass was mowed, the barn cleaned, etc. While the men worked outside, the house was also getting more cleaning—the living room walls and ceiling were washed off, the furniture cleaned, etc.

I wasn’t here half of the day, as I went with son Benjamin to town. He bought new shoes, a black hat, a mutza and jacket, etc. A mutza is the suit coat the men wear at church along with a white shirt and black pants. Benjamin is planning to start following instructions for baptism, so that’s why he needed the new clothes. The boys don’t wear a mutza until they follow instructions for baptism, and then they will wear one to church from then on. In the summer months the men wear only a jacket because of the warm weather, but then the mutza is worn again during the winter months.

We had someone stop by selling barbecue chicken for a benefit to help a young couple in the community with their hospital bill. I bought enough for a roaster full to have for our lunch. After I was home from town, I made creamed potatoes to go with the chicken. It was an easy lunch to make for everyone.

Sunday before everyone left for home, I made One Kettle Soup and ham sandwiches for everyone to eat. Some of the grandchildren looked almost too tired to eat after a busy day of playing outside. They enjoy this nice weather and like the idea that they don’t have to wear coats or shoes.

Baby Andrea will be three months old this week. She’s such a sweetie, and her smile wins everyone’s heart. She tries to talk and is just fun to hold.

Yesterday, Jennifer, 4, brought me a bouquet of “flowers” she had picked for me. It was dandelions, but she was so proud to give it to me. She also picked a bouquet for Abigail to give to her when she comes off the bus. She said, “Abigail will be so ‘cited’ (excited)!”

The girls were all home yesterday for the day. The windows upstairs were cleaned and a few in the breezeway. I think we could’ve accomplished more but we might’ve been visiting too much. We all need time to just enjoy each other. Daughter Lovina and I made breakfast pizza before they all came for our breakfast. Lunch was sandwiches.

May 10th would have been sister Susan’s 46th birthday. She is still greatly missed! Rest in peace, Susan! God’s blessings to all!

Breakfast Pizza
Your favorite pizza dough, or 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls, spread into an 11×15 inch pan or 2 pizza pans
1 dozen scrambled eggs
2 pounds bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup ham, cooked and diced
1 pound sausage, browned and crumbled
1 pound shredded hash browns
4 cups sausage gravy
2 cups shredded cheese
Optional toppings: mushrooms, green peppers, onions

Spread half of gravy over dough, then sprinkle on meat, eggs, hash browns, and optional toppings, if desired. Spread on remaining gravy. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

 

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 and Tending to the Garden

We are into the first week of May. The grass is growing fast with all the rain April brought us. We need to buy a new mower. Ours last year was getting repaired constantly. I couldn’t believe what new ones are selling for now. It seems like one thing or another is giving up or needing to be repaired. It’s a part of life!

Asparagus is popping through the ground. The rhubarb plants look really nice, and spearmint and peppermint tea plants are coming up along with the weeds (already). Those who have winter onions are enjoying those. I would like to get some started again. I haven’t planted any garden yet, but we have our soil to put in the raised garden beds that Joe and the boys already built. Joe did plant some potatoes last night. He’s trying a different way of planting, so time will tell if it works.

We are mostly busy preparing for hosting church services here next time.

Yesterday I had a lot of help, and a lot was accomplished. Those assisting us with work were sisters Verena and Emma; nieces Elizabeth, Emma, and her children Jessica and Menno; daughter Elizabeth and children T.J., Allison, and Andrea; daughter Susan and Jennifer and Ryan; daughters Verena and Loretta; then after work, sons-in-law Tim and Dustin. Son Joseph came back home from his construction job as it was raining all day, so they couldn’t work.

Son Benjamin is in Traverse City, Michigan, working on a house all week. He will be back Friday evening. Traverse City is around four hours from here. I always wanted to go there for a book signing and meet the many readers from that area.

Granddaughter Abigail came off the bus here from school. She is excited that they will be going on a field trip to the zoo. Her daddy (Tim) will go with her class to help and be with her. Elizabeth couldn’t go as she breastfeeds Andrea and couldn’t take her along. It was so cute how excited Abigail was when Tim told her that he got to take off from work to go with her but that she needed to be a big helper and pick up toys. She was picking up the toys here too.

We had communion services Sunday at our neighbor’s house. Abigail was sitting between me and sister Emma while we were having communion. All the members stay standing while the children that aren’t members sit back down. When Abigail watched Emma and I get some bread and wine but not her, she told us, “That’s okay if the children don’t get any. We aren’t hungry or thirsty anyways.” She didn’t understand why only the adults got some. Then when we were washing feet, she commented to me that she washed her feet before she came so hers aren’t dirty, and she doesn’t need them washed. Such innocent little angels! I can see her growing up, even more so since she goes to school.

I made a breakfast casserole for yesterday morning, and everyone came for breakfast. Niece Emma brought a tater tot casserole for lunch. Desserts and snacks were brought in, so meals were easy. There were enough leftovers for supper as well.

The basement was thoroughly cleaned. The can room, the bathroom down there as well as the windows.

Sister Verena has been staying here a few days. She made a potato casserole to bring along when she came Monday night. It helps when we don’t have to take time to prepare meals.

Dustin and Tim were helping with jobs that needed to be done around here. They were here Saturday helping too. Joseph was cleaning out the barn. Appreciated everyone’s help. Today, daughters Verena and Susan and children and Verena’s friend Laura are coming to help.

Until next week … God bless!

 

Spaghetti Pie
6 ounces spaghetti (3 cups cooked)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs (beaten well)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 pint spaghetti sauce or more as desired
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain, stir the butter in hot spaghetti, and stir in parmesan cheese and eggs. Form mixture into crust in a buttered 10-inch pie plate. Spread cottage cheese over the bottom of the spaghetti crust. Cook ground beef, onion, and green pepper until meat is brown and vegetables are soft. Drain off fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Heat through. Turn meat mixture into crust. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

 

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.

Daughter Verena Shares Her Experiences

This is Lovina’s daughter Verena writing. I was in the middle of washing dishes when I got in a writing mood. I decided to write a column to help my mom, who is busy preparing for church services.

Sister Susan is cleaning up the house and sweeping the floors. Jennifer has her doll singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Ryan is down for a nap. We didn’t come home until 11 a.m. from my parents.

Yesterday we went to Dad and Mom’s place for lunch and ended up staying overnight. Sister Elizabeth, Tim, and the family came over as well. They had to hurry home as they had company coming to meet two-month-old Andrea.

Three weeks ago, I got a job offer from my neighbor Laura. She lives with her brother and family. Her dad brings down boards for me and Laura to finish. The sanding is too hard for me, so Laura does that. We really enjoy working together. I can work as many days as I want or quit working when I want. I can take breaks as needed. Laura’s dad gave me that option since he knows I have a handicap. I cannot be thankful enough for the kindness he has offered.

Susan has 12 chickens, so we get 12 eggs a day. We are loaded with eggs right now. I bought a rubber egg, and I’ve enjoyed tricking people with it. The rubber egg really does look real. I like to let everyone know that I can drop an egg without breaking it. Ha! Ha! They always think I’m talking about a hard-boiled egg. Maybe I shouldn’t write about this . . .  now my secret is out!

I’m planning on frying hamburgers tonight for supper. I like to start on supper while Susan goes out to do chores. Over winter, Susan took care of my two dogs since I couldn’t take my scooter out in the snow. I’m so happy that I can take care of them again. Hopefully, we are done with the snow.

I keep thinking about how it was a year ago. Susan and her two children were used to having Mose here. I was used to living with my parents, and I only had myself to look after. We all had to learn to live with each other. I’d say we did pretty good, although we had our trials. Susan was a housewife and always prepared the meals. The house was all she needed to take care of. The outside work was something I was not very capable of, so we knew that it was off-limits for me. I can do a lot of work inside, such as preparing meals, washing dishes, sweeping floors, mopping floors, helping with washing laundry, and folding it. But there is also much more in the house to do than just that. I am limited on many things to do in the house as well.

The change affected our whole family, especially Susan. It also affected Jennifer. She was unhappy to have me move in and also because her daddy was not here. It was something we couldn’t really explain to her. She was too young to understand. Now Jennifer wouldn’t want to leave me. When I leave the house with my scooter, she worries that I will tip over and hurt myself. I had my share of tipping over in my scooter.

One evening, I fell climbing into the bathtub because my knees gave out, and Jennifer was worried. She told Susan, “Verena will be okay; Jesus will take care of her.” That was so precious to me. Ryan is such a little flirt. He likes to give me a smile and then flutter his eyes. His giggles are contagious!

Dad made me a 3×8 foot raised garden bed. I’m going to plant my own little garden this year. Last year, Susan planted a garden, but it was too overwhelming. I want to help her this year. I was thrilled that Dad made the garden bed for me. Gardening from my scooter sounds like fun!

Sister Elizabeth and Tim are dropping off their four children: Abigail, five; T.J., three; Allison, two; and Andrea (two months). They are running some errands for them and us.

Saturday night, Elizabeth and Tim came here. Tim burned a big trash pile that had been there a while. It looks much better. They ended up staying overnight. Susan had bought a few bags of play sand to put in the sandbox. That kept the children entertained for a long time. God be with you!

Rhubarb Cake

For the cake:
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups rhubarb, diced
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted

For the butter sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then add 2 cups milk, melted butter, and rhubarb. Pour into a 9×13 inch cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not overbake, or it will be dry.

In a small saucepan, melt butter, and stir in heavy cream and sugar. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. When the cake is cooled, spread the sauce over it.

*Note—this is an eggless cake.

 

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.

Celebrating Easter with Family

April has brought us a week of cooler temperatures, with the ground covered with snow one morning. It didn’t last long, and the green grass is again showing. The rhubarb and tea plants are growing as well as all the early spring flowers. We look forward to warmer weather coming to stay for the summer months ahead.

Today daughter Susan had a dentist appointment, so she left Jennifer, 4, and Ryan, 2, here while she went. They are both growing up so fast! And such precious sweeties!

Last week we attended a Norwex party and stayed for lunch at nephew John and Arlene’s house. Daughter Elizabeth and children T.J., Allison, and Andrea, daughter Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, daughter Verena, sister Verena, and I went with our friend Jodi.

After the party, we were served a delicious lunch. My husband Joe’s sisters MaryAnn and Ruth and nephew Noah’s wife Ruth were there, so we had an enjoyable time visiting as well. It is so nice to have Joe’s sister Ruth this close again. They moved from Oklahoma to a place 11 miles from our house. It is close enough to reach with a horse and buggy. Ruth’s husband Chris hasn’t been doing so great health-wise. They are in the process of building a house which can take a lot of time.

Daughter Elizabeth and the Norwex Consultant Corinna were surprised to see that they knew each other. Both have married and changed their last names since they last saw each other years ago while in their teenage years.

Nephew John was working, so we didn’t get to see him, unfortunately. John entertained our older children a lot when they were growing up by giving swing rides or pulling the little wagon, giving them ride after ride.

On Good Friday, our family came home for an Easter dinner. It is a time of renewal and rebirth of the spirit when hope is brought to life through the resurrection of the Lord.

It was a chilly day, but the children bundled up in their coats to go collect the hidden eggs. They were excited to find the eggs. This year I put little toys in the eggs instead of candy, and they enjoyed that even more. And it’s a healthier option. We played some games, and it was just a nice day being with family. Our community has “Fast and Prayer Day” on Good Friday until lunchtime. How thankful we can be that our Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. I hope every one of you had a blessed Easter holiday. May the blessings of the Lord guide you, protect you, and be with you always!

I need to bake raspberry pies to take to our Amish community’s fundraiser for a few of the local fire departments. Smoked pork chops and grilled chicken will also be on the menu for the meal served Friday at our local community building.

Last night daughter Verena and her friend Laura and son Kevin and his friend Daniel traveled with horses and buggies to the community youth center for an appreciation supper for the youth and to listen to the guidelines of the youth gatherings on Saturday evenings. Verena and Laura used our horse Midnight as Susan’s horse Lightning is older and couldn’t go that far.

After they came back, we played games and visited before they headed back home.

I was glad to meet all the readers that attended the Nappanee library book signing. Thank you for all the encouragement. And thanks to daughters Verena and Lovina and son Kevin for going with me and helping out. God’s blessings!

 

Raspberry Pie
1 9-inch double pie crust
4 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon whole milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix raspberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt until raspberries are well covered. Pour into a 9-inch pie shell, dot with butter, add top crust, and crimp edge. If not using a slotted crust, make slits in the crust and brush with cream. Bake for 15 minutes to set the crust, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about 25 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.