All posts by Lovinas Amish Kitchen

Daughter Lovina Fills In as Lovina Prepares to Leave for a Funeral

It’s Monday morning and I do not have much time to write, so daughter Lovina will finish this column.

It is with great sadness that I share the news of my Aunt Lovina’s death. She had recently moved from Ohio to Kentucky to live with her daughter and family. She lost her second husband Abe two years ago and had gone back to Ohio, as they were selling his belongings. As she was walking toward the building she fell over, and life had fled. I will share more next week. I was named after Aunt Lovina and have many memories of her to treasure. Until next week… God’s blessings!


Dear Readers,

This is daughter Lovina, 18. I’m going to finish the column for Mom since she’s washing laundry and she’ll be busy packing tonight.

It’s really snowy outside. A couple days ago it was really warm and the snow had melted away, and then yesterday we were back to cold and snowy. We’ve been having that pattern all month. I wonder what season it will be tomorrow.

I built a snowman. All I’m missing now is the top, middle, and bottom, but I have a carrot for a nose and the sticks for arms. My favorite activity to do in the winter is go back inside and stay there.

The other night some of us played a game called Password. Dustin and Loretta had come over for supper, so they were here, too. Those playing were Dustin, Loretta, Mom, Kevin, Joseph, Grace (Joseph’s special friend), Daniel (my special friend), and me.

Dustin sat at the corner of the table with the rule book, ready to argue with anyone who tried to make their own rules or cheat. It was all our first or second time playing the game, so nobody was really sure what all the rules were, and everyone tried to work things out to their favor.

It’s about noon and I’m finished with all the daily work. Sister Loretta and eight-month-old Denzel are over here this morning. Denzel is running circles around the table in his walker. The other day I was trying to sweep the floors and he kept running through my dirt pile, so I tied one end of a jump rope to his walker and the other end to the table leg to keep him in one spot until I was finished.

He likes to park his walker right behind me when I wash dishes, and when I take a step back, I almost sit on him. Sometimes we’ll be walking and he’ll come zooming out of nowhere in his walker, either running into us or making us almost run into him. He’s like a deer.

I like to help out—that’s why every time Denzel has a diaper mess, I volunteer to leave the room.

Daniel is training his driving horse Buddy to ride so I can ride him. Daniel’s other horse, Lightning, died unexpectedly a few weeks ago. The vet came out, but the word he said caused it is too big for me to remember. We were upset about it, because she was a good horse and we were really liking her. At least we still have Buddy. If all else fails, Daniel can pull the buggy. (Just joking!)

Daniel has been teaching me how to grill meat, and it’s a lot of fun. Usually I just watch, but now I hold a pair of tongs and poke at the meat to try and act like I know what I’m doing.

Not that long ago, I cut out and sewed my first dress on my own. I still have a lot to learn. I want to learn how to sew a pants and shirt too yet, but the dress is a start.

I think I’m going out to the pole barn now and clean up some messes that I didn’t make, since my brothers are allergic to cleaning up after themselves. (Just joking again!)

Joseph went with Grace and her family to my great Aunt Lovina’s viewing. The Amish usually have two days of viewing/visitation and then the funeral on the third day. Dad and Mom will be leaving tomorrow morning for the viewing, then will stay for the funeral Wednesday. Some of you probably already know that Dustin, Daniel, and Grace are all siblings.

Brother Ben, Dad, and Dustin are all at work right now. Kevin is in the basement helping Mom with the laundry. Loretta is giving Denzel a ride with her mobility scooter and that makes him go to sleep, and I’m wrapping up this column. Thank you all for reading! I hope everyone is doing great.

God bless!


Lemon Bars

3 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter

6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup lemon juice

Crust: Combine ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filling: Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, flour, and lemon juice and mix together. Pour onto baked crust. Bake another 20 minutes. Cool and dust with powdered sugar. Makes 24 bars.


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 Stories from Living on Her Own

Hello readers! This is Lovina’s daughter Verena writing. It is currently 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1.

I am two months in on living by myself. So far, everything is going pretty good for me, and I do not mind being on my own. I go home a lot, and I also visit my sisters a lot. I always have something to do because I do a lot of babysitting. I sure enjoy doing that!

One day last month, my sister Elizabeth and my mom came to help me get my house set up. It is a lot emptier than how Susan had it when she lived here. I like it a little roomier so I have more space for my mobility scooter. I did not realize how much stuff I had until I started going through everything. I still have a few totes full of stuff that I have to go through.

Last Wednesday, my brother Kevin cane to stay overnight. I sure enjoyed his company! We are both a little scared of stink bugs, so we sure had an adventure trying to kill one. I have two little balls in my house that the children always play with when they come over—Kevin had one and I had the other, and we were throwing them at the stink bug until I finally hit it. Our second mission was to find them, because they had a way of disappearing after they dropped. Kevin ended up staying overnight again on Thursday night.

On Friday morning, sister Susan dropped off Jennifer and Isaiah with me. She and Ervin, along with their two boys Ryan and Curtis, went to Ervin’s dad and mom overnight, and they only had room for two children to go with them. Kaitlyn came to may place after school.

Kevin left on Friday night, so it was just me and the three kids. I made a little tea party for them—I had done this one night for Abigail and Jennifer when they had been overnight. It seems like they always have a lot of fun with it. They seem to eat a lot more that way, as well.

I always find their conversation so funny! One night when I had a few of the children, they were all sitting on top of the vent with water. I told them not to dump any of their water down there because it could start a fire. It couldn’t have, but I just wanted to prevent them from dumping water down there. T.J. accidentally dumped a little bit of his down there and it made a sizzling noise because it hit the stove. Jennifer jumped up so fast and ran away from it as fast as she could and was saying, “I can hear the smoke!” Then Abigail told her, “Jenny, you can’t actually hear the smoke but you can smell it.” Ha, it was cute!

Kaitlyn and Jennifer were telling Abigail that tea is the same thing as coffee, and Abigail said no, tea and coffee are different. So Abigail wanted to find out who was right, so she came to ask me, and I told her that they are two different things. Abigail was very glad to let them know that she was right. Haha!

Last night, Tim and Elizabeth brought supper into my place. Ervin and Susan ended up coming, as well. Elizabeth made chili soup and garlic cheese bread. Susan made a dessert. I had not made anything other than set out a few chips. Then I had ice cream afterwards. It was enjoyable!

The children all picked up my toys before they left last night. As soon as Allison saw they were picking up the toys, she told me that she didn’t feel good. I kind of knew that trick, because I remember playing that a few times when I was younger. Haha!

You all take care, and God bless!

Old-Time Popcorn Balls
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 quarts popped corn

Butter sides of saucepan. In it, combine sugar, water, salt, syrup, and vinegar. Cook to hard ball stage (250 degrees). Stir in vanilla. Slowly pour over popped corn in a large bowl, stirring just to mix well. Butter hands lightly; shape balls. Lay on a flat surface to cool. Makes 15 to 20 balls.


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 Keeps Busy with Deer Jerky and Snack Sticks

It is a nice sunny day on this first day of March. We had a mild February, and now I wonder if March will make up for it with snow. The temperature is mid 40s already before noon.

I am having a hard time sitting down to write this column with too much work waiting on me. We worked until 9:30 p.m. last night mixing several batches of deer jerky and snack sticks. The snack sticks took so long to stuff in the casings. And of course something goes wrong when you want to hurry—the stuffer quit working, and our other stuffer doesn’t have the tube size for snack sticks, so we ended up using brat-sized casings for the rest of the snack sticks. We mixed 25 pounds of snack sticks that are ready for the smoker now. We still have 44 pounds of jerky to put in the 10-tray dehydrator, so it will take time and a few days to do it all. Fourteen pounds of that jerky is for Dustin and Loretta. That should wrap up the venison for this winter. We are waiting to butcher a beef until we get a colder week to chill it. What a relief it will be when it’s all done and in the freezers. And what a blessing to be able to do all that for another year ahead.

We washed all the dishes up and the slicer, stuffer, and grinder, which all takes time. After getting done late and getting to bed later, I was ready for a nap after the boys and Joe left for work.

Then I made a dessert to take to the viewing visitation of Chris, an older man in our church district. Chris and his wife Katie were in Pinecraft, Florida, for a while this winter already. Chris had a stroke while they were in Florida and then later died there.

Our church members will all take supper in tonight and then sing for the family as people walk through the viewing/visitation. It makes it so nice to have the support of the church, family, and friends when you lose a loved one.

I am writing while holding grandson Denzel. He will be eight months old next week. He sure brings a lot of sunshine to our days. He is amazed at my moving pen, but I’m sure my editors will see the consequences of my messy writing.

This is now even later and Denzel is sleeping. He wasn’t quiet just watching the pen—he decided he should move the pen with his hand.

Before we leave tonight, I need to go to town to pick up Loretta’s prescription. She still needs a blood thinner shot every day, and she is out of them. Dustin is working 45 minutes away at a construction job and won’t be home in time to go get the prescription before they leave to go to the viewing tonight.

Son-in-law Ervin is finally getting relief after going to the doctor for his cough he’s had a while. He has bronchitis, so the doctor prescribed antibiotics and an inhaler, and it seems to be helping.

Sister Verena is staying at sister Emma’s this week. She also is battling a cough. Emma is a good nurse and sounds like she (Verena) is getting a lot better. I will sign off on this as I have so much on my agenda for today. Unfortunately, my work doesn’t run away. Haha!

I will share a recipe for Butterscotch Pie. Brother Amos always loved Butterscotch Pie. Rest in peace, dear brother.

God’s blessings to all!

Butterscotch Pie
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 pint water
1/4 teaspoon soda
3 pints milk
6 tablespoons cook-type clear jel (slightly heaping)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pre-baked 9-inch pie crusts

Brown the butter and sugar together in a saucepan. Then add the pint of water and cook until all sugar lumps are dissolved. Add soda and then 2 1/2 pints milk. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture and mix with clear jel. Bring remaining mixture to a boil and then add clear jel mixture along with the rest of the milk. Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla. Pour into pie crusts and let cool. Makes three 9-inch 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.  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 Recalls Fond Childhood Memories

We have had mild winter weather so far this month. This morning it is raining, and the mercury in the thermometer is down to 30 degrees. It’s cold enough to turn to ice. Hopefully, everyone will have safe travels if it does freeze.

My husband Joe and sons Benjamin and Joseph have left for work. I want to get this column written before I leave this forenoon, so I decided to do it right away. The coffee is brewing and should be ready soon. It sounds windy outside. Some schools are closing today due to the roads becoming dangerous later.

Recently, granddaughter Abigail, six, was asking her mother (daughter Elizabeth) if she knew any of the parents of the children in her class. Elizabeth told her she knew Mariana’s Daddy Ritchie because he was her bus driver when she went to school. Abigail said, “What? He lived that long?”

We had a good laugh about that. Richie drove the bus for all our eight children during their school years. Now his daughter Mariana is one of Abigail’s good friends in school.

Friday, we had a delicious supper at Elizabeth and Tim’s house. Andrea enjoyed the attention when we sang happy birthday to her. On the menu were cheesy ranch potatoes, meatballs, lettuce salad, homemade bread, butter, jam, pickles, hot peppers, chips, cherry pie, cupcakes, and ice cream. After supper, we played games. It was an enjoyable evening with family. We have so many blessings! Do I thank God enough?

These cherry pies were part of the birthday celebration for granddaughter Abigail. Photo provided.

Sunday, we attended church. It was hosted by a family who lives one and a half miles from here. It was a nice day but chilly in the morning. Benjamin, Joseph, and Grace (Joseph’s special friend) decided to walk to church. It was 50 degrees by midafternoon. It gave us all spring fever. We spent the rest of the day at home. Daughter Verena told us to come to her house for supper, but it was just good to stay home and relax in our recliners.

Monday morning, I was in slow mode and was taking my time gathering the laundry to wash. A minivan drove in around 10:30, and it was Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty from Geneva, Indiana. I decided to visit and wait to do laundry until after they left. I set out some snacks and coffee, and we had a good visit with them. Daughter Loretta and seven-month-old Denzel were here for the day too. Uncle Joe will be 81 on February 25, so we wish him a happy birthday. My dad is an older brother to Joe and would have been 92 on February 17. Dad passed away 23 years ago at age 69. He was a good father, and I will always treasure the memories I have of him.

Albert Jr., the oldest of my dad’s siblings, had his 93rd birthday in January. My dad had 12 siblings, and he was the second oldest. There were ten boys and three girls. Uncle Bill (William) is 84; Uncle Menno, 83; Uncle Bobby (Robert), 82; Uncle Melvin, 77; and the youngest of the siblings is Amos, 75. Six of the siblings have passed away. My uncles are all full of fun, and the Coblentz reunions are never dull. May they all have great health in the future ahead.

My favorite memory is when the Coblentzes decided to have a full-out water battle. It wouldn’t stop until every member that didn’t find safety somewhere was wet. One time at our house, my dad climbed up the windmill steps and jumped on the roof of the buggy shed with a five-gallon bucket of water for protection. Anyone daring to come up after him would get the bucket of water on them. What kept everyone away even more was the idea that he dipped the water from the livestock water tank. We had a lot of fun back then when the Coblentz family gathered. Precious memories—how they linger! God’s blessings to all!

Chicken Alfredo Bake
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 16-ounce jar alfredo sauce
1 10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 4-ounce can mushroom pieces
1 pound Velveeta, cubed

Cook and drain the spaghetti, then add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Bake in a greased casserole dish at 350 degrees for 45 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.

Lovina Explains the Process for Butchering Pigs

Today is granddaughter Andrea’s (Tim and Elizabeth’s) first birthday. Friday evening, we will go to Tim and Elizabeth’s for supper in honor of her birthday. She has the biggest eyes and the sweetest smile.

Tim came tonight to pick up their lard press which we used last Saturday when we butchered pigs. He brought along grandson T.J., four, and granddaughter Allison, three, but both had fallen asleep on the way over. Grandma didn’t get to enjoy them, but I put a baggie of candy in their hands, so they would know they were here when they woke up.

Saturday, we butchered two pigs. One was for us, and one was for Dustin and Loretta.

It’s a long day, but always enjoyable to all be together working.

First, the pigs are dressed, and then the big black kettles are set up to start heating water to cook the meat off the bones. The hams, tenderloins, bacon, and ribs are cut out, and the rest is cut out for sausage. The fat from the pigs gets cut into one-inch cubes for rendering. The liver, brains, heart, tongue, and other parts are all saved from the pigs. Most of our children love the brains fried in butter after being rolled in flour. I have never tasted the brains or tongue. Mom would make pickled tongues, but I am different, I guess. My children say, “Mom, how do you know if you don’t like something if you never tasted it?” Anyways the brains aren’t that much in quantity and usually have to be portioned, so they all get a taste. Daughter Lovina said that she thinks the brains taste better than any meat she’s ever had. She most certainly doesn’t take after her namesake (me) on that subject. Haha!

The lard gets rendered in one kettle, and the bones are cooked in the other. Then, when the meat comes off the bones, it is brought inside, where the meat is picked off the bones. It is then put through the grinder. We would make liver pudding with most of this meat years ago. Since we don’t have many in the family that like liver pudding, we always put this meat in the pon hoss. It makes the pon hoss taste even better.

Together, Lovina and her family made 23 gallons of broth into pon hoss. Photo provided.

The broth from the bones is strained, measured, and put back in the kettle; then, the meat and seasonings are added. We usually put in two tablespoons of salt and one tablespoon of black pepper for each gallon of juice. Next, the flour is sifted in the broth, which should be boiling hard. Someone needs to be constantly stirring. The men usually take turns. We add around four cups of flour per gallon of broth. So this year, we made 23 gallons of broth into pon hoss, which would take around 92 cups of flour. I was a little short in flour, and the pon hoss was a little harder to fry, but we actually like it almost better this way. When the pon hoss no longer sticks to a metal dipper, then it’s ready to come off the fire. It is then poured into pans. I use 9 x 13 foil pans, and each pan holds around a gallon of pon hoss.

Once the pon hoss is cooled, it can be sliced and fried on each side until crisp. I like mine very crisp, but some in the family want it softer. It is kind of like frying bacon: Some like it crispier than others.

The sausage is ground, packaged, and put in the freezer. We canned a few quarts for Dustin and Loretta. I still had plenty canned.

The “fischlie” (a Swiss word), the backstrap, is a small tenderloin that is just under the spine at the rear end of the body cavity. For as long as I can remember, this was the meat fried on butchering day.

So along with that, on the menu we had mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cheese, grape tomatoes, ice cream, and a variety of bars and applesauce.

After everything was done, all the big dishes, grinders, and slicers were cleaned.

Joe sliced all the hams, pork chops, and ribs, and those were bagged and put in the freezer. The shoulders are put in the freezer whole. Joe will cut those into pork steak with the meat saw. He likes them frozen to cut. The bacon is soaked in a brine that Dustin made. It will soak for a week and then be sliced too.

Another year of pork meat in the freezer. We still need to butcher beef yet this winter. Are we thankful enough to have plenty to eat and preserve? God is good! God’s blessings to all!

Breakfast Quiche
1 pound precooked ham, sausage, or bacon or a combination of meats
8 ounces grated cheese
8 eggs
3/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt

In a greased 9 x 13-inch pan, make a layer of meat and top with cheese. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pour over the meat and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or till set in the middle.


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.

A Day in the Life with Lovina and Her Family

Diary of February 7th

4:00 a.m. The alarm rings, and it’s time to start another day.

Dustin, Loretta, and Denzel, seven months, come over. Loretta and Denzel lay on the recliner to take a nap since it’s still so early. Dustin leaves for work. Loretta has another appointment with the doctor tomorrow. They want to see if the clots are still dissolving with the blood thinner. She says the pain is gone, and it’s feeling much better. We’re so thankful to get good results.

4:15 a.m. I make breakfast for my husband Joe, pack his lunch, and fill his water jug with ice and water. Joe goes down to the basement to refuel our coal stove. Our coal stove in the basement has a jacket around it. It heats all three floors of our house. We have a big vent on top of the stove in the floor that brings the heat up, and our open staircase is right close by, so that sends heat up to the bedrooms up there. We have cold air return vents along the sides of the floor to help circulate the air. In the 15 years we have lived in this new house, it has worked great. On really cold or windy days, we have propane lights to light, which also throws a lot of heat.

Son Joseph, 20, goes out to the pole barn to refuel that stove. We have heat in there to keep the solar batteries from getting too cold, and it’s also where our phone is. We have a bathroom and kitchen sink, and cabinets out there, so it helps keep the water lines from freezing.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work at the Metal Shop. I make Joseph’s breakfast and pack his lunch and water jug. Son Benjamin, 23, goes out to do the chores in the barn.

5 a.m. Joseph leaves for his construction job. They build mostly pole barns. Benjamin doesn’t want breakfast and doesn’t take his lunch to work.

5:25 a.m. Benjamin leaves, and I sit on my recliner with a cup of coffee. Loretta and Denzel are sound asleep. I always feel like I need a little rest after the morning rush.

8 a.m. Daughter Verena has been here for several days, and I’m always glad she’s here. Everyone is awake, and of course, Denzel needs our attention. We have a lot of fun with him.

I work on answering reader mail. I have been behind since the middle of December. The girls wash dishes and clean up the house.

11:30 a.m. Daughter Susan brings her three boys here Isaiah, four; Ryan, three; and Curtis, three. Today is Ervin’s first day back to work at the factory since the six-week layoff. Verena goes with Susan to take Jennifer, five, to the doctor. Kaitlyn is in school.

No one is hungry for breakfast, so we make lunch for the boys and us. Denzel is so happy to have the attention of his little cousins.

Noon. Egg Dutch, bacon, cheese, and toast are on the menu. Curtis loves the Egg Dutch and wants seconds. He says, “Grandma, it’s really good.” Ryan stands beside him, nodding his head “yes” that he thinks so too. So precious!

We spend the afternoon entertaining the boys. We put puzzles together and read books. They enjoy that.

3:15 p.m. Joe comes home, and the boys have fun with Grandpa. Then Benjamin comes home, and there’s no more quietness. He plays tag with them, chasing them around the house. They enjoy it, though.

Dustin is also back from work, and he, Loretta, and Denzel leave for home.

4 p.m. Susan and Verena are back to get the boys.

4:30 p.m. Joseph is home from work. He showers and leaves because he’s taking his special friend Grace out to eat for her birthday. Her birthday was February 6. Last Friday, our family gathered here in honor of her birthday. Joseph got her a decorated cake. We had baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered beets, cheese, peppers, and cake, ice cream, and jello for dessert.

Daughter Lovina and I fold the laundry from yesterday that was drying in the basement.

Benjamin does chores, and Joe refuels the stoves.

6:30 p.m. Lovina makes supper. It’s grilled cheese sandwiches, sausage patties, and eggs.

9 p.m. Joseph is back from town. It’s time to call it a day. Good night and God’s blessings to all!

I will share the recipe for Egg Dutch. This has always been a favorite for us. I remember my mother making it often.

Egg Dutch
5 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1 cup milk

Beat together eggs, salt, pepper, flour, and milk in a medium bowl. Pour into a heated, greased skillet and cover with a tight lid. Cook over medium-low heat until eggs are mostly set. Cut into pieces and flip each one over. Then cover again to finish cooking. Add shredded cheese on top when almost done, if desired. Bacon bits are also good.


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 Mourns the Loss of Loved Ones

Friday, January 31, is a day that brings sad memories to our family. Two years ago, sister Susan died at age 44; five years ago, brother Amos died at age 56. Both were still so young and are still greatly missed.

Joe and I, daughter Verena, daughter Loretta, Dustin, and baby Denzel started out with Heather as our driver on Friday morning. We headed towards Ohio and arrived at the viewing of Aunt Nancy around 2:30 p.m. Denzel was very good at traveling the five-hour trip. Hearing his chatter in the seat behind me made me want to hug him. He doesn’t seem to mind his car seat.

We all stayed the night in the motel nearby. With so many relatives traveling from farther away, the motel rooms filled up fast. We had to try the third motel before finding vacant rooms.

The funeral on Saturday was well attended by church members, her siblings, and many nieces and nephews.

Nancy’s mother (Joe’s grandmother) passed away at 36, leaving behind her husband and 14 children. The oldest was 18, and the youngest was 11 months. He remarried three and a half years later to a single girl in Ohio and had two children with her. He moved his family to Ohio. Nancy was three when her mother died. There are four sisters and five brothers left to mourn.

After the funeral, we headed back home and arrived safe and sound between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Daughter Verena spent the night here. How thankful we were to arrive back home safely. We heard of many accidents with the road conditions. Our hearts ache for the loved ones left to mourn the 22-year-old husband, his one-year-old son, and two young nieces. We do not know them, but we still have them in our thoughts and prayers.

On Sunday, we were just at home resting from our trip. Sunday evening, Ervin and Susan and Dustin and Loretta came for supper. I made a pot of chili and heated some chicken that was in the freezer from Ervin and Susan’s wedding. We also made homemade ice cream. The children liked helping, but the men did most of the cranking on the ice cream freezer.

Verena went home with Ervin and Susan and spent the night at their house so she could stay with their children while they ran some errands on Monday. Kaitlyn, six, and Jennifer, five, were so excited that Aunt Verena was going to sleep with them.

Daughter Loretta spent a night in the ER. She has a blood clot on her right leg. They gave her a different blood thinner. She has to have a shot every day. Dustin is staying home from work to help her. She is still having pain. She has an appointment in a few days. I really hope she will be on the road to recovery soon. The blood clot is in the opposite leg than last time.

I did laundry today and was getting caught up on a lot of little jobs. I wanted to go over to see Loretta but never managed to get that far. Our driveway and sidewalks are still icy, so it’s tedious walking out there.

Tomorrow is Customer Appreciation Day at the Metal Shop where Joe works. He will have to help grill hamburgers for their free lunch for everyone stopping by. Daughters Verena and Lovina and I plan to attend. I want to ask sister Verena if she wants to go with us.

I have had a lot of requests for the Breakfast Casserole I made for our family Christmas brunch. I don’t really have a recipe, but I’ll try to put one together.

God’s blessings!


Breakfast Casserole
1 dozen eggs, scrambled
1 pound bacon, fried and cut into small pieces
1 pound of smokies or precooked smoked sausage, cut into small
1 pound of ham, chopped
6–8 potatoes, peeled, cooked, and shredded, or 2-pound bag frozen shredded potatoes
2 (16-ounce) containers sour cream
1 pound Velveeta, diced into small pieces
seasoning of your choice

Mix all ingredients and put in a greased casserole dish or roaster. Green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives can also be added if desired. Top with 3 quarts of sausage gravy.

Optional: When almost done, put 6–8 biscuits (crumbled) on top and bake for a few more minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated. Baking can take up to an hour, depending on the temperature of the ingredients before placing them in the oven.


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 Family Enjoy Another Christmas Gathering

January 24! First of all, happy birthday wishes to sister Liz, who turns 54 today, and also to daughter Susan, who shares the same birthday. She turns 27 today. It’s unbelievable that our secondborn is that old already. A lot has happened in her young life, but with God’s help she was able to go on and accept his plan for her. It hasn’t been an easy road, but with God’s help it’s so much easier to handle.

My husband Joe also had a birthday on December 22 and he also turned 54. Daughter Lovina and I made lunch for the 50-plus workers who work where Joe does at the Metal Shop. After lunch Joe gave us a tour of where he works and what he does. He works with my brother Albert. Joe has been there two years now. It was interesting to see what he does every day.

Last Saturday our whole family, sister Verena, and sister Emma’s family all gathered at Emma’s house for a delicious brunch. This was a late Christmas gathering. Emma and I take turns hosting it each year since our move to Michigan 19 years ago in March. We were a small group back then but now are a total of 39. The tables were set for 36 in their attached garage and the babies were in high chairs, with the youngest of all, Jazlyn (daughter of niece Emma and Menno), who is 12 weeks old, in her bouncer.

On the menu was fried eggs, potatoes, scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, bacon, sausage patties, cheese, homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, hot peppers, orange juice, apple juice, chocolate milk, coffee, and donuts. Everyone helped bring something for brunch and/or snacks.

After dishes were washed, we played bingo. Emma had a table with nice gifts for the winners.

Then we exchanged gifts. We first made everyone guess to see if they knew who had their name. I didn’t have any idea who had my name. It was son-in-law Dustin. He gave me a board that you can put puzzles together on. It has drawers on the side to put the pieces in. I always wanted one like this, since I like to put puzzles together and so does the family. With more grandchildren, though, the puzzles tend to get messed up or lost. Now I can easily put it away until we want to work on it again.

Everyone enjoyed snacks and pizza before going home. It was an enjoyable day, but our loved ones were missed. This was the first time Emma hosted our Christmas gathering without her dear husband there.

Once again God has called some family members home. On January 11, Joe’s cousin Barbara’s husband Johnny died after losing his battle to cancer. He was 55 and left his wife and family to mourn. We were unable to attend, but our thoughts and prayers were with Barbara. They live in Ohio. Then on January 20, Joe’s uncle Roman from Berne, Indiana, passed away. Joe and I attended the funeral. When we arrived at the funeral, we found out that Joe’s aunt had unexpectedly died out in Berne that morning. Nancy was 72. She had been to the viewing of her brother-in-law Roman (his wife Flossie is her sister) the day before and went to the motel for the night with her brother and wife (Uncle Johnny and Susie). Nancy was never married but lived on the same property as Johnny’s do.

Lord willing, our plans are to attend Nancy’s funeral in Dundee, Ohio, on Saturday. It is almost five hours from here.

Our sympathy goes to Aunt Flossie and her family and to Nancy’s many relatives.

Our children all remember who Nancy was. When she came overnight here one time, she kept them entertained. I remember Joseph was just a young boy, and I had told him he had to fix his bed, as I had washed sheets that day. It was bedtime, and Aunt Nancy was here. She told Joseph she’d help him. He was so glad he didn’t have to fix the sheets himself. The next morning Nancy was out playing basketball with the children. There was never a dull moment when she was around.

May they all rest in peace and may God help their families through this difficult trial in life. We know the feeling well of losing close loved ones. God bless!

I will share the Taco Salad recipe used at the wedding.

Taco Salad
1 pound hamburger
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup chopped onion
1 head lettuce, shredded
1 8-ounce package shredded cheese
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 15–16-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 16-ounce bottle Thousand Island dressing
1/4 cup sugar
1 9.75-ounce bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed

Brown the hamburger with chopped onions and 1/3 of the taco seasoning. Drain the hamburger mixture. In a bowl, mix lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, beans, and hamburger mixture. In a separate bowl, mix the Thousand Island dressing, sugar, and the rest of the taco seasoning. Just before serving, mix the dressing with the lettuce mixture then top with the crushed chips.


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 Family Celebrate a Late Christmas

On January 14 we had our family home for a late Christmas. With the preparations of daughter Susan and Ervin’s wedding, we decided to wait until later. We told everyone to be here around 9:30 a.m. for a brunch.

Our brunch was simple but still good. We had a breakfast casserole made from eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, smoked sausage, sour cream, Velveeta, and onions—all mixed together and baked. Then we also had sausage gravy and biscuits, cinnamon rolls, cookies, milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, apple juice, coffee, and V-8 juice.

Our family total is 25, so the table was set for all of us. We added two six-foot tables to our 10-foot dining room table. Andrea, 11 months, was in a booster seat, and Denzel, six months, was in the highchair.

As the children arrived, they were attracted to the table with their gifts. They would look for the one with their name on it, then hold it and turn it over and try to guess what it was. Seeing their faces light up was so precious. They were almost too excited to eat breakfast.

After dishes were washed, which was very few since we had paper plates and cups, etc., we passed out their gifts. We then played some games where they could win extra small gifts.

Around 1 p.m. we set out the snacks, which was a good variety including fruit and dip, veggies and dip, cheese ball and crackers, popcorn, chips, cheese dip, peanuts, candy, etc. We played games such as Marble Chase and Yahtzee as we snacked. The day went much too fast.

Thanks to some of you readers who sent money so I could do something for our family. I ordered pizza from town to be delivered so everyone was able to eat before heading home. It was one way to treat everyone.

It was another Christmas down in history for the Eicher family. We truly have so much to be thankful for with all the blessings God sends. We have a few sons-in-law who are off from the RV factories for over six weeks. With groceries being so much higher, it doesn’t make it easy to support a family. This is affecting a lot of people. We put our full trust in God and know he will provide a way.

The evening before the family Christmas, Joe and I attended the Christmas dinner at the metal shop owner’s house for a delicious meal. The employees had a cornhole tournament. All employees were given a cornhole game to take home, among other gifts. Joe didn’t have one yet, so that will be nice for him to have his own.

On January 6 (Epiphany or Old Christmas), the neighbors were all invited for a 5 p.m. supper at our neighbors Richard and Erma’s house. They served us a delicious meal of mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans, and poor man’s steak.

After supper we played games in their attached garage—cornhole, Rook, Uno, and canasta. Then snacks were set out for everyone to eat, including homemade ice cream. It was a fun night of fellowship.

On Sunday, January 15, our family gathered at daughter Susan and Ervin’s house in honor of granddaughter Jennifer’s fifth birthday. She was so proud that everyone came and that she could blow out the candle as we sang Happy Birthday to her. She helped daughter Verena decorate her cake.

Granddaughter Allison’s birthday was December 27th while we were at the community building preparing for the wedding. We all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. She later told daughter Elizabeth (her mother) that “they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me and blessed me too.” Such sweet innocence.

Recently, daughter Elizabeth had to take four-year-old Timothy (T.J.) to the doctor for his asthma, and he has an inhaler now. One morning he was breathing heavy and said, “Mom I need my haler cause my breath is heavy.” Ha ha! God bless!

Mocha Pudding
2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (24 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons coffee concentrate
16 ounces whipped topping
1 cup instant pudding (vanilla)
2 cups milk
Chocolate syrup for decorating top

Mix the crushed cookies with the butter and press the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch Tupperware pan. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the vanilla and stir it in. Add the condensed milk a little at a time, mixing each time. Add the chocolate syrup and coffee concentrate and mix again. Add the whipped topping. In another bowl, mix the instant pudding with the milk. Then add the pudding mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the pan, on top of the cookies. Pour chocolate syrup over the top length of pan. Swirl with a knife the other direction.


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 Shares More from Susan and Ervin’s Wedding

A brand new year lies before us—2023. What does it hold in store for us? Do we thank God enough for all the many blessings he sends to us?

This is now 11 days since the wedding of daughter Susan and Ervin. The five children are enjoying living together in one house. It’s like having their friends come to stay all the time. Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan moved in with Ervin and children Kaitlyn, Isaiah, and Curtis. It’s not “his” children or “her” children now…it’s their children. They are a well-blended family already. May God give them many happy years together.

On Saturday we moved some more of Susan’s belonging to their house and moved all of daughter Verena’s belongings to Susan’s house. It tugged at my mother heart, and a few tears were shed, to have another child fully moved out of our house. Life goes on, and we must accept the changes. Verena is brave to attempt living on her own, especially with the extra challenges she has with her muscular dystrophy. We wish her many happy days as she adjusts to yet another different living arrangement. She has a lot of good neighbors, and Ervin and Susan are only a few minutes’ walk away. Ervin has horses in the barn there, so he goes over to do the daily chores.

Ervin and Susan had a very nice wedding. We appreciate all the support they received and everyone that helped in any way. A big thank you to my friend Ruth, who ran after all the last-minute errands and furnished transportation, took photos, etc. She and her friend Dawn made all the centerpieces for the tables. We were glad for their help!

The menu was grilled chicken (350 pounds of boneless thighs), mashed potatoes (16 eight-quart kettles), buttered noodles (20 pounds of noodles), dressing (three batches of the recipe included in column today), corn (60 quarts but had a lot left), taco salad (30 heads of lettuce and 30 pounds of hamburger—we had way too much), mocha pudding, peanut butter pies (25) and pumpkin pies (25-plus), and wedding cake.

Sister Emma and her daughter Elizabeth did a great job being head cooks and lining up jobs for the women that came the days before the wedding.

On Tuesday, Ervin and Susan’s family gathered at the community building to set up tables and benches, unload all the groceries, etc. Everyone brought a dish to eat lunch there. The cook wagon and cooler were set up Monday afternoon.

On Wednesday, over 20 women came to help chop vegetables for the dressings, make mocha pudding, and all the little jobs needed to be done.

On Thursday, another 20-plus women came to help, baking the crusts for the peanut butter pies and baking over 25 pumpkin pies, plus a lot of other jobs that needed to be done. Both days everything was done early.

On Friday, over 40 cooks were there to make the meal. Wedding services were in the other section of the building. Sarah’s father Omer had the opening of the wedding, then Mose’s father William read a chapter from the bible. Our bishop Marlin married the couple. They were married around 11:30 a.m.

After the wedding meal and visiting with the guests, it was time for cleanup. By 5:30 p.m. everything was back in place. Ervin and Susan had rented an enclosed trailer to take everything back and forth. We went to their house and helped unload the trailer and get the food put on the tables in the cold pole barn so they could put it in the freezer the next day.

Ervin and Susan spent a few nights in White Cloud, Michigan, at The Shack. It was a short honeymoon, but they didn’t want to be away from their children longer. Daughter Verena and Sarah’s sister Regina stayed at Ervin and Susan’s house with the five children. They had a nice time together but I’m sure five children six and under kept them busy.

Ervin and Susan want to thank all the readers that sent cards and gifts. May God bless you for your kindness.

I have quite a few readers that have received mail back because they sent it to the old address. Please send all mail to P.O. Box 234, Sturgis, MI 49091.

Dressing for a Wedding
1 cup chicken base
5 quarts chicken broth and pieces
10 loaves bread, cut in small pieces and toasted
2 quarts celery, diced
2 quarts carrots, diced or shredded
1 1/2 quarts onions, diced
4 quarts potatoes, diced
4 quarts milk
4 1/2 dozen eggs
1 cup dried parsley
1/2 cup seasoning salt
1 cup butter, melted (browned optional)

Dissolve chicken base in broth. Then mix broth and all remaining ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until set. One batch makes four roasters.


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.