Category Archives: Breakfast

Celebrating Epiphany with Family and a Haystack Brunch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

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

Haystack Breakfast

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

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


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Wedding preparations continue as September begins

We have entered September. Today is the 1st, so we are only a month away from daughter Loretta and Dustin’s wedding day. Time does not stand still. We had a break in the humidity and heat. Nights are cool which makes for nice sleeping weather. My gardens are emptying out with only tomatoes and peppers left. A sure sign autumn will be here soon.

We will host church services here September 19th Lord willing. That gives us even less time to clean. I have help coming next week from both Joe and my family, so I’m sure lots will get accomplished. I still need to sew two dresses before the wedding.

Saturday around 14 men and boys helped Dustin work on the pole barn. It was a very hot day! I helped Loretta make two roasters of tater tot casserole the night before, so she has an easy lunch for the guys. I made coleslaw from the cabbage I have from the garden. Others brought in the desserts.

I didn’t go over to help with lunch as there was enough there to help Loretta. I took advantage of the time and sewed daughter Verena’s dress, cape, and apron for Loretta’s wedding and my dress, cape, and apron for nephew Michael’s wedding.

The pole barn is ready for concrete. The roof is on, and the windows and doors are framed in.

Tomorrow is son Kevin’s 16th birthday. How can it be possible that it has been 16 years since my last born?

Granddaughter Abigail keeps reminding us that she has the next birthday. She says, “I will be 5 on September 10th, Grandma.” Such a sweet little girl and so full of questions. She has curly blond hair. She is growing up so fast.

Last week daughter Susan was here and then in the afternoon daughter Elizabeth dropped her three children off here while she went to town. It was a hot day, so we let the children play with water outside. Abigail, Jennifer, and T.J. wanted to make lunch in their little dishes. They went out to the garden and pulled what they thought were green bell peppers and broke them in little pieces. Son Joseph told them they can’t go in the garden but said they can keep what they picked, also thinking it was green bell peppers. Well, all at once T.J. started crying and we saw his mouth was red, so we discovered they had picked hot peppers and their skin was burning too from playing in the water with them. Needless to say, we had three little children who were burning from the peppers. We tried everything we could think of to relieve the burning. Finally, we tried baking soda and water paste and that seemed to help a little more. The heat just had to wear off, but the little ones didn’t understand. I don’t think they will ever go get something from my garden without someone telling them what is hot and what isn’t. I felt so bad for them.

Today around 4 p.m. we plan to head out for Kentucky. Daughter Verena called to book motels for us. Loretta isn’t going along because Dustin couldn’t have two days off with the wedding coming up and taking days off for the funerals. Daughter Susan and children will come stay with Loretta.

Tomorrow after the wedding we will head out to Pulaski, Tennessee, to attend niece Saloma’s wedding on Friday. There is lots to do before we leave so I’ll sign off wishing you all God’s richest blessings!


Farm Style Omelet

12 eggs
1 pint milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of pepper

Put all ingredients into a bowl and beat well. Pour into hot, greased skillet. As it fries, lift the bottom with a spatula to let the raw part run underneath. When it’s almost done, cut in wedges and turn over. Fry one minute longer.


1 cup bacon, fried and crumbled (or other meat)
1 cup salsa

Mix bacon and salsa. Spread on omelet and serve. Serves 8.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Freshening Up the House & Upcoming Vacation

We enter August with some much cooler than normal temperatures. We painted sons Joseph’s and Kevin’s bedrooms last week. Our next project is to paint the bedroom daughters Loretta and Lovina share. Loretta has moved a lot of her things over to Dustin’s house, so now with the room emptier, we decided to paint it. It is time-consuming, but the room looks so freshened up after a few coats of paint. As we move everything back in, we give it all a thorough cleaning.

Those here on Sunday for the noon meal were Sister Verena, Sister Liz and Levi and their daughter Suzanne, Sister Emma and Jacob and their sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s special friend) and her son Isaiah, niece Elizabeth and Samuel and their three children, niece Emma and Menno and their two children, niece Susan and Joe and their nine children, Daughter Elizabeth and Jim and their three children, daughter Susan and her two children, daughter Verena, Dustin, Daniel and Grace (special friends to Lovina and Joseph) and also Rosina (a friend of our children).

Sister Liz and Levi and family came out on Saturday to help Sister Verena with mowing, etc. They stayed the night, so I told them all to come here on Sunday.

Saturday visitors here were Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty and brother Albert and Sarah Irene.

We have three wedding invitations on our fridge right now. Nephew Micheal and Laura picked September 2nd for their wedding date. Micheal is a son of Joe’s sister Salome and Morris in Kentucky. September 2nd is also son Kevin’s 16th birthday. Niece Saloma and Jamin picked September 3rd for their wedding. Saloma is a daughter of Joe’s sister Carol and Pete from Tennessee. It will be a challenge for us to be in Kentucky one day for a wedding then the next day in Tennessee for another wedding. It is doable, so we will try our best. I am the cook at Micheal and Laura’s wedding, and son Joseph and Grace were asked to be table waiters (servers). Grace and I both have to wear royal blue, so I need to squeeze in sewing another dress before then. The third invitation is for Mary and Danny. Mary lives in our church district. Dustin and Loretta were asked to be evening servers and dish washers at their wedding. Congratulations to all the young couples. May God bless each of their marriages.

Now to tell you about our upcoming vacation. My husband, Joe, works at a metal shop, and the owner Daniel is taking all the employees, their wives, and children under 16 for a vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We will travel on two big charter buses. If I understood correctly, there will be 106 people going. This includes Joe and me and son Kevin. Brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and their daughter Sylvia are also going, and we get to travel on the same bus. It is a 14-hour trip to North Carolina. We leave Wednesday morning at 2:45 p.m. to meet up with the bus at the metal shop. Joe signed us up to take a two-hour tour on the Dolphin Cruise. He signed up him and Kevin up a half-day of fishing. There will be lots to do from the way it sounds. We have never been to North Carolina, so it will be exciting to see everything. It is kind of Daniel to take us all on this trip. We will return home late Saturday evening, Lord willing. The part I don’t like is leaving the rest of the family at home, but God is in control.


I am sure I will have plenty to write about next week. Until then, God’s blessings to you all!


Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 mins or until done. You can substitute ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce in place of oil.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

A birthday party “surprise”

Our work night at daughter Susan’s house last week proved to be a success. The majority of our church showed up to help with whatever needed to be done. Some fences were put up, flower beds were made, weeding and trimming were done, and the barn was cleaned. Then the ladies washed walls and windows, and all brought in supper. There were casseroles, salads, desserts, iced tea, coffee, and lemonade. It was a very hot night, so the cold iced tea and lemonade went fast. Susan does well to let everyone come and help her where needed. It is hard for her to think Mose isn’t there to do all that for her. That night a heart-shaped flower bed was built, as Susan had suggested, in honor of Mose. It really does look nice and will even more so when the flowers that were planted start blooming. She wants to get some memorial stones, etc., to put in there in memory of her dear husband.

At a work night at daughter Susan’s house, members of the church built this lovely heart-shaped flower bed in honor of Mose. Photo provided.

On Sunday night Joe’s sister Susan and her three teenage boys, Tommy, Freddie, and Seth, came to visit daughter Susan. We took chicken to grill, daughter Elizabeth and Tim brought potatoes to make mashed potatoes, and daughter Susan made beef and noodles to go with that. Also on the menu was sliced cheese, strawberries, ice cream, and chocolate cake. We don’t often see Susan and her sons, so it was good to visit with her again. If I remember right, her boys are 18, 16, and 14 years old. Time goes by so fast.

On Monday, June 14th, our firstborn Elizabeth had her 27th birthday. Again, it doesn’t seem possible that 27 years went by since we started parenting. It takes a lot of help from our heavenly Father to raise a family. He blessed us with eight wonderful children.

Son-in-law Tim wanted to surprise Elizabeth for her birthday, so he told us all to be there by 5:30 p.m. on her birthday. Elizabeth and the children went for a wagon ride with Tim to help take down the church tent. Tim is on the committee to put and take down the tent if someone needs it for church services. The rest of us—Joe and I, Benjamin, Joseph, Lovina, Kevin, my sister Verena, Daniel (Lovina’s special friend), Grace (Joseph’s special friend), and daughters Verena and Susan and her children—all gathered at Tim’s, waiting for them to come home. Dustin (Loretta’s special friend) and Loretta were going to come later, as Dustin was flipping our hay and his with the hay tedder before he came.

Tim had to go past our house, and as he went on by Elizabeth said she would like to stop in and say hi, which was normal. I imagine Tim was like, “Oh no!” So he turned around and Loretta was the only one home. Elizabeth of course wondered where everyone was, and Loretta had to do some fast thinking and make excuses for where we all went. Elizabeth knew we didn’t often leave on a Monday night, so on her way home she started thinking.

We all said “surprise!” when she walked in the door. She said their house dogs always bark when they come home, and we didn’t know that and were trying to keep them from barking. It was fun anyway, and we had a good supper of pizza, hot wings, cherry tomatoes, dill pickles, and ice cream cake. Dustin and Loretta came before we started eating but didn’t make it before the “surprise” that didn’t really work out the best. Elizabeth had a nice birthday anyways.

Sister Emma’s husband Jacob is still in the hospital. He has been moved out of ICU. Yesterday he had exploratory surgery to check for blockages, etc. His sodium level had been dangerously low and is now almost up to normal. Our prayers are that he will have a complete recovery.

Emma gets someone to take her to the hospital every day, and it’s an hour away. Expenses are high with Jacob not working. The three boys are at home alone for supper every night, so I passed out dates of three nights a week to the church ladies to take in supper. Everyone has one night scheduled to drop off supper on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Hopefully that will help out, so they have a decent meal. Please keep Jacob in your prayers. God bless you!

Peach French Toast

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons water
1 29-ounce can peaches, drained
12 slices French bread (3/4 to 1 inch thick)
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix brown sugar, butter, and water together; bring to boil for 10 minutes. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Layer peaches over syrup, then layer French bread on top. Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla well; pour over bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Refrigerate overnight. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Warm days for tilling and planting

Today was our first day of 80-degree weather this year and we enjoyed the great outdoors. Daughters Susan and Verena and grandchildren Jennifer and Ryan came last night and are staying again tonight. Susan and I worked on getting everything organized for the garage sale we are having here Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Susan has a lot of baby stuff she’s getting rid of. She has so many nice items that have only been used a little. She is also selling the RV Mose bought for them to live in while they remodeled the house. When we were cleaning it, Jennifer came in there and said, “This is my bed.” Then she pointed to the bed and said, “This is where my daddy slept and Mommy on that side.” Life brings so many changes.

I bought little Ryan a small black hat and what fun he has walking around outside with it. He takes really big steps to make it look like he’s older or something. When Joe comes home from work he puts his hat beside Grandpa Joe’s. Joe was tilling the garden and Ryan was right behind him.

Last night Joe and son Joseph planted 10 pounds of red potatoes and 400 Candy sweet onions. I have more seeds to put out yet but it’s calling for rain so we will see.

We also want to plant the tree my good friend Ruth gave in memory of our dear son-in-law Mose. It’s a Cleveland Pear and we will plant it beside the other Cleveland Pear that we call our “Marilyn” tree. Ruth also gave us that one 11 years ago in memory of sister Emma and Jacob’s 8 1/2-month-old, Marilyn, who passed away. Ruth also gave daughter Susan a tree, so we want to help her get her tree planted. This is so thoughtful of Ruth and is very much appreciated.

Cousin Amos had the viewing and funeral in Bryant, Indiana, for his wife Rose Marie. Amos lives 8 hours from us in Wisconsin, so with the viewing located in Indian instead, only a little over 2 hours from us, we were able to attend. Our sympathy goes to the family.

Sister Verena, sister Emma and Jacob, and Joe and I left Sunday afternoon and attended the viewing of a good friend Alvin and then went on to Rose Marie’s viewing. Alvin will be greatly missed in their community. Our sympathy goes to his family as well.

We saw a lot of family while at the viewings. On our way home we stopped at sister Liz and Levi’s for a short visit.

We saw sister-in-law Nancy and some of her children at the viewing. Also Brother Albert, Sarah Irene and some of their children and quite a few cousins. We didn’t get to see sister Leah and Paul, but it was getting late and we had to start for home. We were thankful we had safe traveling and made it back okay.

Dustin (Loretta’s special friend) took his mower down to sister Verena’s house to mow her grass. Daughters Verena, Loretta, and Lovina went there too so they can visit with Verena. Lovina will stay the night with Verena and go to work from there. Verena was so glad her yard was getting mowed. Joe wants to till her garden so we can plant a few things for her to use. Sister Susan took care of their yard and garden. She is still so greatly missed. God has been a great help and comfort through our recent trials. God bless!

Lovina doubled the recipe for the oven baked omelet featured in this week’s column. Photo provided.

Oven Baked Omelet

8 eggs
1/2 cup milk or half and half cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs and cream together. Add cheese, ham, onion, and green pepper. Pour into a greased 9×9 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4-6. Substitutions or additional meat and vegetables such as sausage, tomatoes, or mushrooms may be used if desired.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Eicher family continues to pray for healing

It is now 25 days since sister Susan has been in the hospital. She seems to be losing out fast. She is back on the ventilator and had another surgery due to more bleeding. This time it was what the doctors thought could be an aneurysm in her lungs. All the bleeding has taken a toll on her body. Her organs are slowly losing out. There is so little doctors can do when she is even too weak for any transplants. Like one of the doctors said, “Pray for us so we know what to do next.”

Tomorrow her doctors want to have a family meeting with Susan’s six siblings. We already know it won’t be good news, so we turn to God. He is our greatest power and comfort right now.

Sister Verena and daughter Verena came home for a few days from staying with my Aunt Caroline, Cousin David, and his wife Karen. They appreciated the hospitality and help they received. Monday both Verenas headed back to Indianapolis and are staying in a motel not too far from the hospital. They get a taxi to and from the hospital—this gets expensive but trips to and from Michigan add up faster. Aunt Caroline, 88, needs David there to help her, so this will work better, and it will mean David doesn’t have an hour to drive every day. Daughter Verena enjoyed helping care for Aunt Caroline and putting puzzles together on days when Cousin David took sister Verena to be with Susan.

I want to make a correction. Uncle Jr. turned 91 this month (not 90). My dad would have turned 90 next month if he were still here. Our prayers are with Uncle Jr. and family as they grieve the loss of Aunt Shirley. A private family service was held for Shirley last week.

Sunday, January 24, was daughter Susan’s 25th birthday and also sister Liz’s 52nd birthday. Our family gathered here for a birthday supper in honor of daughter Susan. It wasn’t a happy birthday, but Susan puts up a brave front when she’s around others. It’s not so good when nighttime comes and her dear husband Mose is not there. May God continue to be her comfort as we take one day at a time.

We started a 1,000-piece puzzle recently. On Sunday night, daughter Susan and sister Verena worked on it after supper. Both are hurting in different ways. Sister Susan’s dog Daisy died since Susan has been in the hospital. Then yesterday morning Mose and Susan’s only horse died. This was the horse daughter Susan drove all the time. We will give her our horse, Mighty. Mighty was trained by my brother Amos, and we bought him from Amos. Susan needs a safe horse to drive with her two little ones. January 31 will be three years since brother Amos died. We miss him!

Another community in Michigan suffered a recent tragedy, as a family’s horse spooked that never spooked before as they passed their neighbor, who was going very slowly in his truck, pulling a trailer with a skid loader on it. The lady, Barbara, 39, who was killed was a cousin to daughter Elizabeth’s pen pal. Barbara leaves behind to mourn her husband and 6 children ages 3 months to 7 years old. The family had just left home and weren’t very far, and having a safe horse they never thought of it spooking and flipping the buggy, somehow throwing the family in all directions. They think the mother hit her head on the skid loader bucket, causing a head injury. She died not too long after arriving at the hospital. Other than minor bumps and bruises, the rest of the family is okay. Another hurting family with nothing left to do but turn to God in their sorrow. The tragedy wasn’t anyone’s fault, and I’m sure they passed this neighbor often and all went well. God is in control and makes no mistakes, but it leaves us with many questions.

Our family again wants to thank all the readers for your support. We feel so grateful that we have so much love shown to us. Right now we try to take one day at a time and let God in control. Pray for us! God’s blessings!

Crustless Spinach Quiche

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1 cup eggs (3-6)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cheddar cheese
3 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped and blanched
1 small onion, diced
5 fresh mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 10-inch quiche pan with cooking spray. Beat cream cheese. Add milk, eggs, and pepper, beating until smooth. Stir in cheddar cheese, spinach, broccoli, onion, and mushrooms and pour into the quiche pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Eicher family celebrates Jennifer’s third birthday

Supper is being made on the grill, which gives me time to write this column. It’s just daughter Loretta and the boys home again, so our table seems empty. Daughter Lovina is at daughter Susan’s house this week.

Daughter Verena and sister Verena headed out for Indianapolis, IN, this morning. Yesterday the doctors said only one visitor a day is allowed now for sister Susan at the hospital.

Cousin David and his wife Karen and Aunt Caroline graciously offered their home for Verena and Verena to stay in. During the day cousin David will drive sister Verena to the hospital to visit sister Susan. Daughter Verena will stay with Aunt Caroline, who needs someone to help her out. They live in Lafayette, IN, an hour away from the hospital.

This morning we received the sad news that Aunt Shirley from Lafeyette, IN, passed away. Our sympathy goes to Uncle (Albert) Jr. and his family. Uncle Jr. is 90 or almost 90 and is the oldest of my dad’s 12 siblings. My dad was the second oldest of the 13 children. Uncle Andy was the third child in the family (Aunt Caroline’s husband), and he passed away a few years ago.

Our beef is cut up, bagged, and either in the freezer or canned and in the basement. We made and bagged over 300 hamburger patties. We sliced and froze steaks. And, of course, we are enjoying making what we call Rare Beef. We slice the tenderest part of the steak really thin, put salt and pepper on it, and deep fat fry it very quickly on each side. If your oil (we use olive oil) is hot enough it should be done all the way through and be very tender to eat.

Friday, January 15th, our family took supper in for granddaughter Jennifer’s third birthday. A good friend of theirs brought an ice cream cake for her, and daughter Elizabeth brought cupcakes. I made a pasta casserole and took a salad and ice cream. With everything that was brought in we had more than plenty. We all tried to brace up and be happy for Jennifer, in spite of the fact that Mose wasn’t there to help her blow out her candles. Jennifer told Susan that morning that she knows Daddy will come home on her birthday and bring her a present. She said if he doesn’t, she is getting a driver (an Amish driver) to go get him. She seems to still think her Daddy is coming home someday.

Saturday sister Liz and Levi and their daughter Suzanne, brother Albert and Sarah and daughter Sylvia came to Michigan for the weekend. They stayed with sister Verena so daughter Verena could come home for the night. It felt good to have Verena home and to just spend the night together catching up.

Sunday morning Joe and I, daughter Verena, sons Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin and a few friends of theirs went to sister Verena’s house and had brunch with all of them. I made two breakfast omelets to add to the menu of biscuits and gravy, potatoes, etc.

Daughters Loretta and Lovina went to church with their special friends Dustin and Daniel. Dustin and Daniel’s brother Clint and his wife Hannah were hosting services at a neighbor’s place.

Sister Susan was off the ventilator earlier this week but still on oxygen. We could talk to her over the phone on Sunday. Her voice is very weak, and she has a long road ahead.

Tuesday night (January 19) at 10:00 p.m., the doctor called sister Verena to let her know that they are putting sister Susan on the ventilator again. Susan’s lungs are not too well, and she has a lot of mucus in her airways. They will be sedating her again since they are putting her on the ventilator again. Please pray for her and for all of us. God’s blessings to all!

Breakfast Omelet Roll

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 eggs
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or your choice), divided
1 pound bacon, fried and chopped
1 cup chopped ham
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

Additional fillings as desired, such as mushrooms, olives, smoked sausage

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut parchment paper to line a 10 x 15-inch jelly-roll pan.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs, then add to cream cheese mixture. Pour mixture into parchment-lined pan and bake 30-35 minutes, or until puffy and golden.

Remove pan from oven and spread mustard and half the shredded cheese onto the omelet. Add the bacon, ham, onion, bell pepper, any additional fillings as desired, and most of the remaining cheese. Roll up in jelly-roll fashion, removing paper as you roll. Garnish with remaining cheese. Cut into slices 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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

A day in the life of Lovina Eicher’s family

 4 a.m. My alarm rings… I get up to make breakfast for son Joseph, eighteen. He helps me fill his water cooler and pack his lunch. His work crew is leaving early because they are building a pole barn close to Lake Erie, which is a two-hour drive away. For breakfast I make scrambled eggs with bacon, green pepper, and onions.

4:30 a.m. Joseph leaves for work. I take a short rest in my recliner until son Benjamin, twenty-one, gets up to leave. He doesn’t want breakfast. The RV factory where he works is off this week because they were not able to order enough parts. It seems that building material is scarce everywhere. Benjamin is going to help Loretta’s special friend, Dustin, with some construction work that they are doing for our friends John and Barb. (Our sympathy goes to Barb and John as they mourn the passing of her father. May God be with them through this trial in life.)

5:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves and my husband Joe gets up to feed the horses and do the chores, which aren’t too many right now. I make him the same breakfast I did for Joseph, along with a pot of coffee.

6:45 a.m. Joe leaves with our horse Midnight and buggy to help at Mose and Susan’s. Mose’s dad will also be there. So far Joe hasn’t been able to find work again. That makes it hard to make ends meet, but the good Lord watches over us, and it means that Joe can help out at Mose and Susan’s house. Mose is still off work due to an accident with a saw at work. The doctor wants to make sure his cut heals well. The saw hit his bone, which makes it harder to heal.

8 a.m. Daughter Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan arrive. She brought her laundry since she doesn’t have her wash lines back up and has no hot water.

9 a.m. I make Egg Dutch—a simple easy breakfast—for the rest of us. I slice some tomatoes to go with it. Jennifer loves tomatoes.

10 a.m. Daughter Lovina, sixteen, leaves to help daughter Elizabeth for the day. Elizabeth also has plans to wash her laundry.

Noon. My clothes lines are all filled. We washed yesterday but I also washed the laundry we had this morning, and a day’s worth of clothes for eight people adds up. The sun is out but it’s chilly. The temperature is in the 50’s and was 41 degrees this morning.

1 p.m. We make an easy lunch of meat and cheese roll ups, using tortilla shells with ranch dressing, deli meat, cheese, and lettuce. Some of us like diced hot peppers with them.

4 p.m. Susan leaves for home. Her laundry is all dry and folded. Ours is folded as well. The temperature never got higher than 60 degrees all day, but the sun stayed out. Leaves are falling—autumn is here! I finish sewing a new white apron for Jennifer and sew Susan a new white cape.

4:30 p.m. Lovina comes home. Benjamin came home earlier, but is across the road helping Dustin with building his patio, which he is trying to get finished.

6:30 p.m. Joseph is finally home—his crew put in extra hours to finish the job.

7 p.m. Benjamin and Kevin finish evening chores. Joe still isn’t home. Susan left a voicemail on our phone to say that he went to pick potatoes in a field near their house. After the farmers pick potatoes from the field, many are left behind, and people ask permission from the farmers to pick them up. Otherwise, they just get tilled under.

Supper is ready, so we don’t wait on Joe. Dustin comes over for supper. We have cooked potatoes, beef chunks, cheese, leftover casserole from last night, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and sour cream.

8 p.m. Joe is home and eats his supper. It’s been a long day.

Last Saturday we helped Tim and Elizabeth with their work. Granddaughter Abigail, four, came home with us for the night. On Sunday we made sweet banana poppers—sweet banana peppers stuffed with cream cheese and shredded cheese, wrapped with bacon, and then grilled. Abigail wanted to help stuff the peppers. Her little fingers looked so cute stuffing them!


Egg Dutch

5 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
ground pepper, as desired
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cheese, shredded (any kind)
bacon bits, cooked (optional)

In a bowl, beat together eggs, salt, pepper, flour, and milk. Pour into a heated, greased skillet and cover with a tight lid. Place over medium-low heat.

When mixture begins to set and bubble, cut into four pie-shaped pieces and turn each piece over to finish cooking. Top with shredded cheese when almost cooked through. Add bacon bits, if desired.


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 now from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Summer rain, Father’s Day, and home renovations

 Recently, we received over an inch of much-needed rain. The grass was turning brown, so the rain will help the grass and the crops in the fields. The irrigation system has been running in the big farmers’ fields. In some places, the water from the irrigation flies over the road. When we use the covered buggy for transportation, we can close the doors and windows to pass through those places, but when we use an open pony buggy and Stormy, our pony, we tend to get wet. The water felt good on those hot days, though. One time I was holding grandson Ryan while he was sleeping, but he opened his eyes when he felt the sprinkles from the irrigation. It is cold water, and I tried to cover him as much as I could.

Along with the rain, we’ve had cooler temperatures and less humidity, which made for a better night’s sleep. I have been having a lot of pain in my shoulder, as am still bothered by a pinched nerve. It is tedious to lay on and makes nighttime a little more restless. I hung out a lot of laundry yesterday, which probably made it worse. I should take more time to ice and heat it to help the healing process, but before I know it, the day goes by and I have put it off. Then it feels worse during the night.

Saturday, my husband Joe and sons assisted son-in-law Mose in gutting out the inside of their house and tearing down some inside walls. Needless to say, there was a lot of dust. A few others were also there helping.

Daughter Susan and I made a casserole and took it over for their lunch. It was a hot day, so the dust mess seemed worse. We set up the food under the shade tree so they could eat away from the dusty house.

Sunday was Father’s Day. Daughter Loretta and her special friend Dustin hosted a supper at Dustin’s house in honor of both their fathers. They invited Dustin’s whole family and Loretta’s family, including both their married siblings and families.

Dustin and Loretta made a campfire stew in the kettle outdoors and grilled chicken. Also on the menu were cottage cheese, dill pickles, Colby and hot pepper cheese, chips, a deer jerky cheeseball and crackers, and chocolate cake. They presented a vanilla ice cream cake with “Happy Father’s Day” on it to their fathers.

They put the food underneath a canopy, and everyone ate outdoors. After supper, outdoor games such as croquet were played.

This was a nice, honorable event for both their fathers, and they did a great job of hosting all of us.

Dustin has been remodeling his house when he gets time. He bought the farm that belonged to our neighbor Irene, across the road from us. I still miss not seeing Irene sitting outside when I’m hanging out laundry or working in the garden. On Sunday evening when I sat under the shade tree where she always sat, memories of her were refreshed. She was a good neighbor to us through all the years we lived across the road. Rest in peace, Irene—you will always be remembered for your kindness!

This week, I will share a recipe for banana bread that a reader from Ohio sent to me. Thank you, Rhoda!

God’s blessings to all!


Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 ripe bananas
2 cups milk
3 cups all-purpose flour

Mix the first six ingredients together. Mash the bananas and beat into the first mixture. Batter will be thin. Alternately add flour and milk. Pour into 3 greased loaf pans.


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
nuts, optional

Mix together topping ingredients. Sprinkle over loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Yield: 3 loaves.

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 now from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Early summer brings garden growth and baby chicks

It is Tuesday evening here in Michigan at the Eicher homestead. All is quiet with only son Kevin and daughter Loretta home with Joe and me. The rest of our children here at home went to a wedding for supper. Daughter Susan and Mose are making living quarters in the finished side of our pole barn. They are over at their home tonight working on their garden, house, etc. We are enjoying having our grandchildren living next door to us for the time being.

This afternoon I went over with Susan to help her pack up the final boxes in their house. The house is empty, now, ready to be remodeled. This will involve a lot of time and labor but will be worth it once they are done with everything.

Sunday evening our family went to daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house in honor of her 26th birthday. Tim grilled chicken, and Elizabeth had cheesy potatoes to go with it. I took a lettuce salad and dessert was an ice cream cake. Tim surprised Elizabeth with the ice cream cake.

We attended church that morning and then came home for a while. Before heading over to Tim and Elizabeth’s for supper, we stopped in to see how brother-in-law Jacob (sister Emma’s husband) was recovering from his recent hospital stay. He had a mishap falling from a ladder and breaking some ribs, and he had to be sent by ambulance to a bigger hospital due to his lungs filling up with blood. He is home now doing as well as can be expected but is still under doctor’s care. Jacob and Emma had their 25th anniversary on Monday, June 15th. We wish them many more happy, healthy years together!

As I write this column my husband Joe is outside preparing supper for us. On the menu is chicken and fries in the deep fryer. I went outside and tasted the marinated chicken breasts, and they are delicious.

Orderly rows of vegetables are springing up in Lovina’s garden as temperatures warm up.

Our gardens seem to be doing okay. Everything is later than usual, but we are enjoying fresh green onions and lettuce from the garden. We had radishes but those are over, and more are coming along. Joe hoed and tilled both gardens early this morning while it was nice and cool. Ten-month-old Ryan spotted Grandpa out there and took off out of the pole barn in his walker. Granddaughter Abigail said she doesn’t want Jennifer to live close to Grandma and Grandpa. She told Jennifer to not play with our toys all the time. Daughter Elizabeth and her three children are planning to come tomorrow for the day. Daughter Susan said she will make breakfast burritos for our breakfast, so that will be nice.

Mose and Susan have some baby chicks in a box in the pole barn. Jennifer and Ryan like to watch them. I remember when our children were younger, and we once had around 50 baby chicks in the house because it was still too cold to put them outside. Daughter Loretta would always sit and watch the chicks. Soon after that our bathroom toilet in the basement clogged up and Loretta confessed that she was holding a baby chick and thought it was so cute that she squeezed it too tight. It stopped moving, so she took it down to the basement and dipped its head in the toilet to try to revive it. When she discovered it was dead, she was too scared to tell us what she did, so she flushed it down the toilet. We had a laugh about that after we found out what she did. So we teased Loretta and told her not to go close to the new baby chicks in the pole barn this time!

I will share the recipe for breakfast burritos with you this week. God bless!


Breakfast Burritos

 2 pounds bacon
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup margarine or butter
15 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
10 slices cheddar cheese
10 (8 1/2-inch) flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fry the bacon until crisp in a large, heavy skillet. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool slightly, then crumble and set aside. Pour all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon grease out of the skillet, then add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion and fry until tender. Drain, then stir in the crumbled bacon.

In a large skillet over low heat, melt the margarine and scramble the eggs. Lay each tortilla in the center of a square of aluminum foil. Place a slice of cheese in the center of each tortilla, then divide the meat mixture equally among the tortillas, followed by the scrambled eggs. Fold the bottom of each tortilla over the filling, then fold in the sides and finish rolling up the tortilla. Wrap the burritos in the foil, then place them on a baking sheet and bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa. Serves 10.


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 now from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.