Category Archives: Breakfast

Daugher Lovina’s 18th Birthday & Hosting Church

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Potatoes should be thawed (unless preparing a day ahead). Pour into greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Mother’s Day Celebrations & New Clothes for Benjamin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Adventures with baby chicks and a visit from Aunt Lovina

It’s a windy, rainy morning, and the temperature is around 44 degrees. Son Joseph got a call saying he won’t have to work today because of the rain. They have no inside work as of now.

Daughters Verena, Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan came here after supper last night and spent the night here. I sat on my recliner, and Jennifer, age 4, told me she wanted to massage my feet and asked for foot lotion. It wasn’t long before I was asleep and that little girl was having the time of her life with that lotion. I woke up and had probably half the jar on my feet. She was just enjoying herself so much. So sweet and innocent!

This morning, before Dustin left for work, he walked over with daughter Loretta, and she is sleeping on the recliner. Joe left for work and the rest are all sleeping yet. Joseph went back to bed after finding out he doesn’t have to work.

I decided to write this while all is quiet. Daughter Elizabeth and children will also come around 8:30 a.m. Our friend Jodi will bring Elizabeth and the three youngest, then Abigail will come here off the bus.

We are so happy to have Jodi back in Michigan! She runs so many errands for us, which we appreciate very much. Jodi had been in Alabama the last few months spending time with her daughter Krista and family. I’m glad she could do that and enjoy the warmer Alabama weather.

Granddaughter Allison, 2, was attacked this week by their mean rooster. She has a scratched-up face. We are so fortunate he didn’t get her eyes. Son-in-law Tim got rid of that mean rooster and came home with some little baby chicks for the children. Abigail, T.J., and Allison each picked one out as their own. They had the little chicks in the house in a box. Daughter Elizabeth said they couldn’t find one of the chicks and finally found it. T.J. had put it in his Noah’s Ark toy. He must have wanted to fill the ark with animals. Abigail’s chick died while she was at school. She had seen it was not too good before leaving for school and told Elizabeth to tell T.J. to take care of it until she got home. The chick didn’t fare so well, and Abigail was so heartbroken. She cried so hard and told Elizabeth she couldn’t catch her breath because she was crying so hard. She put the chick in a box and asked her daddy if he would help her bury it. Again, so sweet and innocent!

Allison is not too fond of the potty training. Elizabeth will tell her to go potty. She sits on there for a long time, and she told Elizabeth, “Mom, it don’t work.” She’s such a petite little girl but ever so mighty. Baby Andrea is 5 1/2 weeks old now and made her first appearance in church on Sunday. She did very well!

Last Friday we were so happy to have Aunt Lovina from Baltic, Ohio come spend some time here and have brunch with us. Thanks to her granddaughter Leah and sons for bringing her here. Others here for brunch and visiting were sisters Verena and Emma, niece Elizabeth, niece Emma and daughter, and all my daughters and grandchildren.

I made a breakfast casserole, homemade bread, and cinnamon rolls. Everyone brought a dish and we ended up having quite a big brunch.

It was so nice to get to visit with Aunt Lovina. She is my mom’s sister and is three years younger. She will be 83 on July 20th. I was named after her. We were together so much when I was growing up, and now I hardly ever see her. We talked of the memories we had of years ago. And perhaps we said some stories of things that her children and my siblings and I did that she was unaware of. Needless to say she laughed, and we enjoyed her visit.

God’s blessings to all!

The family enjoyed freshly baked cinnamon rolls at brunch during a visit from Aunt Lovina. Photo provided.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
4 large eggs, beaten
6 cups bread flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Grease a jelly-roll pan or a large cookie sheet with a 1-inch rim.

In a large bowl, mix the milk, butter, salt, and sugar. Set the bowl aside until the mixture cools to lukewarm. While the mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast in the warm water for about 10 minutes or until bubbles form. Then add the yeast mixture, eggs, and flour gradually to the lukewarm milk mixture. Knead with your hands until an elastic dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 or 6 strokes, and then roll into a 12 by 20-inch rectangle.

In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until well blended. Spread the mixture over the dough. Roll the dough up from the 20-inch side. Cut the 20-inch-long roll into 3/4-inch pieces and place on the prepared pan. Let the dough rise uncovered for about 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls until golden brown, 20 minutes. Frost with Basic Frosting.

 

Basic Frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk

In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the vanilla and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk and the remaining powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Use shortening instead of butter if a whiter frosting is desired. Makes 2 cups.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Celebrating a Baptism

Everyone is winding down and getting ready for bed. Another day is over and history.

Today daughter Lovina, 17, spent the day at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. She stayed with the children while Elizbeth took baby Andrea for a check-up at the doctor. She now weighs 8 pounds, 6 ounces. She was 8 pounds, 3 ounces at birth but lost almost a pound. It’s always good to see the weight start going back up. My babies always lost a little weight that first week or two before they gained again.

Friday night, daughter Susan and children, daughter Verena, daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, and sister Verena were our supper guests. It was good for Elizabeth to get out of the house and eat supper somewhere else.

Our menu was mashed potatoes, beef and noodles, corn, sliced cheese, chocolate pie, and homemade ice cream.

My grandchildren are really enjoying the new tea sets and fake food, etc., that a kind reader sent to me. I don’t have many toys for them to play with when they come, so they tend to get a little bored. With the new toys they have had so much fun pretending to be cooking, too!

Saturday, the menfolk dressed an 1100-pound beef that is still hanging in our cold part of the pole barn waiting to be cut up. Plans are to start Friday afternoon and finish Saturday. That will be a big job done!

Saturday night, daughter Susan and children, daughter Verena, sons Kevin and Benjamin, Benjamin’s special friend Amanda, Joe, and I had a delicious supper at daughter Loretta and Dustin’s house. Susan and her children spent the night at Dustin’s so she would be closer to travel to another church district the next morning.

Sunday morning, we all traveled the six miles to attend church for Daniel’s (daughter Lovina’s special friend) baptismal services. It is always so special to be there when a young soul accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Sunday evening, we had a delicious supper at Daniel’s parent’s house. Others there besides Joe and I were sons Benjamin (and special friend Amanda), Joseph and Kevin, daughter Lovina, daughter Susan and children, Daniel’s married brothers and families, Jake and Lisa and family, Clint and Hannah and son, Dustin and daughter Loretta, and my sister Emma and all of her family. It was an enjoyable evening.

Tomorrow all the girls and grandchildren plan to come for the day. It’s been awhile since they did that, so my mind is wandering and trying to think what I should prepare for breakfast and lunch. I know with Baby Andrea and all the other grandchildren coming that this grandma doesn’t want to plan too much else besides meals and spending time with them. It’s been quite awhile since we all got together for a day.

Of course, Abigail will go to school, but the bus will drop her off here. She gets lots of attention when she exits that bus!

It’s time for me to call it a day. Good night and God’s blessings to all!

Sunday Brunch
12 eggs
1 cup milk
2 pounds tater tots
1 pound bacon or sausage, fried
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Beat together eggs and milk. Stir in rest of ingredients. Pour into greased 13×9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

 

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Celebrating Epiphany with Family and a Haystack Brunch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

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

Haystack Breakfast

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

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

 

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

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.

Topping:

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 LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org 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 LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org 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
cinnamon

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 LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org 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 LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org 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 LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.