Category Archives: Cakes

A welcome addition to the family

I ended up not going to the comfort knotting last week. Instead, I went with daughter Susan and Ervin to the hospital. Now I have exciting news to share. Ervin Jay Yoder Jr. was born to Ervin and Susan at 6:17 p.m. on November 14. He weighs 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and is 19.5 inches long. Joe and I now have 12 grandchildren. Ervin Jay is so sweet and has won our hearts already. Now you will hear from daughter Verena:

Hello! This is Lovina’s daughter Verena. I decided to write the column for Mom since I was really in a writing mood. It is currently 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 18. This week sure has been a busy one for me, but also very exciting.

Tuesday I went with Dustin and sister Loretta to an appointment to help with Denzel and Byron. We left at 11 a.m. and didn’t get home until 5:30 p.m. I then went over to sister Elizabeth’s since Ervin and Susan had dropped their five children off there. It was fun and exciting to let Kaitlyn, 7, Jennifer, 5, Isaiah, 5, Ryan, 4, and Curtis, 4, know they have a baby brother, Ervin Jay. They couldn’t wait to meet him.

Tim and Elizabeth took the five children and me back to Ervin and Susan’s place that night. I stayed there with the children and woke them up at 6 a.m. on Wednesday to get ready for school. Ryan was up most of the night worrying about where his parents were, so he did not get the best sleep. I kept him home but sent the other four. Ervin and Susan did not get home until 9 p.m. that night. Kaitlyn and Jennifer were the only ones who did not go to sleep, because they were super excited to meet Ervin Jay. They both got to hold him a little bit before they went to bed.

Thursday morning, Ervin helped me get the children ready for school. Getting five children ages 4–7 ready for school can be a hassle. There’s always one missing something.

Elizabeth dropped off a casserole on her way over to Mom’s. She brought a ranch potato casserole, corn, and garlic cheese bread. Allison and Andrea were with her. They all came in to meet baby Ervin.

Thursday night, Ervin’s dad and mom, his brother Glen, and Glen’s girlfriend stopped in to meet Ervin Jay. Ervin’s mom brought two homemade pizzas. I heated up Elizabeth’s casseroles along with the pizza for all of us for supper. The children were glad that Grandpa Yoders and Uncle Glen and his girlfriend came for supper.

Friday morning I only had to get Kaitlyn, Jennifer, and Isaiah ready for school. Ryan and Curtis don’t go on Fridays.

Dustin and Loretta brought supper. My parents also came. It was really enjoyable, and the children were excited that they came.

This morning my boyfriend Daniel and I washed all the laundry. It sure adds up fast. I had washed it all on Wednesday. I’m trying to wash clothes three times a week so it’s not so big each time. Ervin and Daniel hung the laundry on the wash lines for me while I prepared lunch. Sister Loretta and I made a breakfast casserole last night for this morning, so breakfast was easy.

All the children are down for a nap right now. They have been getting up extra early because they are excited about the new baby. Jennifer got out of bed way earlier than she normally does to hold baby Ervin. Susan has to set a timer for the children because they argue about who gets to hold him. Haha!

I want to sweep and mop yet, and clean the bathrooms, and laundry has to be off the lines yet. Kaithlyn and Jennifer will help me clean the bathrooms after their nap. The children will help get the laundry off the lines. They are pretty good at that. They are also good at putting their clothes away after I fold it for them.

Sometime before bedtime I need to bathe the children and wash their hair. Saturdays are always extra busy.

Lovina baked these dinner rolls for part of the Sunday meal at daughter Susan’s house. Photo provided.

It is now Monday. Yesterday my parents and siblings, Tim and Elizabeth and children, Dustin and Loretta and boys, cousin Steven, and Daniel were all here. Dad grilled a turkey and Mom brought mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, dinner rolls, apple cake, and cookies. Elizabeth brought lettuce salad, and Loretta brought peaches and brownies.

I’m going to sign off on this. I have work that needs to be done. You all take care, and God bless!

Apple Doodle
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping cup finely chopped apples

Beat egg well. Add sugar and cream together well. Add almond flavoring, then add sifted flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold in chopped apples. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees on top rack of oven for 25 minutes, or until brown. Serve either hot or cold.


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

Lovina Shares Fun Time with Grandchildren

Another week has gone by and it’s time to pen another column. Everyone has gone to bed except me. I stayed up later to get organized for another day of cooking and baking recipes for the upcoming cookbook. The photographer will come tomorrow and take photos of the dishes we prepare to put in the new cookbook. This will be the third photo session. One more will need to be done to finish it up.

I had daughter Loretta and Dustin’s two little boys here this afternoon while Dustin went with Loretta to her six-week checkup at the doctor. Byron is now six weeks old and seems kind of fussy at times. It is hard to get him to burp after a feeding, which I think brings him discomfort and makes him fussy. Denzel is quite the busybody. I folded the laundry, and pretty soon he was crying because he managed to put the laundry basket upside down on top of him. He couldn’t figure out how to get it back off. Dustin said at home Denzel will empty the toy box and scatter them all around the house. Then he’s bored and heads for the cabinet door to empty all the Tupperware containers. If by chance someone leaves the bathroom door open, he unrolls the toilet tissue. He just loves to see what he could get into next. Such a little busybody, but ever so precious.

Grandsons Timothy (T.J.), Ryan, and Curtis go to school a few days a week. They all love it! One day their teacher asked Ryan which hat is his and which is Curtis’. Well, Ryan takes one and smells it, then shakes his head no. Then he smells the other one and shakes his head yes, that it’s his. I have no idea how he knows which is his by smelling it. One day Curtis came home from school barefooted. Somehow he slipped past the teachers without them seeing that he had taken his shoes off. I am sure this is the first of many adventures those ornery little boys will have. Haha!

On Friday, daughter Lovina made and decorated two cakes. One was for granddaughter Abigail, 7, and the other for grandson Curtis, 4. Curtis will have his fourth birthday on September 22. He is a sweet blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy and always has a big smile for me.

Abigail is growing up so fast and was really helping Lovina after she came here off the bus. We had Allison, 3, and Andrea, 18 months, here Friday while daughter Elizabeth took T.J. to his asthma doctor.

Then Friday night everyone came for family night. We had a nice evening together.

On Saturday morning we had a nice surprise when Joe’s 77-year-old Uncle Solomon from Dundee, Ohio, showed up for a visit. Last Saturday we had a surprise visit from Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty from Geneva, Indiana. Uncle Joe is 81 and a brother to my dad. Solomon is a brother to my husband Joe’s dad.

Son Benjamin has a broken leg from a buggy/horse mishap. The buggy had him pinned underneath, and after going to the emergency room and getting an x-ray, he found out it showed that he has a broken leg. Wednesday he will see the orthopedic doctor to have a cast put on. He has a temporary cast on now. It is still quite swollen and painful. We are so thankful that his horse was patient and didn’t keep going and waited until someone could lift the buggy off him. Benjamin is not one to stay quiet, and there will be some challenging weeks ahead as he has to stay off his leg. If anyone wants to send him a card to pass his time, it would be appreciated. God’s blessings to all!


Pumpkin Spice Cake
3 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Maple Butter Cream Frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons maple flavoring
2 tablespoons milk
Dash of salt

Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat in pumpkin, milk, water, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

For frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add flavoring, milk, and salt; mix well. Assemble cake with frosting between layers and on top of cake, leaving sides unfrosted. Garnish with nuts 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.  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

Eicher Family Celebrates More Birthdays and Weddings

Son Joseph’s 21st birthday was yesterday. Joseph and his special friend Grace, daughter Verena, and son Benjamin went out to eat in honor of his birthday. We couldn’t have a birthday supper here as I ended up at the ER with son Kevin, 17.

Kevin fell when getting up from his mobility scooter and fell face-first on cement. He had a big cut by his eyebrow. The doctor did a great job in putting in nine stitches. He has a sore eye from it.

Saturday was the wedding day of nephew Menno and Diane. Joe and I were unable to attend, but some of our children did. Sons Benjamin, Joseph, and Kevin, daughter Lovina, Daniel and Grace (Lovina and Joseph’s special friends), and nephew Henry had an Amish driver take them to the wedding in Clare, Michigan. It was almost three hours north from here. They started out around 6 a.m. and arrived back home at 6 p.m.

Church services were at our neighbors Levi and Leah’s on Sunday. It was held under a tent, and when it started raining, it was a challenge to keep the rain drained off the roof of the tent. We are glad for the much-needed rain, even if it wasn’t when we would have wanted it to come. After so much dryness earlier this year, we will gladly take the rain. The grass looks so much greener now.

I don’t often see cousin Esther and cousin Johnny, but they were both in church Sunday. Brings back memories of years ago, when we were all in the same church growing up. Life has brought so many changes.

Joe and I were invited back for supper at Levi and Leah’s. They had grilled chicken, potato casserole, various salads, and desserts. A delicious supper!

Those assisting daughter Tim and Elizabeth recently in preparations to host church services in two weeks were: Joe and me, daughter Susan and Ervin and children Kaitlyn, 6, Jennifer, 5, Isaiah, 5, Ryan, 3, and Curtis, 3, daughter Loretta, Dustin, and son Denzel. Lots of jobs were accomplished.

Son Joseph and daughter Lovina will have Class 7 in baptismal instructions at Tim and Elizabeth’s church services. Our children need encouragement and our daily prayers. May God always be their guide as we travel into the unknown future.

This coming Thursday, plans are to go help daughter Elizabeth again. Those also going (Lord willing) are sisters Verena and Emma, niece Elizabeth, niece Emma and children, nephew Benjamin’s wife Crystal and son, daughters Susan and children, Verena, and Loretta and son. We should be able to get a lot accomplished for Elizabeth. It is always just enjoyable to be together for a day.

Thursday (July 27) will also be grandson Ryan’s fourth birthday and niece Emma’s son Menno’s third birthday. Daughter Lovina plans to bake a cake for them to have with lunch while we are there at Tim and Elizabeth’s house.

We are getting lots of goodies from our gardens. It is so easy to make a meal. Tonight we will have sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumber salad, and fried chicken.

Last week Lovina and I made meals for the neighbors who had new babies in the past six months. There were four little girls born within a half-mile from here since December. I’m sure the young mothers were glad for a meal brought in. Lovina made cakes to send along to each family. She enjoys decorating cakes.

God’s blessings to all!

Chocolate Cake
3 cups all purpose-flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 cup shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. In another large bowl, cream together sour cream and shortening. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

Mix flour mixture into sour cream mixture, then stir in boiling water. Pour into a greased 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30–40 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.

Lovina Enjoys Laundry Day with a Repaired Machine

It is 9 p.m. as I sit here on our front wraparound porch—a cool place to relax at night. My patio table and chairs are in the corner, so I get the west and north breeze. It is so peaceful. Daughter Verena is here tonight. I can hear her and daughter Lovina talking in the distance. Typical sister chatter, but it warms my mother heart. They love to catch up when they get a night together! I am always glad when Verena comes for a night or two. Verena drove her mobility scooter over to my sister Verena’s house this afternoon to visit with her awhile.

Sons Benjamin and Joseph left right after they came home from work. They are helping son-in-law Tim put in some hay. Church services will be held at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s place in four weeks, Lord willing, so their work is extra right now to clean and prepare for that. They will have the services under a big tent in their yard.

With the boys not being home for supper, we had an easy supper for the rest of us. Fried eggs, toast, and Colby cheese were on the menu.

This is Monday night, so we did laundry today. My Maytag washing machine had been giving me problems for a long time—the wringer would swing around when a thick piece of clothes went through it, so I would always have to hold on to it to prevent this. On Saturday, son Joseph took it to our neighbor and he fixed it, plus did other repairs that needed to be done.

By Saturday afternoon it was ready to come back, so son Benjamin went to go bring it home. I told the girls this morning that it probably sounds stupid to say, but I felt like I had a present, having a remodeled Maytag washer to wash our laundry in. Haha! It worked great today! Oh, how happy I was to have it working good again.

Today, July 10, is grandson Denzel’s first birthday (Dustin and Loretta’s son). The year sure went by fast. On Sunday night, Dustin and Loretta hosted both sides of their families in honor of Loretta’s 23rd birthday and Denzel’s first. Loretta and Lovina made the cakes, and I think they did a wonderful job with them. Denzel wasn’t too thrilled to have a little cake to dig into. I think he was tired, though, from having been to church earlier in the day. On the menu was grilled hamburgers and all the trimmings, french fries, lettuce salad (brought in by Tim and Elizabeth), mocha pudding (brought in by Ervin and Susan), cherry and butterscotch pies (brought in by me), cake, and ice cream.

Now I will share some sweet stories about sweet little granddaughter Allison, age 3. Allison asks, “Mom, does it make God happy that I prayed?”

Mom Elizabeth replies, “Yes, it makes Him very happy.”

Allison—“Then will He take us along?”

Not sure what she meant, her mom asks her, “Along where?”

“To heaven,” says Allison. “Will He take us along to heaven if I pray?

On the way home from Dustin and Loretta’s house, she asked her Daddy Tim if she could have a drink of water. She remarked, “Water makes me grow bigger and bigger.” Also, one day as she was eating lunch, her brother Timothy (T.J.) wanted her to come see the dump trucks go by. She said, “I can’t, I’m eating.”

T.J. says, “Come anyhow.”

She said, “No, food is important. Dump trucks are not important.” Such sweet innocence. Allison is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little sweetheart. God’s blessings!

Icebox Butterhorns
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (110–115 degrees)
2 cups warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, melted
Additional melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, sugar, egg, salt, and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Beat in butter and remaining flour (dough will be slightly sticky). Do not knead. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, punch dough down and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Cut each circle into 12 pie-shaped wedges. Beginning at the wide end, roll up each wedge. Place rolls, point side down, two inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately brush tops with melted butter. Yield: Two dozen.


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 Enjoys Lots of Time with Children and Grandchildren

This column will wrap up March 2023 and another month down in history. It’s unbelievable how fast time goes.

We moved to Michigan from Indiana in March 2004, which is 19 years already. Lots of changes in those 19 years. Our oldest child was 9 when we moved, and we only had our six oldest children. In May 2004, daughter Lovina was born, and then Kevin in 2005.

We have been helping daughter Loretta and Dustin, and hopefully next week we can go again. They will host church services at their house at the end of April, Lord willing. This is their first time hosting it. On Saturday, son Joseph and daughter Lovina and Daniel (Lovina’s special friend and Dustin’s brother) were helping. Lovina cleaned out some cabinets, and the boys helped Dustin get some more trim on that wasn’t finished from when they remodeled their house. The services will be held in their pole barn, so that has to be cleaned out yet.

On Saturday we had supper at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. Tim had the grill and deep fryer going. On the menu was grilled ham, fries, cheese curds, cheese, chips, cinnamon rolls, cookies, ice cream bars, and ice cream sandwiches. All of our family was there except son Joseph and daughter Lovina. After supper we played games.

On Sunday, Joe and I were the only ones home all day. In the afternoon we walked across the road to daughter Loretta and Dustin’s house. We played Marble Chase with them, and they told us to stay for supper. They put pepper poppers and ham on the grill. After supper we played Marble Chase again. Joe and I were teamed up against Dustin and Loretta, and we were ahead in the games we won. We probably should’ve quit while we were ahead. Haha! They ended up winning the most games. It can get pretty exciting, and it’s always fun to see which team wins. Denzel was happy watching and sitting on our laps until he decided he should move the marbles, too. He’s okay letting me hold him until Grandpa Joe comes around, then he wants to go there. For some reason it’s way more fun hanging out with Grandpa.

Yesterday, daughter Elizabeth dropped her daughters Allison, 3, and Andrea, 1, off here before she picked Tim up from work. They took Timothy (T.J.) to the doctor and they changed his cast to see how his finger is doing.

The doctor said it’s healing well but his finger won’t look normal the way it did before. He won’t have a fingernail on it, and it’s going to be shorter than it was. Basically, what they did is use the part that was cut off to cover the open wound. By doing this they didn’t have to cut below the first joint. It won’t look normal but at least it wasn’t worse than that. T.J. was excited to show us his new cast, and this time the doctor put on a blue cast. Last time it was white, so he was glad he could have a colored one. T.J. is an active little boy, so it was a good thing he had the cast changed. His other one looked dirty already. Typical for a 4-year-old boy.

Abigail, 6, came off the bus here, and she was glad to spend some time here before her parents came to pick the three girls up. We enjoyed having the girls here.

Daughter Verena came home after her dentist appointment yesterday and stayed the night. Today daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Loretta and all their little ones will come for the day. I want to get a breakfast casserole in the oven soon so it’s ready to eat when they come. It’s been a while since they all came home for a day together. Susan has a few more to bring than she used to, but she enjoys it. She is a good mother to their five little ones.

Ervin and Susan left their five children here Saturday while they went to town. Five children from ages 3 to 6 makes for never a dull moment. They are all precious. God’s blessings!


Cinnamon Bun Cake
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped nuts, optional

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in 2 tablespoons melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

In another large bowl, mix the two sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon and use a knife to marble swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean from the center.

Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Best served warm straight from the oven or then at room temperature.


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 Remembers Aunt Lovina

Yesterday we finished up with the rest of the beef. My husband Joe, son Joseph, and sons-in-law Tim and Dustin had dressed two beefs on March 11—that was the day we heard Aunt Lovina passed away. We waited to start on ours until we were back from Ohio. Dustin and Loretta split half of their beef with his brother Clint and Hannah. Clint picked up their two quarters and Dustins cut up their meat here. We had a lot of nice hamburger and steaks to fill our freezer. I canned some beef chunks, and now I want to make beef jerky today. We had another cold spell, which was nice to keep the beefs chilled. This puts an end to our butchering for this season. It sure is a relief to be done, but it is such a blessing to be able to have meat in the freezer and in cans.

Granddaughter Jennifer, 5, is back to good health since she had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids. She was very happy to receive a sunshine box from our church on Sunday. She had a lot of nice gifts.

Our church also made a sunshine box for grandson Timothy (T.J.) on Sunday. While we were in Ohio, he had surgery to reattach part of his right pointer finger. He somehow got it in a bike chain, tearing it completely off. Tim and Elizabeth’s neighbor took Tim and T.J. to the hospital, but it was bleeding so badly that they didn’t know part of the finger was off. After Tim left, Elizabeth found the other part of the finger and had someone take her to the hospital to see if the doctors could reattach it. They did surgery at a bigger hospital and have his whole arm in a cast for six to eight weeks. The doctors hope it will reconnect with the rest of the finger. If not, it will be taken back off. T.J. is an active little four-year-old, so the cast is driving him crazy. He sat beside me Sunday in church and kept trying to scratch the cast because his arm was itchy.

He was very excited for the sunshine box, and he also received nice gifts. Hopefully this will keep him entertained while his right hand and arm are casted.

Brother Albert and Sarah Irene, nephew Albert Jr., sisters Verena and Emma, Joe and I, and daughter Verena traveled to Baltic, Ohio, last Tuesday morning. We attended the viewing/visitation of Aunt Lovina on Tuesday then went to a motel for the night. We attended her funeral on Wednesday, and we arrived back home Wednesday evening.

Aunt Lovina was 83 when she passed. I was named after her. My mother said Aunt Lovina took care of her five older children when I was born at home, so they decided to name me after her. Lovina was married to Uncle Toby for 39 years. She later remarried Abe Raber from Ohio and was married to him for 17 years. Abe passed away in August 2020. Lovina had recently moved to Kentucky to live with her daughter Leah and Elmer.

Uncle Toby and Aunt Lovina had nine children and lived around four miles from us growing up. We were in the same church ever since I was born until Toby died in 1999 and Aunt Lovina later moved to LaGrange, Indiana, and then on to Baltic, Ohio, after getting married to Abe.

I have many so memories of our two families together. I spent many nights over at Uncle Toby’s. I was right between their daughters Emma and Verena in age. It was very nice to see all the family again, and also many other cousins and friends. Aunt Emma was also there. She fell somehow while traveling to Ohio, by slipping on ice if I understood right. Aunt Emma is 82. My mother has three sisters living.

My cousin Leah’s daughter brought Aunt Lovina here for a day last year. Sister Emma and her daughters and my daughters were all here, too. We had a good day with Lovina. She still had a good mind and was active for her age. She will be missed greatly by all who loved her. I called Aunt Lovina on her 83rd birthday, which was on July 20, and we had a nice talk. She had left me a voicemail on July 18, saying that she was thinking of us on Mother’s 86th birthday. Rest in peace, dear Aunt Lovina.

Our sympathy goes to all her nine children and spouses, 87 grandchildren, 67 great grandchildren, 10 stepchildren, step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

On Friday morning we received word that Joe’s Uncle Jake died in Ohio. We regret that we were unable to attend his funeral. We are glad we got to visit with him at his sister’s (Aunt Nancy) viewing. Our sympathy goes to Aunt Mary and the family.

On April 1, some of my family and I will be at the Plain and Simple Craft Show selling and signing cookbooks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Lord willing! I would love to meet any readers that can come. The address is 345 South Van Buren Street, Shipshewana, Indiana 46565. God’s blessings to all!

I’ll share a recipe that is often served at our local funerals. Slips are passed out and there is always a variety of pie fillings and cake used. A great dish and very tasty.

Cake Delight

1 cake mix (any kind)
12 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces whipped topping
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 quarts pie filling, any flavor

Mix and bake cake mix as directed on the box. Pour into a greased 11×15 inch jelly roll pan. Then cream together cream cheese, whipped topping, and powdered sugar and spread on cooled cake. Top with pie filling.


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 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.

Birthdays, a Baptism, and Farewell to a Friend

Canning season is in full swing around here. We are a week into September already. September 10 is granddaughter Abigail’s 6th birthday. Her birth brought us much excitement, as she put Joe and me on the grandparent list. Every grandchild brings excitement, but that first grandchild makes a change in your life.

Last night all the family were here for supper. We had mashed potatoes, beef and noodles, cucumber salad, cheese, cookies, and canned peaches.

Son Kevin turned 17 on September 2. Daughter Lovina and I made him a horseshoe-shaped cake. We celebrated his birthday a day earlier, as our family gathered here for a farewell supper for our dear friend Jodi.

Lovina and Daughter Lovina made Kevin this horseshoe-shaped cake for his 17th birthday. Photo provided.

Jodi, whose husband Dan was killed in same accident that took the life of daughter Susan’s husband Mose, has moved to Alabama to live with her daughter Krista and family. We have come to be good friends with Jodi and will really miss her being close by. I understand that she wants to be closer to her daughter, though.

We made a haystack dinner for Jodi and her son James and family. It was nice to spend a night together before she headed south.

Daughter Elizabeth and Tim are glad that church services at their house are now over. It’s always a good feeling to have everything cleaned again. A baptismal service for son Benjamin was held there on Saturday. After most of the people left, sister Emma’s family and our family helped pack up the dishes in the bench wagon, and the men put all the benches back in. The tent was taken down and packed up in the tent trailer to be pulled to the next ones that need it.

Tims served a good church lunch of homemade wheat and white bread, ham, cheese, peanut butter mixture, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, butter, grape jelly, coffee, iced tea, and a variety of cookies.

It was a nice, sunny day to have services under a tent. The sun warmed up later in the day, making the iced tea sister Emma made taste extra good.

It always seems to make a parent’s heart so thankful when another child takes that precious step in life and accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior. May God continue to be Benjamin’s guide as we travel into the unknown future.

Today my husband Joe stayed home from work, as he has several appointments. First we will go to the doctor’s office to find out the results on some blood tests he took. Then we will head over to the hospital, where he has to take a stress test. Joe has been having some health complications, so we hope to get good results. I can’t believe the cost of doctor and hospital visits, but like everything else, the prices go up. We will take one day at a time and trust in our Heavenly Father above.

I want to apologize to readers who have written letters to me that didn’t receive an answer yet. I managed to get a few more answered this week. If you have a stamped envelope with your letter, you will get a reply, but I can’t promise when. Also, if you are requesting recipes that I haven’t had in the columns, then I will try to print those in a future column to save time. I appreciate all the kind, encouraging letters I receive. Daughter Loretta appreciates all the get well and baby cards and gifts she has received. May God bless you for your kind deeds. Until next week… God bless!

This recipe was requested by a reader.

Whoopie Pies
4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour milk (2 tablespoons vinegar added to sweet milk to make a cup)
1 cup hot water

Cream filling:
1 3/4 cups butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
10–14 ounces marshmallow crème

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; in a separate bowl, cream eggs, sugar, shortening and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients alternately with sour milk to creamed mixture, then add hot water last. Buttermilk can be substituted for the sour milk. Drop on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 degrees about 8 minutes or until done.

For cream filling, cream butter and powdered sugar; whip until fluffy, then blend in vanilla. Fold in marshmallow crème until combined. Chill for 20 minutes. Put two cookies together with cream filling in between.


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

Happy Birthday, Lovina!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s blessings to all!


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

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

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

Daughter Verena Shares Her Experiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rhubarb Cake

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

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

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

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

*Note—this is an eggless cake.


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