Category Archives: Casseroles

Keeping Warm in a Cold Spell

At 10 a.m. the temperature is still only at zero degrees with a wind chill of -17 degrees. The last several days we have had even colder temperatures and wind chill down to -27 degrees. It’s been a challenge to heat for everyone. It seems the wind gets in everywhere.

Grandson Ryan seems to be doing okay but is still on antibiotics.

A happy birthday to granddaughter Jennifer. She had her sixth birthday on January 15. Daughter Lovina made her a cake. She was so excited to blow out her candles on the cake.

When Jennifer was born, daughter Susan and Mose had been living in an old house that didn’t heat well so they moved in here with us. It was fun to help Susan with her firstborn and of course to spoil little Jennifer. I still remember how Mose would sit there and hold Jennifer and smile at her. At her first and second birthdays, Mose held her when she blew out the candles on her cakes. Then, less than a month before her third birthday, Mose was called from this earth. God had other plans for this little girl. In the short years Mose was here, he gave this little girl lots of love, and she loves to hear me tell her stories of Daddy Mose. Jennifer has this mischievous grin on her face all the time, and her smile lights up the room. She was so excited that she lost her first tooth. My grandchildren are all so precious to me. My children think I spoil the grandchildren more than I did them, but that’s what grandmothers are for. Haha!

The whole family came here for Sunday lunch in spite of the cold temperatures. Son Joseph and son-in-law Dustin grilled twenty pounds of chicken. I told them I could fry it, but they said they can stand inside our heated pole barn and check on the chicken on the grill outside every once in awhile. That helped me out. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, chicken, cheese, hot peppers, and onions. I sliced onions and put them in apple cider vinegar—does anyone also do this? We love them like that. Dessert was Jennifer’s cake, ice cream, jello, and doughnuts.

The afternoon was spent playing games, and some worked on a 1,000-piece Amish Country puzzle that we started recently. Some of the grandchildren, with the help of daughter Verena and special friend Daniel Ray, were putting together 100-piece puzzles. That was much easier for them to figure out.

We love the Amish Country 1,000-piece puzzles and always like to look for a different one. I usually use those peel and stick sheets to keep the puzzle to hang up. I’m using my puzzle board for the first time. It was given to me from daughter Loretta and Dustin for a Christmas gift last year. It has a swivel under it so the board can easily be turned and has four drawers on the side to keep the extra puzzle pieces in. I love it very much, and it makes it so much easier to put away when you aren’t working on it. The children didn’t seem to bother the puzzle on Sunday. I can remember so often when children were younger and we would have a puzzle on our table that we would work on when we had time. It seemed like the toddler that could climb on a chair would find the puzzle and mess it up. Then we would have to start all over again. Sweet memories!

I’ll sign off wishing everyone God’s blessings. Stay warm!


Chicken Loaf
2 ½–3 pounds of chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup milk
1 cup bread cubes
2 eggs
1 cup celery, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in center of loaf.


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

Lovina and Family Camp Out to Celebrate a Special 50th Birthday

First of all, a happy 23rd birthday to daughter Loretta! We wish her many more years of happiness.

The month of July is bringing us some hot weather. July 4 was a hot day as well. On July 3, our whole family—except son Benjamin—and sister Emma’s whole family and sister Verena all gathered at Emma’s house. We are a total of 39 now when we all get together. We all set up tents in her back yard. Her children wanted to do this for Emma’s 50th birthday, which will be on July 19. They brought and made all the meals and did all outdoor cooking.

Everyone set up their tents and air beds when they arrived. A total of 11 tents were set up. They also had a 30-foot water slide, which kept the children and some of the adults quite occupied.

There was a water balloon fight that resulted into a big water fight. The men playing cornhole were cooled off with the water balloons as well. The water battle kept going until no one remained dry. It felt good on this hot, humid day. It was fun and reminded me that our families are keeping up the legacy of the “Coblentz” family. There were always water battles at my father’s family reunions. It was always so much fun!

We were served a lot of good food, with niece Emma and Menno serving a supper of hot dogs, jalapeño poppers, breaded mushrooms, french fries, shrimp, and frog legs. Plus, all kinds of snacks were brought in, as well as a cake for Emma.

The next morning, niece Elizabeth and Manuel made another good meal of bacon, smokies, tater tots, scrambled eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy, tomatoes, hot peppers, etc. Also, cookies, whoopie pies, peaches, Rice Krispie treats, and fresh fruit (watermelon, muskmelon, strawberries, and pineapples) mixed together. Orange and apple juice, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, and coffee were the drinks. I’m sure I forgot some of the food, but there was more than enough.

A cake made and decorated by Emma’s daughter-in-law Crystal was brought out with “5” and “0” candles on it for Emma. I am sure celebrating her 50th without her beloved husband Jacob by her side was not easy. Emma does well to hide her loneliness for her family’s sake. Emma has moved her bedroom to an upstairs bedroom. She let her son Jacob, 23, have her bedroom on the main floor, since he can’t get upstairs with his disability (limb-girdle type 2A muscular dystrophy). Emma has two children that use mobility scooters with a disability, and three of our children do as well. With five mobility scooters, we need lots of space.

It was nice to have our tent close by the grandchildren and to hear their cute little chatter in the morning. This was a time where many memories were made that they will cherish for years to come.

Son Benjamin was missed at our family event as well. He left with friends and is spending time in New York. Also missed were sister Susan and son-in-law Mose. Susan would’ve been the main thrower in the water fight. May they rest in peace. God’s ways are not always our way.

It was so cute when granddaughter Kaitlyn, 6, was sitting on my lap at bedtime by the campfire. She said, “Grandma, this is the bestest and favoritest holiday I ever had.” Sweet, innocent little ones can melt our hearts. May God always watch above them and guide them in life!

God bless!


Zucchini Pizza
4 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons Bisquick
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (reserve half)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve half)
Pizza toppings of choice

Mix all ingredients (minus those reserved) together thoroughly and press into a greased 11×15 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 15–20 minutes or until set. Put on your favorite pizza toppings and add rest of cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 more minutes until cheese is melted.


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.

Cherished Memories and Celebrations with Loved Ones

Daughter Lovina, 19, is making supper as I get caught up with some odd and end jobs. The menu includes fried eggs, fried potatoes, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, toast, butter, and fresh strawberry jam. A delicious breakfast for supper. The strawberry jam tastes so good. My friend Ruth brought us a dish of some she made.

Daughter Elizabeth and Tim and their four children came for a while. They needed to pick up something and decided to all come. I told them they should’ve planned to be here for supper.

Nephew Benjamin, Crystal, and their son Isaiah also stopped in for a while. Abigail and Isaiah were glad to get to play together for a while. They were in the same grade and had a lot of fun at school.

I had to laugh when I heard that grandson Timothy (T.J.), four, wanted to hatch chicks from their eggs. Daughter Elizabeth discovered an egg from their chickens hidden in the couch cushions one day. Timothy finally said he had hidden it there. He said he wanted it to keep warm so it would hatch out a baby chick. I imagine daughter Elizabeth was so glad she discovered it before it broke or spoiled.

On June 14, Elizabeth, my firstborn, will be 29. Her last year in her twenties. She will be married to Tim for eight years in August. They were blessed with four children: Abigail, six; Timothy (T.J.), four; Allison, three; and Andrea, 16 months. They have a sweet, precious family. They recently went camping at the lake for two nights and slept in a tent. They made a lot of memories. They enjoyed swimming, fishing, and cooking over the open fire. Children remember these family events forever. I am surprised at all the memories of our vacation times the children remember from their younger years. Happy 29th birthday, dear daughter. May you have many more happy, healthy years.

Neighbor Beth and Mervin had a lovely day for their wedding last week. The morning was cool, which was nice for us cooks. My job was to help peel potatoes and cook and mash them all day. The cook wagon had the Bosch mixers, which makes for some much easier work. They are run from the generator powering the cooler. Some might use solar power as well. The other ladies and I made 28–30 eight-quart kettles of potatoes for the whole day. Also on the menu besides mashed potatoes was bread, butter, strawberry jam, gravy, buttered noodles, meatballs, green beans, dressing, broccoli and cauliflower salad, cupcakes, mixed fruit, and strawberry and peanut butter pies. Pecan pie and ice cream were added to the evening meal. Mervin and Beth moved to a place in our church district. We wish the couple many happy years together.

Lovina’s husband Joe enjoys using his new campfire pit to hang a kettle or grill over the fire. Photo provided.

Friday evening, our family has “Family Night” at Dustin and Loretta’s house. I have to make the hot food, so I’m undecided yet if I want to make a casserole. My husband Joe says he could make soup over the open fire in the kettle and grill some chicken. That might be a better idea. He is enjoying using his new campfire pit with accessories to hang a kettle and grill over the fire. It was his Christmas present from our children. He loves to cook outdoors, so it was a much-appreciated gift and very useful to him.

June 15 is sister Emma and Jacob’s wedding anniversary. They were married on June 15, 1995. Daughter Elizabeth was a year old the day before their wedding. I’m sure it’s a sad day for her to not have Jacob here to celebrate with. May God give her the strength she needs to travel into the unknown future. God’s blessings to all!

Muffin Pan Meatloaf
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced green peppers
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ketchup, barbeque sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients with 1/2 of the ketchup mixture. Press the meat into muffin cups. (You should get 8–10 muffins from this amount.) Top with the remaining ketchup mixture. Bake for 30–35 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 Recalls Fond Childhood Memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lovina Explains the Process for Butchering Pigs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

A Day in the Life with Lovina and Her Family

Diary of February 7th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benjamin does chores, and Joe refuels the stoves.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lovina Mourns the Loss of Loved Ones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s blessings!


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

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

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

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


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

Lovina Shares More from Susan and Ervin’s Wedding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Cherishing Time and Memories of Loved Ones

It’s 5 a.m., and the temperature is 39 degrees. Yesterday we had a cold, rainy autumn day. We also had a few snow flurries and a little ice this week. Old Man Winter is just around the corner, it seems. Our tomato and pepper plants still didn’t get a killing frost, so we are still harvesting what’s left of them. Hopefully, there will be a nice day soon so we can clear out the beds and prep them for the winter. I really like having the raised beds this year and think we will appreciate them in years to come.

My husband Joe and son Joseph, 20, both left for work already. Son Benjamin, 23, is out in the barn harnessing our horse Midnight for me before he leaves for work. Daughter Loretta and I plan to attend the Pampered Chef shower niece Emma is hosting for Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s wife). This will be held at niece Emma’s house. Loretta and baby Denzel, three months, are here already. Dustin came over with them before he left for work. Now they are both asleep on the recliner. Denzel loves to cuddle up to his mama. He smiles a lot in his sleep. Such a precious little angel!

The Pampered Chef shower is at 10 a.m. then lunch will be served afterward. It’s a nice time to visit with friends and family. The shower helps a young bride fill her kitchen.

One afternoon last week, granddaughters Abigail, Jennifer, and Kaitlyn came here from school and spent the night here. They left for school again the next morning. We had so much fun with them. Daughter Verena came home for the night as well and helped entertain the little girls. They colored, listened to someone read books, put puzzles together, and played with play dough. We made fried chicken and french fries for supper and had ice cream cones for dessert. Their evening was full, and they were tired little girls when bedtime came around. They slept with Verena in her bedroom she still has here. The next morning, they were all cheerful and willing to get dressed for school. Their little goodbye hugs and saying “Bye, Grandma—I love you” made my day.

Saturday, the family gathering was well attended at brother Albert and Sarah Irene’s house. My parents have 42 living grandchildren. Nieces Mary (daughter of Paul and sister Leah) and Marilyn (daughter of sister Emma and Jacob) both died at a young age. Mary was five, and Marilyn was eight and a half months. Out of the 42 grandchildren, only four couldn’t make it. It was a good turnout!

Alberts had grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, and green beans for the hot food. Then there were different kinds of salads, desserts, cakes, fruit pies, and more by everyone else. There is more than enough food by the time everyone brings something. I made three chocolate pies, a big bowl of taco salad, a pudding, and fruit mixed with fruit dip using eight ounces of cream cheese, eight ounces of whipped topping, a cup of powdered sugar, and two teaspoons of vanilla. Then after that is all mixed well, I add grapes, pineapple chunks, and apple slices.

Everyone brought snacks to enjoy before we all left for home. It was good to see everyone again, but our loved ones that passed were greatly missed. Rest in peace, dear parents, brother Amos, sister Susan, brother-in-law Jacob, son-in-law Mose, and nieces Mary and Marilyn. You will always be remembered, and we have many memories of you.

We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.

God’s blessings to all!

Chicken Casserole
12 slices bread
2–3 cups cooked and diced chicken
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
salt and pepper
8 ounces shredded or sliced cheese, desired variety
1 can cream of chicken soup, diluted according to instructions on the can
cracker or cornflake crumbs

Arrange bread slices in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cover with chicken. Mix chicken broth, milk, eggs, butter, salt, and pepper. Pour over the chicken. Add a layer of cheese on top, then pour one can of diluted cream of chicken soup on top of the cheese. Top with cracker or cornflake crumbs. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes till bubbly. It can be made a day ahead and refrigerated if needed.


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 More Summer Birthdays & Anniversaries

On July 15 our family all gathered here for supper in honor of our 29th anniversary. (July 15 is also brother Albert’s 58th birthday.) A delicious supper was made on the grill, including banana poppers, wings, and chicken. Daughter Liz and Tim brought a nice, decorated cake. Abigail, 5, was so excited to give us a big helium balloon with “Happy Anniversary” written on it. Susan’s friend Ervin was here, but his children Kaitlyn, Isaiah, and Curtis were spending a few days with his wife Sarah’s parents. I am so glad they can still have that relationship with their grandchildren and still spend time with them. It can’t be easy to lose a son or daughter.

This week, Lovina and family celebrated her 29th wedding anniversary, along with other family birthdays. Photo provided.

July 19 was sister Emma’s 49th birthday—her first birthday without her dear husband by her side. She needs our prayers. Friday in two weeks will be her son’s wedding, and she won’t have Jacob by her side for that. Memories are all that is left!

On Friday evening, daughter Susan will host Mose’s family for a family night supper. That will also be different without Mose there. I am so glad that she still has a relationship with his family and that Jennifer and Ryan get to see their grandparents. It means a lot if family accepts change and will support it. They all need our prayers.

On Monday, July 18, I had a voicemail from Aunt Lovina, who lives in Ohio. She wanted to let me know that she is thinking of us on my mother’s 86th birthday. Lovina is a sister to my mom. I want to call Lovina back today, as it is her 83rd birthday if I remember correctly. It was nice to hear her voice again. We have many precious memories of times spent with her family.

We recently had a visit from Joe’s brother Benjamin, Miriam, and family from Ohio. It was nice to visit with them. Their children are growing up so fast. Time certainly does not stand still.

Daughter Verena is back home from her Colorado trip. She is staying a few nights with daughter Elizabeth. Son-in-law Tim had the chance to go fishing in New York with his co-workers at the sawmill. It is an expense-paid trip. Grandson T.J. was going to go along but ended up being sick so granddaughter Abigail went instead. They left Sunday afternoon and will start home Wednesday morning. One night when Tim called home, Abigail said, “Mom, I’m catching more fish than Daddy!” I am sure she will have plenty to talk about when she gets home.

Elizabeth, T.J., Allison, and Andrea spent the night here Sunday. Monday morning I made breakfast burritos. Elizabeth and children and I walked over to Dustin and Loretta’s house before she headed home. I took some burritos to Loretta and Lovina for their breakfast. Daughter Lovina is still assisting Loretta with her housework. Of course we had to hold sweet little Denzel. He is doing great. He had a checkup on Monday at the pediatrician and everything seemed to be well.

Yesterday daughter Verena spent a few hours at Dustin and Loretta’s to see Denzel since she hadn’t seen him since he was one day old. I walked over to visit with Verena since I hadn’t seen her since she was back from Colorado.

I will share a recipe this week for Zucchini Egg Bake. It was our supper last night and I used hamburger. I think adding sausage instead would make a good breakfast dish. Everyone loved it, so I’m sure we will have it again with all the zucchini we are getting from our garden. Until next week. God bless!

Zucchini Egg Bake
4 cups zucchini, peeled and shredded
1 pound hamburger or sausage, browned and drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
6 eggs, beaten
seasonings to taste
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice

Mix everything but the cheese and put in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. Add cheese and bake a few additional minutes to melt cheese.


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.