Category Archives: Condiments and Sauces

Welcoming a new grandchild

I am excited to share the news of the birth of our seventh grandchild. (Although I consider it number 10, as I include Ervin’s three children.)

Daughter Loretta and Dustin were blessed with their first child on July 10, 2022. Denzel Michael was born at the hospital at 3:30 a.m., weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 inches long. He has already won our hearts and is the new “boss” at their house. He is such a sweetie!

Loretta and Dustin went to the hospital Saturday morning and I joined them around noon. Denzel took his time coming but he finally arrived at 3:30 a.m. He was born by natural birth. With Loretta having muscular dystrophy, we were thankful that everything went well for her. It went better than I expected and I was glad I could be there with her. It’s amazing how God created us. Loretta did a great job with delivering and Dustin is already in love with his sweet little son. They are experiencing sleepless nights and finding out what parenthood is all about. Daughter Lovina is helping out over there, and I also go help whenever I can.

Last night daughter Elizabeth and Tim and children brought pizza to Dustin’s for all of us. Daughter Susan and children were also there and are spending the night here. Grandson T.J. was so excited when he heard Dustin and Loretta’s baby was a boy. He wants the boys to catch up with the girls. We would have four granddaughters and three grandsons but with Ervin’s three it makes it five of each.

Plans are that Ervin moves all his belongings up here in Michigan on Friday from his parent’s house where he was living. He will actually be our neighbor, renting a house owned by our bishop and his wife. It will be nice to have him closer. Daughter Susan will have his children while he goes to work. Somehow we will make it work.

Ervin and Susan appreciate all the encouragement from everyone. It’s not easy to move on, but life doesn’t stop, and we need to leave everything in God’s protecting hand.

Daughter Verena left early Monday morning with friends and traveled to Colorado by Amtrak train. She is staying with her friends in an RV at their relatives. She will attend a friend’s wedding in Colorado. The RV she sleeps in had a visit from a bear the night before. She is hoping she will get to see a bear while she’s out there.

Verena was able to see baby Denzel before heading for Colorado. She didn’t like that she will miss out on his first days, but there will be time to bond with her new nephew after she’s home.

Last night after we walked home from Dustin’s, Jennifer asked if she could sit on me to go to sleep. I rocked her, and she was soon fast asleep. Allison, 2, cried after we left because she said she wanted to go home with Grandma, too.

Tomorrow, July 14, is son Benjamin’s 23rd birthday. From July 1 to July 14, him and Loretta are the same age.

Benjamin harnessed Susan’s horse up before he left so she doesn’t have to this morning. He might go spend the night over at her house tonight since Verena’s in Colorado. Susan says she’s fine by herself, but I think she likes the company. And of course the children enjoy when Uncle Ben comes. He’s always teasing them.

We are getting lots of zucchini from the garden so I’ll share a zucchini recipe.

God’s blessings to all!

Zucchini Relish
10 cups zucchini, peeled and shredded
5 cups onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds red and green pepper, chopped
5 tablespoons salt
2 1/2 cups vinegar
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 1/2 cups sugar

Cover the first 4 ingredients with cool water and let stand overnight. Drain and rinse with water. Mix and heat the remaining ingredients in a large pot. Add chopped veggies and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Seal in jars and process in boiling water bath for 5 to 15 minutes. Makes 6 to 7 pints. Good with roast beef, hamburger, or hot dog sandwiches.


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 Spent with the Grandchildren

Another week has flown by, and it’s already time to pen this column again. Actually, the last column for this month. We will enter March, and soon the calendar will be saying it’s spring. My wish is that the weather will match the calendar. We had a few nice days of temperatures over 50 degrees, so we really had a little spring fever.

Sister Verena has been staying with us. She hopes to be able to stay alone again after the snowy weather is done. She has many lonely days and has been back and forth from our house to sister Emma’s. She has been talking about spending a week with sister Liz and Levi. I really wish she would. It would be a change of mind for her.

After temperatures were in the 50s yesterday, we woke up to 22 degrees, and it was snowing again.

It’s a good thing God controls the weather, and we need to accept whatever he sends to us.

Monday, I went with daughter Elizabeth and baby Andrea to her doctor’s appointment to have her staples removed.

Andrea is now nine days old and such a bundle of joy. She makes so many different facial expressions that it’s just fun holding her and watching her. Her cute little dimples when she smiles are so precious. A real blessing from God!

Andrea’s appointment at the baby doctor was canceled because the doctor was sick. Five-year-old Abigail was very concerned when she heard Andrea’s doctor was sick. She asked Elizabeth, “Mom, Oh no! Who makes the doctor better when he gets sick?”

Yesterday, grandchildren Jennifer, four, and Ryan, two, stayed here while daughter Susan went shopping. Jennifer told Susan before they came, “Mom, Grandma is a pretty girl.” I am so thankful for my sweet little innocent grandchildren. They are so much fun! The things they say and come up with are so special. Jennifer told me if Ryan starts to get fussy, you need to make him take a nap. Of course, Ryan is more interested in checking out Grandpa’s headlight and sunglasses and asking where Grandpa is.

Daughter Loretta was here, and the grandchildren love when she plays games with them. We made breakfast for them. We had eggs, potatoes, bacon, and cheese. They ate better when they could sit on both sides of Loretta.

Our plans are to dress a beef this weekend. It will be a relief to get our beef cut up and bagged and be done with putting up meat for another year. We will give Dustin and Loretta half of the beef. When our children get married, we give them a half of a beef and a hog the first winter to help them get started. My parents helped us out by giving us something to butcher when we first were married.

A reader asked if I make our own cheese. I would make cheese when we had our own cow with the excess milk. We sold our cow then, and now it’s easier just to buy the big horns of cheese.

I will share the mozzarella cheese recipe I used to use. My niece Marlene had shared it with me years ago.

God’s blessings to all!

Lovina makes mozzarella cheese from her niece Marlene’s recipe.

Mozzarella Cheese
2 gallons cold whole milk
3 teaspoons citric acid
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup cold water
1/3 rennet tablet
2 quarts water
1/2 cup salt

Put milk in a large container. Dissolve the citric acid in 1/4 cup cold water, then add to cold milk. Mix well and keep stirring until heated to 90 to 95 degrees. Remove from heat; add 1/4 cup cold water and rennet tablet. Stir well, then let sit for 1/2 hour.

Cut into squares with a long-bladed knife. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Heat to 110 degrees. Continue stirring to keep curds from sticking. Remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 quarts of water with 1/2 cup salt to 175 degrees. Drain cheese in a colander for 15 minutes. Cut or pull cheese apart into small cubes and put it in a large bowl. Add hot saltwater; use a wooden spoon to stretch cheese in an upward motion until it is soft and springy. Drain in the colander. Knead a little bit as you would bread; put in a container to cool. A bread pans work well. Very 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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails or comments left on this site.

A newborn foal and a birthday celebration

It is such a pleasant morning outside. The temperature is just right.

Foremost on my mind today is my husband Joe’s cousin Carolyn and Jonas Jr. and family. Their 4-year-old daughter Barbara was laid to rest yesterday. Such a tragedy—a life so young was taken, but God makes no mistakes. That is the only comfort sometimes, knowing he needed another angel. Little Barbara and several other little girls crossed the highway going from the wedding reception to the wedding church across the road. These little girls were safely across walking behind their big sisters. They decided they wanted to go back to the reception instead and turned to go back across the highway before the older sisters saw them. The last one across was Barbara and she was hit by a passing vehicle. Oh, the pain of seeing your child lifeless. Our hearts go out to Barbara’s family and to the 82-year-old man who was driving the vehicle. As with son-in-law Mose’s accident there are so many “what ifs.” Only God knows why, and it was his timing for their death. Our sympathy to the family.

Sister Verena, sister Emma and Jacob, daughter Susan and children, and Joe and I traveled the two hours to attend the visitation and viewing for Barbara. It is a comfort to have family and friends show their support at a time of loss of a dear loved one.

Sunday morning son Benjamin’s horse Beauty had a foal. It is always exciting to see the little foals running along side of their mother in the pasture field. Benjamin was so hapy that the mare and filly were all okay after the birth. The filly is all black just like her mother. Beauty was a gift from us to Benjamin for his 18th birthday and we also raised her, and Joe trained her at 2 years old.

Lovina’s son Benjamin’s horse Beauty gave birth to a healthy foal last week.

May 18th (yesterday) was daughter Lovina’s 17th birthday. It’s hard to believe my youngest daughter is that old.

Coming last night for supper in honor of her birthday were daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children Abigail, T.J., and Allison, daughters Verena and Susan and her children Jennifer and Ryan, sister Verena, and Dustin, Daniel, and Grace (special friends to Loretta, Lovina, and Joseph).

We had walleyes that Joseph and Kevin caught on their fishing trip for supper. Along with macaroni and cheese, cheese, hot peppers, veggies and dip, chips, and ice cream cake. The walleyes were big fillets and very good. I only fixed half of what the boys brought home.

Sister Verena and daughters Verena and Susan and children all stayed here for the night. They all went home this forenoon except daughter Verena. She isn’t feeling well and has an upset stomach. She is resting and I hope it’s just something that will be gone by tonight.

My plans are to go to the greenhouse this afternoon to get my vegetable plants and finish planting our gardens. We were going to make raised beds for one of our gardens but with the price of wood so high we will manage another year of ground planting.

My 50th birthday coming up next Saturday, May 22nd, reminds me that I’m getting older. God’s blessings to all of you!


Radish and Cream Cheese Spread

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup butter, softened
dash paprika
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup finely chopped radishes

Mix all ingredients except radishes and onions until smooth. Then stir in radishes and onions and chill several hours to blend flavors. Spread on snack crackers. Experiment with different seasonings, such as ranch dressing mix (1 package or less), 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, or 2 cups shredded 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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Sunny Spring walks and answers to reader questions

We are in week number six of the coronavirus lockdown here in Michigan. A time in our life that will never be forgotten. The fact that we are having a few days of rainy weather doesn’t do much to improve the mood. But oh how much more we appreciate those nice sunny days! We cannot control the weather so we accept what God sends and try to do our best!

April always reminds us of my husband Joe’s dear parents, who both passed away in this month. His mother Salome was only 54 years old and it has been 25 years now since she passed away. At the time, we only had one child, Elizabeth, who was a little over 10 months old. None of our children will know Grandma Eicher, but we cannot question God’s plan.

Joe’s father passed away 11 years ago at the age of 70. We lived in the same community for five years before his passing so our children were able to see him more often, although our two youngest were still three and four at the time so they really don’t remember much about having a grandparent. My parents both had died before they were born.

I remember all my grandparents very well, so it’s sad when some never meet theirs. Again, God knows best even though we question why at times. Trust and have faith!

The boys have been hauling lots of manure into the fields and the barn is being kept extra clean, since we are still waiting for church services to be continued. We will host them here in our pole barn once they decide it’s safe to meet again because of the virus.

Sunday afternoon our family went for a walk. It was a nice sunny, warm day and very enjoyable to get out of the house for a while. My sisters Verena and Susan were sitting out on their patio so we stopped and chatted with them. The walk did wonders and refreshed us all! We played several board games after coming home.

Since news is scarce, I will answer more questions from readers. My editors copy them from the website and send them to me as I don’t see them otherwise.

A reader asks about heating our homes with coal and if it causes problems health wise. We have a hopper-fed coal stove in our basement, which has vents in the floor where the heat comes up to heat the main floor and travels up our open staircase to heat the bedrooms upstairs as well. We have a vent installed to take the carbon monoxide out. We add coal twice a day and I never smell coal. The stove is very tight and doesn’t let out any fumes. None of our family has respiratory problems, but when we burned wood it bothered a few of our children when they were younger, which is why we changed to coal.

Another reader asks what laundry disinfectant I use. I used to use Germ Clean, but I haven’t been able to get it anymore from Stanley, so now I use Lysol laundry sanitizer and it seems to do well.

A reader asked if we make our own cheese and butter. I did when we had a cow but since we sold her, I buy our cheese. I buy Colby cheese by the horn from our neighbor’s store. We love Colby cheese. We use a cheese slicer and slice it off the horn. We eat cheese with our sandwiches, with crackers, and with our meals.

Now I must get this column off to my editors.

My husband Joe and I made horseradish this week from our own horseradish plant. Joe’s Uncle Solomon gave us the horseradish root so we could try growing it ourselves. I will share Uncle Solomon’s recipe. It has become a favorite side dish to have with hard-boiled eggs in this household! Add additional salt and sugar to your own taste.

God bless you!


In today’s column, Lovina shares a family recipe for horseradish, pictured here. Photo provided.

Uncle Solomon’s Homemade Horseradish

1 (6- to 8-inch) piece horseradish root
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt

Clean and very finely chop the horseradish root. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small bowl, adding only enough horseradish to make it the thickness and spiciness you like. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available now from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Helping hands make light work; words of encouragement lighten spirits

Yesterday daughters Elizabeth and Susan and their children came for the day. We cleaned Loretta and Lovina’s bedroom upstairs. We washed off the walls and ceiling, cleaned the furniture, washed the curtains and bedding, cleaned out the closet, and so on.

On Saturday my sisters Verena and Susan came to help us, so we cleaned Verena’s bedroom thoroughly. Now next on our agenda is tackling the boys’ bedrooms. Although the boys’ bedrooms always collect more dirt, I think cleaning the girls rooms takes more time. They have many more knickknacks sitting around than the boys. I also think the girls have more clothes than the boys. I appreciated all the help from everyone.

Yesterday was a long day it seemed, especially battling this cold. I am losing my voice, so I think everyone should enjoy the peacefulness. A person doesn’t realize how much they need to talk until it’s hard to. Maybe its just us, but around here “Mom” is the person everyone asks where their things are amongst a lot more questions.

My husband Joe was hauling manure out to the fields all day yesterday. Today he is finding inside jobs to do as it is rainy.

Daughter Lovina, 14, and son Kevin, 13, are on spring break this week from school. I think Lovina thinks we waited to start with the cleaning until she’s home from school. She has been a great help this week. Kevin has 25 more days until he gets his cast removed and gets an air cast.

Today daughters Verena, Loretta, and Lovina and son Kevin took a break from the work. They went to daughter Elizabeth’s to spend the day there. The little girl, Nikiah, that Elizabeth used to babysit for is on spring break, so she’s spending the day at Elizabeth’s. I had plans to also go but didn’t feel like leaving this morning after all. I am sure granddaughter Abigail will be excited to see Nikiah again.

The grass is looking greener every day. Hopefully soon I can go outside and collect some dandelion greens for dandelion salad. I always look forward to that each spring. We like to eat the salad over boiled or steamed potatoes with bacon or fresh ham.

Our neighbors had the youth singing on Sunday evening. We were also invited but we didn’t go. It sounded fun, but it was cold and windy and felt good to just stay home and make it an early night. We were also invited to supper at Dustin’s brother’s house, where his parents hosted church services that day. Maybe if it would have been a nice sunny, warm day we would have gone to one place or the other. Its hard to get Kevin in the buggy with his needing a wheelchair yet. Hopefully soon it will be warm enough for him to go with the pony and pony buggy. Daughters Verena and Loretta attended church services hosted by Dustin’s parents on Sunday.

I want to wish Melodie (one of my former editors) a happy retirement! May God bless her for all the great work she has done. I imagine she will enjoy more time with her family.

I also want to thank everyone for the cards, letters, and gifts that were sent to son Kevin and me. It was greatly appreciated. So many words of encouragement! God bless you all for caring!

When life gets busy and I sometimes think I don’t have enough time to write this column, then I think of all you readers who have always encouraged me. Thank you for that, and God’s blessings to all!


Barbecue Hamburgers 

1 1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
A few drops liquid smoke

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into patties and grill. Serves 6.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, is available from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.


Puzzles, laundry training, ouchies: Lovina, while recuperating, won’t get bored

It is now eight days since my surgery and I seem to be doing better every day. I had a few days after the surgery that I was running a high temperature so that made everything seem worse. Now I have a bad head cold but it is also getting better.

Abigail, 2, and baby Timothy are here this forenoon. Daughter Elizabeth had an eye appointment so she dropped them off on her way to town. We are enjoying having them here. Abigail is sitting beside me at the kitchen table looking at books. She loves books but now she decided she wants to write my column too. I gave her a pencil and paper and as she scribbles I wonder what goes through her mind. How precious!

Since having my surgery I haven’t had a chance to get bored. I get many visits from my children and grandchildren which keeps me entertained. I wasn’t up to visiting much but just having them here was nice.

Yesterday daughters Elizabeth and Susan along with their children came to spend the day. The day went too fast! Abigail asked Elizabeth why grandma has an ouchie but didn’t get a baby like she did when she had an ouchie. Such sweet innocence!

Son Joseph, 16, and daughter Loretta, 18, are downstairs washing laundry. Loretta is training Joseph pretty good in how to hang up laundry. She told me she’s glad I’m not down there to see how he hangs the clothes up because I would probably laugh.

Daughter Verena just changed baby Timothy’s diaper and he decided he wasn’t done. He can really smile at us now and coos. He is really content when he is here without his mother.

Sister Emma and Jacob are grandparents for the first time and are very excited to have Jessica Rose join their family. Jessica was born to Menno and Emma on January 30. Joe and I went over to meet her the Sunday before my surgery. She is a sweetie!

The girls are doing a good job fulfilling my duties in the kitchen. They are more than happy if someone shows up at the door with supper ready for us. It is greatly appreciated.

Daughter Lovina, 14, and son Kevin, 13, had a few days off from school again due to ice and snow. Son Benjamin, 19, also had a few days home from the factory due to bad weather. The factory Joe works in kept working so they just needed to allow extra time to get there. I for myself am ready for spring but we cannot control the weather so we need to be content with what we get.

This afternoon I have an appointment at the doctor to have my staples removed. Next week son Kevin will be able to have his cast removed after six weeks of wearing it. He will have an air cast for two weeks but will at least be allowed to put weight on it. His next surgery is planned for the middle of March and then he will start all over again. I know this has been really hard on his patience but going to school every day helped. Usually after a day at school he is ready for an early night.

The Eicher’s latest puzzle of a typical Amish farm scene is glued and ready to hang, called “Cuttin’ Barley.”

We have completed the 1000-piece puzzle that Kevin received. It is an Amish Country puzzle named “Cuttin’ Barley.” We glued it for Kevin to hang in his bedroom. Now we are working on a 500-piece puzzle called “The Last Day of Summer.” For myself I like the 1000-piece puzzles as they seem more of a challenge.

This week I will share a recipe for hot dog sauce that a reader, Joyce, from Indiana shared with me. Enjoy! God’s blessings to all!

Hot Dog Sauce

1 pound hamburger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon oregano
1 can tomato sauce
1 can water
1/2 cup ketchup
salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger in enough water to cover the bottom of pan. Break up meat and as it cooks add remaining ingredients. Simmer for one hour. Serve over hot dogs.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, is available from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Using up scraps to make matching dresses for the grandbabies

Using up scraps to make matching dresses for the grandbabies

The sun is out! The sky is so lovely today. What a great master artist we have. Only He could paint a picture like this. The temperature is at 36 degrees.

The Eicher sewing machine gets plenty of use!

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan spent the day here yesterday and of course sweet little Abigail and Jennifer. My daughters were occupied cutting out and sewing baby dresses. They were using up some scraps of material I have. It seems so much of the time I have just enough material left that I can’t make a shirt for the boys or a dress for the girls. So now it can get used on the little grandbabies. The girls decided to cut out matching dresses for Abigail and Jennifer to wear to church on Sunday.

I went with Susan to Jennifer’s one-month checkup at the doctor. She weighs 10 pounds 7 ounces now. She weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces at birth so she’s doing well on gaining. She was 20 inches at birth and is 22 inches long now. Monday she will be six weeks old. I miss not seeing her every day since they moved back home. It’s good for them to be able to be back in their own house now.

Daughter Verena was glad for the extra activity yesterday and entertaining Abigail and holding Jennifer. She has days when she gets bored with her cast on. Once the weather gets nicer outside and warmer, she can go outside more often. She had some visitors Sunday afternoon. Timothy and Elizabeth told us to come for supper. Timothy grilled hamburgers and Elizabeth made macaroni and cheese, chips and ice cream. They also told Mose and Susan to come over so they drove the two miles. The whole family was there and it was an enjoyable evening. The boys put Verena in the buggy for the drive to Timothy’s. It was refreshing for her to go on a buggy ride.

Saturday husband Joe and the boys plan to dress and hang our beef. Timothy and Mose will come help too. One half of the beef will go to Mose and Susan. We have another beef we are raising that we still need to butcher yet this winter. We decided to butcher one at a time. It will be nice to have that big job done. We will cut up, can, and bag the meat for the freezer at our house.

The mail just came and had a card and letter from sister-in-law Nancy’s sister Sharon (Nancy and Sharon are cousins to my husband Joe). Sharon said in her letter that Nancy hasn’t been sleeping well at night which is understandable. Wish I could be closer to visit more often. I am glad Nancy’s parents and her siblings all live close to her.

Daughter Verena has been writing and sending cards to Nancy and her ten children. It gives her something to do. She looks forward to mail time.

I answered a lot of reader mail this morning. I was getting behind like usual. A big thank you to all you readers that sent the recipes I requested. I will share them in future columns. I will not be able to share all of them but will look through them.

Our sympathy goes to the family of Marcella, age 88, from Minnesota. She was daughter Elizabeth’s pen pal for over three years. Marcella and her niece Rachel traveled from Minnesota in 2015 to come here to Michigan for Elizabeth and Timothy’s wedding.

Lots of flu going around. Stay healthy everyone!

God’s blessings to all!

Tomato Jelly

4 cups peeled chopped tomatoes
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is okay too)

Boil ingredients together 20 minutes. Turn off and add a 3-ounce box of strawberry jello. May be canned or frozen.

Note: One recipe says to add one 3-ounce box of jello and another one said two.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her newest cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, is available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at




This week: Sisterhood of the traveling snacks

Today is sister Liz and Levi’s silver wedding anniversary. Twenty-five years! They were married the year before Joe and I were. It just seems impossible that those years have passed by so suddenly.

We are done for the night, after getting our clothes ready for the wedding tomorrow and everyone getting cleaned up. Joe and I will attend the wedding tomorrow for Dustin’s brother. The rest will come in the evening. Of course, daughter Loretta and Dustin will also be there having an important part in the wedding. They will be witnesses.

Son-in-law Mose, Dustin and Loretta went deer hunting tonight. Bow season is in. Loretta is hunting with a crossbow. It’s her first year of hunting. They saw deer but didn’t get a chance to get any.

Monday I went to help with preparations for the wedding. We diced onions for the dressing. We then put the onions in glass jars to keep the onion smell in. Then we measured out the seasonings for the dressing. We made barbecue sauce for the chicken that will be grilled. Crispy rice cereal was crushed for some chicken that will be baked. Oreo cookies were crushed for the dirt pudding. Windows were cleaned, and some more jobs that can be done ahead of time were completed. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more women are coming to help. I took a casserole and all the other women brought a dish of some kind. Having lunch prepared makes it easier for the mother of the bride.

We are having nice fall weather this week. Leaves are changing color. My husband Joe and sons cleared out the rest of the garden for the season. Gardening is now history for 2017! I was glad to be done with the garden for this year. It’s nice to be done with the canning. Grape juice is in jars as well.

The next job on our “to do list” is butcher the 100 chickens we are raising for meat. Half of them will be for Mose and Susan. I will be glad when that big job is done!

On Tuesday of next week daughter Susan and I will assist in preparing for the wedding of Esther and Wayne. Esther is son-in-law Mose’s sister. Daughter Susan is also a cook. Their wedding will be on Friday the thirteenth.

This Saturday we are invited to the local feed mill for a hog roast. This is a customer appreciation dinner.

Today daughter Elizabeth and Abigail spent the day here. And of course daughter Susan came over. I love days like this. We did odds and ends and also made Long John rolls for the family in our church who will be hosting church services on Sunday. Our church district has a large plastic food storage container that travels around between families. The idea is that the container needs to be filled with some kind of snack and then given to the next family who will host church services. When you are getting ready to host church services and are too busy to bake for lunches or snacks for the ladies who come help you clean, the snacks make it easy. We made enough Long John rolls for us to have some as well. Long Johns are oblong-shaped frosted doughnuts.

My friend Ruth and five of her high school friends stopped in on Sunday afternoon. Monday daughter Verena, 19, and son Joseph, 15, gave them a horse and buggy ride and a pony-and-pony buggy ride. It was a very lovely autumn day. The group of ladies enjoyed a meal at a local Amish house. I joined them at Ruth’s lake house for an evening of visiting, and Ruth gave us a ride on the pontoon. It was nice to see the sun set over the lake. Only God could do such artistic scenes.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that had lives lost and were hurt in the Las Vegas shooting. How terrible for all involved. May God be with all of them! Also prayers to all affected by the hurricanes and wildfires. I cannot imagine how people feel when they lose all their possessions. Then again, our earthly possessions can be replaced but not our loved ones.

God is a great comfort in times when we don’t understand why things happen. Stay strong and God bless each of you dearly!

I will share the barbecue sauce recipe that we made for chicken this week.

Barbecue Sauce

6 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
2 cups honey
1 cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
6 tablespoons onion, minced
1 cup salt

Heat all ingredients together in a saucepan on the stove and stir until blended. Let cool and refrigerate until use.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her new cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, is available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at