Category Archives: Cookies

Lovina Marks 20 Years of Column Writing

This week brings us into autumn already. This week always takes me back to twenty years ago when my dear mother so suddenly passed away. She died September 17 but was in Blue Springs, Missouri, at the time of her death. The funeral wasn’t until September 23. My mother penned this column for eleven years, and after her death I started writing. Joe and I had six children at the time, and Joseph was eight weeks old. Where have all the years gone to? Time does not stand still. I have many precious memories of my sweet mother. She far outdid me in cooking/baking.

Yesterday we did laundry and I had everything hung outside, then I heard thunder in the distance. I gradually took off the clothes as they dried, but the storm kept getting closer. I hung what fit on the lines on the porch, then brought the rest in baskets inside. We didn’t get too much thunder and lightning, but some rain. After it was over, I hung what was wet outside again. I could’ve left it out in the rain, but the towels were halfway dry, and although it took more physical labor, I decided to take them off until after the rain. All the laundry was dry and could be folded and put away by nighttime. I really hope I can someday get those wash lines that you can put on your porch ceilings and fold back up after you’re done using them. On rainy days when you don’t have heat in the house, that would be so nice to hang laundry out there. We have a big wrap-around porch that would be great for that.

Daughter Loretta and baby Denzel came here for the day. She brought their tomatoes, and I had several five-gallon buckets out of my garden that son Joseph had picked the evening before. We canned thirty quarts of tomato juice for Dustin and Loretta from all the tomatoes. Loretta started washing and cutting up the tomatoes while we did laundry. She was glad when Dustin came home from work and helped her. This will be a nice supply for them this winter.

My hot pepper plants are loaded again, so I will have son Kevin pick the peppers this week and get those in jars. The raised garden beds make it easier for Kevin to help pick the vegetables.

Church services were held at niece Emma and Menno’s on Sunday, which was also council meeting. Everyone comes in for lunch two tables at a time, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until everyone is fed. Church services were held under a tent. The lunch was served in their pole barn. They had a good lunch consisting of chicken noodle soup, homemade wheat and white bread, ham, cheese, peanut butter spread, pickles, red beets, hot peppers, butter, strawberry jam, a variety of cookies, coffee, and iced tea.

Services were over around 2:30 p.m. and everyone left for home. Our family stayed, and Emma made supper for us. Corn hole was being played while supper was being prepared. Nephew Jacob, 22, has muscular dystrophy also, and corn hole games are one thing he makes for income.

We are working on having a benefit supper at our Community Youth Center on October 7. We will be serving a barbecue chicken and pulled pork meal from 4–8 p.m. I wrote out slips of paper with pies, potato salad, etc. to pass out to the ladies that want to help bring the food. The benefit is to help Dustin and Loretta with hospital and ongoing medical bills. Dustin is raising pigs for this winter to butcher, so they will roast one of those for the benefit. There is a lot of work involved, but there are a lot of willing people wanting to help. Many hands make lighter work!

Loretta will have an ultrasound done in mid-October on both legs to see what is causing the clots. We pray it will be something simple that can be fixed.

Denzel is 10 1/2 weeks old and drew a lot of attention in church when he decided to giggle out loud. Loretta was making faces at him and he just giggled and giggled. He is such a cutie!

I will share the cookie recipe that daughter Lovina tried and everyone loved. Hope you will enjoy them, too. God’s blessings to all!

This week Lovina shares the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies that daughter Lovina tried and everyone loved. Photo provided.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (1 12-ounce package) peanut butter chips or chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and then blend into creamed mixture. Stir in chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes (do not overbake). Cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten when they are cooling.

 

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.

Holding On to Precious Memories

This week I have been busy sewing for nephew Benjamin’s wedding, which will be next week.

Once again, I put off my sewing until it was too close to the day. I sewed my dress, cape, and apron on Tuesday. Yesterday I cut out dresses, capes, and aprons for daughters Verena and Lovina and sewed Verena’s dress. Today after laundry, I want to sew again.

Daughter Loretta went to go buy her material for her suit, so I’ll cut and sew that for her too.

Then two weeks after nephew Benjamin and Crystal’s wedding is niece Leanna and Alvin’s wedding. This will be held at her parents Albert (my brother) and Sarah Irene’s house. Loretta, Verena, and Lovina all need new dresses, capes, and aprons for that wedding. I will wear the same dress I wear to Benjamin’s wedding because it is the same color but only different material for Leanna’s wedding.

At Benjamin’s wedding, daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Loretta, and I will be cooks. Daughters Verena and Lovina and sons Benjamin and Kevin will all be table waiters. Son Joseph and his special friend Grace will be witnesses for Benjamin and Crystal. They usually have two couples for witnesses. Nephew Benjamin and son Joseph are the same age and have always been close cousins. Joseph was surprised and feels honored to stand with his cousin/friend when he gets married.

There will be an empty spot at the wedding without Benjamin’s dad, Jacob. Also, for sister Emma to be at her child’s wedding without her dear husband.

Sunday, son Joseph was 20. His birth always brings back memories of my dear mother. Joe’s Aunt Sylvia was my midwife, and Mom was there too, as she was with every baby I had. Joseph was baby number six for us. My sisters had the other five children on that hot July afternoon. Mom kept chilling and asked for a coat. Sylvia kept taking her vitals and tried to make her comfortable. She had a heat stroke and was probably cold from having a fever, which we later found out.

Joseph was born at 6:35 p.m. weighing seven pounds six ounces. After he was born, my sisters Verena and Susan came with our other children to meet their new brother/nephew. Jacob, sister Emma, and their four children came to see the new baby that night. We had made Mom go lay down in the other bedroom, and she was covered with blankets. Jacobs, Verena, and Susan stayed for the night because we were all worried about Mom.

Little did we realize that in eight weeks, we wouldn’t have her with us anymore. My sisters Verena and Susan and Mom had gone to some book signings in Kansas and Missouri. Mom was in a motel in Blue Springs, Missouri, when she died from an aneurysm in her stomach. What a shock when we heard the news. Precious memories are our comfort!

Sunday evening, our family was here in honor of Joseph’s birthday. We also celebrated son Benjamin’s birthday, which was July 14th. We never had cake for him, so we had a cake for both boys.

Lovina and her family celebrated the birthdays of Joseph and Benjamin. Photo provided.

Our menu was a Haystack Meal with cake and ice cream. Homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam, and chips as well.

A haystack is made with Dorito crumbs, crushed saltine crackers, taco-seasoned hamburger, cooked spaghetti, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, onions, salsa, ranch dressing, then topped with cheese sauce.

Baby Denzel is at six pounds 10 ounces now and is getting a lot of attention with Grandpa, Grandma, uncles, and aunts across the road.

Grandson Ryan was three on July 27. Susan’s friend Ervin had our family all at his house for Ryan’s birthday. Ervin lives a mile from us, so it’s close by. Ryan felt so proud of all the attention when he blew out his candles. God bless!

Pumpkin Chip Cookies
2 3/4 cup pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1 cup lard or shortening
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-6ounce package of chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (if desired)

Mix pumpkin, sugar, lard, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add gradually. Mix well. Stir in chips and nuts, then drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 14 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.

A Day in the Life with Lovina and Her Family

Diary of June 28, 2022

4 a.m. The alarm rings, and it’s time to start another day. I pack lunch for my husband Joe and make him breakfast. For breakfast, I make him an egg, sausage, and cheese in a soft tortilla shell. He likes to stay away from too much bread, so I get the low-carb tortillas.

4:30 a.m. Son Joseph, 19, gets up and goes out to do the morning chores. I make him a grilled cheese with an egg and sausage in it.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work at the metal shop. Joseph comes in and eats breakfast while I pack his lunch.

5 a.m. Joseph leaves for his construction job. They have an hour and a half drive to the job site.

Son Benjamin, 22, gets up and gets ready for work. He doesn’t want any breakfast.

5:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work at the factory. I sit down to read awhile in my recliner but doze off and don’t get much reading done.

7 a.m. I get up, shower, and make a pot of coffee. I have some mail to get out and some bills to get ready to send out.

8:30 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth brings Abigail, five, Timothy (T.J.), three, and Allison, two, here to stay while she goes to help with preparations for their nephew’s wedding. She takes Andrea, four months, along to breastfeed.

8:45 a.m. Daughter Lovina, 18, son Kevin, 16, and I eat breakfast with the little ones. We have pancakes and bacon.

9:15 a.m. Lovina washes dishes and cleans the house up. The little ones keep me busy. They go outside for a while to bike and then decide they want to look at books. I sometimes forget how short their attention span is.

11:45 a.m. Lunch is bologna and cheese. The little ones want to make faces with their bologna, so we use pickles for ears and cheese for eyes, etc. They each want us to look at the face they made. Allison is tired and ready to nap, so I rock her to sleep.

1:15 p.m. Elizabeth is back to pick up the little ones. I get to hold Andrea for a little bit. She is so cuddly and all smiles.

Lovina mixed up a batch of Chocolate M&M Cookies earlier with the help of Abigail and T.J. and is baking them. The children want a cookie to take home. They are delicious, and I will share the recipe this week. They are very simple to make. I know they won’t last long here.

5 p.m. Everyone is home from work and getting chores done. Sons Benjamin and Joseph cleaned the horse stalls and the rest of the barn tonight.

5:30 p.m. Daughter Verena came here with Abigail, Jennifer, and Kaitlyn (daughter of Ervin, who is daughter Susan’s friend). She left the horse and buggy here, and the four of them went down to my sister Verena’s house. They will spend the night there. The three little girls were excited to go with their Aunt Verena to her Aunt Verena’s. They looked so cute with their backpacks on their backs. Of course, they wanted to sample the cookies.

Before they left, all three girls came and hugged me and said, “Bye, Grandma.” I had to laugh when Jennifer hugged me and said, “Grandma, you smell pretty.” I’m not quite sure how you smell pretty, but I hope she meant I smell good. Smile!

7 p.m. Supper is later tonight. The menu is potatoes, smoked sausage, and cheese, along with fresh lettuce and onions from the garden.

Tomorrow, I plan to have a coffee break at neighbor Leah’s. The neighborhood ladies are having a welcome to the community coffee break with her. I am sure she has had some lonely days living two hours from her parents since she moved in. The young couple seems to be adjusting quite well, though. Daughter Lovina is making tortilla meat and cheese roll-ups for me to take.

Thursday, Joe and I, son Joseph, and his special friend Grace will attend nephew Sam and KatieAnn’s wedding in Monroe, Indiana. This is the last of brother Amos’ 10 children getting married. I will be the cook at the wedding. Joseph and Grace are table waiters. Sister-in-law Nancy will be all alone now.

We received another wedding invitation from niece Leanna and Alvin. They set their date for August 18th. Congratulations to them as well.

9:30 p.m. Time for bed—Good night and God’s blessings to all!

Chocolate M&M Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mini M&Ms
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

In a large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly add these ingredients to the butter mixture. Fold in M&Ms (and walnuts if desired). Drop dough by rounded tablespoon about 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased tray. Bake at 350 degrees. Bake 7–9 minutes for chewy cookies or 10–12 minutes for crispy cookies. Yield: 24–30 cookies.

 

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.

Taking Time for Coffee Breaks with Family

We ended up with 10–12 inches of snow in this area last week. Now the temperature is above freezing this morning.

This forenoon, my plans are to go with daughters Verena and Susan and grandchildren Jennifer and Ryan to have a coffee break with Martha. Martha is a widow with five children in this community. Her oldest child was nine yesterday. Susan and Martha have become friends since both losing their husbands. Martha and her children are moving back to her home community closer to her parents. Susan wanted to go visit her before she moves. Daughter Lovina might also go along.

Tomorrow morning, some of our church ladies are going to go for a coffee break at neighbor Susie’s in honor of her fortieth birthday. Her birthday was last week, but due to the weather, it was postponed. That might be the reason I’m not getting much accomplished this week with two coffee breaks. Sometimes you have to just let the work go and take one day at a time. This week, I am glad to rest my right shoulder and arm. Somehow when I turned around, something started hurting my shoulder, and the pain ran down my right arm. I have numbness in my arm and fingers, so I am thinking it’s a pinched nerve. I am rotating cold packs and heat to loosen it up. I sure am looking forward to the pain leaving.

Sunday was baptismal services in our church with four young souls accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Among the four were nephew Benjamin and his special friend Crystal. Jacob (sister Emma’s husband) would have been so happy to see everyone that came to support the baptism. It is now five months since he passed away. Emma has many lonely days without her dear husband. Brother Albert and Sarah Irene and some of their family and sister Liz and Levi and some of their family attended the baptismal services. It was so good to visit with them. Sister Verena went home with sister Liz and Levi and returned to Michigan last night. After being here a week, she went to stay with sister Emma again. Our family and some of Crystal’s family and Emma’s married children had a delicious supper at sister Emma’s house Sunday night. Crystal’s mother brought supper in for us all. There was tater tot casserole, meatballs, lettuce salad, and desserts.

Saturday, February 5th, daughter Susan and granddaughter Jennifer attended baptismal services for Mose’s two youngest siblings. Little grandson Ryan stayed here with us. He looked so cute following Grandpa Joe around outside. He told me he is helping Grandpa do the chores. Daughter Verena also spent some time here Saturday. It’s always so good to have her home again. Mose’s birthday would have been Saturday, and Ryan heard Susan and Verena talking about Mose’s birthday, so he started singing Happy Birthday to Mose Daddy in the bathtub. Precious!

Sunday, February 6th, was son Joseph’s special friend Grace’s birthday. Joseph bought a cake and made supper on the grill Saturday night in her honor.

It is already 6 a.m., and I want to prepare something to take along to the coffee break. I will probably slice summer sausage and cheese and take crackers to eat with that. Susan and Verena are taking some goodies too.

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

A reader shared this recipe for honey-peanut butter cookies with me.

Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shortening, peanut butter, honey, eggs, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork dipped in flour. Bake for 8–10 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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails or comments left on this site.

December events penned by Daughter Verena

This column was written the week before Christmas.

Hello Readers,

I am Lovina’s daughter Verena. Mom has been telling us girls we should take a turn writing.

It has been over ten months now that I have moved in with sister Susan. When I first moved in, my niece Jennifer (almost 4) had a hard time understanding why I’m staying with them and her daddy wasn’t coming back. She didn’t like the idea at first but has grown to love having me here.

Jennifer and Ryan (age 2) are playing “doll” right now. Jennifer is the mom, and Ryan is the dad. Ryan left the “baby” sit on the couch alone, and Jennifer is lecturing him because no baby should be left alone on the couch. Ha! It is just so fun to see them play.

Friday, December 10th I turned 24. Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, and I went to Dad and Mom’s for supper. Some of the youth from our community came Christmas caroling for us. It was a very nice thought, and we enjoyed it.

I heard the horrible news about the tornados that went through Kentucky and the other states killing so many people. My heart broke for all the families who lost a loved one. So many families grieving. So many lives changed in an instant. So many homes demolished. God is above all, and He makes no mistakes. I’ll continue to pray for the families who are struggling.

Yesterday morning, church services were held not too far from Susan’s house. We were going to take her horse and buggy but Jodi (widow friend whose husband was killed in the same accident Mose was involved in) was able to take us. It made it easier to not have to worry about the horse when we got to church, especially since there is no man with us.

After church Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, and I took a nap. In the evening we made supper for Dad, Mom, Tim, Elizabeth, and their three children, sister Lovina, and her boyfriend Daniel. It was very enjoyable! Dad, Tim, and Daniel grilled chicken. I always love when Dad grills chicken. He makes it very tasty and juicy.

December 14th was a year that Mose has passed on. It is scary how quickly someone can become just a memory. Please remember to tell your friends and family that you love them because today could be your last day on this earth or it could be their last day. Life is too short to take it for granted.

A special memory of Mose I have is from when before Susan and Mose were married. He took Susan and me blue gill fishing a lot. We didn’t want to touch the worms so Mose came to our rescue and hooked our worms. Pretty soon I had a fish, and Mose took care of it. Then Susan had a fish, and Mose took care of it. Susan and I were reeling the fish in one after another, and Mose was taking our fish and rebaiting our hooks. Mose seemed to enjoy it more watching us get excited then if he was fishing himself.

Festively set, the table is ready for the Eicher family’s Christmas gathering. Photo provided.

December 18th plans are to go to Dad and Mom’s for our family Christmas. I love when the family gets together. More memories are made and there is never a dull moment.

Jennifer’s puppy Rose is four months now. She is a Blue Merle Pomeranian and very beautiful. Rose loves to pull at Ryan’s pant legs. She must think it’s a toy. My pomsky dogs, Lincoln and Kimmy, are very kind to Rose. I love dogs!

Susan and I washed laundry earlier today. It was too cold outside so Susan hung it on clothes racks inside the house. We don’t have enough room to hang it all at once so when some gets dry, we hang up more.

Ryan came up to me and gave me a hug and said, “I love you.” That warms my heart. Children are so precious. Ryan has a hat on and is stomping around. He doesn’t look tired at all, to think it’s his bedtime!

May God be with you all!

 

Yoder’s Restaurant Cookies

3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups butter
2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
8 cups flour

Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
a little water

Beat eggs, then add sugar. Melt butter, then add to sugar mixture. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; mix well. Add flour, one or two cups at a time. Form the dough into balls and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. For frosting, mix powdered sugar and butter with enough water to reach desired consistency.

 

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

 

Try a new recipe for your holiday baking

Since the holiday season is here, I decided to share some recipes. These were shared with me and my daughters by readers over the 19 years of my writing. So, as you do your holiday baking you might enjoy incorporating a new recipe!

Christmas Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 cup milk

Cream butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine dry ingredients. To the creamed mixture, add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Chill the dough. On a floured board, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool and frost with your favorite icing.

 

Chocolate Delight Dip

12 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 small box instant chocolate pudding

In a bowl, combine all ingredients until creamy. This is good served with apples or vanilla wafers.

 

No-Bake Orange Balls

7 ounces vanilla wafers, crushed
3/4 cup coconut, grated
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup nuts, optional
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring, optional

Mix wafer crumbs, coconut, and powdered sugar. Add orange juice concentrate as it comes from the can and mix well. Form into balls (makes about 25) and roll in powdered sugar. No refrigeration needed.

 

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 unwrapped milk chocolate kisses

In mixing bowl, cream peanut butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. If dough is too sticky to shape, chill for several hours. Roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Immediately after removing baking sheets from oven, press one kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen

 

Chocolate Drops

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter or shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Frosting:

1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk

Sift together flour, salt, soda, and cocoa. Cream butter, adding sugar gradually, until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating well. Blend in dry ingredients and milk alternately. Stir in nuts (if desired). Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool before icing. Makes 4 dozen.

For frosting, cream the shortening with the vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar. Gradually add milk and the rest of the powdered sugar, beating constantly. More powdered sugar can be added to your desired thickness.

 

Haystacks

2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 12-ounce container creamy peanut butter
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Boil sugar and syrup in 2-quart pan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, mixing until smooth. Add Rice Krispies cereal and mix well. Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.

 

I want to thank all of you readers for being patient with me as we experienced a year of grief. God is above all, and without His help it would be hard to go on. The support from all of you has meant more than you know. God be with each of you as this year is coming to an end.

 

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

Trying a new recipe to celebrate Thanksgiving

It’s probably our coldest morning so far this fall. The mercury on the thermometer dipped down to almost 20 degrees. How thankful we are for a cozy house to live in. Some are not so fortunate. We should thank God every day for our many blessings, but as I write this, with Thanksgiving Day in a few days, it reminds us to be thankful.

Joe and I, with sons Benjamin and Kevin, will go to sister Emma’s on Thanksgiving Day. Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, daughters Verena and Susan and her children, sister Verena, and Emma’s family will also be there. Dustin and daughter Loretta, son Joseph, and daughter Lovina will attend Thanksgiving dinner at Dustin’s brother Clint and Hannah’s house.

I am glad to spend the day with sister Emma, daughter Susan, and sister Verena. They all lost a very dear beloved one since last Thanksgiving. They need our prayers!

Yesterday my husband Joe and I, along with sisters Emma and Verena, attended the funeral of Uncle Emanuel, age 91. Uncle Emanuel and Aunt Leah were married 67 years. Aunt Leah is my mother’s sister. She is 86 and a year older than my mother would have been. Uncle Emanuel shared the same birthday as my dad but was a year older than him. For many years Mom and Aunt Leah took turns hosting each other’s family on February 17. It was always enjoyable to get together. It has been many years since I was at Emanuel and Leah’s place. Their son Simon and Judy and family now live in the house. Emanuel and Leah lived in a “Doddy Haus” beside them.

I felt so sorry for Aunt Leah. She had a stroke and broke her ankle recently, and Emanuel had been helping her. If I heard correctly, Emanuel also had a stroke and fell and broke his hip not too many days before his death.

When my sister Susan died in January, Emanuel and Leah both came. They were doing pretty good for their age.

Emanuel and Leah had 15 children with three being stillborn. The living 12 are all married with families of their own. They have more than 100 grandchildren and many, many great grandchildren. I didn’t get the exact count.

Yes, it brought back memories being at their place. Sisters Leah, Liz, Verena, Emma, and I all got to sit together at the funeral. We talked about how we would go with Mom to spend the day at Aunt Leah’s. We would dress up their kittens and have them for our babies. I also remember we would chip off a chunk of salt from their big salt block they had for their animals to lick on. We would take it to the water pump and wash it off really well then lick it. Now I can’t believe we did that. It sounds so gross now. It’s surprising what all little children come up with.

My sympathy goes to all the family as they mourn Uncle Emanuel’s death and especially Aunt Leah. She will have many lonely days ahead. Rest in peace Uncle Emanuel—you were much loved!

It was nice to get to visit with many of my cousins, some friends we don’t see too often, and with Uncle Elmer and Aunt Salome and Aunt Emma (Mom’s sisters).

I plan to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, bread, and hopefully cinnamon rolls to take to Emma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I am thinking of trying this recipe for cinnamon roll cookies instead of cinnamon rolls. It sounds interesting! I wish everyone a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your loved ones! God’s blessings to all!

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup butter or shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup warm water or scalded milk
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

 

Sugar mixture:
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:
1/3 cup butter, slightly browned
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or maple flavoring
2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons hot water

 

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Cream butter or shortening and 3/4 cup sugar. Add vanilla, eggs, and 1 cup warm water or scalded milk. Mix in yeast, flour, and salt. Refrigerate overnight. You may need a little more flour before making rolls. Divide dough in half and roll each in a 12×18 inch rectangle. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll up tightly. Cut into 1/2 inch wide slices; put on cookie sheet; press flat with hand. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool and glaze.

 

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

Mourning the Loss of a Mother in the Community

Son Kevin is spending the night at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house. He will go deer hunting with Tim in the morning.

Tonight we attended the visitation for a 41-year-old woman in our community. We were shocked and saddened when son-in-law Mose’s cousin, Ruth Ann, passed away after giving birth ten days earlier. Ruth Ann leaves to mourn her a husband and eight children. The oldest child is 16 and the youngest ten days old. Our hearts ache for them. We know they will have many hard lonely days ahead. Ruth Ann was an only daughter and had two brothers. She also leaves to mourn her parents, mother-in-law, and her husband’s family.

Tomorrow we plan to attend the funeral. We will take daughter Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan along. It is hard for Susan when she sits with Mose’s relatives and he’s not beside her anymore. She understands the feelings Ruth Ann’s husband will go through in the days, weeks, and months ahead. A baby that will never get to know his mother. Teenagers that could use their mother’s advice, and school age children that will never come home to their mother to tell her how school went. This family needs our prayers. May God guide them through this sorrowful time in their life. We do not always understand why, but we do know God makes no mistakes.

Sunday we awoke to our first snowfall which accumulated around an inch. With the ground still not frozen it didn’t stay long. It was a pretty scene with snow clinging to the tree branches. We have had some nice sunsets lately, too. Only our Master Artist can paint a picture like that. How beautiful heaven must be!

Next week is Thanksgiving. A year ago, our life was complete yet. Our three loved ones were still with us. We all ate together for Thanksgiving dinner. Sister Liz, Levi, and some of their family were able to join us. Little did we realize that within a few weeks, our lives would be forever changed. Time goes on and we must go on, but not without a lot of tears shed and pain in our hearts. Without comfort from God and the support from others we could not go on. We try to be cheerful around others, and daughter Susan says she has learned to smile when inside she doesn’t feel like smiling. She is good at hiding her feelings. She says she has to for her children’s sake.

Yesterday sister Emma and I went to town with sister Verena. She needed help looking for a new stove. Hers gave up, and her house was 45 degrees when we stopped there. She has been staying with us or with Emma. She stayed with daughters Susan and Verena last night.

I think she plans to come here tonight and will go to the funeral with us. Hopefully her house will be heated by tomorrow and her new stove will work okay.

God’s blessings to all!

Cowboy Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups coconut
2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Making friends with Hatchi, a new dog

4 a.m. Our alarm rings, and it’s time to get up. I was so used to getting up an hour earlier with daylight savings time that I always wake up at 3 a.m. now. Sometimes it’s hard to fall back to sleep for an hour until the alarm rings.

I make son Joseph and my husband Joe sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. Son Benjamin doesn’t want any and takes a protein shake instead.

4:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work. Joseph is feeding the horses. I pack Joseph and Joe’s lunches and fill their water jugs.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work.

5:00 a.m. Joseph leaves for work. Daughter Lovina is getting ready for work.

5:30 a.m. Lovina leaves for work. I wash the breakfast dishes and a few from last night’s supper.

6:30 a.m. Dishes are washed and put away. I take a break and sit in my recliner and read. Everything is quiet and it’s good to have “me” time. Son Kevin is still in bed. He sleeps later since he doesn’t leave. Usually around daylight he lets our new dog out to run around. We have an eight-month-old Blue Heeler/Australian Shepherd named Hatchi that a co-worker gave to Joe. He’s a good dog. It helps fill the spot of our dog Buddy who disappeared one night. We had Buddy (a Border Collie/English Shepherd) for 12 years if I’m thinking correctly. Kevin misses Buddy but is gradually making friends with Hatchi. Hatchi is a lot more energetic than Buddy was.

8:30 a.m. I make scrambled eggs and sausage patties for Kevin, daughter Loretta, and my breakfast. Loretta came over this morning in her mobility scooter. It is nice for her to be this close to home if she needs help.

I am doing mending and other odd jobs today. It seems like some jobs were pushed aside over preparing for the wedding of Loretta and Dustin. It feels nice to heave time to catch up now.

1:00 p.m. Son Benjamin is home from work to shower and get ready for an appointment. Our friend Jodi is taking us to town, so she comes in to visit while Benjamin showers. It’s a hard day for Jodi and Susan as the accident was 11 months ago.

2:00 p.m. We leave for town, run some errands, and go to Benjamin’s appointment. He hurt his leg a while ago and the orthopedic doctor wanted to see how it is doing. He thinks Benjamin should have surgery or try a brace, so Benjamin chose the knee brace.

5:30 p.m. We are back home. Benjamin didn’t want me to have to make supper when we got home, so he bought something for everyone at Dairy Queen. That was a nice treat for me, and I appreciated the kind gesture.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll leave with daughter Lovina and son Kevin to go to their dentist appointments. In the afternoon I’ll go with daughter Verena to her appointment an hour away at an eye specialist. I really hope they can help her. She’s had a lot of eye appointments recently.

Then on Friday are the annual appointments for the ones with muscular dystrophy in Ann Arbor. Another long tiring day.

9:00 p.m. Everyone is getting ready for bed so I think I will join them soon.

Good night and God bless! I’ll share the recipe for monster cookies. Daughter Lovina made over 100 one afternoon last week. They were gone way too fast; needless to say, they were way too good.

Monster Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups plain M&M’s

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition, the vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda, and peanut butter. Mix until smooth. Add the oats and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Then add the M&M’s and mix well.

On ungreased baking sheets, drop the batter by the tablespoon spacing two inches apart. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Cool the cookies on a wire rack or a plate and then put into sealed containers. Makes six dozen cookies.

 

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

The Eicher Family Mourns Another Loss

It is with a heavy heart that I write this column. Brother-in-law Jacob (sister Emma’s husband) was admitted to the hospital while we were at the Outer Banks. We were able to talk to him and Emma on Thursday night, but Jacob was very weak and losing out fast. He was airlifted to a bigger hospital. We arrived home from our vacation around 9:45 p.m. and Jacob lost his battle to his illness a little before 1 a.m. Sunday morning. It still does not seem real that he has also been taken from us. Jacob is 48 and so is sister Emma. They had 26 years of marriage together. Emma was a great nurse to Jacob since his illness, and Jacob wanted her beside him in the hospital. Emma and her children and Jacob’s mother were all by his bedside when he passed away.

In eight months’ time we have lost three very dear people and our grief is so strong. We question why but we know God is in control and makes no mistakes. It doesn’t make it any easier.

Long time readers of this column know how close Jacob’s family and ours were. Not a weekend went by it seemed that we weren’t doing something together, until we both had married children and grandchildren and we were sometimes busy with our own families. We would always get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas, taking turns to host it. Sisters Verena and Susan would also be there. It doesn’t seem possible that last Thanksgiving we were all together here along with son-in-law Mose, sister Susan, and brother-in-law Jacob. No one was sick, life was good. Now in less than eight months, three out of our families have gone on before us. Sister Emma will have many lonely days. Jacob and Emma have two married daughters. Three sons are still at home—Jacob, 21, Benjamin, 19, and Steven, 14. Jacob and Steven both have muscular dystrophy. Our sympathy goes out to them, but we grieve right along with them. Jacob and my husband Joe are first cousins, so they have always been close and always leaned on each other when they needed help.

The viewing/visitation starts today (August 9) at 2 p.m. and tomorrow at 10 a.m. Funeral services will be on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at Jacob and Emma’s house. We want to do laundry this morning before we go, but it’s supposed to rain. Hopefully it will hold off until it’s dry.

Our trip to the Outer Banks was very nice, but when we heard about Jacob our minds were always on him. I’m so glad we got to talk to him, even if it wasn’t much since he was so weak.

On Wednesday, August 4th, Joe, son Kevin, and I left home at 2:45 a.m. to meet the two charter buses at the home of Joe’s employer. All the employees and families (wives and children under 16) were there with their luggage.

After loading up, we headed out around 4 a.m. We arrived at the motel in Nags Head, North Carolina around 8:30 or 8:45 p.m. if I remember right. Everyone went to go take their luggage to their rooms. Joe’s employer Daniel ordered pizza for everyone, so we all gathered in the dining area to eat a late supper. The motel had a pool and was right along the Atlantic Ocean, with a nice beach. A lot of the people went swimming or walked out along the beach.

 

On the Eicher family’s trip to North Carolina, they had the opportunity to see the wild horses on the beach. Photo Provided.

 

On Thursday we went to Corolla to see the wild horses on the beach. On Friday morning Joe and son Kevin left at 4:45 a.m. to go fishing with a guide. They caught some fish on the ocean. They came back around noon. Around 5 p.m. we left again to go on the two-hour dolphin cruise. We saw a lot of dolphins. We drove through the Allegheny Mountains both times and through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It was a nice trip, but with Jacob being ill and then passing away it made us glad to be back home with our loved ones. Son Joseph and daughter Lovina had left Friday for Iowa to attend a reunion with their special friends and family. They arrived back on Sunday and it was good to all be together again. Please pray for us and also for sister Emma and family as they mourn for her dear husband/father/grandfather. God’s blessings to all!

Oatmeal Crunch Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon soda
1 cup quick oats

Mix all ingredients. Spread mixture into ungreased 9×13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 22 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. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.