Category Archives: Desserts

Updates from Susan

Dear Readers,

I’m Lovina’s daughter Susan. I wanted to write for Mom this week since she is very busy preparing for church services that will be held at her home on Sunday. Then less than two weeks later will be my sister Loretta’s wedding.

Today I sewed my dress for Loretta and Dustin’s wedding. Now I need to do my cape and apron. Jennifer’s dress and apron are all finished. Ryan’s shirt and pants are finished, also, so I am almost done with my sewing for the wedding. It’s heartbreaking to not have my dear husband Mose here. He would have loved to help Dustin build his pole barn. God’s plans are different than ours sometimes.

Mose’s sister Esther and her son Darrin were here for the day. Esther’s husband, Wayne, dropped her off and went to do some horseshoeing in the area. He came to shoe my horse Mighty last. Meanwhile, Esther cleaned my pantry out and helped me do some sewing. It really gave me a boost.

Sunday Mose’s dad and mom, his sister Hannah and Leroy and their children, his sister Esther and Wayne and their son brought lunch in. They brought potato casserole and baked chicken. It was enjoyable to have them all here. Jennifer loves to try to get her grandpa to play dolls with her.

Colorful cupcakes to celebrate Abigail’s fifth birthday.

Tomorrow sister Verena, Jennifer, Ryan, and I all go to Mom and Dad’s. We are going to help Mom clean for church services that will be held there Sunday, September 19th, Lord willing. Sister Elizabeth and children, Aunt Emma, cousin Emma and her children, cousin Elizabeth and Aunt Verena all will be coming too. We should get a lot done.

Today marks nine months since Mose passed away. It’s hard to grasp that the person you were closest to becomes just a memory. Without God and the support of our community, we would be lost.

Monday was Jodi’s husband Dan’s birthday. He would’ve turned 55. Jodi, her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece all brought flowers in memory of Dan. Jodi picked sister Verena, Jennifer, Ryan, and me up to go along with them to plant the flowers around the two crosses that stand where the accident was. They did some landscaping and mulch and planted the flowers around the crosses. Keep Jodi in your prayers. She has some hard days also without her dear husband.

I canned quite a lot of tomatoes this year. Pizza sauce goes fast around here. I canned 46 pints. I wanted to do more but ran out of some of the ingredients. I also canned salsa and tomato juice. Gardening season is almost done this year. I have to dig up my potatoes yet since they are ready. I’m actually ready for canning season to be over with this year.

Tim and Elizabeth had to go to town tonight so Verena and I watched their three children. Jennifer and Ryan love to have their cousins over. Seems they always get into more trouble when they are together.

Abigail started school on Monday. She got dropped off here and she really loves to tell us about her friend. We asked her who her friend is, and she always says I don’t know, I never asked her.

We had a thunderstorm go through tonight and Jennifer came to me and said, “Mom don’t be scared, Jesus will take care of us.” Children have a way to make the day look brighter.

Jennifer and Ryan are both sleeping so I think I’m going to wrap this up. God’s blessing to you all.

 

Peach Cobbler

1 stick butter
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups flour
2 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

 

Melt butter in a 9×13 inch pan. Combine sugar, baking powder, milk, and flour; pour mixture over butter. Spoon peaches on top and bake at 325 degrees until golden brown. Serve with ice cream or milk.

Canning Vegetables and Cleaning Up After a Storm

Today daughters Lovina, 17, and Loretta, 21, and I canned 42 quarts of red beets from our garden. Yesterday we froze sweet corn and now tomorrow plans are to freeze green beans.

Loretta also started sewing on her wedding dress and I sewed on a dress for Lovina. It is almost 10 p.m. and I took the last of the red beets off the stove. I am so glad the beets are canned. Our garden seems to be emptying out gradually. My husband Joe and son Joseph picked around four bushels of tomatoes this week. I sent most of them to daughter Susan, as her tomatoes died. Susan and daughter Verena are busy canning pizza sauce and tomato juice. I didn’t have time to can tomatoes yet so am glad that Susan could use them.

We had a very bad storm go through our area last week. We had quite a bit of damage but probably the worst was losing our buggy, Susan’s buggy, and Dustin’s buggy. It was the morning after brother-in-law Jacob’s funeral, and we had parked our buggies out in the yard. Susan and children and daughter Verena spent the night here. The wind blew our buggy under the big oak trees and a few big branches came down on top of Susan’s, Dustin’s, and our buggies, totaling them beyond repair. We are so thankful that no one was hurt. Roads all around us were closed due to trees across roads, power lines downed, etc. Quite a few of our neighbors finally have their electric back on today. A lot are still without power. There is so much damage in the surrounding area. Our porch ceiling and a section of our railing was also ruined, but Joe and Joseph fixed that already.

The boys are still cleaning up our yard from all the branches and leaves scattered throughout. It also flattened my sweet corn, but we could save about half of it that was ready to freeze. The only thing that matters is we were all safe and no one was hurt. God was watching over us!

We are so fortunate this storm didn’t hit a day sooner for the funeral of brother-in-law Jacob.

On Sunday daughters Verena and Susan hosted us for Sunday lunch with a haystack meal. Our family except Joseph and Lovina were there. Joseph and Lovina went to church with Grace and Daniel, their special friends. Others at Susan’s house were sister Emma and all of her family, sister Verena, and daughter Elizabeth and Tim and children. It was a sad day for all of us. In less than eight months, three of our family are missing. Their presence is greatly missed and our hearts feel so much pain. It seems as if it’s only us that have so many taken from us. We need to trust and remind ourselves that God makes no mistakes and He is in control. Sister Emma looked so lonely when she left.

Jacob’s viewing/visitation and funeral were largely attended. We appreciated all the friends and family that came to pay their respect. Death is so final! Jacob was a kind-hearted man and will be greatly missed by many. Our church once again helped out so much!

While we were on our trip to the Outer Banks, daughter Susan and Mose would have had their fifth anniversary. It was a sad day for her. I am glad Mose’s family and some of ours spent time with her that day, since we were so far away.

I want to wish daughter Elizabeth and Tim a happy sixth anniversary, which was August 14st.

Our goal is to paint a bedroom upstairs yet this week. Friday in six weeks is daughter Loretta’s wedding, and there is so much to get done. Dustin’s pole barn frame that was ready for new metal blew down in the storm. This is where we had planned to have the wedding service. Dustin hopes to be able to rebuild before the wedding. We will take one day at a time! God’s blessings to all!

Apple Zucchini Bread

2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
4 cups zucchini
2 apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Cream sugar and eggs; add applesauce and mix. Add zucchini, apples, and vanilla and mix. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and soda. Add to creamed mixture and stir. Fold in nuts, if desired, and mix. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

 

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

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.

Freshening Up the House & Upcoming Vacation

We enter August with some much cooler than normal temperatures. We painted sons Joseph’s and Kevin’s bedrooms last week. Our next project is to paint the bedroom daughters Loretta and Lovina share. Loretta has moved a lot of her things over to Dustin’s house, so now with the room emptier, we decided to paint it. It is time-consuming, but the room looks so freshened up after a few coats of paint. As we move everything back in, we give it all a thorough cleaning.

Those here on Sunday for the noon meal were Sister Verena, Sister Liz and Levi and their daughter Suzanne, Sister Emma and Jacob and their sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s special friend) and her son Isaiah, niece Elizabeth and Samuel and their three children, niece Emma and Menno and their two children, niece Susan and Joe and their nine children, Daughter Elizabeth and Jim and their three children, daughter Susan and her two children, daughter Verena, Dustin, Daniel and Grace (special friends to Lovina and Joseph) and also Rosina (a friend of our children).

Sister Liz and Levi and family came out on Saturday to help Sister Verena with mowing, etc. They stayed the night, so I told them all to come here on Sunday.

Saturday visitors here were Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty and brother Albert and Sarah Irene.

We have three wedding invitations on our fridge right now. Nephew Micheal and Laura picked September 2nd for their wedding date. Micheal is a son of Joe’s sister Salome and Morris in Kentucky. September 2nd is also son Kevin’s 16th birthday. Niece Saloma and Jamin picked September 3rd for their wedding. Saloma is a daughter of Joe’s sister Carol and Pete from Tennessee. It will be a challenge for us to be in Kentucky one day for a wedding then the next day in Tennessee for another wedding. It is doable, so we will try our best. I am the cook at Micheal and Laura’s wedding, and son Joseph and Grace were asked to be table waiters (servers). Grace and I both have to wear royal blue, so I need to squeeze in sewing another dress before then. The third invitation is for Mary and Danny. Mary lives in our church district. Dustin and Loretta were asked to be evening servers and dish washers at their wedding. Congratulations to all the young couples. May God bless each of their marriages.

Now to tell you about our upcoming vacation. My husband, Joe, works at a metal shop, and the owner Daniel is taking all the employees, their wives, and children under 16 for a vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We will travel on two big charter buses. If I understood correctly, there will be 106 people going. This includes Joe and me and son Kevin. Brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and their daughter Sylvia are also going, and we get to travel on the same bus. It is a 14-hour trip to North Carolina. We leave Wednesday morning at 2:45 p.m. to meet up with the bus at the metal shop. Joe signed us up to take a two-hour tour on the Dolphin Cruise. He signed up him and Kevin up a half-day of fishing. There will be lots to do from the way it sounds. We have never been to North Carolina, so it will be exciting to see everything. It is kind of Daniel to take us all on this trip. We will return home late Saturday evening, Lord willing. The part I don’t like is leaving the rest of the family at home, but God is in control.

 

I am sure I will have plenty to write about next week. Until then, God’s blessings to you all!

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 mins or until done. You can substitute ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce in place of oil.

 

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

Birthday brings happy memories

July 14th—today our oldest son and fourth child turned 22 years old. How the years fly by. Happy birthday Benjamin! I had Benjamin at home with Joe’s aunt as my midwife. Benjamin weighed only 4 pounds, 13 ounces and was doing pretty good until he was two weeks old. He caught the flu and started dehydrating so we ended up taking him to the hospital for a few days. After that he seemed to gain and never had many health problems. By the time he was a year old he had easily passed the weight of the girls at age 1.

While I was having Benjamin, our three oldest girls, Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena, stayed with my dad and sisters. Mom would always come to be there for me. After Dad found out that we had a little boy he told the girls that they have a little brother and he’s going to be able to handle all three of them. I remember that at first they weren’t too thrilled about having a brother that might be able to outdo them. My dad loved to tease the girls. After bringing them home they soon fell in love with their tiny brother. After seeing how small he was they said, “Grandpa told us he could handle all of us but he’s way too small.” My dad laughed when he heard that they had taken him seriously. Eleven and a half months later daughter Loretta joined our family. I think between Benjamin and Loretta those two got into more things than any of the rest. They were two lively little ones and they kept me busy. For two weeks every year Loretta would tell Benjamin that she caught up to his age.

Benjamin always looked out for Loretta. One day I put her in the playpen so I could go outside to do something real quick. When I came back in Benjamin had crawled on the countertop and found my scissors in the cabinet and cut a hole in the playpen netting so Loretta could get out. I was scared to think what could’ve happened with him having the scissors. He would use the drawer handles to climb up on the cabinets. Needless to say, Loretta was happy to be turned loose again. After that I knew they weren’t safe alone for even a few minutes. I also had to get another playpen because the netting was ruined.

Today we will again go help daughter Elizabeth with her cleaning. Sister Verena came last night for supper to help us enjoy all the fresh goodies from the garden. She stayed the night, and we will take her home before heading over to Elizabeth’s house.

Our menu last night was fried chicken, steamed red potatoes, buttered red beets, cucumber salad, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cheese, and homemade sour cream. Daughter Lovina made some chocolate crunch brownies to take to Elizabeth’s today, so everyone sampled them. They are delicious. The potatoes, red beets, cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes are all from our garden. We are enjoying the fruits of our labor. Zucchini is also ready and sweet corn should be soon. Hot peppers are ready as well.

The rain has done wonders to our gardens, but it also makes the weeds grow. We try to keep up with everything else going on.

Tomorrow July 15th my husband Joe and I will be married 28 years. Do we appreciate enough to have that many years together? My thoughts go to daughter Susan and others that only get a small number of years together. It is all God’s plan, and we must not question His ways. Let us trust and keep the faith! God’s blessings to all!

This week Lovina shares the recipe for these chocolate crunch brownies made by her daughter Lovina. Photo provided.

Chocolate Crunch Brownies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups crisp rice cereal

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and cocoa. Add flour, vanilla, and salt. Pour into a greased 15×10 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until cake is set. When cool, spread marshmallow creme on top. In a saucepan, mix peanut butter and chocolate chips until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal. Spread on top of marshmallow creme.

Note: Lovina doubles the marshmallow creme and uses 4 cups of rice cereal. Marshmallows can be used instead of the marshmallow creme, but if using them return the pan to the oven for a few minutes to melt.

 

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.

Remembering Mose on Father’s Day

Summer has officially begun. We are having cooler than normal mornings after 2 inches of rain over the weekend. We had a few thunderstorms go through with some trees down in the area. Nothing major compared to other areas nearby.

We feel bad for Joe’s cousin Margaret and her husband Walter from Milroy, Indiana, whose house was struck by lightning while they were in Montana. They lost everything. What a feeling to come home to and not have your house or anything in it. The best thing about this is that they still have each other, and no one was hurt in the fire. Sounds like they have a lot of support from their neighbors and community, which helps a lot, I’m sure.

Last night we went to visit Jacob (sister Emma’s husband). He has been discharged from the hospital. He is still very weak, and it will be a while before he gains back his strength. His visitors are limited at the time due to the doctors saying his immune system needs to be built up. Joe and I went for a little while after supper. Hopefully Jacob will continue to gain strength and can stay out of the hospital. Sister Emma is worn out too from traveling the hour back and forth every day to and from the hospital for almost two weeks. She could be with Jacob during the day. Expenses are high with a hospital stay like that.

Emma and Jacob’s daughter Elizabeth and Manuel are preparing for church services that they will host on July 4th. I want to go help her clean a day this week yet. They bought a house in our church district and have plans to move sometime this summer.

Father’s Day was on Sunday, so I hope all the fathers out there had a nice day. In honor of son-in-law Mose, our family, some of Mose’s family, and sister Verena went with daughter Susan and children Jennifer, 3, and Ryan, 23 months, to Mose’s grave. Susan gave Jennifer and Ryan each a balloon that said Happy Father’s Day to let fly from the graveyard. She had a little note on each one to Daddy from the children. We watched the balloons until they were out of sight. Susan put her address on the note in case someone finds it that might let her know how far the balloons traveled. The next morning Jennifer told me, “Grandma, Daddy got my balloon way up in heaven now.” Sweet little children who can’t fully understand why they don’t have their daddy anymore.

Sister Susan’s grave is close to Mose’s, so we visited her grave too. Sister Verena is so lost without her. God is in control and His ways are not our ways. He knows best what our future holds and we need to let it all in His hands.

I finally caught up on my reader mail. I’m sorry for taking that long in answering some of your questions. I appreciated all the encouragement.

I hope to meet some more readers Saturday, June 26th at Light of Grace Bookstore in Nappanee, Indiana. We will be there from 1-3 p.m. signing books.

Daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena have plans to come to my house for the day. We will probably cut out clothes and maybe get some sewing done. And of course I get to spend time with my 5 precious grandchildren. God’s blessings to all!

A reader shared this recipe with me. So, I’ll share it with all of you.

 

Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake

1/3 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 egg white
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) lemon yogurt

 

Glaze

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted or plain tube pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until blended. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Toss blueberries with 2 tablespoons of the flour. In another bowl, mix remaining flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with yogurt, beating after each addition just until combined. Fold in blueberry mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack; cool for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Gradually brush onto warm cake, about 1/3 at a time, allowing glaze to soak into cake before adding more. Cool completely.

 

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.

 

Lovina celebrates milestone birthday with family

Last night I finished planting the big garden. It has been really dry, but we had rain during the night. It was a much-needed rain. In the smaller garden we still need to plant potatoes. We have red potatoes out already but need to put some out for winter use. I always like to put out Serrano hot peppers but haven’t been able to get them around here this year. I checked at four greenhouses yesterday. Daughter Susan and I went with our friend Jodi (Dan’s wife) to get the rest of our garden plants. To think we didn’t know Jodi until her husband Dan was killed while driving son-in-law Mose to work. It seems like we have known each other for a long time, now. It is good for these two widows to be together as they can feel for each other in the pain of losing their husbands and never getting to say goodbye.

Monday night Loretta’s special friend Dustin took his mower over and mowed sister Verena’s yard. I took our weed eater down there and trimmed the edges. My husband Joe bought me this rechargeable battery weed eater for my birthday. He knew I wanted a lighter one since ours is a gas one and heavier to carry around. I have sure used it a lot in this past week.

Now tonight we will go help at daughter Susan’s. The boys will help son-in-law Tim do some work there. I want to take her some rhubarb so she can make juice. I’m not sure if it will be too wet to work in her garden.

Next week is already neighbor Carol’s wedding day. I was asked to be a cook and wear the color gray. I actually don’t have a dress in the color gray, so I bought material and guess what? Yes, it’s still not cut out and sewed so I need to work that in my schedule this week yet.

Time does not stand still, and I was reminded of that on Saturday, May 22nd, when I had my 50th birthday. When I was younger, I used to think 50 sounded really old and now here I am that age.

Birthday decorations for the celebration Lovina’s children planned. Photo provided.

My dear children made my birthday special. They rented cottages at a nearby lake and our whole family and my sister Verena spent several nights by the lake. It was very nice and the weather was perfect for swimming, fishing, or just sitting by the water. There was a lodge area with a kitchen and dining area where the family could all gather to eat together. Saturday afternoon some of the children went in the lodge and decorated it with black, gold, and white balloons that said Happy 50th. The tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, etc. all said Happy 50th Birthday. It was very nice. They had grilled brats and hot dogs along with lots of other food. They had a nice ice cream cake for me. I felt honored to be the mother of these precious children. Dustin took his pontoon, and it was nice to go for a ride on the lake. Some went fishing but I just like sitting there enjoying the scenery. Joe bought me a new fishing rod, but I need to get a license first.

Dear son-in-law Mose was so greatly missed. Joe misses the times they went fishing together. When we would go camping, Mose was always on the lake fishing with Joe and son-in-law Tim. They made a lot of memories fishing. It was sad for daughter Susan as she missed Mose on this family vacation. She said she does it for the children now so they can enjoy the water. Sister Verena missed sister Susan too as that’s who she would usually go with on vacation. Life goes on and we take one day at a time and trust in the good Lord for support. Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes and cards. God bless you!

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Crust:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened

Filling:
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped rhubarb

Mix crust ingredients and press into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

For filling, mix eggs, sugar, flour, and salt. Fold in rhubarb. Pour on top of baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes until set and edges start to brown.

 

 

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.

Fun with Eicher grandchildren

It’s time to pen this column again and words seem hard to come to my mind. Today four months ago is when our dear son-in-law Mose lost his battle to the injuries from the accident. It has been harder for daughter Susan as time goes on. I am sure anyone that has been through this can agree with her. She said, “Sometimes the hurt is so bad that I don’t know if I can keep going. I know God wants me to, and my children need me, and that’s what keeps me going.” Oh, the pain in a mother’s heart when her child is hurting. I’m so thankful for the comfort of prayer and a God who sees and hears our cry.

Little Ryan, 20 months, likes to follow Grandpa around outside. Sunday night we had to laugh watching him. When Joe put his hands in his pockets, he would, too. When Joe put just one hand in his pocket, Ryan took one out. He watched Joe and walked with big steps. When Joe puts on his hat, then Ryan wants a hat, too. We need to find a little hat his size, because he wears an old one that is too big for him and he won’t give it up. When we leave for church, he cries that he can’t take that big old black hat with him. One of the first things he does when he comes is go for the hat (it was Dustin’s old church hat). At home, Susan lets him wear Mose’s hat.

Ryan always loved Grandpa as his favorite, and one time Mose told Joe, “Ryan looks up to you a lot.” How little did we think that Mose might not be here to raise his son. God makes no mistakes. He has a plan, and we can’t question his ways.

We decided to let daughter Elizabeth and Tim buy our eight-year-old miniature pony, Prancer, as well as the little pony wagon and his harness. Oh, how thrilled Abigail, 4, and T.J., 2, were to be able to have a pony. Prancer is a very calm pony. Daughter Susan trained him six years ago. She didn’t want a pony until Jennifer and Ryan are older, so we let Tim and Elizabeth take him. He will get so much more attention from the little children. Daughter Lovina, 16, had fun riding him when she was little. She and Kevin drove him around here a lot, but now they are much too big for Prancer. How time flies, and so many changes.

Elizabeth said when Tim pulls their buggy in their garage, T.J. pulls the pony wagon in beside the buggy. He says he wants “his” buggy beside daddy’s buggy.

I hope I don’t overdo talking about my grandchildren. They are just so precious to me.

Joe and I were home alone on Friday night, as all the children were leaving to one place or another. It makes us feel older when everyone is out of the house. Tim and Elizabeth and Susan brought their children here while they went to get more supplies for Susan’s house. With five little ones to care for, we didn’t get bored: two one-year-olds, a two-year-old, a three-year-old, and a four-year-old. They kept us on our toes, but it made me see how much our children entertain the grandchildren when they are home.

Joe loves to look for the needle in the Country magazine, and the little ones loved the pictures. They enjoy looking at books, or if we read to them.

With the rhubarb growing very fast this spring, try these rhubarb dumplings.

God bless!

Rhubarb Dumplings

Dough:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup milk

Filling:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sauce:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients (except the vanilla) and bring to a boil; cook and stir continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and set aside. For the dough, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and mix together, being careful not to over-mix. Gather dough into a ball and on a floured surface roll out into a 12×9 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter; arrange rhubarb on top. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over rhubarb. Roll up from the long side and place on a cutting board, seam side down. Cut roll into 12 slices. Arrange slices, cut side up, in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 12.

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

A beautiful Easter Sunday

It is just after 5 a.m. and my husband Joe and sons Benjamin, 21, and Joseph, 18, have all left for another day’s work. Daughter Lovina, 16, will be leaving in a half hour for her job. That leaves just me and Loretta. Daughter Verena is still staying with daughter Susan and children. Son Kevin, 15, and nephew Steven, 13, went to sister Verena’s for the night. Steven is on spring break from school this week. Those two cousins always seem to be the best of friends.

Yesterday I cut out a dress, cape, and apron for Loretta and a same color shirt for Dustin (her special friend). They will be table waiters at a friend’s wedding in a couple weeks, which is over an hour from here. Today I want to sew it, but I’m not sure how far I’ll get. Daughters Elizabeth and Susan will be going to town. Daughter Verena will come here with T.J., 2, Ryan, 20 months, and Allison, 13 months. Abigail, 4, and Jennifer, 3, will go with their mothers. I want to get a sand box and some sand for the little ones to play with. Sunday evening the younger grandchildren thought my flower beds looked fun to dig in. They thought they could use the soil to play with the sand toys. When my children were younger, we didn’t have cement by the walkout basement. That was nice, sandy soil that my children had lots of fun playing in for hours. I used to babysit for twin boys Joshua and Jacob who were close in age to Lovina and Kevin. Those four were often entertained playing in the sand down there. It was under the porch, so they were in the shade on hot summer days.

Daughter Elizabeth said Abigail was playing outside with her dolls one day, then the next morning Elizabeth saw the dolls were still outside and brought them in. She told Abigail that she forgot to bring her dolls in the night before. Abigail asked her if she brought in the one that died. She had buried one of her dolls in the sand pretending it had died. Seeing two people that were very close to her be buried six weeks apart is probably what brought that to her imagination. Dear sweet innocent children—what lies ahead for their future? Only God knows.

Easter Sunday was such a beautiful day, with a nice warm temperature all day. Our family all came here after church and stayed for supper. We hid eggs for the grandchildren. For the adults I had small gifts on a table, and they played bingo until all the gifts were taken. Our menu was barbecue chicken, deep fried shrimp (that Tim and Elizabeth brought), macaroni and cheese, colored eggs, sliced cheese, homemade bread and butter, robin egg nests, and ice cream. It was an easy supper, with the men taking care of the meat outside. Sister Verena came here Saturday evening and was here until after supper Sunday. Son-in-law Mose and sister Susan were greatly missed like always. Life goes on, and God’s ways are not our ways. All we have is memories.

Daughter Susan and children went home for the night with sister Verena. Two very lonely ladies that need our prayers. I hope everyone had a blessed Easter—a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life! Until next week … God bless!

On April 17th, I will be signing my cookbooks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shipshewana Flea Market Grounds in the Antique and Miscellaneous building for the Plain and Simple Craft Fair. I hope to see some of you readers there. Hopefully a few of my daughters can come with me.

These cute robin egg nests were part of Easter Sunday supper for the Eicher family. Photo provided.

Robin Egg Nests

1 12-ounce bag white chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 6-ounce can potato sticks
robin eggs candy

Melt chocolate chips, then add peanut butter and powdered sugar and mix well. Stir in potato sticks. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan, making little nests. Place candy eggs in the nests. Refrigerate or freeze until set and remove from pan.

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

Eicher family enjoys signs of Spring

Spring has officially begun! Signs of spring are everywhere and an almost 70 degree warm, sunny day shows us most of winter is behind us.

Today (March 23) I spent most of my day at daughter Susan’s house. A group of church ladies gathered at her house for coffee break. Now to me this “coffee break” is like brunch. A breakfast casserole, ham/cheese sandwiches, carrots/dip, and so many different desserts, coffee and tea made a full menu of a meal. The little children played with toys and the little girls played with dolls and played house while the ladies visited.

I took our horse Midnight and our buggy. It was a beautiful morning for a ride. It’s been a while since I drove alone in the buggy. Time alone can be peaceful and time to think. Life surely has changed for us. So often we think, why God? Why us? Then we correct ourselves because God doesn’t make mistakes. Trust in God with all thine heart…again and again and again. Time will lessen the heartaches.

Daughter Loretta, 20, is washing our supper dishes as I write this. Daughter Lovina, 16, left before supper to go spend the night with sister Verena. I fried chicken for supper so Lovina took some along for their supper. Along with chicken we had potato casserole left over from last night’s supper. Fried chicken tasted good again for a change.

Daughter Verena, 23, is still staying with daughter Susan most of the time.

I was cleaning my desk and came across a packet of reader mail that was sent to me in December. I am so sorry to those of you that asked questions about recipes or other questions. I will try to answer those soon. With having two funerals here six weeks apart my “clutter” was pushed aside and now we are trying to get back to normal as much as possible.

Sunday evening Joe and I were home alone so we decided to walk down to sister Verena for a while. She had been home alone since after church. Those hours can be long if you are alone. We visited with her and talked of memories. Sister Susan is still so missed and so many things remind you of her when you go there. She has many lonely days and wishes more of the family could come visit her. She spent Friday evening with daughters Susan and Verena. Joe and I also went there for supper. Tim and Elizabeth and children joined us there, too.

Son Kevin and nephew Steven spent the night at sister Verena’s house on Saturday night. Jacob and Emma picked them up to go to church Sunday morning. Sister Emma also picked sister Verena up to bring her to coffee break at daughter Susan’s this morning.

This week I’ll share a recipe for coffee cake. Hope you will enjoy it.

Time for me to join the rest—getting ready for bed.

God’s blessings to all!

 

Coffee Cake
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups flour
2 cups sour milk

Crumb topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Filling:
3 teaspoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more if preferred)

Sift or whisk dry ingredients together and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Then alternate adding dry ingredients and sour milk, ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter into four pie pans. For the crumb topping, pinch together brown sugar, flour, and butter until it forms crumbs, and sprinkle over the batter in each pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cake springs back in the middle to your touch. Let cakes cool and remove from pans.

For the filling, cook flour in milk until thick. Set aside until cool. Cream shortening and sugar. Then add in the cooled flour mixture and powdered sugar, beating until fluffy. Cut each cake in half horizontally to form two layers and spread filling between the two layers.

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.