Category Archives: Desserts

Birthdays, a Baptism, and Farewell to a Friend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This recipe was requested by a reader.

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

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

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

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


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

Celebrating Easter with Family

April has brought us a week of cooler temperatures, with the ground covered with snow one morning. It didn’t last long, and the green grass is again showing. The rhubarb and tea plants are growing as well as all the early spring flowers. We look forward to warmer weather coming to stay for the summer months ahead.

Today daughter Susan had a dentist appointment, so she left Jennifer, 4, and Ryan, 2, here while she went. They are both growing up so fast! And such precious sweeties!

Last week we attended a Norwex party and stayed for lunch at nephew John and Arlene’s house. Daughter Elizabeth and children T.J., Allison, and Andrea, daughter Susan, Jennifer, Ryan, daughter Verena, sister Verena, and I went with our friend Jodi.

After the party, we were served a delicious lunch. My husband Joe’s sisters MaryAnn and Ruth and nephew Noah’s wife Ruth were there, so we had an enjoyable time visiting as well. It is so nice to have Joe’s sister Ruth this close again. They moved from Oklahoma to a place 11 miles from our house. It is close enough to reach with a horse and buggy. Ruth’s husband Chris hasn’t been doing so great health-wise. They are in the process of building a house which can take a lot of time.

Daughter Elizabeth and the Norwex Consultant Corinna were surprised to see that they knew each other. Both have married and changed their last names since they last saw each other years ago while in their teenage years.

Nephew John was working, so we didn’t get to see him, unfortunately. John entertained our older children a lot when they were growing up by giving swing rides or pulling the little wagon, giving them ride after ride.

On Good Friday, our family came home for an Easter dinner. It is a time of renewal and rebirth of the spirit when hope is brought to life through the resurrection of the Lord.

It was a chilly day, but the children bundled up in their coats to go collect the hidden eggs. They were excited to find the eggs. This year I put little toys in the eggs instead of candy, and they enjoyed that even more. And it’s a healthier option. We played some games, and it was just a nice day being with family. Our community has “Fast and Prayer Day” on Good Friday until lunchtime. How thankful we can be that our Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. I hope every one of you had a blessed Easter holiday. May the blessings of the Lord guide you, protect you, and be with you always!

I need to bake raspberry pies to take to our Amish community’s fundraiser for a few of the local fire departments. Smoked pork chops and grilled chicken will also be on the menu for the meal served Friday at our local community building.

Last night daughter Verena and her friend Laura and son Kevin and his friend Daniel traveled with horses and buggies to the community youth center for an appreciation supper for the youth and to listen to the guidelines of the youth gatherings on Saturday evenings. Verena and Laura used our horse Midnight as Susan’s horse Lightning is older and couldn’t go that far.

After they came back, we played games and visited before they headed back home.

I was glad to meet all the readers that attended the Nappanee library book signing. Thank you for all the encouragement. And thanks to daughters Verena and Lovina and son Kevin for going with me and helping out. God’s blessings!


Raspberry Pie
1 9-inch double pie crust
4 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon whole milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix raspberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt until raspberries are well covered. Pour into a 9-inch pie shell, dot with butter, add top crust, and crimp edge. If not using a slotted crust, make slits in the crust and brush with cream. Bake for 15 minutes to set the crust, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about 25 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.

Daughter Lovina Shares Her Experiences

Dear Readers,

Today I (Daughter Lovina) will be writing the column for Mom. I enjoy writing, and she likes a break from writing every once in a while. How have you all been doing?

We will have church services at our place in a little over a month, so it’s time to start doing some spring cleaning before then. It’s a Tuesday night, and I’m thinking about cleaning my bedroom from top to bottom. I’m only thinking about it, of course. I probably won’t actually get the motivation to do it for another week. Or maybe not at all, which would be a more realistic thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to open the curtain in my bedroom when I saw a spider sitting just behind the curtain. I jumped back and decided to leave the curtain closed because I wasn’t brave enough to get that close to a spider. The curtain is still closed to this day, and it’ll probably stay like that for all eternity.

Not too many days after that, I saw a similar one sitting in front of my dresser near the same window and almost stepped on it. I’m not sure if it’s the same spider or maybe a sister to the other one. Maybe I should have asked.

I ended up yelling for my brother Joseph to come to the rescue and kill it while I stood on the opposite side of the room. He was too slow; the spider crawled under the dresser, so I made Joseph move the dresser back and forth to find it, but it was nowhere to be found.

So now I’m avoiding that corner of my room, and it’s very frustrating and inconvenient. It seems almost as if I’m not the biggest fan of spiders. I know some people have spiders for pets, but that could never be me. Imagine how tragic that would be if I’d accidentally smash my pet (or maybe not so accidentally).

The other day, I stayed the night at my sister Loretta’s place, and through the night, I had to use the bathroom. Long story short, a mouse came out of underneath a heap of clothes, and it ran around the bathroom in circles, trying to find a way out. I also ran around the bathroom in circles trying to stay away from the mouse.

I ended up climbing onto the edge of the bathtub while the mouse sat in front of the door, and finally, when the mouse moved to the other end of the bathroom, I opened the door and ran out.

I realized afterward that Ralph was just as scared of me as I was of Ralph, but that didn’t make me feel any better. (Yes, I gave the mouse a nickname.) My life would be so much easier if I weren’t scared of things 100 times smaller than me.

I’m patiently waiting for the warm weather to come back, and I especially can’t wait for wedding season. (Wedding season is usually April through November in our area.) Weddings are fun, but I mostly go for the food and the free candy bars they pass out. (Don’t tell anyone I said that, though.) Mom sewed me dress a bit ago, and it’s very pretty. I loved the pattern of the dress and can’t wait to sew more dresses like it. (Or should I say, “I can’t wait till Mom sews more dresses like it.)

You know what they say, “It’s better your mom does it because if you do it, you’ll do it wrong, and she’ll have to do it for you anyway.” In case you are wondering, nobody actually says that. I just made it up because it sounds reasonable.

I’ve been wasting quite a bit of my time trying to put a fitted sheet on my bed. It’s really irritating how one of the corners pops off every time I think I almost got it.

It’s a repeat of pulling the sheet over the corner and running to the other side of the bed, hurrying before the other corner pops off. Sometimes I think these things are designed just to make us exercise.

Well, I think I’ve written enough now. I better help Mom make supper or perhaps at least think about helping Mom make supper because, as they say, “It’s the thought that counts.” And yes, people actually do say that. I didn’t make it up this time.

Have a great day! (Or Night) God bless!

P.S. I did end up making supper, and all by myself, too, so I got to give myself some credit there. Also, I went to a few book signings with my mom recently, and I really loved being able to meet a lot of you readers!

I will share the recipe for one of my favorite bars, Chocolate Marshmallow Bars.

Chocolate Marshmallow Bars
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
4 cups miniature marshmallows

1 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups Rice Krispies

In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; gradually combine dry ingredients with the creamed mixture. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread in a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15–18 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with marshmallows; bake 2–3 minutes longer or until melted—place pan on a wire rack. Using a knife dipped in water, spread marshmallows evenly over the top. Cool completely.

Topping: Combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until blended. Remove from heat; stir in Rice Krispies. Immediately spread over bars. Chill until set.


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.

Sewing Projects and Minister’s Delight

It’s Tuesday evening and I’m sitting here writing by the table. I can hear the wind blowing outside. The temperature is 40 degrees, but the wind chill makes it feel colder than that. We are so ready for warmer temperatures, and April being here in a few days makes us yearn for warmer days. The forecast sounds like snow will be coming yet this week. It is good that God controls the weather, and we must accept what we are given. I enjoy the four seasons of the year here in Southern Michigan.

My husband Joe and sons have been building raised garden beds for our one garden. They are also taking orders to sell any size, so that keeps them busy on some nights.

Today I was gone most of the day at appointments, so I didn’t get anything done here at home.

Last week I sewed several dresses and shirts. Some were for a friend, so I am glad I filled that order. I have several more shirts cut out to sew, hopefully this week yet. Daughter Susan had a shirt cut out for Mose before he died. She gave it to me to sew, and it fits son Benjamin so she gave it to him. As I sewed Mose’s shirt it made me think of how much we still miss him. Gone but never forgotten. Life goes on, and although we miss him dearly, we know he isn’t coming back. God makes no mistakes, so we trust He has a plan. Susan does so well raising her children and keeping everything going at her house.

On Sunday we were just going to be home for the day, except Joseph and Lovina had plans to go with their special friends to church. I invited our family, sister Emma and her family, and sister Verena to come for the noon meal (dinner, as we call it). Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and family couldn’t come, as his parents and sister and family were going there for the day. Emma’s daughters and families couldn’t make it either, as they were attending church at a co-worker’s place.

Those coming were sister Verena, sister Emma and sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Benjamin’s special friend Crystal and her son Isaiah, daughter Loretta and Dustin, daughter Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan, and daughter Verena.

Our menu was mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, buttered beets, meatloaf, cheese, hot peppers, chocolate, vanilla, and pecan pies, Minister’s Delight (see below), cookies, and ice cream.

The afternoon was spent visiting and playing games. The game Cover Your Assets was the main game being played.

Before everyone left for home, I heated up some of the leftovers and set out snacks to eat.

Sister Verena went home with daughters Susan and Verena and spent a couple days there.

Joe misses Jacob not being here to visit with. It’s not easy for sister Emma to go home without her beloved husband. Remember to visit and stay in contact with these lonely widows if you are family. So often they are forgotten after time goes on. They didn’t choose to be alone and would be so happy if their life was back to normal. Again we must put it in God’s hands, because He maketh no mistakes!

I’ll share the recipe for Minister’s Delight, which sister Verena made for Sunday’s dinner. God bless!

Minister’s Delight

1 pint homemade or 21-ounce can cherry or apple pie filling
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Place pie filling in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Combine cake mix and butter (mixture will be crumbly) and sprinkle over filling. Top with walnuts if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 20–30 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.

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 and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails or comments left on this site.

Celebrating Birthdays and Putting Puzzles Together with Family

The mercury on our thermometer has dipped down to the single digits this morning with a reading of 5 degrees. The wind chill is below 0, so son Joseph wasn’t looking too forward to working outside today. They are building a pole barn close to Lake Michigan. He said they have even more snow there than what we have.

Son-in-law Dustin cleaned our drive out with his skid-loader then also went over to clean out daughter Susan’s driveway.

Our plans are to butcher four hogs this weekend. The men will dress and hang them Friday night, and then we will cut up the meat on Saturday, grind the sausage, and make pon hoss. (For new readers to the column: pon hoss is made by cooking the pork off the bones, grinding it, and putting it back into the pork broth along with flour, salt, and pepper. It is then cooked in the big black kettle outdoors until it’s thickened then poured into pans. Once the pon hoss is cooled, it can be sliced and fried to eat. We eat ours with eggs and potatoes or with coffee soup.) One hog is for us, one for Dustin and Loretta, one for Tim and Elizabeth and family, and one for Susan and the children. It is good to just do it all here and have one mess to clean up after. We still want to butcher a beef yet.

We need to go out to the pole barn and clean up a lot of things. Joe bought out a meat processing outfit along with the big walk-in cooler, but it’s not set up yet. It came with lots of containers, saws, grinders, and slicers that are used in a meat processing place. All this has to be cleaned, organized, etc. Joe always wanted to have something like this, but it all takes time and money to get set up. Hopefully, in the future we can accomplish it, so son Kevin has something to work with at home and also daughter Lovina. Joe enjoys butchering meat, cutting, slicing, and grinding it. As for me, I’m usually tired of it by the time we get our year’s supply in the freezer.

Sunday night, Joe and I, sons Benjamin (and special friend Amanda), Joseph (and special friend Grace), Kevin, daughter Lovina (and special friend Daniel), Dustin and Loretta, and Tim and Elizabeth and children all gathered at daughter Susan’s house in honor of Susan’s 26th birthday and granddaughter Jennifer’s 4th birthday. Daughters Susan and Verena had filled a pinata with candy for the children to enjoy. On the menu for supper was tater tot casserole, barbequed chicken, chicken lettuce salad, sliced cheese, cupcakes, dirt pudding, and tapioca pudding. It was a delicious meal. Afterward, games were played, and we just enjoyed family time together. As always, son-in-law Mose was greatly missed.

Lovina and her family enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles in their spare time. Photo provided.

We have a 1,000-piece Amish Country puzzle called “Early Snow” that we are putting together whenever we have spare time. I enjoy working on the puzzle after everything is done at night. It’s a great way to rewind and a good time to think. I sometimes work on it mornings after everyone leaves for work. When the children come home, they like to work on it. Saturday night, Joe and I were working on it, although I found pieces pushed in the wrong places. It gave me a good laugh! It can be confusing when all of the pieces look similar.

God’s blessings to all!

Tapioca Pudding
5 cups boiling water
1 cup tapioca
dash salt
1 (3-ounce) package Jell-O (any flavor)
1 scant cup sugar
fruit, if desired

Soak tapioca in enough cold water to cover for an hour or more. Drain water and add to 5 cups boiling water and salt. Boil for 1/2 hour or until tapioca is clear. Stir often. Remove from heat. Keep covered at least 10 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients. When cold, mix in whipped topping (to your own taste).


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.

Responding to Readers’ Questions and Date-Nut Pudding

The laundry from yesterday is now up from the basement, folded and awaiting each owner to carry their stack upstairs to be put away. Next is getting supper ready. The menu tonight will be pon hoss (given to us by Dustin, Daniel, and Grace’s family), scrambled eggs, coffee soup, and cheese. That’s a simple meal, so I have a little time before I start that.

I had a short visit today from my friend Barb. She picked up son-in-law Dustin to fix something at her house, so she stopped in for a while. My thoughts go to her often as I know she has many lonely days without her dear husband John.

Everyone seems to be recuperated from being sick. It is always a good feeling when everyone feels good!

Hopefully one of these weeks we can start butchering meat for the freezers. It has been staying cold but we haven’t had much snow this winter yet. We recently traveled to Ann Arbor for appointments, and we were glad for roads that were clear to travel on.

Tomorrow the girls and I plan to go to the bulk food store. It’s time to go stock up on some groceries again. Daughter Verena offered to stay home and keep the grandchildren with her so the mothers can shop easier.

My kind editors printed out the emails that you readers sent. Such encouragement! Thank you! You never know how much those kind words give a writer encouragement to keep writing. May God bless you for that!

A reader asked why candy bars are served at Amish weddings. I can’t say that I myself could answer this question. Any Amish readers out there know? I just know that as a young child we never had candy bars, so when we went to a wedding my little friends and I would look forward to that candy bar we received. Although now the price of candy bars isn’t cheap and son-in-law Dustin and daughter Loretta quickly found that out when they purchased more than 1200 for their wedding last fall.

A reader also asked what clear jel is. Clear jel is a thickener which I use in pie fillings or to make gravy, etc. I usually buy mine at a bulk food store. I also use clear jel to thicken my salsa.

Supper is now over and I still have a habit of cooking too much for our family since we are less to cook for. It seems like I go less and less and it’s still too much. With half of our children not home anymore it takes adjustments.

Daughter Susan will be 26 on Monday, January 24th. This will be her second birthday without her dear husband Mose. Life goes on—memories are all that remain. Our family plans to gather at Susan’s Sunday night in honor of her and granddaughter Jennifer’s birthdays.

Abigail (our 5-year-old granddaughter) recently was upset with her mother (daughter Elizabeth) and she told her that she will get her coal for Mother’s Day. Sweet little girl has no idea of the laugh we got out of that. Needless to say, Abigail was just having a bad day and is usually a sweet, loving girl. A reader requested a recipe for date pudding so I’ll share that this week. God’s blessings to all. Stay safe and healthy!

Lovina’s recipe for date-nut pudding can be made into a trifle for an elegant presentation. Photo ©Herald Press

Date-Nut Pudding (Trifle)

1 (8-ounce) package dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup raisins
whipped cream, for layering

Pit and quarter dates, and place in a bowl. Add baking soda and pour boiling water over dates. Let stand until completely cooled.

In a separate bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg until well blended. Add cooled date mixture, vanilla, flour, salt, nuts, and raisins. Stir until well blended.

Spread batter into greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan and bake for 30–35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into 1-inch squares. Put a layer of squares into a glass dessert bowl. Add a layer of whipped cream, then another layer of squares. Continue layers until all the squares are used up, ending with a layer of whipped cream. A few additional nuts can be sprinkled on top.

Can also just be cut into serving-sized pieces and topped with whipped cream.



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.

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


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.



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 and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

Flying Paper Lanterns and Remembering Loved Ones

It’s just past 5:30 a.m. and a cold 29 degrees outside. We still haven’t had any snow except a few flurries yesterday. I won’t complain about that. This weekend daylight savings time ends so we fall back an hour. I really wish it would just stay one way or the other. I don’t like changing the time on all our clocks.

Daughter Lovina, 17, just left for work. She took some time off from working at McDonalds over the wedding of Dustin and Loretta so she could help me. Now this week she went back but only works three days a week for now.

Monday, November 1st was brother-in-law Jacob’s 49th birthday. We had sister Emma and sons Jacob, Benjamin, and Steven, Crystal and Isaiah (Benjamin’s special friend and son), Emma’s daughters Elizabeth and Manuel, Emma, Menno, and children Jessica and Menno Ray, sister Verena, daughter Elizabeth, Tim and children Abigail, T.J., and Allison, daughters Verena and Susan and children Jennifer and Ryan, daughter Loretta and Dustin, Grace and Daniel (Joseph and Lovina’s special friends) here for supper in memory of Jacob.

We all went over to the graves of our three loved ones that were taken from us in eight months’ time.

We then came back here for supper. Our menu was cheesy potatoes, meatloaf, barbequed chicken, lettuce salad, cheese, pecan pie, brownies, bar cookies, and ice cream.

Flying paper lanterns with messages to missing loved ones brought comfort to Lovina’s family. Photo provided.

After we ate it was dark, so we went outside, and each one lit a paper lantern to let fly that said “Miss you forever, love you always. We will remember you every single day.” Everyone wrote a little something on the lanterns, and the children traced their handprints on them. It was very emotional, but it felt comforting watching the lanterns lift and fly up toward heaven.

On Saturday we attended my family gathering at sister-in-law Nancy’s house. It was brother Amos’s 60th birthday. He has been gone three and half years now. He would’ve been so happy to have us all there. Nancy served a good meal of barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, buttered noodles, and corn. All the salads, desserts, and snacks were brought in by everyone else. Our loved ones were greatly missed.

Sunday we went with daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children, and daughter Susan and children to church services at Mose’s parents’ house. It brought a lot of memories back for Susan. It just seemed like Mose should be there with us. Mose has a nephew that reminds me of him and a brother that sounds like him. When I heard him laugh, I would think it was Mose. Rest in peace Mose! You will always be remembered.

Sunday we will also attend church services in another district. Daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel will start following instructions for baptism. We will all go in his honor. It is a step in life that always make parents thankful, when their children accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

I made pecan pie to take to the gathering Saturday since I had quite a bit of pecans and corn syrup left from Loretta and Dustin’s wedding. I made ten pies, and I put the last piece in my husband Joe’s lunch today. I gave a few to friends and family. I’ll share the recipe this week. God’s blessings to all!

Pecan Pie

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water
2 (9-inch) pie shells, unbaked
2 cups pecans (halves or pieces), divided

Mix together beaten eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and water. Divide mixture evenly between the two pie shells. Sprinkle 1 cup pecans on top of each pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 300 degrees for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until middle of pie is set. Cool completely before serving. Makes 2 pies.


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.

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.