Category Archives: Salads

Bacon on the turkey, games and errands compose Thanksgiving weekend

Lovina's Thanksgiving Day table awaits her guests.
Lovina’s Thanksgiving Day table awaits her guests.

We had a nice, enjoyable Thanksgiving Day. We have so many blessings and so much to be thankful for!

My sister Emma, Jacob and family, sisters Verena and Susan, and daughter Elizabeth and Timothy spent the day with us. We set the table for all of us. I stuffed two turkeys with dressing. I like to lay strips of bacon on top. Joe’s dad always did this. It keeps the turkey moist while baking it, and the flavor of bacon adds an extra taste to the turkey.

Bacon-draped turkey was the signature dish for the Eicher family Thanksgiving.
Bacon-draped turkey was the signature dish for the Eicher family Thanksgiving.

Also on the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, macaroni salad, corn chip salad, a variety of sliced cheeses (such as pepper jack, Colby, and Swiss), veggies and dip, homemade bread, butter and strawberry jam, dill pickles, hot peppers, fruit dip (with orange, apple and pineapple slices), pumpkin roll, pumpkin pies, a variety of cookies, and ice cream. We had way too much food, but when everyone brings something, it all adds up! I don’t think many were hungry for dessert. We snacked later in the day.

Scrumptious side dishes rounded out the Thanksgiving menu.
Scrumptious side dishes rounded out the Thanksgiving menu.

Games were played, with Connect Four and Aggravation being the main ones. We have a game board that nephew Jacob made, and we like playing with six people in three teams. It can get really exciting—and aggravating as well! Joe and I, Mose and Susan, and Timothy and Elizabeth played this in the evening too. Daughters Verena and Loretta left with friends in the afternoon and had supper with them.

Sons Joseph, 13, and Kevin, 10, went home with Timothy and Elizabeth. Joseph wants to go deer hunting with Timothy. Kevin enjoys going to spend time with their dogs, Crystal and Izzy.

On Friday Joe and I went to Jacob and Emma’s house. Joe helped with mudding drywall in the new upstairs bedrooms. I took our leftover food from Thanksgiving dinner and helped Emma prepare the meal for the men working there. Timothy and Elizabeth dropped the boys off there on their way to town to go shopping. The girls stayed home and washed clothes and mopped the floors and cleaned up from Thanksgiving Day. Son Benjamin went to work helping Mose at his sawmill. I want to help Emma with painting the walls when she is ready to start on that.

Kevin was fitted for new leg braces to help him with his muscular dystrophy. We have seen a lot of improvement with the braces, although Kevin does not look forward to wearing them again. The doctors suggest he keep wearing them, so we will try them again.

Yesterday daughters Verena and Loretta and I went to a Tupperware shower for our neighbor girl Ruth, who was married in October. Lunch was served to all of us. From there we traveled a few miles farther to go see what bargains we could find on material at the local Amish store that was having a sale. We found enough material to keep us busy sewing for Christmas gifts. Time is limited between now and Christmas!

I’ll share the corn chip salad recipe that daughter Elizabeth brought on Thanksgiving Day.

Corn Chip Salad


1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 1/2 cups corn chips, crushed


1 cup Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar

Toss together all salad ingredients except corn chips. In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients and then stir into salad. Add corn chips just before serving.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at


Eicher family adjusts to new routine after daughter’s marriage

This is already the last day of September. Only three more months of 2015 remain. Time—it does not stand still.

Joe and I traveled to New Haven, Ind., one evening with sister Emma and Jacob and sisters Verena and Susan. We attended the viewing of my dad’s cousin Frances. Our sympathy goes to the family. It is so hard to part with loved ones. God’s ways are not our ways!

Saturday and Sunday seemed empty around here. Susan, Verena and Benjamin traveled with Mose and his family to visit relatives in another community.

Timothy and Elizabeth joined us for Sunday dinner. And of course also Izzy and Crystal. Timothy helped Joe grill some pork chops and banana peppers. Scalloped potatoes, baked beans, potato salad, sliced cheese, brownies (which Liz brought), and ice cream were also on the menu.

Mighty, shown here, is one of the horses the Eicher family counts on to pull their buggy.

In the afternoon Timothy and Joe walked back to the woods. Joe spent part of Saturday back there getting ready for deer season. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing.

We ended up with 62 quarts of pickled red beets. I gave Elizabeth 12 quarts to take home. We had a bumper crop!

Daughter Susan is back at the RV factory so she gets to eat lunch with Elizabeth every day. The girls are glad to have this time together again. It sure feels empty without Elizabeth home anymore but she is happily married and that makes it easier to let go. Susan quit working at the woodworking shop. There was a lot more heavy lifting and the stain smell gets bad. She has her old fast-paced job again.

Jacob, Emma and family took a few days off and traveled to upper Michigan and spent time by Lake Superior. Our children went to do chores for them while they were gone. Jacob and Emma have a big project they are starting. They are adding an addition to their house and remodeling. It will be a mess to go through, but they will be glad for the space afterward.

Tomorrow we are invited to Joe and Viola’s wedding. Viola is a girl in our church. Some of the children and I plan to attend. Joe doesn’t want to take off since he used so many vacation days up already on weddings this year.

We have invitations for two more weddings in October. Both are on a Friday and Joe doesn’t have to work on those two Fridays. Congratulations to Lester and Loretta from New Haven, Ind. Daughter Verena is a table waiter at their wedding. Verena and Loretta have been friends for quite a few years.

Also congratulations go to Aden and Ruth, who are published for an Oct. 16 wedding. I need to sew daughter Loretta’s dress and my own for this wedding. I hope to get the material today.

I am trying to get my cabbage used up. We had a great crop from the garden. Try this coleslaw recipe.

God bless!


8 cups cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine cabbage, carrots, onion, and celery in a bowl. Beat the remaining ingredients in another bowl until smooth. Mix with cabbage mixture. Cool for at least two hours before serving.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at

Grateful for safekeeping, help from friends and children, plus dandelions!

A beautiful April spring day! Sun is shining and the mercury on the thermometer keeps rising. I love this weather and all the signs that spring is here. The tulips are looking really nice.

Everyone here at the Eicher house is gone for the day except me. My husband Joe, son Benjamin, and daughters Elizabeth, Susan, and Verena are all at their jobs working. The four youngest are at school.

It is too quiet with everyone gone except for Elizabeth’s two Yorkie dogs, Crystal and Izzy. Right now they are both sleeping.


It takes me longer to get things done without Verena’s help. Yesterday I washed all the laundry and it is surprising how much longer it takes if you do it all alone. It was a nice laundry day and the girls helped me get the clothes in and fold them after they were home from work. It goes so much faster when everyone takes their own clothes up to their bedrooms.

On Friday, son Benjamin was in a two-vehicle accident on his way home from helping Mose at his sawmill. We are thankful he wasn’t hurt and the rest involved had only minor injuries. It could have been such a different ending. God truly was watching over them. It reminds us how quickly life could change.

We are enjoying dandelion salad. I will share the recipe this week since we have quite a few new readers that might like the recipe.

We had to get back into the school routine after the children were home for a week on spring break. Joseph, 12, milks our cow Bessie before he gets ready for school in the mornings. He times himself on how long it takes to milk her. He is getting faster at it. He said he wants to milk her in eight to ten minutes like I can. I told him he has to build his muscles up and he should be able to. When we milked cows at home we had some that milked easy and some harder. Bessie is an easy cow to milk.

I want to make butter from the cream this afternoon. Susan brought a yogurt starter home from Mose’s mother Rosanna and tried her luck at making yogurt with Bessie’s milk. She tasted Rosanna’s yogurt and really liked it when she was at their house. I never made yogurt so hopefully I will learn now.

Before I go on with my work I want to answer some letters from my readers. It is a busy time of the year so please bear with me. I’ll try my best to answer everyone.

I owe a big thank you to my friends Jim and Ruth. I live in Michigan and my mail goes to South Holland, Illinois. Jim or Ruth always delivers my mail. I really do appreciate the time they take to do this.

Also, thanks to Pauline for sending the box of books for the girls. They were very excited. You will receive a personal reply from them.

May God bless everyone who has in some way helped or encouraged me to keep writing!


Dandelion Sour Cream Salad

Serves 4 to 6

This is a recipe for dandelions smothered in our favorite homemade sour cream. You can, however, use just the sour cream part for other seasonal greens as well. This same sour cream is great when used with in-season, fresh-from-the-garden lettuce and endive. Home-cured ham also goes well with it. Any unused sour cream can be refrigerated for up to two days.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
Salt (to taste)
4 hard-boiled eggs, diced
4 cups packed young dandelion greens

Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, milk, and salt in a quart jar. Shake until smooth. Put the eggs and dandelion greens in a large bowl and pour the sour cream mixture over them.


Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at

Grilling for 60 at family picnic: 12-layer Jell-O salad echoes colorful fall

We have entered the month of October. It’s so hard to believe that autumn is here and the trees are showing their autumn splendor. Our yard is accumulating more leaves every day.

U-pick grape arbor
U-pick grape arbor.

Daughter Verena, 16, and I just came home from town. Verena had a dentist appointment and we picked up some groceries. I decided to quickly write my column before the children come home from school when the house won’t be so quiet.

Tomorrow we plan to go to a “U-pick” to gather grapes. Friday and Saturday will be spent canning grape juice. I have two steamers now so canning the juice should go faster. I’ll be glad when that job is done, and will be even happier to have some grape juice again.

Cooking the grapes to make grape juice.
Cooking the grapes to make grape juice.

Sunday we hosted a dinner for almost 60 people. Some were local families and we also had quite a few out of state visitors. Timothy and Mose (daughters Elizabeth’s and Susan’s special friends) helped my husband Joe grill pork steak and chicken for the noon meal. They had several grills going and started around 9 a.m. We raised the chickens ourselves, and readers will remember when we butchered and froze them a few weeks ago.

Also on the menu besides pork steak and chicken were: mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, coleslaw, dill pickles, homemade bread, strawberry jam, butter, Jell-O cake, cheesecake, peanut butter and sugar cookies, 12-layer rainbow Jell-O, ice cream, coffee and lemonade. The men also grilled banana and jalapeño peppers with sour cream and seasoning.

It was a very nice, sunny day. The afternoon was spent with some playing croquet, and visiting out on the front porch. It was so nice to enjoy the lovely day outside. I’m sure we won’t have too many more days like that before winter arrives.

Joe and sons Benjamin, 15, Joseph, 12, and Kevin, 9, spent Saturday cleaning out our other garden. They planted winter radishes for a cover crop in the garden.

We still had green tomatoes on our tomato plants. The boys picked them all. A good way to keep the green tomatoes from ripening too fast is to wrap them in newspaper and store in a cool place. I think it gives them a better flavor than if they are just out in the open to ripen.

The sun is shining in through the door and Elizabeth’s puppy, Izzy, lays on the floor where the sun hits it. Like most dogs, she loves to soak the warmth of the sun on these chilly days. That puppy gets so spoiled around here.

For this week’s recipe I’ll share the 12-layer rainbow Jell-O that sister Emma made, from a cookbook that my sisters Verena and Susan put together and are selling now. It is recipes collected from my brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and their children. They also have pictures throughout the book, including of the house in which we grew up. The recipe for the 12-layer rainbow Jell-O was submitted by Sara Graber, a granddaughter to brother Albert.

Until next week … God bless!

12-Layer Rainbow Jell-O

6 – 3 oz. boxes of cherry, orange, pineapple/lemon, lime, blueberry and grape Jell-O
16 oz. sour cream

Dissolve Jell-O powder for one layer at a time, adding 2 cups hot water for each box of Jell-O. Put 1/2 of dissolved Jell-O and water in a 9x13x4-inch pan. Chill. Save the other half and add 2 to 3 ounces of sour cream. Stir together.

Let first layer harden, then put sour cream and Jell-O mixture over that. Do this alternately with every flavor/color, letting each layer chill, and making 12 layers in all. You will have a beautiful rainbow when finished. Keep cold until served.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at