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RSSAmish Cook - Lovina Eicher
Lovina Eicher offers a column about the Amish lifestyle, her daily schedule, her family and favorite recipes.
Today is our youngest child Kevin’s ninth birthday. Has it really been that long? It was also the first day of school, so he was a tired little boy tonight. Daughter Verena baked a horseshoe-shaped cake for him today since I wasn’t home all day. He requested a horseshoe cake and wanted chocolate cake.
Foremost on our minds is the sad news that Uncle Andy Coblentz, 81, passed away last night. He was the brother right after my dad in age. Dad would be 83 if he were still here. We are glad we were able to see Uncle Andy and Aunt Caroline at the reunion in July. Our sympathy goes to Aunt Caroline and cousins Andrea, Lori, and David, and also to all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Our plans are to attend the funeral on Friday, which is over three hours from here. I’m sure Andy will be missed by many. May God be with them as they mourn for such a great man. Only God can bring us comfort in times like this.
On Labor Day we had a very busy day. A few of the girls washed the laundry while the rest of us butchered 51 chickens. In four hours we had the chickens all cut up. We soaked the meat in ice water to cool off before bagging it for the freezer. These chickens were broilers, which one can eat fresh or freeze. They were six weeks old and weighed around three and a half to five pounds. We had over 180 pounds of meat total. What a blessing to be able to put it all in the freezer for later use.
It is Sunday evening around 9 p.m. All is quieting down here at the Eicher homestead. Tomorrow looks like a busy day and this column needs to be in the mail.
Son Joseph, 12, had surgery on Thursday to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. We arrived home by 4 p.m. and were thankful all went well. That night Joseph seemed very restless and wasn’t able to sleep for very long. Joe and I were up with him a lot trying to make him comfortable. Around 1 a.m. Joseph said that he felt like he had to throw up. Everything he threw up looked like blood, and there was a lot of it.
I called the local emergency room and talked to a doctor, wondering what we should do. The doctor said to wait and see if he did it again, and if he didn’t, all should be fine. Around 5 a.m., daughters Elizabeth and Susan were getting ready for work and I was packing son Benjamin’s lunch. Joseph started throwing up blood again, so we called a friend to take us to the hospital. I was so glad Joe didn’t have to work and was home to go with me. While Joe was helping Joseph out to the van, Joseph passed out. That scared us even more.
Canning season is in full swing. This past week we canned hot peppers (Serrano), dill pickles and salsa. I have a lot more tomatoes that need to be used, and I still have plenty of tomato juice, so I will make more salsa. What a blessing to be able to fill all those empty jars again.
We now have the rest of our little chicks. We had 75 of them for two weeks and now 25 more layers came. We will butcher the 50 butchering chickens in several weeks. The other 50 will be laying hens. Once they start laying eggs we will butcher our old laying hens for chicken broth. That is always a big job!
In our community, which isn’t very big, there are five or six weddings coming up in August and September. So bear with me if I am talking a lot about weddings lately.
August is well underway, and 2014 is more than half gone. Time just goes faster and faster. It is just amazing how the years go one after another. What matters most is that we live our lives pleasing to God. The world is full of temptations and we as parents need to pray daily that God will guide our children in the direction of His will.
Thursday turned out to be a beautiful day as niece Marlene and Chris exchanged their marriage vows. Three hundred and fifty pounds of chicken was fried for the noon meal. Also on the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken and noodles, dressing, lettuce salad, mixed vegetables, cheese, homemade wheat bread, butter and strawberry jam. Desserts were tapioca pudding, sliced peaches in a fruit glaze, angel food cake with a strawberry topping, and the pies were pecan, blueberry and cherry. Sausage links were also added to the menu for supper.
“Nothings” (also called “Knee Patches”) were on the tables. They are a thin, sweet pastry made from eggs, flour, sugar and cream. The dough is rolled out real thin and then deep-fried. Sugar is sprinkled on top and they are put on stacks on a dinner plate. Plates of Nothings are set around the tables and people can enjoy them all day. In our Amish community Nothings are never made for weddings. When I was a young girl everyone in my home community had Nothings and celery sticks on the tables at a wedding. They didn’t have celery sticks at this wedding, so I’m not sure if this isn’t a tradition anymore or if some just decide not to have celery.
It is a quiet morning at 5:30 a.m. Our two oldest daughters, Elizabeth, 20, and Susan, 18, just left for the factory a few minutes ago. All is quiet with the six other children still asleep.
My husband, Joe, left for work before 4 a.m. and is probably hard at work already. They start working by 5 a.m. at the RV factory where he has worked for the last 9 1/2 years.
My dad was always an early riser and loved the early morning hours. He never liked going to bed late. There is so much beauty and peace in the morning hours.
My name is Lovina Eicher. I have been married for 21 years to my loving husband, Joe. We feel blessed to be parents to eight sweet, wonderful children: Elizabeth, 20; Susan, 18; Verena, 16; Benjamin, 15; Loretta, 14; Joseph, 12; Lovina, 10; and Kevin, 8. We are members of the Old Order Amish church in Michigan. I hope you will continue to enjoy my writings under my new column name: Lovina's Amish Kitchen. I thank each of you for your continued support, and may God bless each of you!
For this week’s column, I will do a diary of a day in our life.
3:20 a.m. Our alarm rings, letting us know it is time to start another day here at the Eichers. I pack lunch for my husband, Joe, and fill his water jug with ice and water.
It is Thursday already and time to get this column out in today’s mail. It hardly seems like two weeks have passed since I penned the last column. I was happy that daughter Verena offered to write last week in my place. She loves to write so she didn’t have a problem about not getting the length of the column written. It helped out so much that I didn’t have to take time out of our busy summer schedule to write. Sometimes I can write a column in just a matter of minutes. Then there are times when so much work awaits me that I find it difficult to concentrate on writing.
Like now it is 5:30 a.m. Daughters Elizabeth and Susan just left for work. My husband Joe left already before 4 a.m.
The rest are still in bed so all is nice and quiet except for the noisy birds outside the window trying to let the world know daylight is almost here. I like to hear the birds though and I could sleep through all their chatter if I was tired enough. Just knowing the day will be another busy one takes the sleep from me. Coffee would sound good but if I have to make it just for myself I skip it a lot. On weekend mornings I always make a pot of coffee for Joe and me.
Hello! This is Lovina’s daughter, Verena. Mom has been extra busy lately, so I wanted to help her out by writing the column for her this week.
Washing dishes, sweeping and mopping floors, and watering flowers has filled my day. With having sisters Loretta, 13, and Lovina, 10, home from school, they can help out a lot around the house already. I like to send Lovina after my things when I feel a little lazy. Smile!!
I enjoy helping mom keep her gardens and flowers watered. She depends on me to keep the flowers watered, so I try my best to keep them looking nice. They are hanging on our porch which makes it look beautiful from the view on the road. I want to help mom do some weeding in the garden if we get time tomorrow. We want to also wash laundry tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain.
It is Tuesday evening. I’m sitting out here on the front porch and it is very quiet, almost too quiet.
My sisters Verena and Susan wanted our 5 school-age children to come off the bus there and spend the night. They will go back on the bus in the morning. Sister Emma’s three boys also went. They have 8 children there from ages 6 to 14 so I’m sure their evening is quite noisier than usual.
Meanwhile, daughters Susan and Verena went for a walk while daughter Elizabeth is out here on the porch also writing. My husband Joe is resting on his recliner after a hard day's work at the factory. Elizabeth and Susan don’t have to go to work at the factory this week except for Friday. Verena and I were glad for their help here at home today.
Soups are always a good meal option for dinner. Following are a few favorites from The Amish Cook column over the years.
1 pound hamburger
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