RSSAmish Cook - Lovina Eicher
Lovina Eicher offers a column about the Amish lifestyle, her daily schedule, her family and favorite recipes.
Another week has already gone by, which makes it time to get this column written. The weeks just fly by. I write my columns in one-subject notebooks which have amounted to quite a few in the years of penning this column. This month 12 years ago is when I wrote my first column. I think that was the hardest column for me to write.
Joseph, 12, was my baby at that time. Elizabeth, 20, was eight and in second grade. Susan, 18, was in kindergarten and six years old. Verena was four, Benjamin three, Loretta, two. I remember how hard it was to write the column and keep an eye on four preschoolers.
Life still seems busy now but I guess just in different ways. The children get older and each has different plans for the weekend sometimes. Last Saturday, Joseph spent the night at a friend’s house in honor of his birthday.
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.
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.
A lovely Tuesday evening! It was a chilly 41 degrees this morning but warmed up into the 70s.
Right now it is pretty quiet in this house. Six of our children decided to go the four miles to sister Emma and Jacob’s house. Some rode the ponies and some biked. They wanted to go see Jacob’s new pony.
Joseph volunteered to stay home and do the evening chores. Elizabeth stayed to help me with supper. On our menu tonight will be fish, French fries and onion rings. That is always a favorite meal around here.
It’s a little after 7 a.m. As I look out toward the east, it looks like it will be a beautiful day. The red glow of the sun is beaming over the trees. What a sight to behold. And only our Master Artist can create such wonderful art.
The four youngest children left a few minutes ago for school. My husband, Joe, daughters Elizabeth and Susan, and son Benjamin are all at work. Daughter Verena and I are alone now through the day. I am so glad for Verena’s help with laundry, gardening, cooking and cleaning —and the list goes on. Seems like it doesn’t take long for laundry to accumulate with 10 people in the family!
Today is Sept. 17 — a day that brings sad memories of the passing of my dear mother, Elizabeth Coblentz. It now has been 12 years since she so suddenly left us. Memories, that is all we have left now. She was a great mother and will remain in our hearts forever. How often I would love to talk to her and share the joys and sorrows of my family with her. God has a reason for everything, so let me leave it in His hands.
Another week has passed, and it is time to get this column on its way.
Last Friday around 8:30 a.m. sisters Verena and Susan, sister Emma and her husband Jacob, and my husband, Joe, and I hired a driver with a minivan to take us to Lafayette, Ind., to Uncle Andy’s funeral. It took us more than three hours of driving time each way. All but two of Dad’s eight siblings made it to the funeral. Dad came from a family of three girls and 10 boys, but eight of the boys are left now. It is sad to see the group of siblings get smaller. It was 7:30 p.m. until we made it back home safe and sound.
Baptismal church services were held at Emma and Jacob’s house on Sunday to take in two young souls as members. The services were held in a big pole barn. As baptismal church services are usually bigger in attendance, another bench wagon was borrowed from a neighboring district.
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.
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