Archive for the ‘The Amish cook as seen on Amish Stories’ Category



Following is a diary of a recent day in this household. Hope everyone had a blessed and happy Fourth of July holiday!

3:15 a.m. Get up to pack my husband Joe’s lunch while he gets ready for work.

3:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work and I go back to bed since it is still so early

6:30 a.m. I get up and make some coffee and read the paper. The rest of the family are getting up also. The boys go out to do the morning chores while the girls make breakfast.

7:30 a.m. Breakfast is ready. Our menu consist of egg dutch (omelet), toast, and milk.

8:15 a.m. Everyone is working now. Elizabeth is sweeping and mopping floors. Susan and Verena are baking chocolate chip and ranger cookies. The three boys and Lovina are weeding in the garden and Loretta is washing breakfast dishes. I am mending some clothes. Seems there is always a lose button or a tear here and there to fix. Somehow the boys always manage to get holes in their pants by their knees.

Noon – I have a lunch ready for everyone which is potato soup, crackers, cheese, and ice tea. The floors are clean again, cookies baked, and my mending is done. I walk down to the garden to see how much weeding the children have done. It looks like one of my banana pepper plants got pulled out but no one seems to know what happened. Joseph says it was probably our dog, Buddy, and Kevin says it might have been a raccoon . It made me smile to hear them come up with excuses but it did make me happy to see what they did get weeded.

1 p.m. Lunch is over and the children are taking a break. Most of them have their bags all packed for our trip to Florida. Our editor, Kevin, and his wife. Rachel, are driving us to Sarasota in a 15-passenger van. We’ll be doing a couple of book-signings in Bradenton where the column runs in The Bradenton Herald and one in Lecanto, Florida where the column runs in the Citrus County Chronicle. I am looking forward to meeting our readers in Florida.

We start out Thursday afternoon and will probably arrive in Florida on Saturday sometime. The whole family is excited to get to see the Gulf of Mexico. None of us have ever seen the ocean befre It will also be interesting to get to see Pinecraft. Pinecraft is an Amish settlement in Sarasota.

Along with the excitement of our upcoming trip we were shocked and saddened to hear the news of Joe’s 41-year-old cousin Susan’s death. Her cause of her death was from a stroke and aneurysm. She leaves her husband and 12 children to mourn. The oldest is 19 years old and the youngest a 2-week old baby. Family will all need a lot of prayers and encouragement losing a wife and mother. Susan died on their 20th wedding anniversary. Life can change so fast. We wish them God’s blessings and God’s guiding hand at this sorrowful time and in the future. Our plans are to stop in Berne, Indiana to attend the viewing. With us traveling to Florida we regret not being able to attend the funeral on Friday.

2 p.m. Joe arrives home from work.

3:30 p.m. A lady that lives on down the road stops by to pick up Elizabeth and Susan. She wanted to take them to her house to show them what she wants cleaned tomorrow. Joe and the boys are doing evening chores.

430 p.m. Jacob, Emma, and family come to see what chores they need to do for us while we are gone. I told them to stay for supper.
5:15 p.m. Emma and I are getting supper ready. The girls took Tiger the miniature pony for a ride. Susan likes to drive him everyday if she can. The boys are biking and Joe and Jacob are relaxing after a day’s work.

6:30 p.m. Supper is ready. On the menu is mashed potatoes, beef and noodles, peas, lettuce salad, cheese, radishes, onions, and cookies.

8:45 p.m. Jacob’s leave for home and everyone is getting cleaned up for bed.

This is a recipe for a homemade “date nut pudding” which is a really popular cool, refreshing dessert in some Amish settlements.

1 package fresh dates
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 2 /3 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
4 tablespoons shortening
1 egg
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 /2 cup nuts
Directions: Pit and quarter dates. Add soda and pour over boiling water. Let cool. Cream shortening and add sugar and egg. Beat. Add flour and salt alternately with date mixture. Add flavoring and nut meats. Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350 and then top with whipped cream. Yield: 15 servings. Published with permission for Amish Stories from  Oasis Newsfeatures. Richard frpm Amish Stories.  
Part 2 of  “Lebanon on 2 wheels”  will be posted this Friday.

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Our laundry is drying really well on the lines outside. The sun is shining but it looks cloudy towards the west. I am later at getting this column written but I couldn’t relax and sit down until the laundry was done. With the sun and the wind daughter Elizabeth is bringing in some of the dry clothes already. We are hoping everything will be dry before the rain.

We had a thunderstorm last night. Our neighbor lady said someone had spotted a tornado not too far from here. It missed us but sure makes us thinks of the ones not so lucky. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been affected.

Meanwhile, this week we want to start washing walls and ceilings, cleaning out our cabinets and drawers, and so forth. I would like to get a head start on cleaning for church services that will be held here at our home in 4 weeks.

Our thoughts linger to a year ago when we received the shocking news of the death of Emma and Jacob’s sweet little daughter Marilyn (who was my niece). It just seemed that it couldn’t have been true that she could be gone after her 8 short months here on earth. She is still so dearly missed but God has a reason for this, like he does for everything. And May 20 marked 11 years since my Dad passed away. The years go on by, but our memories of him stay with us forever.

Emma, Jacob, and family came here on Friday evening in honor of my 40th birthday which was Sunday, May 22. My husband Joe grilled chicken and made hot wings out on the grill. Along with that we had mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cheese, ice cream and a homemade rhubarb torte (see last week’s column for the recipe). Saturday evening my friend Ruth brought pizza and ice cream cake for my birthday, what a treat. Sunday we attended church at our neighbors. It was a large attendance with families visiting from other church districts. While we were eating lunch I was given a piece of cake with a candle on it. Everyone began to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Another lady there, Marie, also had a birthday and they sang to her as well. I am glad I wasn’t having my 63rd birthday like she was, 40 seems old enough for me.

Sunday evening I was surprised again when pizza was delivered for supper. Thanks goes to my editor Kevin for that. I told my husband Joe that it took three birthday suppers for my 40th birthday! Everything was greatly appreciated. It means a lot to not have to cook a meal when you are used to preparing three meals a day. We are enjoying lettuce and radishes out of the garden. It has still been very wet and I don’t have tomatoes, peppers, or cabbage out yet.

Joe doesn’t have work next week so he will be home to help. He hopes to get caught up with the outside work before church services are held here. The hay is also growing with all the rain we have had. Another thing Joe wants to crowd in is to go fishing. Bass season opens on Saturday and he would like to give it a try.

It is now after lunch and we have moved all clothes that aren’t dry yet on to the porch line where they will be protected from the rain. We have been having small thunderstorms every once in awhile this afternoon. A reader from Hamilton. Indiana sent me this cherry-rhubarb coffeecake recipe which I’d like to try. I will share it with you all. The recipe has three separate parts: the filling, the cake and the topping.



4 cups rhubarb, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 /3 cup cornstarch

1 can 20 ounce of cherry pie filling


3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 /2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Crumb topping

1 1 /2 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 /2 cup butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan cook rhubarb and lemon juice over medium-low heat for five minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch and then add to rhubarb mixture. Cook and stir 5 minutes more until thick and bubbly. Remove rhubarb mixture from heat, stir in pie filling and set aside to cool. For the cake, in a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a separate mixing bowl beat buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spread a little more than half of the batter into greased 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Spread cooled filling over batter. Drop remaining batter by teaspoon onto filling. For topping combine sugar and flour. Cut in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

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By old order Amish: LOVINA EICHER
Easter Sunday turned out to be nice and sunny here, which made for a more enjoyable day. We attended church services at our neighbors, which we were able to just walk to. Now this morning we are having rain again. It sure will give my garden a boost. The peas, radishes, and lettuce are growing very nicely. They survived the late-season cold spell and the snow we had. A week ago it was snowing and the ground was covered with a layer of white stuff but it did not stay long. It was chilly enough in the house last week that we started our coal stove again.
Our children colored 10 dozen eggs on Thursday evening, it is just something fun for them to do, but we never let them lose sight of the real meaning behind Easter.
My husband Joe and I made some horseradish from our own plants this past week. We used Joe’s Uncle Solomon’s recipe and it turned out really good. Uncle Solomon lives in Ohio but we wish we could have him try our homemade horseradish. He brought us the roots to start our own plant several years ago.
Joe’s grandmother passed away on April 13th after a lot of pain. She was 97 years old and a widow for almost 23 years. She had eight children but two have passed away including Joe’s mother who died at age 54. She had 70 grandchildren, 387 great-grandchildren, and 95 great -great grandchildren. Everyone remembers her as a friendly sweet person who will be missed by many. May she rest in peace. We were thankful that our daughter Verena was OK to attend the funeral. Verena had written back and forth with her for quite a few years. We left for the two-hour drive to Berne, Indiana at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 to attend the funeral.
We took all eight children along to the funeral and also Elizabeth’s friend Timothy. The funeral was held in a shed and also in a basement. It was a cold day for the funeral. We saw sister Liz and Levi and family at the funeral. And, of course, sister Emma and Jacob and family were there as this would also be Jacob’s grandmother. In the afternoon we stopped in at sister Leah and Paul’s house. I wanted to wish them a happy 30th anniversary which was on the 16th also. Leah popped popcorn for us and Jacob’s, who had also stopped in. We saw where Paul and Leah’s daughter Elizabeth lives in a shed on her parents farm. The shed had fixed up into nice living quarters. Elizabeth and her husband Levi have a 1 1 /2 year old son, Amos. From there Jacob’s and us headed to brother Amos and Nancy’s house to visit with them before starting for home. When we arrived there Nancy and her daughters were already preparing supper for us. They were looking for us to stop by and wanted us to stay for a meal. So we had delicious supper of barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, lettuce, salad, cake, pudding and fruit.
We arrived home at 9:45 p.m. and everyone was ready to call it day. We were home all day on Good Friday. Jacob and Emma didn’t have any plans for that day so we told them to come for dinner. For our lunch we had a brunch. I made a casserole with scrambled eggs, shredded potatoes, biscuits, and gravy. I pull apart the biscuits and layer everything and then bake everything until the potatoes are tender. The gravy moistens everything up and this is a really good breakfast casserole.
Uncle Elmer and Aunt Emma and cousin Sovilla, Leroy and family and cousin Martha and husband Merlin stopped in from Berne for a visit on Friday afternoon to see where we live. Aunt Emma is my Mother’s sister. They all had had dinner at my sister’s Susan and Verena. Joe was starting the grill to make hot-wings and fresh ham when they drove in. We made them sample the wings before they left for home. It was nice to get to visit with them again. We always enjoy home-grilled chicken wings. Do any of our readers have good homemade marinade recipes they’d like to share?
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are seeking 100 new readers to join The Amish Cook Friend Club at any level between now and May 6. As of April 25, we have 10 new members. To move the Amish Cook forward, we need to strengthen our connection with loyal friends and followers and make new friends along the way. Our first step is to re-open the AMISH COOK FRIEND CLUB to new members. Membership includes:
SUPPORTER: A personalized snail-mail thank you note and a discount code for future soft cover cookbook purchases. $25.00
FRIEND: A personalized thank you note, discount code, and a photo of Lovina’s kitchen at mealtime. $50.00
AMBASSADOR: All of the above plus the Limited Edition cookbook, “AMISH COOKBOOK USA” (a collection recipes from Amish settlements across the United States). $100.00
OTHER: Create your own level.
To join The Amish Cook Friend Club, send to: Oasis Newsfeatures, PO BOX 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042 or to join online visit A video message is also available for viewing at The Friend Club drive goes through May 6, with percentage of goal reached to appear after Lovina’s column until then. Of course the main benefit of joining the Friend Club is knowing that you’re helping to keep The Amish Cook column on sound ground for a long time to come. Percentage of goal reached: 10 percent. Try this recipe:

My rhubarb is ready to use so that will be another spring goodie I can start using. This is a really neat recipe to use up your rhubarb.
2 cups flour,
1 tablespoon sugar,
4 teaspoons baking powder,
1 /3 cup shortening,
1 egg, beaten
1 /2 cup milk,
1 /2 teaspoon salt
Filling: 3 /4 cup sugar
3 – 4 cups diced rhubarb
Syrup: 1 1 /2 cups water
3 /4 cup sugar
few drops of red food coloring (optional)
Mix dough and roll into a 12 X 10 inch rectangle. Sprinkle with sugar and top with rhubarb. Carefully rioll up dough jelly roll style starting with shorter end. Cut into 1 inch slices and put onto a 9 X 13 inch pan. For syrup bring all ingredients to a boil, cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour hot syrup over pinwheels. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until done. Richard from Amish Stories.

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By old order Amish : LOVINA EICHER

We will enter the month of April later this week, and next week will be the school children’s Spring break, so we are moving right along into warmer months. My husband Joe also doesn’t have work next week so the whole family will be home. After Spring break there will only be 9 weeks of school left for the term. Time sure has a way of slipping by too fast.

My sister Emma, her husband Jacob and family assisted us Saturday with our work. The new finished bedroom will be our 16-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s. Elizabeth’s friend, Timothy, also helped us. They finished sanding the dry wall in one of the upstairs bedrooms and the hallway is done too now. I need to get some paint so we can start painting. Once the painting is done we can start with our spring cleaning. We will be holding church services at our house in June, so there is much to do to prepare and we want to have all of this work done by then. Sanding upstairs on Saturday has left us with a dusty mess. That is what is nice about getting it done before we start spring cleaning. The girls also cleaned and mopped the basement on Saturday. It sure needed it. The dust from the coal stove can really collect heavily.

Next week we are are going to try to get the yard raked up from the winter; the leaves, twigs and other stuff. Usually every Spring break I like to take the children into town to treat them to lunch for being such a big help.

Sister Emma has a Pampered Chef party on Wednesday in the forenoon. All the guests will enjoy a brunch prepared by the Pampered Chef hostess. It seems like our days are too busy for something like this but it is nice to have a day off occasionally. We get too caught up in our work so a break is good for all of us once in awhile.

Last week I assisted my sisters Susan and Verena from cleaning up on the recent remodeling they had done on their house. Also there helping were my sister Leah and her son Paul Jr. Brother Amos, wife Nancy, and son Ben and twin daughters Arlene and Marlene were there also. And, sisters Liz and daughters Elizabeth, Rosa, and Suzanne all from Berne, Indiana came to help too. Sister Emma from our church district was also in attendance. It has been quite a few years since my five sisters and I were together for a work day. If brother Albert had been there all eight of us siblings would have been present. My husband Joe came over after work and helped brother Amos and Ben carry the furniture out of the living room. Verena and Susan’s plans are to have their living room remodeled next. The house doesn’t look the same on the inside as they turned the laundry room into another bedroom. They also took the wall out between the porch and kitchen and dining room area so that it is more open. They cleaned out all of their cabinets, cupboards, etc and washed all their dishes. The remodeling had left a lot of dust.

Everybody brought in a dish or two for lunch. Susan and Verena served baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and lettuce salad. Others brought in deviled eggs, oatmeal and blueberry pie and someone brought cookies and ice cream. We ended up with a lot of food with everyone bringing something. To Leota from Macon, Missouri, I never can my meat using an oven. I always use a pressure cooker to can my meat.

To Louise from St. Francis, Kansas, I am sorry I do not have a recipe for “raw burger.” Could it possibly have another name? If there is a reader who could help Leota or Louise with their questions please write to the address at the end of the column. Louise also requested my recipe for horseradish pickles. Since it has been a couple of years since I have shared it, I will repeat it now.Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write to Lovina at: Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, PO BOX 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042.


1 cup salt

3/4 cup dried mustard

2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup horseradish, chopped fine

Cucumbers, quartered and cut length-wise, do not remove peelings

1 gallon white vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons canning acid

Day 1: Put cucumbers in a crock or glass bowl, adding enough water to cover them and then add salt. Let sit overnight covered.

Day 2: Drain the salt water, but keep the cucumber slices in the bowl or crock. Add the rest of the listed ingredients, minus the salt.

Cover the crock and stir. Makes 3 gallons of pickles. Pickles will keep in the crock for several months.

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