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The Amish Cook

Please note folks: I’ve just been informed that the editor of the Amish Cook will no longer be letting other web sites like mine post LOVINA EICHER’s column anymore, so this will be the last post from her on Amish Stories. I thank Kevin for allowing me to re-publish the Amish Cook on my own blog, so please visit the Amish Cooks web site  to continue reading her very enjoyable column. Richard

This has been a different winter so far weather-wise. We had another snowstorm during the past week, but then as quickly as it snowed, it warmed back up. Now it rained during the night and the temperature is up to 45. We also had some thunder and lightning during while we slept. The snow is mostly gone except in the ditches and where it was piled up. Some men have been ice fishing but it has not been possible for most of the winter due to the warmth. Joe hasn’t been able to go yet, but he is eager to do so. Hopefully it will turn colder again so he can.

One up side, with the warmer temperatures it takes less coal to heat the house. I like when the ground stays frozen so the house doesn’t get tracked up with mud so much. It always seems like snow makes a brighter world during the winter.

Saturday Joe and the boys went to help Elizabeth’s friend Timothy cut up some trees. Timothy’s brother and nephews were also helping. Sounds like they got a lot accomplished. Joe likes doing outdoor work like cutting up wood. Meanwhile, here at home, the girls done the cleaning and folding the laundry from the day before’s wash. While the girls were doing that I baked apple and custard pies and Verena baked an apple dump cake. She brought one home from school that she made in cooking class. She will write down the recipe and I will share it with you readers in a future column. Everyone seemed to like it so Verena doubled the recipe.

On Sunday we went to Emma and Jacob’s house for a delicious dinner. We enjoyed barbecued baked ribs, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, cottage cheese, Cole slaw, and sliced cheese, hot peppers, homemade vanilla ice cream, chocolate cake, and apple and custard pie. She put the ribs single layer in baking pan, seasoned them with salt and pepper and barbecue sauce and baked. Joe, Jacob and the boys froze two 2-gallon cans of homemade vanilla ice cream while we were preparing dinner.

 Homemade ice cream is always a favorite for us. The children spent a lot of the afternoon outside playing in the snow. The rest of us played games after the dishes were washed away. It seems like it doesn’t take long to get the dishes washed when everyone pitches in to help. We started for home around 5 p.m. The boys did the evening chores and Joe fueled the stove for the night. We only had snacks as everyone said they weren’t hungry for supper after the big noon dinner at Jacob’s. We all retired early for the night as Joe had to start a new week at the factory and the children back to school.

Tomorrow, January 24, daughter Susan will have her 16th birthday. Seems hard to believe she has reached that age. Where has the time gone to so fast? Susan enjoys outdoor work, and she loves horses and enjoys training ponies. She would rather go clean out the barn than do housework. She does like to bake, though, but I am still trying to get her to sew.
I always tease her that I’ll move the sewing machine out to the barn if it would make sewing more enjoyable for her with the horses close by. It is good that we don’t all have the same interests or talents otherwise life would be less interesting. When I need a horse harnessed so I can go run some errands, she is always volunteering to help go get it ready. We wish her a happy 16th birthday and many, many more happy years.

This is a recipe that a lot of Amish give as gifts around the holidays, or maybe for Valentine’s Day coming up. (Editor’s Note: A video demonstration of these cookies being made by the Amish Cook’s editor can be seen in a new online video program, An Almost Amish Kitchen. To view, visit


2 /3 cups all-purpose flour

1 /2 teaspoon baking soda
1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 /4 teaspoon salt
1 /3 cup brown sugar
1 /3 cup white sugar
3 /4 cup chocolate chips
1 1 /2 cups quick oats
1 /2 cup pecans, chopped
Optional M & Ms

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt . Place flour mixture in a 1 quart jar. Pressing down firmly layer remaining ingredients in order given. Top with lid and decorate with fabric or ribbon if giving as a gift. Recipe to attach to the jar:

Beat 1 stick softened butter, 1 large egg, 1 /2 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Add cookie mix, mix well breaking up any clumps. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Yield 2 dozen cookies. Published with permission from

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The Amish Cook

3:15 a.m. Time to get up. I prepare my husband Joe’s lunch which is homemade chicken noodle soup, crackers, ranger cookies – which daughter Susan baked yesterday – and some frozen peaches. Joe like soups better than sandwiches for lunch. But he always tells me not too put too much food in his lunch because he can eat better after he is done working, so he likes a light lunch. His job is to set the cabinets in RV trailers. He has been working for this company for over 7 years. In March it will be 8 years that we made the move from Indiana to Michigan.
3:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work. They start working at 5 a.m. every day but the drive takes 40 to 45 minutes. With all the slippery roads and blowing snow I hope they have a safe ride there. I go back to bed until it is time to wake the school children up.
6 a.m. I go to check the messages on our phone in the shed. Since the roads are slippery and snow is blowing I decide to check if there is a school delay. Someone from the school usually calls the Amish and leaves a message if there is a school delay or cancellation. Since we don’t have radios or TVs they do this to let us know. We appreciate this very much. If it is foggy or the roads are bad I always check the voicemail on the phone before waking the children. This morning I find that there is one that says school is cancelled for the day. I decide to let the children sleep in a little longer.  When I lived in Berne we didn’t have this option since we weren’t permitted phones there, so sometimes we’d have to wait for the bus for two hours before finding out school was cancelled.
8:30 a.m. Everyone is up and ready to eat breakfast. The girls made baked French toast and scrambled eggs for our breakfast.
9:30 a.m The boys are out shoveling snow. They said they are trying to pile the snow up so they can make a tunnel under the snow. The girls and I are doing laundry, the dishes, and the weekly cleaning. I also slice and fry the poor man’s steak that I mixed together yesterday. After it is fried I layer it in a roaster and top it with cream of mushroom soup. This will be part of our supper tonight.
1 p.m. Lunch is ready. We are having soup which is always good on a cold day.
2 p.m. Loretta and I leave to go to town. Loretta has an appointment and I need to get some groceries. The boys take breaks but keep on working to get our drive shoveled out. The girls finish with the cleaning while I am going.
4:30 p.m. Loretta and I are back home again. Joe is also home from work. He helps the boys finish the shoveling. It is snowing again so maybe they will have to shovel again tomorrow. The girls have scalloped potatoes ready for the oven.
6:30 p.m. The outside chores are done and they are ready to eat supper. Our menu consists of poor man’s steak, scalloped potatoes, pork and beans, cheese, and ranger cookies. Elizabeth’s friend Timothy comes and joins us for supper.
7:30 p.m.   Dishes are washed. Some of the children are reading and some are playing games. The boys are writing and drawing in their writing tablets. Recently they have started keeping themselves entertained for a long time just writing and drawing. Kevin likes to use pencils to draw all kinds of different things. He likes to write so much that he will write any kind of paper or tablet lying around. He discovered this book that I write my columns in and decided to add his writing. Sometimes he ends up writing on the back of someone’s homework.
9:30 p.m. Everyone has gone to bed. The children enjoyed their day home from school even though it included helping with the work.
Good night to all and God bless.  Try this poor man’s steak recipe!
1 – 1 1 /2 pounds lean hamburger
1 can 10 3 /4 ounce cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 /4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup bread crumbs, dry
2 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
Mix all of the ingredients except for the cream of mushroom soup and shape into a narrow loaf pan. Let set for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Slice into pieces and grill or fry just enough to brown each side. Put slices in layers in a roaster pan and spread cream of mushroom soup over it (without adding water). Bake for one hour at 325. Published with permission from oasisnewsfeatures.
EDITOR’S DISCUSSION TOPICS: Lovina mentions the phone in her shed in this column. This is actually increasingly common among the Old Order Amish. Twenty years or so ago, it wasn’t. But a concession to modern communication is that the Amish often are permitted to have a phone in an outbuilding for emergencies or business. The issue isn’t that there is anything wrong with the phone itself, it’s that if the phone is in the house than the outside world can interrupt any time…so having a phone in an outbuilding provides a measure of control. Still, phones have not caught on everywhere. In many conservative Amish settlements, telephones are not permitted anywhere on the property. And, ugh, can you imagine getting up at 3 a.m. for work each day? I can’t, but I bet some of you can….what time do you get up to leave for work? – Kevin Williams, Editor

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The Amish Cook



We are now a week into 2012 and a whole new year lies ahead of us. I hope you readers had a blessed holiday season. This week husband Joe is back to work after a two-week break and our six youngest children will also go back to school. It was wonderful having everyone home but it is always nice to get back to a normal schedule.

Friday, January 6, we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for dinner. We had a breakfast haystack which is almost like a regular haystack but you use breakfast foods. We had biscuits, broken into bite-sized pieces, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, shredded cheese, onions, salsa, cheese sauce, and sausage gravy. By the time you put a little bit of everything on your plate you have a nice-sized haystack. This is the first time I had breakfast haystack. I think I prefer it over a regular haystack. A lot of people in the community have breakfast haystacks when they have their family Christmas gatherings. There are a variety of other foods that can be added to breakfast haystacks like olives, mushrooms, bacon, smokies and so forth. Also on the menu were Long John Rolls, cinnamon rolls, peanut butter bars, rhubarb, orange and V-8 juices, coffee, tea, and chocolate milk.

After all of that delicious food, the afternoon was spent playing Aggravation which was enjoyable for everyone. We had snacks later on then . It was an great day to spend time together with family.

On Saturday we had Joe’s family here for a late Christmas gathering. We had a carry-in brunch. Ten of his 12 siblings were here so we had almost 90 people at our house. We made fried potatoes, biscuits, and sausage gravy and the rest of the food was brought in. Among the foods brought in: three big breakfast casseroles, cottage cheese, sliced Swiss, pepper jack, and Colby cheese., venison summer sausage, and lots of desserts, coffee, chocolate milk, orange, grape, and V8 juices. Later on we had snacks that everyone brought. Games were played and some singing was done. It was a nice, sunshiny day with temperatures almost reaching 50 degrees. The children spent most of the day outside playing ball and other outdoor games. It is not often that you can play ball outside in January. All of our snow has melted from our last snow. We have sure had a mild winter so far!

We were surprised to see Joe’s Uncle Solomon come to the Christmas gathering. We were glad to have him join us. He brought Joe’s sister and family from Indiana. With Joe’s Dad being deceased it was nice to have one of his brother’s here. Joe has four married nieces and nephews and all were able to attend. Joe’s parents would now have 9 great-grand children and 55 grandchildren. Before everyone left the tables and benches were taken down and the basement floor was swept. The basement is where we had all the food and where everyone ate. We were glad for the help in cleaning up. Sister Emma, Jacob, and family came for awhile as Jacob wanted to say “hello” to all his cousins. Jacob is a first cousin to my husband Joe. Jacob’s joined in to help clean up. Before Friday we had managed to complete the 1000 piece puzzle. We received a 750 piece puzzle from a reader for Christmas which will probably be our next project. I would like to thank all the readers for the cards and gifts that were sent to us. They were greatly appreciated. Also, thanks for the encouraging words that help keep me writing this column. May God bless you all in the New Year and always. Try this delicious snack, a twist on the traditional cheese ball!


1-8 ounce package of cream cheese

1 /2 cup oleo, softened

3 /4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 /4 teaspoon vanilla

3 /4 cup mini-chocolate chips

Graham crackers or chocolate graham crackers

Beat together cream cheese and oleo until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar, vanilla, and brown sugar. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Shape into a ball and serve with graham crackers. Published with permission from

Please stop by this Friday as i tour the farm where the 1985 movie “Witness” staring Harrison Ford was made in Lancaster county. This may be the last time that this Amish owned  farm will be open to outsiders and I’m including 2 Amish recipes!

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These are some easy, fun holiday recipes. Blessings to all the readers for a happy, healthy New Year. These recipes are from my editor’s new book, The Amish Recipe Project. They look interesting to try!


2 cups sugar

1 1 /3 cups peanut butter

1 /2 cup milk

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème

In a saucepan bring sugar and milk to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and marshmallow crème. Mix well. Quickly pour into a buttered 8 inch square pan. Chill until set. Cut into squares.


5 cups milk

5 eggs

1 /2 cup sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla

1 /8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 /8 teaspoon salt

Handful of ice cubes

Combine everything in blender until the ice is shredded. Serve cold.


1 lb. sauerkraut

1 cup. sugar

6 slices cooked bacon

1 tsp. black pepper

Mix sauerkraut, pepper and sugar together

in 1-1/2 quart dish. Cut bacon slices in

1 inch pieces and mix slightly with sauerkraut.

Bake at 325 degrees for 2-1/4 hours

The Amish Recipe Project can be ordered from For more videos, pictures, and recipes, “like” The Amish Cook Fan Page on Facebook. Posted with permission from

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The Amish Cook

The Amish Cooks last post on Amish Stories for 2011. Merry Christmas



Every morning son Joseph, 9, reminds us of how many more days it is until Christmas. When he told me this morning that there were only “13 days” it really dawned on me just how close the holiday season really is. I think the children are getting a little worried and keep asking Joe and I when we are going Christmas shopping. We have a few of their gifts, but it just seems time goes too fast. We plan to go shopping on Saturday.

(Editor’s Note: Having visiting dozens of Amish settlements across the USA over the past 20 years, my observation is that Christmas is celebrated in different ways depending on the community. Some Amish do incorporate secular symbols like Santa Claus and reindeer-shaped Christmas cookies into their celebration, others do not. Gift-exchanges seem to be common in most communities, although it is often more low-key and less commercial than the non-Amish. Christmas decorations rarely appear in Amish homes and I’ve never seen a decorated tree. One way in which many Amish do expression their appreciate of the season is through baked goods and homemade candy – Kevin Williams, Amish Cook Editor)

Christmas morning is exciting for the children to see their gifts, but lets not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season. Joseph, Lovina, 7, and Kevin, 6, are often practicing their songs for their school Christmas program. It will be held next week on December 20. Joe will have off two weeks from the factory over the holidays. The children will also have two weeks off school. I know those weeks will go fast with us having Joe’s family over for Christmas on January 7. Lots to do during that time to prepare. Some of the time will be spent cleaning the house more than usual. Our basement needs a good cleaning. Our coal stove is the basement so it does not take long for dust to collect. We do laundry down there and the children play down there a lot too.

Saturday we celebrated daughter Verena’s 14th birthday with a fried chicken dinner. She baked a chocolate cake and frosted it. We put on candles and had her blow them out. We also had vanilla ice cream to go with the chocolate cake. For her birthday we gave her a dolphin anniversary clock and an electronic money jar. Verena collects anything with dolphins or dogs so she really liked the clock. She doesn’t remember her 13th birthday due to losing her memory for a year because of her brain concussion in June 2010. We are so thankful she is doing better. She has caught up with her school grades again and is excited to be back on the honor roll list. I took her to the doctor’s for a 3-month check up since her surgery. She still needs to wear the ankle brace but the doctors were very pleased with how she is doing. We thank God for all his many blessings. May He help us to remember to always turn to Him when we feel burdened with life’s problems. He can make our load so much more easier to carry.

Today is laundry day again. We usually do laundry 2 to 3 times a week. The boys cleaned out the chicken coop on Saturday. So now we have some extra smelly coats and pants to wash. When the eggs start coming into the house dirty we know it is time to remind the boys that the chicken coop and nests need to be cleaned again. Our chickens have slowed down in laying eggs since the cold weather began. I must get busy now and hope all of you readers stay healthy over these holidays.

Saturday morning our thermometer showed 11 degrees. Brrr. Today the temperature is in the low 20s. Here is a good peanut butter fudge recipe for the holidays.


2 cups sugar

2 /3 cup milk

1 cup chunky peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 6 ounce package chocolate chips

1 /2 of one pint jar marshmallow crème

Butter a 2-quart saucepan. Combine sugar and milk in the saucepan and beat and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook to 235 degrees (use a candy thermometer to measure temperature) Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients stirring until well-blended. Pour into a buttered 9 X 9 X 2 pan. Cool and cut when firm. The Amish Cook is re-published with permission from Richard from Amish Stories.

THE AMISH RECIPE PROJECT, VOL 1: This is a brand new book, part cookbook, part culinary anthropology by the Amish Cook’s editor. Containing over 200 recipes from Amish and Mennonite settlements across the USA, this book offers a culinary glimpse into changing plain culture and is an attempt to catalogue and preserve traditional Amish cooking. To purchase the cookbook and try some of the recipes as part of the project, call 1-800-224-3032 or visit Cost is $14.99 plus shipping. Order by Dec. 21 to have by Christmas. Recipes from the book include chapters for brownies, bars, cakes, cookies, entrees, salads, and soups.

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It is hard to believe we are so far into December already. The days are going by too fast. Before we know it 2011 will be history. Daughter Verena will be 14 on Saturday, December 10. It just seems short years ago that she was born. Our two older daughters Elizabeth and Susan were born on my parents farm, Verena was the first to be born on our first property that we bought. I remember how big the house felt after living in a trailer house at my parents. While it was great living at my parents it was wonderful to have a place to call our own.

I remember the first years of planting a garden at our new home. We didn’t have any children in school yet so we would sometimes work in the garden until dark. We would put a blanket on the grass for the children. When suppertime came I would go in and fix a picnic-type meal and we would all eat our supper on the blanket. While Joe and I were planning gardens the children kept themselves entertained playing in the soil. We put their toys on the end that wasn’t planted yet. Now as time has gone by the children have all grown up so fast. These days it doesn’t take long to plant the garden when everyone helps.

Tuesday evening we received 9 inches of snow which made for some pretty excited children around here. Neighbors all around us were without electric and school was cancelled for Wednesday which brought on cheering from the children. Stormy our pony got the job of pulling the sled. They tried Tiger, our miniature pony, but he was too small and not fast enough for pulling a sled. It looked like Stormy enjoyed it almost as much as the children. Our border collie dog, Buddy, runs along side the sled with the children and he looks like he enjoys it as well.

Now less than a week later there are only patches of snow left. It is rainy this morning and 40 degrees. I am so glad for a heated basement to hang up wet snow pants, gloves, etc that were used over the past week. I will leave them hanging until the next snow which the children hope will be soon. Stormy lost a horse-shoe while giving sled-rides in the hayfield. The children want to go look for it so we can have him re-shod before the next snow. It can almost be like looking for a needle in a haystack with most of the snow melted. It usually makes it more fun to look when Joe says he’ll give a reward to whoever finds it. If all else fails we’ll just buy another horse-shoe and hope the other one is found sometime.

Yesterday in church the women all wrote down what they will bring for our annual Christmas potluck which will be in two weeks. Since the casseroles were all signed up for I signed up to bring a salad. I haven’t decided what kind of salad I will take yet.

Our plans are to have Joe’s side of the family here for Christmas on January 7. We will have a 10 a.m. carry-in brunch and snacks for later on. Our plans are to set up tables in the basement and eat down there. Joe has 11 siblings so hopefully they will all be able to come. The Amish Cook published with permission from    Richard from Amish Stories

1 cup margarine, melted

2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

2 /3 cup cocoa

1 /2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 /2 cup milk

3 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup walnuts

12 ounces of chocolate chips

14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl combine the first seven ingredients along with half the vanilla. Beat well and stir in walnuts. Spread in a greased 13 X 9 baking pan. Bake 40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from pan. Just before brownies are done in heavy sauce pan combine chips with condensed milk and remaining vanilla. Immediately spread over hot brownie. Cool and chill and cut into bars.

Martha’s post this Friday  along with 2 recipes. Martha talks about farm life during apple season!

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The Amish Cook



After some nice 60 degree weather it has turned colder again. The clouds look dark so I wonder if we will get some snow soon. Other than those few inches we had earlier this month we haven’t had any. The children are ready for some snow but I am glad it has held off. Quite a few of the children need new boots for the winter but so far it has not been possible to buy some. Buying shoes and boots for 10 people can really add up in a hurry. This week my husband Joe went back to work after being off for the Thanksgiving holiday. The children are also back in school after being home last week.

Jacob, Emma, and family and our daughter’s friend, Timothy, were our Thanksgiving dinner guests. We opened our table all the way and set it for the 18 of us. It is getting a little crowded around the table with the children all growing up so fast. Emma and Jacob’s deceased dear little Marilyn is also still missed at these holiday dinners.

On the menu was turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, mixed vegetables, corn, broccoli-cauliflower salad, potato salad, vegetable dip and veggies, dill pickles, hot peppers, tea, homemade wheat and white bread, rhubarb jam and butter, pumpkin roll, strawberry fruit pudding, and an assortment of pies including cherry, apple, pecan, butterscotch and chocolate pie along with ice cream. We had a lot of leftovers and divided them between our two families for easy meals the next day. I fixed a 24 pound turkey so we had plenty left for another meal. The afternoon was spent playing games and singing. Friday we did the laundry and hung some outside to dry and some in the basement. The bed sheets dried really nicely and smelled fresh to put back on the bed. While we were doing laundry Joe’s sister, Esther, husband David ,and another of Joe’s sisters, Susan, and three sons came for a visit. Esther and David live in Ohio but were out here in Michigan visiting family. Susan has a son who is the same age as son Kevin. Those two sure make a match in playing together. They were not ready to part when it was time for them to leave.

Friday evening we went to the visiting of our friend Linda, 61, who lost her battle to cancer. Our sympathy goes to the family. Saturdya was spent just cleaning up the house and folding the laundry. The girls cleaned out some closets upstairs. We were glad to see our friend Ruth stop in after hving not seen her in awhile. The children always enjoy the treats she brings.

Sunday we had a delicious brunch at Jacob and Emma’s house. They served biscuits, sausage gravy, eggs, potatoes, sausage links, cheese, hot peppers, pineapple sheet cake, milk, coffee, tea, rhubarb, grape, and V8 juices. It was a rainy day so the afternoon was mainly spent playing games like Battleship, Aggravation, Connect Four, Skipbo, and Mancala. The children wanted to go for a pony ride but the rain did not let up. Finally they decided to be a little creative and fixed a canvas up over the pony wagon. It looked kind of looked like a covered wagon and they were able to go for a little pony ride. They said they are the Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. Although most of them managed to stay dry we still had a few with wet coats but at least they had some fun. The following recipe is a good one for the holidays


1 cup sugar

1 cup sweet cream

1 cup corn syrup

5 cups of corn flakes

2 cups of Rice Krispies

2 cups of Cheerios

1 cup salted peanuts (optional)

1 cup coconut (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat cook the sugar, cream, and corn syrup together until they reach the “softball stage.“ Then add the other ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Drop by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and let set like you would a “no bake cookie.” reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

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Following is a diary of this past Saturday:

7:30 a.m. We slept in this morning. It was a nice break to sleep later after another week of a busy schedule. Last night we got home later as we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for supper in honor of Jacob’s 39th birthday which was November 1. They had a delicious supper of barbecued pork steak and ribs and a haystack supper. Emma presented Jacob with a big ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. After dishes were washed singing was done and some of them played Aggravation.

8 a.m. Everyone is awake now and the girls and I are making breakfast. Joe and the three boys are doing the morning chores. It is relaxing to have a Saturday morning that isn’t so rushy. We made a breakfast casserole layering scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and cheese with sausage gravy poured over everything. Yum!

9:15 a.m. Breakfast is ready. We have the casserole along with frosted sugar and ranger cookies, milk, and grape juice. Elizabeth and Susan baked almost 200 cookies on Thursday. Some are for church services on Sunday and the children wanted to take some to their teachers. They are delicious and disappearing fast.

10 a.m. Joe and the boys are working at odd and end jobs outside. Verena and Loretta are sorting potatoes for the winter. We like to sort through all the potatoes we pick up from the fields. We separate the good ones from the ones with cuts and bad spots so they can be used first. Elizabeth and I start with the weekly cleaning while Susan and Lovina wash the breakfast dishes.

1 p.m. The cleaning is done and everyone takes a break from work. We eat a light lunch of sandwiches, apples, and bananas.

1:30 p.m. Joe leaves to go get some repairs done on our buggy.

3 p.m. Joe is back home and him and the boys start on the evening chores. Taking care of the stove is another chore on his list during the winter months.

3:30 Joe’s brother Junior comes for a visit. We haven’t seen him in almost 7 years so our younger children do not remember him. He had lived out of the area but recently moved back. Joe tells him to stay for supper.

5:30 p.m. Joe starts the grill outside to prepare some chicken. I make a chili soup in the house.

6:30 p.m. Suppertime and Junior joins us and also Elizabeth’s friend Timothy.

7:30 p.m. Junior leaves for home and everyone gets cleaned up and ready for church tomorrow. Our time will go back an hour tonight which we will be glad for the extra sleep. Both our buggies are repaired so we will be able to take both of them to church. Our single buggy had not been usable since it flipped over several weeks ago. Our 17-year-old horse, Diamond, felt his harness catch on the shaft and this scared him enough to take off and flip the buggy. But now the damages are all repaired.

8:30 p.m. Everyone is ready for bed. With Thanksgiving on the way I have a great recipe to use up some of the leftover turkey.


3 slices of bread, cubed

2 cups cooked turkey pieces

1 egg

1 can of chicken noodle soup

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of cracker crumbs, crushed

1 /4 cup of margarine, melted

Place cubed turkey pieces and bread in a greased casserole dish. Combine egg and soups and pour over meat and bread. Combine cracker crumbs and melted margarine Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Dont miss my part 2 post on Lapp’s woodshop as i tour its production area. along with an Amish recipe.

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This is the last day of October. It is hard to believe there is only two months out of the year left. Yesterday, October 30, was brother Amos’s 50th birthday. His wife Nancy had invited all of us siblings to surprise him and come for dinner. Amos was definitely very surprised, he had not expected anything. It is always easy for me to remember how old Amos is because he is 10 years older than I am. He is the second oldest of us eight siblings.

It was a chilly day outside but it was a sunny making it warm enough so that the men could play croquet outside. The children enjoyed riding their three ponies and taking a pony buggy ride. They also played kickball.

Meanwhile, for the birthday feast we were served a delicious meal of barbecued chicken, hot wings, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, lettuce salad, sliced cheese, banana peppers, kohlrabi, celery, carrot sticks, green peppers, and vegetable dip, homemade bread, butter and jelly, ice cream, peanut butter dessert, four different kinds of cake, and several pies. I brought the homemade bread and a chocolate cake. There were a lot of cakes that were brought in so there was plenty of cake left.

Before we started back for home Nancy heated up some of the leftovers. Some of the family ate some chicken before heading for home. We started back around 5:30 p.m. arriving home around 7:30 p.m. The children were ready for bed early as they had a long day. We had started out at 6 a.m. We stopped and ate breakfast on the way which is always a treat for everyone. I think I enjoy it the most since I don’t have to cook breakfast. We arrived at Amos and Nancy’s house around 9:15 a.m. Paul and Leah couldn’t attend as they were in Wisconsin visiting their grown son Ben and family. Paul’s son Levi stayed home from Wisconsin and is taking care of the chores for them so he was able to attend Amos’s birthday party.

Brother Albert’s family also didn’t get to attend as it was their son’s turn to hold church services.

Amos and Nancy had a nice harvest of endive this fall. I haven’t had much luck in growing it but mother always had nice heads of endive. We would substitute it for lettuce in the fall.

Saturday we had a short visit from Uncle Joe and Betty and cousin Brian and his family. My husband Joe and the three boys were not home when they were here, they were over at Timothy’s helping to build box stalls in his barn. Just before Joe and Betty arrived we had some thunder and lightning and it even hailed for awhile. Later in the day, when Joe and the boys were coming home in the pony cart they said it was sleeting. It had really cooled down by then. Our thermometer showed 28 degrees so it felt good to have heat in the house. Joe and Betty also stopped in at Amos’s on Sunday afternoon to wish him a happy 50th.

I will share the recipe for homemade peanut butter dessert with your readers. The recipe consists of three parts.


1 /2 cup margarine

1 cup flour

Optional one cup chopped nuts

In a bowl, mix together softened margarine and flour (and nuts) and press into a 9 X 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until brown. Cool


8 ounces cream cheese softened

1 /4 cup milk

1 3 /4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

8 ounces whipped topping

In a bowl mix cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and peanut butter well. Fold in whipped topping. Pour over cool crust.


2 3 /4 cups milk

2 3 ounce boxes of instant chocolate pudding

Mix together and pour over filling and top with chocolate chips if desired. Serve.

reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

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We had a thunderstorm during the night but it has now turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. It is now sunny and breezy and temperatures with temperatures reaching the 60s, perfect weather for drying laundry outside! We have our laundry washed and on the line now. Beautiful sunny days like this are numbered before the cold weather is here. Last week we spent time picking a lot of potatoes from a few fields after the pickers were done. We now have more than enough for this winter.

They are the “russet storage potatoes”, so they keep really well in our cool basement. We sure are thankful to be able to get these potatoes since ours didn’t do so well. Right now we are drying them out, these potatoes do real well in storage. Our family enjoys potatoes and there are so many different ways of preparing them. One night I made homemade French fries with the potatoes which everyone seemed to really enjoy. I have been using up the frozen fish from husband Joe‘s summer fishing. Before we know it they will be ice fishing and there will be fresh fish to eat again. Fish and homemade fries are a good meal.

Daughter Elizabeth, 17, made 4 batches of oatmeal cookies last week. We took some to the church services yesterday, but she made enough that we had plenty to eat ourselves. . The children always enjoy cookies and milk when they come home from school. Seems cookies don’t last long around here.

October 1st has made it 9 years now that I have been penning this column. Sometimes I think what life would be like if mother were still here to write it. But God had other plans so we must make the best of everything when situations in life changes. Our oldest child, Elizabeth, was only 8 years old while Joseph was our youngest at just a few months old when mother passed away. Where has all the time gone so fast?

Joe finally did end up starting a fire in our coal stove after some cold nights. Makes it a lot more comfortable to wake up to a warm house in the morning. But on days like today we can have some windows open when it warms up.

Kevin, 6, likes the chore of gathering eggs each day. Although he still doesn’t trust that rooster yet so he has one of the older boys stay close by. Kevin brings them in and sometimes like to wash the eggs at the kitchen sink while he chatters away. Once in awhile he’ll break an egg but most of the time he is pretty careful with them. Last night he found a horseshoe out in the field which he brought in to show us. Horseshoes are expensive and sometimes when the horses lose a shoe out in the pasture field we can still find it. This isn’t the case if one if one of the horses loses their shoe along the road. Unless you hear the shoe come off when it hits the road you usually don’t discover until it is too late to know where it flew off at. Joe always tells the children to always check to see if a horse has all their shoes on before harnessing them up. It can wear their hooves down fast to use them without shoes.

This is a recipe from my mother. My father must have really liked this dessert, since she called it “Ben’s Bars.”


1 package (18.25 ounces) of chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

8 ounces cream cheese

1 /3 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, mix cake mix, oil, and one egg by hand until the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Pat remaining crumb mixture into ungreased 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until fluffy. Spread over baked layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and reserved crumb mixture and bake 15 minutes more. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Martha returns to Amish Stories this Friday with a post about Rumspringa. Along with a Mennonite recipe!

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