Lovina’s Amish Kitchen – Happy Birthday, Lovina!


I had a very happy birthday on Sunday May 22. My whole family came over for supper, bringing pizza, ice cream cake and fries. Games were played before and after supper, and I was showered with lovely cards and gifts by all. A “5” and a “1” were on my cake, but my son Benjamin bought 51 candles and let my lovely grandkids help put all the candles on the cake. My daughter had trouble lighting all the candles. The kids loved watching Grandma try to blow out all 51 candles. I feel so blessed to call them all my family. The cards were so meaningful and lots of love was shown. It was a memorable birthday!

On Saturday, our new neighbors, Levi and Leah, moved in. They have two small children. Leah is my cousin Esther’s daughter. Esther stopped by on the way home after helping the couple move in and gave me an anniversary present. She is 10 years older than me and says she remembers the day I was born well. She said they did something on the ground and her younger brother Danny came running really fast, jumped the fence and ran towards them. He was so excited to come and tell them that Uncle Ben and Aunt Elizabeth had another baby. I was born on cousin Chris’ (their brother’s) birthday.

Danny was killed in the same accident that brother Amos was here in Michigan eight years ago with another cousin of mine. Amos died just over five years after the accident. He had ended up in our local hospital after the accident and was treated and discharged that day. I picked up Amos and brought him to our house until his wife Nancy and children came to pick him up. He was shaken by the crash, having seen one cousin die and the other die while pinned beneath him. Their construction crew was building a nearby Menard and their pickup truck hit icy ice and rolled over several times.

The gift Esther gave me included two pints of apple butter. Esther has her father’s (Uncle Chris) copper kettle which he always used to cook apple butter. Our family and their family have always had Apple Butter Cooking Days together. The night before, we were all meeting at Uncle Chris and Lizzie’s house. We would all sit around their big kitchen table and snitz (cut) bushels of apples. The next day the apples would be cooked in the copper pot. I have never tasted apple butter as good as this. I can’t wait to try this apple butter. I remember coming home from school and eating apple butter sandwiches. We also like it on corn porridge or pancakes.

I forgot to write last week about our visitors that we had a night for supper the week before we held church services here. It was nephew Michael and his wife Laura from Kentucky. It was nice to visit the young couple. They got married last September. Michael is the son of Joe’s sister, Salome.

On Friday night, daughters Verena and Susan welcome Robert Rogers, with his story of “living a life with no regrets”. Robert experienced tragedy when he lost his wife and four children in a Kansas flash flood in 2003. He is an accomplished worship leader, pianist, songwriter, and author of Into the Deep , 7 Steps to No Regrets and Rise Above.

This will be held here in our pole barn with sandwiches and snacks afterwards. Susan and Verena have invited our church and other people from the community, so we should have a lot of people here. We look forward to hearing from Robert after reading his books.

God’s blessings to all!

Rhubarb coffee cake

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup sour milk

1 teaspoon of soda

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups flour

2 1/2 cups rhubarb

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Cream shortening, 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, vanilla and egg; add milk. Add club soda, salt and flour, stirring until all flour is moistened. Dice the rhubarb and mix. Spread into a 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar and cinnamon mixed together. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her latest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers may write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email [email protected] and your message will be forwarded to them for reading. She does not personally respond to emails.

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