The Amish Kitchen

July 14 — today our oldest son and fourth child turned 22 years old. How the years fly by. Happy birthday, Benjamin. I had Benjamin at home with Joe’s aunt as my midwife. Benjamin weighed only 4 pounds, 13 ounces and was doing pretty good until he was two weeks old. He caught the flu and started dehydrating so we ended up taking him to the hospital for a few days. After that he seemed to gain and never had many health problems. By the time he was 1 year old, he easily had passed the weight of the girls at age 1.

While I was having Benjamin, our three oldest girls, Elizabeth, Susan and Verena, stayed with my dad and sisters. Mom always would come to be there for me. After Dad found out we had a little boy, he told the girls they have a little brother, and he’s going to be able to handle all three of them. I remember at first they weren’t too thrilled about having a brother that might be able to outdo them. My dad loved to tease the girls. After bringing them home they soon fell in love with their tiny brother. After seeing how small he was they said, “Grandpa told us he could handle all of us, but he’s way too small.” My dad laughed when he heard they had taken him seriously. Eleven-and-a-half months later, daughter Loretta joined our family. I think between Benjamin and Loretta, those two got into more things than any of the rest. They were two lively little ones, and they kept me busy. For two weeks every year, Loretta would tell Benjamin she caught up to his age.

Benjamin always looked out for Loretta. One day, I put her in the playpen so I could go outside to do something real quick. When I came back in Benjamin had crawled on the countertop and found my scissors in the cabinet and cut a hole in the playpen netting so Loretta could get out. I was scared to think what could have happened with him having the scissors. He would use the drawer handles to climb up on the cabinets. Needless to say, Loretta was happy to be turned loose again. After that, I knew they weren’t safe alone for even a few minutes. I also had to get another playpen because the netting was ruined.

Today, we again will go help daughter Elizabeth with her cleaning. Sister Verena came last night for supper to help us enjoy all the fresh goodies from the garden. She stayed the night, and we will take her home before heading to Elizabeth’s house.

Our menu last night was fried chicken, steamed red potatoes, buttered red beets, cucumber salad, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cheese and homemade sour cream. Daughter Lovina made some chocolate crunch brownies to take to Elizabeth’s today, so everyone sampled them. They are delicious. The potatoes, red beets, cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes are all from our garden. We are enjoying the fruits of our labor. Zucchini also is ready and sweet corn should be soon. Hot peppers are ready as well.

The rain has done wonders to our gardens, but it also makes the weeds grow. We try to keep up with everything else going on.

On July 15, my husband Joe and I were married 28 years. Do we appreciate enough to have that many years together? My thoughts go to daughter Susan and others who only get a small number of years together. It is all God’s plan, and we must not question His ways. Let us trust and keep the faith. God’s blessings to all.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Readers can write to Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply), or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org, and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.