The Amish Kitchen

A brand new year is before us. I wish you all good health and happiness and most of all God’s blessings as we start another year.

Jan. 6 is Epiphany (Old Christmas) and a holiday for the Amish in this community. A lot of families have a Christmas gathering on this day. We will be hosting sister Emma and her extended family, sister Verena and our whole family. We are a total of 33 to set the table for. It would’ve been 36 if our loved ones could’ve been here, but we will leave it in God’s hands and keep their memory alive.

The tables (five 6-foot tables) are ready to be set for our guests tomorrow. We also will have a gift exchange after our haystack brunch. Snacks will be served in the afternoon, games played and, hopefully, some singing together.

I hope you all enjoyed the letters from daughters Lovina, Verena and Susan the past three weeks. It gave me a break during the holidays, and I think they all did a wonderful job. I keep asking Elizabeth, Loretta and the boys if they want to write also.

Elizabeth and Tim have had a lot going on lately. They left for Florida on Dec. 23 and arrived back home on Jan. 1. They had a very nice time, but their bus was delayed on the way home. They spent 29½ hours on the bus coming home. They were sitting in traffic for four hours because of a three-car accident on New Year’s Eve. Elizabeth said she felt bad for whomever was involved knowing their new year wasn’t starting out well. Needless to say, Tim and Elizabeth were two happy parents once they were off the bus and safely home again.

Daughters Susan and Verena had their house all cleaned, and I had their laundry washed, dried and folded. I’m sure that was a great help.

On Sunday afternoon, Joe and I went for a ride. We received about 4 inches of snow or more Saturday evening and during the night. We were the only ones home. I do not like that empty-nest feeling. It’s just too quiet around here. Daughter Loretta and Dustin left Saturday evening and spent the night at daughters’ Susan’s and Verena’s house. Jennifer and Ryan were excited to have them there.

Joe and I stopped at sister Emma’s for a visit. We also visited with sister Verena. She mostly is staying with Emma and her sons. Both sisters have lost their best friend and can feel the emptiness.

We then headed on to daughter Susan’s and ended up staying there for supper. Dustin and Loretta still were there, and Tim and Elizabeth also came over. I was so glad to see all the grandchildren again. In the afternoon, Dustin gave Jennifer and Ryan a sled ride with the new sled someone gave them for Christmas. They miss having a daddy to do that for them.

Elizabeth is all tan from the Florida sun. It was good to see everyone. Susan and Verena served us a good supper, then we headed home. Soon after we were home, Benjamin and Kevin came home, and a little later, Joseph and Lovina, so the house wasn’t quiet anymore. It always is nice to catch up before going to bed. God is good, and we can’t thank Him enough for the many wonderful blessings. Until next week.

I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

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, and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.