The Amish Kitchen

Dustin and Loretta had perfect weather for their wedding day. All week was nice and sunny, which we were so grateful for.

We ended up with about 450 here for the noon meal and 550 for the evening meal. We could seat 350 people in one setting. About 100 or more people eat before, such as the cooks, table waiters, special helpers, babysitters, some of the cooks’ children and drivers who bring family and friends from farther away.

At 4:30 p.m. the tables were set for the cooks to eat supper, then at 5:30 p.m. for the guests. At 7 p.m., the youth and Dustin and Loretta’s families ate.

We ended up having 600 pounds of chicken grilled. Although we had quite a bit left, I think we would have run out if we didn’t get another 100 pounds. A family in our church has a huge grill and grills for others, so we had them grill the chicken. We bought 400 pounds of potatoes but had 150 pounds left that didn’t get cooked for mashed potatoes. Our goal was to have 75 pies, but we ended up with about 80. Sometimes, there is extra pie filling they just use up in a few extra pies. The pecan pies were eaten except a few pieces. We had a few pumpkin pies and a dozen or more cherry pies left.

Our menu consisted of barbequed chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered noodles, dressing (40 loaves of bread were toasted for this and took 18 dozen eggs), green beans with cheese sauce, overnight salad and homemade bread with grape jelly and butter.

Dessert was pecan, pumpkin and cherry pies, caramel pudding, fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and grapes), chocolate and white cupcakes, candy bars and coffee.

It is tradition the bride and groom furnish candy bars to serve after each meal. Dustin and Loretta bought 1,200 for the whole day. They had quite a few left. The parents buy all the other food for the day.

Dustin’s parents have their own chickens, so they brought more than 40 dozen eggs for the wedding foods. That really helped out. We don’t have chickens right now.

Loretta did a fall theme for decorating the “Eck,” the corner reserved for the bride and groom and bridal party. Her colors for the cooks and table waiters were all fall colors. Loretta chose a dark, rose-colored dress for her wedding day. Dustin’s mother and I wore olive-colored dresses. The cooks wore rust. The table waiter girls wore orange dresses, and the boys wore black pants and vests with white shirts. Daughter Verena and Dustin’s brother, Willie, were witnesses. Daughter Lovina and her special friend, Daniel (also Dustin’s brother), were the other witnesses.

Without the help of friends and family, it wouldn’t be possible for us to prepare for such a big event. Many hands make lighter work.

We were so thankful for the ones who helped clean up and pack all the dishes and tables in the wedding wagon. The neighbor ladies cleaned the cook wagon, and we also were thankful for my three head cooks who kept everything so organized.

A special thank you to my great friend, Ruth, for taking me shopping and not even charging me for gas. Ruth did a lot of the shopping on the final days, as I didn’t have time to go after everything.

Ruth and I went after the wedding cake the night before, and we were relieved once we had it home safely.

Our dear family members were missed very much during the wedding prep and that day. Sisters Verena, Emma and our daughter, Susan, all did well to put their grief aside and be happy for the newlyweds. Daughter Loretta now lives across the road with Dustin. Today, we will go help her put away the many nice gifts they received.

Dustin and Loretta want to thank those of you who sent gifts, well wishes, etc. May God bless you.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, “Amish Family Recipes,” is available wherever books are sold. 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.