Lovina Eicher's day begins at 4 a.m. and she lays her head down at 9:30 p.m.

·5 min read
These cookies are easy to make and delicious.
These cookies are easy to make and delicious.

Diary of June 28, 2022

4 a.m. The alarm rings, and it’s time to start another day. I pack lunch for my husband Joe and make him breakfast. For breakfast, I make him an egg, sausage, and cheese in a soft tortilla shell. He likes to stay away from too much bread, so I get the low-carb tortillas.

4:30 a.m. Son Joseph, 19, gets up and goes out to do the morning chores. I make him a grilled cheese with an egg and sausage in it.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work at the metal shop. Joseph comes in and eats breakfast while I pack his lunch.

5 a.m. Joseph leaves for his construction job. They have an hour and a half drive to the job site. Son Benjamin, 22, gets up and gets ready for work. He doesn’t want any breakfast.

5:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work at the factory. I sit down to read awhile in my recliner but doze off and don’t get much reading done.

7 a.m. I get up, shower, and make a pot of coffee. I have some mail to get out and some bills to get ready to send out.

8:30 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth brings Abigail, 5, Timothy (T.J.), 3, and Allison, 2, here to stay while she goes to help with preparations for their nephew’s wedding. She takes Andrea, four months, along to breastfeed.

8:45 a.m. Daughter Lovina, 18, son Kevin, 16, and I eat breakfast with the little ones. We have pancakes and bacon.

9:15 a.m. Lovina washes dishes and cleans the house up. The little ones keep me busy. They go outside for a while to bike and then decide they want to look at books. I sometimes forget how short their attention span is.

11:45 a.m. Lunch is bologna and cheese. The little ones want to make faces with their bologna, so we use pickles for ears and cheese for eyes, etc. They each want us to look at the face they made. Allison is tired and ready to nap, so I rock her to sleep.

1:15 p.m. Elizabeth is back to pick up the little ones. I get to hold Andrea for a little bit. She is so cuddly and all smiles.

Lovina mixed up a batch of Chocolate M&M Cookies earlier with the help of Abigail and T.J. and is baking them. The children want a cookie to take home. They are delicious, and I will share the recipe this week. They are very simple to make. I know they won’t last long here.

5 p.m. Everyone is home from work and getting chores done. Sons Benjamin and Joseph cleaned the horse stalls and the rest of the barn tonight.

5:30 p.m. Daughter Verena came here with Abigail, Jennifer, and Kaitlyn (daughter of Ervin, who is daughter Susan’s friend). She left the horse and buggy here, and the four of them went down to my sister Verena’s house. They will spend the night there. The three little girls were excited to go with their Aunt Verena to her Aunt Verena’s. They looked so cute with their backpacks on their backs. Of course, they wanted to sample the cookies.

Before they left, all three girls came and hugged me and said, “Bye, Grandma.” I had to laugh when Jennifer hugged me and said, “Grandma, you smell pretty.” I’m not quite sure how you smell pretty, but I hope she meant I smell good. Smile!

7 p.m. Supper is later tonight. The menu is potatoes, smoked sausage, and cheese, along with fresh lettuce and onions from the garden.

Tomorrow, I plan to have a coffee break at neighbor Leah’s. The neighborhood ladies are having a welcome to the community coffee break with her. I am sure she has had some lonely days living two hours from her parents since she moved in. The young couple seems to be adjusting quite well, though. Daughter Lovina is making tortilla meat and cheese roll-ups for me to take.

Thursday, Joe and I, son Joseph, and his special friend Grace will attend nephew Sam and KatieAnn’s wedding in Monroe, Indiana. This is the last of brother Amos’ 10 children getting married. I will be the cook at the wedding. Joseph and Grace are table waiters. Sister-in-law Nancy will be all alone now.

We received another wedding invitation from niece Leanna and Alvin. They set their date for August 18th. Congratulations to them as well.

9:30 p.m. Time for bed—Good night and God’s blessings to all!

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 Lovina’s Amish Kitchen, P.O. Box 234, Sturgis, MI 49091 (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.

Chocolate M&M Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups mini M&Ms

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

In a large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly add these ingredients to the butter mixture. Fold in M&Ms (and walnuts if desired). Drop dough by rounded tablespoon about 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased tray. Bake at 350 degrees. Bake 7–9 minutes for chewy cookies or 10–12 minutes for crispy cookies. Yield: 24–30 cookies.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Amish Kitchen: A day in Lovina's family life from sunup to sundown