A full house makes for a very happy Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving holiday. We hosted a dinner here for our family, sister Emma’s family and sister Verena. We are a total of 39 now.

The table was set for 36 people. Andrea, 9 months, was in the highchair. Denzel, 4 months, was in a seat, and baby Jazlyn, 3 1/2 weeks, of course, was lying down or getting passed around.

We opened our kitchen table to the extended 12 feet, and we added four tables (each 6 feet long) to that to make room to seat everyone. This extends from the dining room into our living room.

Emma has four grandchildren and we have 10, and all are 6 and younger. It makes for some interesting moments.

We furnished the hot food for the dinner and everything else was brought in. Three turkeys were prepared. Son-in-law Dustin deep-fried one and my husband, Joe, and sons grilled the other two. That helped to not have to bake them in the oven.

Also on the menu were mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, a vegetable blend of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (steamed), cheese, hot peppers and pickles.

Then coming in from the others was overnight salad, dinner rolls, pumpkin roll, pumpkin pies, blueberry and blackberry cheesecakes, doughnut bars, cherry delight, vegetable tray and dip, fruit tray with dip and sugar cookies.

There was way too much food. Chips and dip also was brought in, and we had that along with all the leftovers before everyone left for home.

The afternoon was spent playing games such as Phase 10, Marble Chase or 10,000 in dice, and the younger ones played Chutes and Ladders. It was an enjoyable day, and it went much too fast.

Son Benjamin recently spent a night and morning at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house hunting. He shot a doe and Tim told Elizabeth that Benjamin shot a nice doe. Well, little T.J., age 3, was told that you only can shoot the bad does. It bothered him, and knowing they were bad made him feel better.

So when he saw me he told me, “Grandma, did you know Benjamin shot a nice doe?” He was really concerned. It was so sweet.

He told Elizabeth, “I like when Uncle Ben comes … he makes me laugh.”

Recently, we had a nice visit from Aunt Emma (my mother’s sister). She is 81. Coming with her were her daughter Sovilla and husband Leroy, her daughter Martha and husband Merlin, and her son Amos and wife Marilyn (Marilyn is Joe’s cousin).

We had a good visit with them. They had picked up sister Verena and went to visit sister Emma. Our family was home for supper that evening, so they all got in on the visit.

I have many fond memories of times spent at Uncle Elmer and Emma’s house. They had a pond and we had many picnics back there.

I have one bad memory, and that was almost drowning in that pond as a little girl. Cousin Milo (Elmer and Emma’s son) came to my rescue and all was fine.

I always did have a fear of water since but wanted my children to learn to swim. When a friend was giving them swimming lessons, she said she will need to leave me home. She said I was scaring my children of the water. So after that, I stayed home, as I knew they were in good hands.

Uncle Elmer died more than three years ago, so Aunt Emma has many lonely days. Her family is a good support to her. Seeing her brought back memories of my dear mother.

We are busy getting ready for daughter Susan and Ervin’s Dec. 30 wedding. Since it will be held at the community building, it makes less work for that.

Tomorrow, sister Emma and her daughters and my daughters and I will get together at Ervin’s house to plan for the wedding meal and make a shopping list for food.

God’s blessings to all.

Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup pumpkin

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the eggs, pumpkin, and sugar in a bowl, then add the rest of ingredients and blend together well.

Pour into a 15-by-10-by-1-inch greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle clean towel with powdered sugar. Flop out the pumpkin cake onto towel when it comes out of oven. Roll up like a jellyroll; let cool.


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix filling ingredients together until smooth. Unroll cooled cake, then spread with filling and roll up again without towel and refrigerate.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight who lives in southeastern Michigan. Her newest cookbook, “Amish Family Recipes,” is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at P.O. Box 234, Sturgis, MI 49091 (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.


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