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Lovina reflects on writing her column

Lovina's Amish Kitchen

Saturday was a very cold and windy day, so the men were unable to put the roof metal on the new pole barn. They kept busy doing other work on the barn such as building the sliding doors, putting on the wainscoting, and more.

This week, they will work on putting on the roof metal at night since temperatures have warmed up again. It’s getting done slower than we had anticipated, but it helps to not have to pay for labor. Those helping Saturday were son-in-law Dustin, Daniel (daughter Lovina’s special friend), Daniel Ray (daughter Verena’s special friend) and his brother Marvin, sons Benjamin and Joseph and my husband Joe.

Grandson Denzel thinks he has to help me write the column. After he kept interrupting me quite often, I sat him down beside me and gave him a paper and pencil. He was scribbling all over the paper. It seems just short years ago when my children would sit beside me pretending to write the column, too. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I have been penning this column every week for almost 22 years. So many changes have happened since then. It was a challenge writing and finding quiet time with eight children around. Many times, I would write early in the mornings or later in the evening after they were all sleeping.

Some weeks, it’s so much easier to write than others. Then there are weeks when you get writer’s block, or you can’t concentrate.

On Sunday evening, our family gathered at daughter Elizabeth and Tim’s house for a birthday supper for their youngest daughter Andrea. She enjoyed being able to blow out the two candles and having us sing. Happy birthday to her. She reminds me so much of her mother when she was young.

We had a delicious meal consisting of grilled chicken breasts, campfire stew, chicken salad, loaded nacho dip and chips, cake, ice cream, oatmeal pie, mocha pudding and finger jello. Daughter Lovina made the cake again. She is doing a good job. She also made the loaded nacho dip that was delicious. We all took a dish, so it was more than was needed. Leftovers make nice additions when you pack lunches for the men.

We attended church on Sunday in our church district, which was 11 miles from here. Our church district plans to divide this fall. It seems a long way to travel with horse and buggy on a Sunday morning when it’s cold to go to church. Joe and I went with sister Verena and our friend Beth who drives for Amish, so it wasn’t a long cold drive for us. Beth usually takes sister Verena to church.

Since we moved to Michigan 20 years ago, this will be the third time our church has to divide because of growth. It’s always sad in a way when you have to divide, and some will have church on one Sunday, and some the next. We can go visit though, so that is a good thing. I’m used to having our whole family in our church district, and I admit that it will be very hard to have that changed depending on which way the division lines will go. My grandchildren sit beside me often during the services, so I would miss that.

I finally answered all my mail from readers. I am sorry about the delay in answering every one. I appreciate all the kind words of encouragement. The mail was from eight different states this time. Last time, it was from 15 states. Thanks again and God bless!

Loaded Nacho Dip

8 ounces tortilla chips

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup water

1 packet taco seasoning

1 large sweet onion, diced

3 medium tomatoes, diced

8 ounces shredded cheese

1 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons buffalo ranch dressing

1 cup cheese sauce

Thoroughly brown ground beef, drain the fat off and mix in the water and taco seasoning. Then add onions and fry for a few minutes. Layer in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Add cheese sauce and sour cream mixture then shredded cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and garnish with tomatoes. Jalapeños, banana peppers, olives and other toppings can be added as well. Serve with tortilla chips.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight who lives in southeastern Michigan. Her two cookbooks, “The Essential Amish Cookbook” and “Amish Family Recipes,” are available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at Lovina’s Amish Kitchen, 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. She does not personally respond to emails.

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