A Full House for a 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 laying 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 ten, and all are 6 and under. 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 was 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, donut bars, cherry delight, vegetable tray and dip, fruit tray with dip, and sugar cookies. There was way too much food. Chips and dip was also 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, 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 over 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 December 30th 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 x 10 x 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’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.  Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.

2 thoughts on “A Full House for a Happy Thanksgiving”

  1. God bless your family! I enjoy reading your articles and recipes. I love how your family unite and are there for each other, only our world could be that way. When I read your articles my spirit and body relaxes.
    God Bless
    Merry Christmas
    Susan Bausman. Piqua, Ohio

  2. I wish we still had big family gatherings over the holidays, your Thanksgiving sounds like it was so much fun. My cousins are scattered all over the country so that doesn’t happen anymore. I admire you (and the Amish) for keeping their family ties so strong. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous wedding for Susan and Ervin! So happy for them!

Comments are closed.