Celebrating Epiphany with Family and a Haystack Brunch

2022—A brand new year is before us. I wish you all good health and happiness, and most of all God’s blessings as we start another year.

Tomorrow, January 6th, is Epiphany (Old Christmas) and a holiday for the Amish in this community. A lot of families have a Christmas gathering on this day. We will be hosting sister Emma and her extended family, sister Verena, and our whole family. We are a total of 33 to set the table for. It would’ve been 36 if our loved ones could’ve been here, but we will leave it in God’s hands and keep their memory alive.

The tables (5 – six-foot tables) are ready to be set for our guests tomorrow. We will also have a gift exchange after our haystack brunch. Snacks will be served in the afternoon, games played, and hopefully some singing together.

I hope you all enjoyed the letters from daughters Lovina, Verena, and Susan the last three weeks. It gave me a break over the holidays, and I think they all did a wonderful job. I keep asking Elizabeth, Loretta, and the boys if they want to write also.

Elizabeth and Tim have had a lot going on lately. They left for Florida on December 23rd and arrived back home on January 1st. They had a very nice time, but their bus was delayed on the way home. They spent 29 1/2 hours on the bus coming home. They were sitting in traffic for four hours due to a three-car accident on New Year’s Eve. Elizabeth said she felt bad for whomever was involved knowing that their new year wasn’t starting out good. Needless to say, Tim and Elizabeth were two happy parents once they were off the bus and safely home again.

Daughters Susan and Verena had their house all cleaned, and I had their laundry washed, dried, and folded. I’m sure that was a great help.

Sunday afternoon Joe and I went for a ride. We received around four inches of snow or more Saturday evening and during the night. We were the only ones home. I do not like that empty nest feeling. It’s just too quiet around here. Daughter Loretta and Dustin left Saturday evening and spent the night at daughters Susan and Verena’s house. Jennifer and Ryan were excited to have them there.

Joe and I stopped at sister Emma’s for a visit. We also visited with sister Verena. She is mostly staying with Emma and her sons. Both sisters have lost their best friend and can feel the emptiness.

We then headed on to daughter Susan’s and ended up staying there for supper. Dustin and Loretta were still there, and Tim and Elizabeth also came over. I was so glad to see all the grandchildren again. In the afternoon, Dustin gave Jennifer and Ryan a sled ride with the new sled someone gave them for Christmas. They miss having a daddy to do that for them.

Elizabeth is all tan from the Florida sun. It was good to see everyone. Susan and Verena served us a good supper then we headed home. Soon after we were home, Benjamin and Kevin came home, and a little later Joseph and Lovina so the house wasn’t quiet anymore. Its always nice to catch up before going to bed. God is good, and we can’t thank Him enough for the many wonderful blessings. Until next week.

I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

Guests my chose their own ingredients to layer for their haystack breakfast at the Eicher family gathering. Photo provided.

Haystack Breakfast

scrambled eggs
hash brown potatoes
crumbled bacon
diced ham
diced smokies or smoked sausage
crumbled biscuits
diced tomatoes
diced green peppers
diced onions
hot peppers
cheese sauce
sausage gravy

Prepare the amounts according to how many guests you have. Everyone layers whatever they want on a plate for their serving. We put all the leftovers together to make a breakfast casserole for another morning.


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 PO 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.

4 thoughts on “Celebrating Epiphany with Family and a Haystack Brunch”

  1. Lovina’s column is printed on Wednesday of each week in the Youngstown Vindicator. Since she only writes the one day per week, I presume it will be the same colun that appears on this site as well.

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