Fun and games with grandchildren as family gathers

Supper is over, evening devotions have been said, and everyone has either gone to bed or is showering, reading, or just relaxing as I write this column.

Our supper had ham and beans on the menu. I took a few ham bones out of the freezer and decided to make a big kettle of ham and beans.

Lovina cooked a large pot of ham and beans this week, pictured, for a nourishing family supper. Photo provided.

Daughter Verena finished up on answering my reader mail today. I read all the letters and her answers. She wants me to see if she answered all the cooking questions okay. I am grateful that she helps me out with it. I want to thank all of you for the encouraging words.

Loretta, 20, and Lovina, 16, helped me make a casserole to take along to daughter Susan and Mose’s house tomorrow. Mose’s parents, Joe and I, and a few of our daughters, daughter Elizabeth and children are all planning to help paint, and the men will hang more pine boards on the ceiling. Cabinets will be installed hopefully yet this week. The bathroom is useable now. Hopefully we will be able to finish up on the painting. Nephew Benjamin and my husband Joe have been there the last few days hanging ceiling boards. Nephew Benjamin is off from work this week, so he was able to help out.

On Sunday we had a large group for the noon meal: sister Emma and Jacob, their sons Jacob, Steven, and Benjamin, and Benjamin’s girlfriend Crystal and her son Isaiah; niece Elizabeth and Manuel; niece Emma and Menno, and children Jessica and baby Menno Ray; sisters Verena and Susan; daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and children Abigail, T.J., and Allison; daughter Susan and Mose, and children Jennifer and Ryan; Dustin (daughter Loretta’s boyfriend), and Daniel (daughter Lovina’s boyfriend). We are a total of 34 now when we get together.

The men deep fried fish outside in the deep fryer. Along with that we had mashed potatoes, gravy, pork and beans, macaroni salad, lettuce salad, cheese, hot peppers, salsa and chips, peach braid, pumpkin cake, mocha dessert, Jello cookies, and ice cream. The fish were perch and blue gill caught by Joe and our family this summer. With everyone bringing a dish or two the meal was lots bigger than what I prepared.

With Jacob and Emma’s grandchildren and ours, along with Crystal’s son Isaiah, 3, there were eight children here age four and under. Daughter Verena kept them entertained outside making piles of leaves to hide under for a while.

Then they came inside and all sat on the steps of our stairway, singing and pretending to be in church. Little Allison even sat there, and everyone wanted her to be their “child.” So cute and precious! Nevertheless, you could say our house was filled with activity.

Games were played and then some food set out for whomever wanted to snack before they headed home. It was an enjoyable day! Jacob and Emma’s family and ours used to be together every weekend but with both of us having our own families growing bigger it doesn’t happen quite as often.

We just received word that sister-in-law Sarah Irene’s mother passed away. Our sympathy goes to brother Albert, Sarah Irene, and the extended family. May God guide them through this time and always. God’s blessings to all!

Frozen Mocha Dessert

2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 cup melted butter
3 cups crumbled Oreo cookies
16 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
16 ounce container whipped topping
Small amount caramel syrup

Dissolve coffee in hot water. Mix butter with cookies crumbs. Put 2 1/2 cups of crumbs on bottom of pan. Reserve 1/2 cup for top. Combine cream cheese, coffee mixture, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate syrup. Beat well and add whipped topping. Cover and freeze a few days before serving. Drizzle with caramel syrup before serving.

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 now from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. 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 and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

5 thoughts on “Fun and games with grandchildren as family gathers”

  1. I would LOVE the recipe for ham and beans, please!
    Love your column, and hearing all about your family!

  2. Thank you for your weekly efforts. I’m sure sometimes it seems such a chore. But so many of us look forward so much to our Friday “letter from home.”

  3. Several times I’ve seen hot peppers on your menus. How do you serve them – pickled or raw or some other way? What kind of hot peppers – jalapenos or others?

    This fall my husband and I have been enjoying pickled jalapenos. We had a good harvest from our garden.

    Thank you,

  4. My mother used to write me every week from her home350 miles away. She is now deceased so I have Lovina’s lovely weekly letter now. Thank you

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