Keeping Warm in a Cold Spell

At 10 a.m. the temperature is still only at zero degrees with a wind chill of -17 degrees. The last several days we have had even colder temperatures and wind chill down to -27 degrees. It’s been a challenge to heat for everyone. It seems the wind gets in everywhere.

Grandson Ryan seems to be doing okay but is still on antibiotics.

A happy birthday to granddaughter Jennifer. She had her sixth birthday on January 15. Daughter Lovina made her a cake. She was so excited to blow out her candles on the cake.

When Jennifer was born, daughter Susan and Mose had been living in an old house that didn’t heat well so they moved in here with us. It was fun to help Susan with her firstborn and of course to spoil little Jennifer. I still remember how Mose would sit there and hold Jennifer and smile at her. At her first and second birthdays, Mose held her when she blew out the candles on her cakes. Then, less than a month before her third birthday, Mose was called from this earth. God had other plans for this little girl. In the short years Mose was here, he gave this little girl lots of love, and she loves to hear me tell her stories of Daddy Mose. Jennifer has this mischievous grin on her face all the time, and her smile lights up the room. She was so excited that she lost her first tooth. My grandchildren are all so precious to me. My children think I spoil the grandchildren more than I did them, but that’s what grandmothers are for. Haha!

The whole family came here for Sunday lunch in spite of the cold temperatures. Son Joseph and son-in-law Dustin grilled twenty pounds of chicken. I told them I could fry it, but they said they can stand inside our heated pole barn and check on the chicken on the grill outside every once in awhile. That helped me out. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, chicken, cheese, hot peppers, and onions. I sliced onions and put them in apple cider vinegar—does anyone also do this? We love them like that. Dessert was Jennifer’s cake, ice cream, jello, and doughnuts.

The afternoon was spent playing games, and some worked on a 1,000-piece Amish Country puzzle that we started recently. Some of the grandchildren, with the help of daughter Verena and special friend Daniel Ray, were putting together 100-piece puzzles. That was much easier for them to figure out.

We love the Amish Country 1,000-piece puzzles and always like to look for a different one. I usually use those peel and stick sheets to keep the puzzle to hang up. I’m using my puzzle board for the first time. It was given to me from daughter Loretta and Dustin for a Christmas gift last year. It has a swivel under it so the board can easily be turned and has four drawers on the side to keep the extra puzzle pieces in. I love it very much, and it makes it so much easier to put away when you aren’t working on it. The children didn’t seem to bother the puzzle on Sunday. I can remember so often when children were younger and we would have a puzzle on our table that we would work on when we had time. It seemed like the toddler that could climb on a chair would find the puzzle and mess it up. Then we would have to start all over again. Sweet memories!

I’ll sign off wishing everyone God’s blessings. Stay warm!


Chicken Loaf
2 ½–3 pounds of chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup milk
1 cup bread cubes
2 eggs
1 cup celery, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in center of loaf.


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.

7 thoughts on “Keeping Warm in a Cold Spell”

  1. My mom use to put onions in the apple cider vinegar along with cucumbers. She served it this way since that’s the only way my dad could eat them due to ulcers. Definitely not my favorite! Have a blessed day.

  2. I am glad I subscribed online, this isn’t in the TimesReporter any more. I feel like they are all family!

  3. About Lovina’s question on if anybody eats onions in apple cider vinegar–please tell her that we like to eat cucumbers with onions in a mayonaise/vinegar/little sugar concoction. Nothing is measured.

  4. I really enjoy hearing about you and your family. I used to get an email from you but it just stopped and I could not get it back. Do you still do that email? I am happy to have found this.

  5. I never heard of putting onions in apple cider vinegar. How long to you leave the, in there before you eat them, and what do you eat them with. Happy New Year to you and your family, stay warm and thank you

  6. Glad to hear Ryan is doing better. Happy birthday to Jennifer. Grandchildren are so precious. I have never heard of putting onions in apple cider vinegar. Sounds interesting. I think it is wonderful how close your family is. We have great grandchildren that we have never seen yet and everyone is spread out all over the U.S. I wish we could all be closer. May our dear Lord bless your family and thank you for this column, it’s the highlight of my week. Looking forward to your new cookbook. God bless.

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