Lovina’s Community Pulls Together for Benefit Dinner

Our house feels nice and cozy since Joe started our coal stove in the basement. With the temperature outside at 61 degrees, it’s almost too warm, so I have some windows open. It’s too cold in here without heat and too warm with heat. I imagine it won’t be long before we will be needing the coal stove going full blast.

Saturday we plan to attend my family gathering at brother Albert’s.

Yesterday I spent the day at Susan’s friend Ervin’s house. Susan and I washed off walls and ceilings, cabinets, etc. Ervin has most of his belongings there but has a lot of unpacking to do. The children were excited to show me their bedrooms.

All five children had a disappointment on Sunday night. Ervin and Susan had bought them a miniature pony that had just been weaned from his mom. They led this pony everywhere and became attached to him fast. He was a calm little pony, just perfect to entertain five little children. On Sunday night they saw it wasn’t acting right and called the vet. But before he came out, the pony died. The vet thinks it had something to do with being away from his mom and maybe developing parasites. He said weanlings have been known to do this. Well, little four-year-old Jennifer’s explanation was, “We need to get a pony that’s not allergic to our food.” She thinks the pony was allergic.

A small portion of the 1200 pounds of grilled chicken prepared for this week’s benefit dinner. Photo provided.

We had a good outcome with the benefit grilled chicken and pulled pork dinner on Friday evening, to help Dustin and Loretta with hospital and ongoing medical expenses. We appreciated everyone that helped in any way. It takes many hands to do a benefit like this.

The menu was pulled pork, grilled chicken, chicken noodle soup, baked beans, potato salad, peanut butter, strawberry, pecan, and pumpkin pies, lemonade, and coffee. To prepare for this we had one hog roasted, but we ran out so we could’ve had two. We had 1200 pounds of grilled chicken and it took 700 pounds. (The rest was taken around to places in a nearby community for donation.) It is so hard to know how much to have as you don’t have any idea how many people will show up, and we had carry-outs available, too. We bought 80 pounds of noodles from an Amish bulk food store, and 75 quarts of chicken broth were donated by the local families. There were 23 kettles (12-quart size) of chicken noodle soup made. It took 21 kettles. Women in the community made 30 gallons of potato salad and 30 gallons of baked beans. We had more than enough of that. Close to 130 pies came in, and we ran out of strawberry and peanut butter pies.

Son-in-law Dustin had a birthday on Saturday, October 8 (the day after the benefit). Loretta baked him a cake and brought it here Sunday for our noon meal. Daughter Elizabeth, Tim, and four children, daughter Susan and two children, Ervin and three children, daughter Verena, and sister Verena were all here. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken noodles, chicken, baked beans, potato salad, pecan and pumpkin pies, and cake. A lot of the food was leftovers from the benefit so the meal was easy.

Deer hunting season is in (bow season). Son-in-law Tim shot two and daughter Lovina’s special friend Daniel shot two, also. One was an eight-point buck. Tim is making jerky with some of his deer.

Sister Verena spent a few nights here. Her heat wasn’t on yet so her house was quite chilly.

God’s blessings to all!

Glazed Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds medium sweet potatoes or 2 (18-ounce cans) sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

If using fresh sweet potatoes, place in a kettle; cover with water and cook, covered for 25–35 minutes or just until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Peel and cut into chunks. Place cooked or canned sweet potatoes in a 2-quart baking dish. In a small saucepan, combine butter, syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon; cook and stir until mixture boils. Pour over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30–40 minutes.


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.

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