Taking time to visit sisters

The world outside looks very scenic with everything coated with snow. It is still snowing, and we have around six inches already. It sounds like we are getting quite a bit more. School is closed for a few days, and some factories are sending their workers home before lunchtime. My husband Joe and sons Benjamin and Joseph left this morning for work and haven’t come back home yet. Hopefully, everyone will stay safe.

This past weekend we did our pork butchering. Friday night our family came home for the night. The men dressed four hogs. Everyone stayed for the night, and then we started cutting up the meat on Saturday morning.

Lovina and her family work together to prepare sausage for future meals. Photo provided.

Pork tenderloin, pork chops, ham, ribs, bacon, etc. were all cut out. Then the meat was cut off the bones and the bones were put in the big black kettle to cook off the meat. Sausage was ground and packaged. Some sausage was canned in jars. (We like to can some for quick and ready meat for casseroles, etc.) We put the ham, pork chops, and bacon in the freezer as Joe likes it partially frozen to run through the slicer. Joe saved the pig brains also, and he and some of the children like those. I say “Yuck,” but I always end up frying them even though I have never tasted it. 21 gallons of pon hoss were made in the big black kettle. The lard was rendered, and we put it in jars to seal so it stays fresher for longer. Dustin is soaking the bacon in a brine to season it. It was more of a challenge to keep the meat sorted in four different places as Elizabeth and Tim, Loretta and Dustin, Susan, and us each got a hog. Needless to say, it was a full day’s work.

Daughters Verena and Lovina made a good lunch for everyone with the menu being fresh pork tenderloin fried, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, corn, cheese, chocolate chip bars, and ice cream. My friend Ruth stopped in and pitched in to help with the meat. She took some pictures to share to help better explain the process of butchering. Sister Verena came here Friday night and has been staying with us since.

Yesterday we had a nice surprise when my cousins Barbara and Susan showed up at my door. They asked if sister Verena and I wanted to go with them to visit sister Emma. I was getting ready to wash laundry, but I decided the laundry could wait until I got back. It’s not often I get a chance to visit with them. We went with their driver to Emma’s house and soon several hours passed. We had a nice time catching up on each other’s families. We grew up living beside each other. Our mothers were sisters, and both our parents have passed away. Susan has several children with muscular dystrophy also, so we can relate with each other. After they dropped Verena and me off here at home again, son Kevin and I washed the laundry.

This week, I’ll share the recipe for sausage bean burritos.

Stay healthy and God’s blessings to all!

Sausage Bean Burritos
1 pound sausage
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 can black or chili beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cup salsa, divided
10 flour tortillas (7 inch)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook sausage, green pepper, and onion; drain. Stir in beans, rice, and 1 cup salsa; mix well. Spread 1/2 cup sausage mixture down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up and put in a greased 13×9 inch pan. Top with remaining salsa. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer.


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.

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 “Taking time to visit sisters”

  1. How does Lovina manage to keep all the family names straight, as so many have the same name? (Susan, Lovina, Emma, Verna, Joseph, etc.) Is this common in the Amish families?
    I’m really glad she identifies the family member with the name (Sister Susan and daughter Elizabeth, for example).
    I’ve read her column for years and feel like I know them personally!

    1. If you have been doing it you entire life it becomes habit. You think nothing of it. My mom come from a big family 17 including my mom. We have multiple people with the same name in our family . Some have nicknames , sometimes we say so and so’s than the name. As an example James is a huge name so we would say Jim ( Nickname ) and Shirley’s James

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