Lovina meets old and new readers at a book signing
Lovina talks about storms and storm cleanup, her book signing and plans for Easter. She offers a recipe for Berry Cream Cheese Muffins.
It’s 5 a.m. here at the Eicher house. All is quiet. My husband, Joe, and son Joseph left for work already. Son Benjamin is working in Ohio. He’s been gone since Monday morning. The house seems empty without him around.
Sister Verena came here last night and stayed the night. They were calling for storms, and she felt it was better not to be alone. So far, we haven’t had anything, but it sounds like it will start this morning. Years ago during a storm, lightning struck sister Verena and Susan’s house and started a fire. They were in bed, and it’s a good thing they saw a glow from the fire and got help. They had to do a lot of repairs from water damage. They moved into our basement for around three months while their house was being redone. I think that is one reason storms bother her so much during the night.
Son Joseph went to help rebuild a barn that was damaged by the tornado that hit Allen County last weekend. There were quite a few buildings that were hit. The crew Joseph works with donated a day to help. He said he thinks there were around 200 men and boys there helping. It is so nice to help each other in times of need like that. The men and boys were working on more than one pole barn that was damaged. Many hands make light work. Tornado destruction can be devasting! A lot of people had hail the night of that tornado. I know Tim and Elizabeth and Ervin and Susan had pretty good-sized hail, but we only had wind here.
Daughter Verena and granddaughters Kaitlyn, Abigail, and Jennifer came here last Friday evening (the night of the tornado in Allen County). They all had gone upstairs to bed with Verena, but when it started storming, they wanted to come down again. We made beds for them on the sofa and recliners, and they slept on those. We were fortunate to only have had a storm and wind.
The next morning, daughters Verena and Lovina, the three girls, and I went to Shipshewana, Indiana, to the Plain and Simple Craft Show. We were glad to meet old and new readers. There was a great turnout for the book signing for my cookbooks, The Essential Amish Cookbook and Amish Family Recipes. Plain and Simple is an Amish craft and decor magazine that I write in every other month. The editors host a craft show every spring with lots of vendors there. Sisters Verena and Emma, Crystal (Emma’s daughter-in-law) and son Isaiah, and Renee (daughters Verena and Susan and Ervin’s neighbor) all came to the craft show. They surprised us and didn’t let us know they were coming.
It was a cold day but interesting. I think the three little girls were tired by the time we were back home, but they said they had fun and had lots of stories to tell.
Friday is Good Friday, and Easter is Sunday. We will have our family over on Good Friday. I usually have an egg hunt for all the little ones. They always enjoy that. Last year, we hid eggs for six grandchildren. This year it increased to 10 grandchildren. Kaitlyn, Isaiah, Curtis, and Denzel are added to our family. We will hide more eggs. It will be even more interesting with more children. It is nice to celebrate Easter with our family. Nothing can be a better holiday to spend with family than to celebrate the journey of the life of Jesus. Jesus who died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. We wish you all a blessed Easter and God’s many blessings!
I will share a recipe for Berry Cream Cheese Muffins this week. A reader lost her recipe that I had in the column over three years ago so I’ll run it again.
Berry Cream Cheese Muffins
1 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, blueberries, or raspberries dusted with 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and gradually add to the butter mixture. Fold in berries and nuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for three minutes before removing from the pans. Makes 18 muffins.
Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to her 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.