Lovina Eicher, an Amish woman living in Michigan with her husband and children, is the author of a weekly syndicated newspaper column, “The Amish Cook.” Her column of December 17 describes her daily work, family activities of the previous several days, her cooking and baking, and her children’s preparations for Christmas.
Ms. Eicher writes about the laundry chores of Monday morning, work that is much easier in their present home than it was earlier. At their previous residence, she had to pump water by hand from a cistern, haul it to a kerosene stove to be heated, then haul it to the washing machine so she could wash the clothes. Now she can just use hoses to run the hot and cold water into the machine. Life is so much easier for her, especially since her husband put up a clothes line in the basement so she can now hang up the laundry to dry from the heat of the coal stove.
She writes about the various siblings that have visited in recent days, or plan to visit. Visiting is obviously an important part of her daily life. The focus of the visits—or at least the focus of Ms. Eicher’s writing—is the food. Home-made pizza, cake, chocolate pudding. One day her daughter Verena made cupcakes while Loretta , another daughter, helped frost and decorate them. Details on family relationships that are not clear from the text of the column are clarified in her website, which is maintained by another person.
She comments on the excitement in the house that morning as the kids prepared to leave for school. The Christmas program was to be on Thursday and they have been rehearsing their parts. Ms. Eicher and her husband Joe plan to attend, as they do all such school activities. On Friday, the children expected to have a school Christmas party, at which the students in each grade exchange gifts.
Ms. Eicher continues her column by describing the menu for the dinner she had with her sister and family the previous evening—baked chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad, and cheese. They had chocolate pudding pie, Jello fruit salad, and ice cream for desert. She closes the column with a recipe for homemade cheesecake. An Amish Christmas, at least in one home, sounds like continuous feasting.