Lovina healing after surgery

Lovina's Amish Kitchen

Hello, folks! This is Elizabeth, Lovina’s oldest daughter, taking my mom’s spot penning her weekly column.

Today, she underwent surgery (postponed a week because of extreme cold). We hope all heals well and she soon feels 100 percent again.

My dad; my brothers Joseph, 16, and Kevin, 13; my sisters, Susan (with her daughter Jennifer), Verena, 21, Loretta, 18, and Lovina, 14; plus my children and I all went with her to the hospital.

As most of you probably know, Tim and I welcomed an addition to our family last December. Timothy Josiah (also known as T.J.) is a joy! Abigail loves her little brother.

Most days she enjoys being the “big sister,” but we still have those moments when she also wants to be the “baby.” And that’s OK with me because before long, she’ll outgrow this stage.

Abigail is an adventurous little girl and we have no dull moments when she’s around.

Since I’ve become a mom for the second time, life has sped up another notch. I do love being a mother. Someday, I’ll probably miss the toys scattered on the floor, the ABC magnets on the fridge, the finger smudges on everything, baby bouncer on the kitchen table, baby swing in the living room, pacifiers, diapers, potty training — the list goes on. To me, Abigail and Timothy are worth it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My cousin Emma and Menno became first-time parents on Jan. 30, welcoming a baby girl, Jessica Rose, weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces, and measuring 19 1/2 inches long. This is the first grandbaby for Uncle Jacob and Aunt Emma. Though I have yet to see her, I’m told she’s a cutie. I dug some pink material out of my cedar chest to sew a baby dress for her.

Last week we had a very cold spell for a couple days. A low of -13 degrees, a high of zero degrees with a wind chill of -42 degrees. Due to the cold, schools, factories and more were closed for a few days.

Other than going out to do chores, Tim stayed inside with me and the children. He kept the horses in the barn. It was much too cold for them to stay outdoors.

For supper tonight, we had a breakfast meal: potatoes, eggs, bacon and cheese. Abigail is asleep on Daddy’s lap. She loves to hear stories, so Tim was telling her a few. Now he’s reading a book while she dozes, content in Daddy’s arms.

Timothy, 7 weeks old, is in his swing watching his toys swing back and forth. He’s smiling and cooing sweetly.

Tim got a few nights of ice fishing in. He never got a chance to go last winter. Tim’s a fisherman, so it’s never mind the weather — cold or hot, snowy or sunny.

I’ve gone ice fishing one time. I can’t say it wasn’t fun because I enjoyed it, but I prefer to fish from inside a boat or off land. Seems safer to me.

When Abigail heard Tim was going fishing, she got out her life jacket, little pink fishing pole and swim clothes. She wanted to go along but didn’t realize it’s called “ice fishing” for a reason. She was disappointed when she had to stay home.

During that cold spell, Tim started a 1,000-piece puzzle titled “Northern Tranquility.” We enjoy doing puzzles of a cabin / cottage by any sort of body of water. We’ve completed a total of six puzzles, which are glued and hung.

Abigail wanted to help with the puzzle. She got quite a few pieces together, though not correctly. In the process, she knocked down some pieces, so I suppose time will tell if we’re missing any.

Tim went back to work this week at the RV factory. He had last week off due to the factory being low in orders. I did enjoy having him home. He helps me out a lot with the children and household chores, and cutting wood. Before long he’ll be collecting maple sap.

While we were at the hospital today, Abigail discovered a vending machine in the waiting room. She was very curious wondering what kind of fridge had glass doors. She saw it had a keyhole, so she asked me for a key. I told her it used money to get a snack or drink out of it. Then of course she asked for quarters. I suppose those snacks and drinks looked better than the ones I had in the diaper bag.

Kevin gave her 75 cents to get juice. Abigail was amazed how the juice came out of an opening near the bottom of the machine but never “moved” from the glass display.

I’ll share a favorite recipe of Tim’s. Even though it’s called spicy steak roast, it’s not spicy.

Spicy Steak Roast

Venison or beef steaks, sliced thin

6 medium potatoes, sliced

1/2 pound carrots, sliced

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1/8 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Arrange steaks in a single layer in a roaster pan. Add sliced potatoes and carrots. Combine the rest of the ingredients and spread over meat, potatoes and carrots. Cover with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for two hours. Enjoy.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She, her husband, Joe, and their family live in southeastern Michigan. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her latest is “The Essential Amish Kitchen,” is available at 800-245-7894 Contact Eicher at P.O. Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org.