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Baking cookies with the kids

Lovina's Amish Kitchen

Everything is quiet right now at the Eicher house. Everyone has gone to bed except a few of the girls and me. There was too much action earlier today to think of writing.

Daughters Elizabeth and Susan and their four little ones came this morning to spend the day. Our breakfast meal consisted of eggs, potatoes, bacon, toast and cheese.

After breakfast, Elizabeth and daughter Verena washed dishes, and daughter Lovina mixed up a batch of Sour Cream Cut-Out cookies.

I helped give Susan some pointers on sewing. She doesn’t quite know all the steps of sewing a shirt for her husband, Mose. She did well and it was finished to take home. She wrote down step by step notes and will try to sew one at home.

Daughter Loretta’s special friend Dustin came to pick her up to attend a visitation of his foreman, who found out he had cancer 16 days before he died. So sad for the loved ones left behind. Dustin is a group leader at work and his foreman was who he went to for advice. I’m sure he will be greatly missed.

Our lunch was a kettle of soup and ham and cheese sandwiches. Dustin and Loretta came back home and Dustin ate lunch here before heading home. The little children are always glad to see Dustin and tease him. Abigail, 3, and Jennifer, 23 months, love to get him to chase them.

After lunch, we rolled out and baked the cookies. Abigail loves the rolling pin and making cut outs of bells, trees, stars, snowmen, gingerbread men and candy canes. After the cookies are cooled, the decorating is done. Abigail and Jennifer love the sprinkles and sample cookies more than decorating. So much cuteness! Little T.J. crawls on the stepstool and wants to help, too, but is done helping after getting a cookie.

T.J. is a little busybody. He loves to check out every cabinet door. He gets a lot of help from Jennifer. When Elizabeth says “Timothy Josiah” to get his attention, he still looks like he isn’t sure she means him because everyone calls him T.J. He will be 1 year old next week.

Ryan is sitting in the highchair looking at everyone and always smiling.

Dec. 10 was daughter Verena’s 22nd birthday. On Sunday, we had company in honor of her birthday. The menu was pizza, banana poppers, hot wings, veggies and dip, fruit and dip, chips, salsa, brownies, cake and ice cream. Some of the food was brought in, so we had an easy meal.

I have a hard time grasping that Verena is 22 already. She is a great daughter and always so caring. So many evenings before I go to bed, she massages my feet. How relaxing. My mother did foot reflexology and I miss that. Verena must take after her grandma.

Our supper tonight was omelets. Some of the girls and I weren’t hungry, so it was easy to make an omelet for those that wanted one. Ham, bacon, black olives, mushrooms and cheese were the toppings.

Tomorrow, nephew Jacob (son of sister Emma and Jacob), 20, will have surgery for his muscular dystrophy. He decided to try the surgery after seeing the results his younger brother Steven received from the surgery. Our prayers are with him that he will have success.

Steven, 12, spent Sunday evening here and went on the bus with son Kevin, 14, on Monday morning. Steven is back on his feet and uses a walker for some support but can walk without it. He is still in therapy but the surgery was a success for him.

Until having children of my own with disabilities, I never fully understood the battle they face at times. But they are always cheerful and there is never a dull moment. It has made them so much more thoughtful of others which is a blessing.

God bless.

Sour Cream Cut-Out Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:

1/3 cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until a soft dough is formed.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Remove from oven and cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

For the frosting: Cream shortening, vanilla, and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Gradually add milk and the remaining powdered sugar, beating constantly. Add more powdered sugar for desired consistency. Add food coloring if you like.

Spread frosting on cookies and decorate with sprinkles and chocolate chips if desired. Let set before storing.

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 four cookbooks; her latest is “Amish Family Recipes,” 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.

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