May 21, Amish Cook: Fire Damage Worse Than Thought, Church Cancelled and Strawberry Shortcake

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THE AMISH COOK

BY LOVINA EICHER

Our work has still been centered around the recent house fire that we experienced. My husband Joe doesn’t have to work the next two days so we are moving the furniture from our bedrooms upstairs to the downstairs and basement. We will set the beds up in the basement for the girls to sleep in. The boys are sleeping on a bed in the living room now. The carpenters that are working on the rebuilding said that a sealant will have to be applied to the walls and the floors to block out the smoke smell. They discovered that there was more heat and water damage than realized when I wrote about this a week ago. Elizabeth’s bedroom has to all be redone as well. Her bedroom seems to be the worst after the boys bedroom. We are living a little crowded now with all of their belongings and bedroom furniture down here. I can’t believe all the things the girls have accumulated through the years. I told the girls they are fortunate to be able to clean the smoke from their things since the boys don’t have anything left to clean. They lost everything that was in their bedroom.

PHOTO:  Dining room becomes the bedroom for some of the Eicher children

The damage wasn’t just upstairs either. Part of the ceiling had to be redone in the kitchen and dining room. It needs another layer of drywall mudding and then it is ready to sand and paint.

We will have to repaint the whole ceiling since our living room, dining room and kitchen ceiling are all combined. I have decided to paint the walls too since we will be painting anyway. We have been living in this house for five years now so it will freshen everything up especially now since it was all smoked up.

We cancelled our plans to hold church services in June. I could not see us getting all the painting, cleaning and so forth done with only four weeks left. We will instead take our turn twice next year. I feel so much more relaxed now to clean without that deadline looming. Our plans are just to work on finishing all the upstairs bedrooms before moving all the children’s things back upstairs. It looks like a long, busy summer ahead. And along with everything else going on we are trying to fill our gardens up. We put out 84 tomato plants this week. We are out of tomato juice so I need to fill those jars again with homemade juice. Lovina had her eighth birthday on Friday the 18th. We were so busy putting in our first cutting of hay and cleaning up from the fire that we didn’t take time to celebrate her birthday. I also had to take Loretta to physical therapy and pick up some groceries. By the time I was done with all that it was time to make supper.

It was a hot day to put up hay but we got 212 bales from the hay field. Joe was glad for the hay as he had just run out. I asked Lovina if we should have cake and ice cream tonight for her birthday. She suggested having chocolate cupcakes instead so we will do that. Tomorrow, the 22nd, we celebrate another birthday for my 41st. I survived a year of the 40s and it has not been quite as bad as I thought. When Joe turned 40 I had given him a coffeecup that said “40 isn’t old if you are a tree.” Last year on my birthday, Joe gave the cup to me. I think I will pass it along to my brother-in-law Jacob who will be 40 in November.

We have been very thankful for the items donated to us since the fire. I also want to thank all the readers for their help. It is used to help to replace shoes, clothes, and so forth for the boys. May God bless everyone for their kindness.
(Editor’s Note:  If anyone wants to pitch in to help the Eicher’s recover from their fire, we don’t have a formal fire fund set up, but we are routing relief to them through The Amish Cook Friend Club. If you wish for more funds to go tot he Eicher’s, make a note with your contribution that you wish to forgo to the Friend Club rewards. Click here to sign-up for the Amish Cook Friend Club.  Lovina and her family are very appreciative! Be sure to put your address in because I know Lovina will want to thank readers later)

Strawberry season is coming up soon so I thought I’d share this recipe for a favorite around here (Editor’s note: I cheated on this photo, these are strawberries from my garden, not Lovina’s:)

OLD FASHIONED STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 ./2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons margarine

1 egg, beaten

2 /3 cup milk

In a mixing bowl, sift toegther flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in margarine until crumbly. Combine egg and milk and then add all once stirring until moistened. May be rolled out and cut into six individual biscuits. Spread into a 9 X 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Serve warm with crushed berries and whipped cream.

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The Discussion

  1. Laurie Wright says:


    Wow……they sure have alot of work ahead of them. The positive attitude they always have encourages me to finish projects in my home which have gone undone. I pray that all goes well and they can have their home back to normal.

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  2. Diane Adelstone says:


    It is good to hear about the progress on fixing up the house. I am sure the boys will be able to replace some of the toys and items they lost, but it is still a heartbreak. No matter how good of Christians we may be, it still hurts when things like this happened because we hav suffered a loss. It is good to know that the reveal later is that we were safe all along and even glad that God allows things like this to happen for good even though we don’t realize it right now.

    I am praying that everyone’s finances will be cleared up….God furnishes tables in the widerness to sustain and refresh us. Wish I could help monetarily, but we are in no position at this time, but soon with God’s help we will be in a position to help others the way we yearn to.

    God bless all of you. We all come out stronger through it all!

    Diane Adelstone

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  3. Mrs. A. Yoder says:


    I am terribly sorry to hear that the damage was worse than was originally thought. However, homes can be rebuilt; I’m just thankful that no one was harmed in the fire. I lost a dear friend several years ago to a housefire and I know that his parent’s would have gladly lost the whole house 100 times over to have him alive again.

    God will provide. Good luck and God bless the Eicher family!

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  4. I was so sorry to hear of the fire at Lovina’s house. I thank God that no one was hurt! Things can be replaced, people can’t. I can not even imagine the feelings they have experienced. I wish that I lived close to them so that I could help out. That is not possible, but I have been praying for them and will continue to pray that God will give them strength everyday and lift them up!! Colleen

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  5. Mrs. Doris Mace says:


    In a little box within the Cincinnati Enquirer article “Repairs erase house-fire damage” is a recipe for Frosty Strawberry Squares. The directions start with “Beat together egg whites, berries, and sugar for 10 minutes,” etc. However, there are only three ingredients shown … 1 cup sugar, 2 cups crushed fresh strawberries, and 1 cup whipping cream … no mention of egg whites. Can you give me the rest of the recipe … and it might be helpful to send a correction to the newspaper, just in case there are others who are interested in making these. I am an elderly (86 years old) widow who loves to cook … live with my daughter and son-in-law and do most of the cooking. Thank you so much if you can let me know about the missing ingredient(s). As mentioned, I am very “old” and have just recently gone through a bankruptcy proceeding, so am sorry, but cannot help out financially. Will keep you in my prayers.

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