The Amish Cook: Country Brunch Skillet and Wedding Days

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THE AMISH COOK

BY LOVINA EICHER

It is 5:15 a.m. and 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth just left for her job at the factory.  My husband Joe left over an hour ago for his job.  Elizabeth started at the factory a couple of weeks ago. She works 5 days a week.  Her cleaning job didn’t have enough days of work each week for her.  At the factory they make camping trailers.  I miss Elizabeth’s good help here at home, but Susan and Verena are done detasseling corn now so they can help.

School doors will open in a few weeks.  The six youngest will all be in school then.  This will be Verena’s last year, Kevin will be in the first grade, Lovina in second, Joseph in 4th, Loretta in sixth and Benjamin in seventh.   Time is going by too fast!

Yesterday was a long but enjoyable day as were attending the wedding of Albert Jr. and Louanna.

It is a little bit harder to get started today after such long day yesterday.  I was a cook at the wedding. I was happy that I managed to get my new dress sewn before the wedding. We had to wear a hunter green colored dress.  Elizabeth and her friend Timothy were table-waiters.  She had to wear a dark sage colored dress.  Makes it so much easier for me since she has learned to cut out and sew her own dress, cape, and apron.  She worked on it afternoons after work.

We hired a driver to go the 22 miles to Albert’s for the wedding while Timothy and Elizabeth drove it with the horse and buggy.  It took them a little over two hours to get there but they made it back home in 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Seems the horse always knows when it is coming back home and wants to travel faster.

The cooks are all assigned different jobs and my job was to help make gravy.  My sisters Liz and Emma were also assigned to this job.  We made many gallons and gallons of gravy for the day.  Then we also had to help the tablewaiters at “table 9” wash their dishes after each setting.

The couple had 24 tablewaiters to wait on the 12 tables.  A boy and a girl were assigned to each table.  300 people could be served at one time. A delicious meal was served for both meals, the noon dinner and evening supper.  On the menu was grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, mixed vegetables, salad, homemade bread, butter and grape jelly, grape jello pudding, mixed fruit, and pecan, peanut butter, and apple pie.  For the evening meal they had baked chicken intsead of grilled, ice cream and strawberries instead of mixed fruit ,with most of the rest the same menu as during the day.

It really rained around noon but it quit and was cloudy.  Made the weather cool for us cooks who work in the wedding wagon.  With seven stoves going in there it seemed pleasant with the nice breeze the rain brought.

Supper was at 5:30 for the adults and 7 p.m. for the youth. After the meal the youth sang songs the couple chose to sing. While singing, the wedding cake was cut and passed around.  Our ride to go home came at 8:30. Certain couples were assigned to get the wedding dishes back into the wedding wagon.  Wedding wagons sure make it a lot easier to not have to use one’s owns pots, pans, and dishes for the wedding, It also comes with tables, stoves and a cooler.  The church benches are used for seating.

On Monday sister Emma and I went to Albert’s to make crusts for the peanut butter and pecan pies.  Jacob and Emma had church services at their place on Sunday so the last two weeks have been extra busy ones.  Today,washing laundry and canning tomato juice is on our list.  I will share a recipe made for our breakfast recently. I like to try different recipes, this one is called country brunch skillet.  I used peeled and cooked potatoes out of our own garden, but you can use frozen.

COUNTRY BRUNCH SKILLET

6 strips of bacon

6 cups frozen hashed browns

3 /4 cup chopped green peppers

1 /2 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

1 /4 teaspoon black pepper

6 eggs

1 /2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Large skillet over medium heat cook bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon, crumble and set aside.  Drain, reserving two tablespoons of drippings.  Add potatoes, peppers, onions, and salt to drippings.  Cook and stir for two minutes.  Cover and cook and drain occasionally until potatoes are brown and tender about 15 minutes.  Make six wells in the hashed brown mixture, break one egg into each well. Cover and cook over low heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until eggs are set.  Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.

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The Discussion

  1. Barb Wright says:


    I am always awed by the way those folks work together!! When my kids got married,I did all the food for the receptions alone. It was hard,and took most of a week to do!! I wonder why we are such a “do it myself” society? People used to help one another,but not so much anymore..sad isn’t it? We could learn alot from our Amish neighbors!!! Sounds like wedding bells could be in the future for Elizabeth and Timothy….They’ve been “friends” for quite awile now!

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  2. Hi Kevin. sounds like Lovina had a wonderful time at the wedding. I would be interested in a recipe for the grape jello pudding. That just sounds delisious. I have to agree with what Barb Wright says about the Amish working together on projects. If the English would only follow the example the Amish give the world would be a better place & yes as the Amish say “many hands make light work”

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  3. My husband and I were blessed at our wedding when the women from my parents’ church (we attended different churches at that time) volunteered to do all the cooking and serving. We gave them the recipes and groceries, and the food was served family style. We had over 250 people at our reception – small potatoes compared to an Amish wedding!

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  4. I am wondering if the helpfulness is something that is common to the Amish and other churches (our sunday school is extremely helpful to each other as well as heavily organized help church-wide).I am curious if any of the other readers have similar experiences with their churches. Families are so spread out country-wide so it poses a real challenge to have help there.

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  5. Kentuckylady717 says:


    Great write up Lovina….really enjoyed it….would also like the Grape Jello Pudding….recipe. The country brunch skillet recipe sounds yummy….and easy…..keep up the good articles…..
    Also have a question Kevin…who pays for all this food ? That is a lot of food…..does the brides parents pay for it, or does everyone pitch in and pay ? Very interesting…….
    I noticed you were in Clair Mich. been there several times….did not know there were Amish there !!!! I lived in Mich. for probably over 40 yrs…..

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  6. I would love to see a picture of the wedding wagon in action. I am trying to picture 7 stoves and all the cooks on a wagon and I can’t picture how big the wagon would be.
    I enjoyed hearing about the wedding menu, it sounds great. A lot of preparation went into the menu and organization.
    Lovina, your life is very busy!

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  7. Love the story of the wedding . I also enjoyed the recipe. This will make a great Sat brunch for us.

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  8. Carol Morris says:


    My German Baptist grandmother used to fix this but poured the eggs over all and made it like scrambled eggs. My family loves it. She called it German scrambled eggs.

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  9. When I was small….all I knew was family getting together and helping one another…funerals, weddings, birthdays..All the Aunts and older girls cousins,moms,and if we were lucky to still have them around…some grandmas too.It was quite normal for me. I noticed…..towards the end of the 70′s, women were more “out of the home”, then in it……and the closeness that once was…no longer was there……then of course..people moved away, died. I think..in our culture…..we were much as the Amish do today….but we “separated”…..kids and cousins were in different States..grand children too…I see this closeness making a come-back..but very slowly….and it is the friends and the kids on teams of some sort…that hang close..Now..if we could get the families to do this….But anymore….kids are raised to go off in the world….It is the one thing I miss the most….having a party…and knowing I could depend on so and so to be there to help…or even me..being a helper….To do this today…one has to make an appointment!!!!

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