EDITOR'S NOTES: This is a really interesting column on several levels. First, note the menu at the wedding that Lovina and her family attended....The wedding featured homemade key lime pie and some really colorful cakes. Key lime pie is a long way from shoofly and is just a good indication of some of the trendiness and culinary changes creeping onto Amish menus. And one of the cakes served was an "orangey, citrus" type cake. Again, unusual.
Also, note the change she mentions about closed buggies in the Berne, Indiana settlement. This is unusual as Berne, Indiana's Swiss Amish have held fast to the open buggies. My understanding is that just a couple of really small churches around Berne have switched to closed buggies, the mainline, larger Amish churches still use open buggies. I think, however, that as the closed buggy Amish and the open buggy ones begin to be seen on the streets of Berne that this could be the beginning of the end for the open (or topless as they sometimes jokingly call it) buggy. What do you think? - Kevin
THE AMISH COOK
BY LOVINA EICHER
We attended the wedding on Thursday of Matthew and Leanna. Daughter Elizabeth and her friend Timothy were witnesses at the wedding. Matthew is a brother to Timothy. The bride chose the color navy that the two girl witnesses and herself wore along with a white cape and apron. In this community the bride gets married wearing a black head covering and after she is married she switches to white and will never wear a black covering again. At Amish weddings there are usually two couples that are witnesses at a wedding, one for the bride and one for the groom. Usually it is a brother or sister or close friend of the bride and groom. Services start about 9 a.m. and usually the couples are married by 11:30 or noon. Afterward a big dinner is served to all the guests. The menu on Thursday was mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, dressing, poor man's steak, cabbage salad, homemade bread, butter and jam, a variety of colorful cakes, key lime, chocolate-vanilla pudding pie and grape jello pudding. Tables are set up in a big building that can seat quite a few people at one time. It varies on how big the building is as to how many tables can be set up. The couple has around 12 to 16 couples who serve as table-waiters usually sisters, brothers, cousins, or close friends of the bride and groom.
WEDDING PHOTOS: These are some wedding photos I took at Lovina and Joe's wedding back in 1993...not the sharpest, but they give you a few of some of the wedding decor and table-settings. Published here with Lovina's permission.
Yesterday our church services were held at our neighbor's home. We have Communion twice a year and yesterday was one of those occasions. It was a nice and chilly day. Seems the weather has been staying cool and we don't get very warm days.
I started a fire in the stove in the basement this morning. The house feels better with some heat in it. We burn our coal during the winter months but on days like this we burn wood. That is an extra chore to keep going downstairs and adding more wood. I guess I am spoiled as during the winter when we are burning coal I only have to add coal once a day. Our stove has a coal hopper and it only has to be filled twice a day during the winter months, I usually fill it in the morning and Joe at night. We got quite a bit of wood from the trees which were uprooted in our yard earlier this spring. We also sold 3 of the big logs to the local sawmill. We still need to get someone to move the big tree stumps. One of the branches of the oak tree was stuck down into the ground 3 1 /2 to 4 feet. We are thankful no one was close to it when it fell.
Sister Liz, Levi and four of their children stopped in on Saturday for a short visit. They had my sisters Susan and Verena with them. They had been to one of Levi's brothers in this community for dinner. They bought a covered buggy from him at an auction. Levi was taking the buggy back home to Berne, Indiana. They will sell their open buggy, which they bought from us when we moved to Michigan, and use the covered one from now on. I am sure they will like it a lot better in the cold winter months and when it rains. The community in Berne has open buggies but now several churches are allowing covered buggies. When we lived in Berne we had to drive in open buggies. I thought I would have a hard time getting used to a covered buggy. Now I think I would have to get used to driving in the open buggy during the cold winter months. We use a lot fewer coats driving in the covered buggy. When it rained our coats would get dirty from the wheels splattering mud up on us. Some people in this community have small propane heaters in their buggies but we still do not have one.
Today after the laundry is done we plan to can some rhubarb juice. My rhubarb is really big already. Try this delicious recipe for homemade rhubarb juice!
8 pounds rhubarb, diced
8 quarts water
2 (12-ounce) cans of frozen orange juice
2 (46-ounce) cans of pineapple juice
4 cups sugar
2 (3-ounce) boxes strawberry gelatin
Combine rhubarb and water and cook until rhubarb is soft. Drain, discarding rhubarb, and add the rest of ingredients to the juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Put hot juice into jars, seal and cold pack for five minutes.
Always love to read Lovina's column! I have a quick (and maybe somewhat silly) question. I notice in a lot of her menus she includes sliced cheese or just cheese. Is their a specific type they eat? I am intrigued by the serving of cheese with a meal. I use cheese on sandwiches or in a recipe but not as part of the meal and I actually want to incorporate it. Any info? Thanks and again LOVE the column~
I hope you'll get a proper answer.It seems I remember Lovina writing something not too long ago about buying a big block of cheese from a certain vendor...Maybe they put out a big hunk with a knife so the guests can slice off a piece & eat it with whatever they wish.Does anybody know about this cheese at the table custom?? (I hope it was okay I wrote in place of perhaps where Kevin is supposed to)
To Emmy O. again-I quickly found the column about cheese,it ran on March 19th-you can go to "older posts"after the most current column til you find that one-Lovina tells about buying up to a 16 lb. colby horn. BUT,I don't want to ruin your question if you would like more info. so I'll let Kevin speak here-hee hee.
Dawn thank you!! It was so sweet of you to help. I am going to read that column now, though I am sure I did but must have "missed" the cheese info...lol. Thanks again~
I really liked this column and especially the pictures from Lovina's wedding. I loved the blue and white. The cakes and decorations so nice, not pretentious ,of course, but very pretty. I look forward each week to the column. Keep up the good work.
This was a very interesting column. I always look forward to Lovina's writings and whenever her column is missing from our daily paper, I feel a big let down. The wedding cakes were so pretty and looked delicicous...made my mouth water!
I love the pictures of Lovina's cake table! So simple, yet warm and beautiful. I think that the Amish in Berne are wise to go to a covered buggy, I would think it would be warmer, dryer and safer to travel in. When I was pulling into Fountain Acre foods the other day, an open buggy was leaving the store. Then when I went to Miller's dry goods, there was a covered buggy there. Do you know what the standard buggy is for Wayne County?
We drove out to Kalona today, stopping at Stringtown Grocery, where the sight of a Plain woman with an English man drew a little discreet attention! (I was wearing an all black outfit, but it was skirt and blouse, with a full cape and apron, and the stiff white kapp. My skirts are mostly longer than what Amish women wear.) I noted the rows of rhubarb growing in side yards or at the edge of gardens. Strawberry-rhubarb pie is a big favorite here, it seems.
I love to read Lovina's column. It is always so interesting and I look forward each week to reading it. I like the cake table and the way everything is set up.
I always look forward to Lovina's column. Both pictures are very nice. The table setting is beautiful,and the cakes look so good! Thanks for posting. I think that covered buggies is a good thing.
The cakes are beautiful and having fruit in the bowl is very thoughtful for those who can't or don't wish to partake in sweets.The blue color is refreshing.
Would that "cabbage salad" be cole slaw or something different? Maybe Lovina could give us a recipe.
Everything was so interesting until I read about getting splattered with mud in bad weather. Can you imagine taking the little children or a baby along, and having them splattered with mud??
we drive from muncie every two weeks to go to Fountain City to the Amish Grocery Store there. my family loves the pies that we get from there. I have been working at making our lives more layed back ad not to dependant on the privledges that we have, I look forward to reading more in the future