It is hard to believe this will be my final column for 2008. A brand-new year is before us, and another year is almost over.


It is hard to believe this will be my final column for 2008. A brand-new year is before us, and another year is almost over.

Meanwhile, daughters Verena, 11, and Loretta, 8, had fun preparing breakfast for our family this morning with some help from me. They made baked French toast, scrambled eggs and smoky links. The girls always enjoy cracking the eggs into the bowl and whipping them into scrambled eggs. It is an easy breakfast for someone their age to make.

While they were getting breakfast, Susan, 12, was sweeping floors, and Elizabeth, 14, and I gathered laundry. Lovina, 4, and Kevin, 3, always enjoy throwing the laundry down to the basement. We use a cold air vent for our laundry chute. It sure is easier throwing everything down there than carrying it all down the steps. With our huge amount of laundry this keeps Kevin and Lovina entertained for quite a while throwing it all down there. It also makes them feel proud that they are helping.

Joe and the boys, Benjamin, 9, and Joseph, 6, went out to do the morning chores. Everything outside is a glare of ice, making walking conditions very difficult. It also made the boys bring in some already-scrambled eggs from the hen house. On the way back to the house, they lost their balance on the ice while carrying the egg basket. About 10 out of the 35 eggs made it to the house without being broken. Son Benjamin has a big swollen lip and a bloody nose from falling face first on the ice. My husband Joe put salt down but it didn’t seem to melt everything fast enough.

Our family had a nice Christmas together last week. We played games we had given to the children for Christmas. Lovina enjoyed the fishing game we gave her, and so did the rest of us. Kevin got tired of using the fishing rod so he would grab the fish with his fingers. Lovina is very protective of her game and hides it under our bed. Joseph said he can’t wait to go fishing with Dad and catch real fish when it warms up. Benjamin was very excited for his toy bow and arrows that he got. The arrows have suctions on them. He also likes the Little House on the Prairie books and was surprised when we gave him his own set.

Also on Christmas Day, Elizabeth and Susan took all the children except Kevin out into the field for some sledding with our pony Stormy. Stormy pulled them around the field with their sled. They would turn really fast and see who would fly off first. It was fun just watching them enjoy themselves. Kevin also was contented just watching from the window. He was too scared to try the fast sledding and would much rather someone just pull him around on the sled.

Joe and I went shopping for a little Christmas for the children on his 40th birthday. Otherwise we didn’t do anything special yet for his birthday. The children were very happy and appreciated the gifts they received. I remember the excitement as a young girl waking up on Christmas morning. Let us not forget to teach our children the real meaning of Christmas. It was very heart-warming to hear the younger children sing “happy birthday” to Jesus on Christmas morning. The children never get tired of hearing about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We hope everyone had a safe and blessed Christmas and we wish everyone God’s great love in 2009 and always.

I will share the recipe for “overnight salad.” I prepared this dish to take to the annual church potluck last week.

Overnight Salad

1 head lettuce

1 head cauliflower

1 pound fresh or frozen peas

1 onion

Carrots (if desired)

1 cup of Miracle Whip-style salad dressing

1 cup sugar

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cut and mix together all of the vegetables. In a separate bowl, stir sugar and salad dressing. Pour over vegetables and toss. Sprinkle cheese on top. Chill overnight in a refrigerator or cooler and serve.

For more information about Amish cooking, culture and about the Eicher family, visit amishcookonline.com.