Lovina Eicher answers your questions in today’s post. Lovina is the author of The Essential Amish Cookbook and the Lovina’s Amish Kitchen column.
To enter to win a copy of The Essential Amish Cookbook, just leave a comment on this post.
I’ll draw a random winner and post it next week.
Lovina apologizes for not being able to get to all the questions (life as an Amish mom is busy!) but thanks to everyone who submitted one. I added some of my own questions at the end. I hope you enjoy.
Lovina Eicher Answers Your Questions
Michael Sparks: When it comes to cooking, what season do you enjoy cooking the most and why?
Lovina Eicher: I like summertime cooking best. It’s easier and cheaper, because there’s the garden to go to for a lot of ingredients.
Erin: Maybe Lovina has already answered this, but I’d like to hear more about cooking for a big group.
Lovina: The ladies in our church help each other with baking when we host church services. For weddings, we have recipes that we share with each other. Working together makes things much easier.
AJ: I wonder if calf liver with onions in gravy is a traditional Amish food? What about stuffed pig belly? What about goose or duck?
Lovina: Beef liver and onions are eaten by a lot of Amish families, but I am not sure whether that dish would be called “traditional.” Personally, I don’t care for liver and onions at all, so my family doesn’t get them too often! My children agree with me, but my husband does like it.
Pat M: We live around the Arthur/Arcola Illinois area. We’ve purchased numerous baked goods over the years from Amish bakers and have noticed they all seem to be stingy with spices. For example cinnamon anything; i.e. rolls… hardly ever have much cinnamon in them; especially compared to how most of we English prepare them. Do the foods Amish make for sale to the public often differ from what they make for themselves at home?
Lovina: Not in our area. We cook and bake just the same at home as we do for things we sell. Some cooks are just better at it than others. I love cinnamon and vanilla, and I will put extra in my foods sometimes. Maybe it’s just that community.
Carol J: I have always wondered HOW the Amish gals and children can get their feet clean, after going barefoot, most of the time?
Lovina: I grew up being barefooted most of the summer when a young girl at home. Now I’m sold on Crocs, and due to fallen arches, I can’t go barefooted for long anymore. As far as cleaning feet—hot water and soap go a long way!
TiaB: I’d be interested in knowing what an average two week meal “diary” looks like at Lovina’s house.
Lovina: Never the same and too much time to write out—sorry! Check out my cookbook.
Mary Turner: I have noticed that the Amish recipes use lots of onions, I can’t eat onions, will the recipes be ok without them?
Lovina: You could use onion salt or some other similar seasoning. Another idea would be to leave an onion whole in soups and take it out before serving.
Which dish(es) are your family’s favorites?
Lovina: Hard question—we have lots of favorites. Favorite breakfast: eggs, fried potatoes, bacon and toast. Other meals: meat—beef, pork, chicken, fish—we love it all. Fresh veggies out of the garden, various soups and casseroles. We like a variety, so it’s hard to choose a favorite. And each family member has a different favorite!
What was the hardest part about doing this book?
Lovina: 1) Time—there is just so much extra time with raising a family. 2) Meeting deadlines.
What was the best part about doing this book?
Lovina: When it finally went to press. 😊
Which is your favorite dish to make? Least favorite?
Lovina: My favorite thing to make is bread or rolls. My least favorite would be something I don’t like to eat, such as sweet potato casserole.
How do you write your column?
Lovina: I write my column with pen and paper. Some columns I can write in 15 minutes while others I need to just get away from everything so that I can think. I write every Wednesday or Thursday.
What are some interesting things you have heard from readers of your column over the years?
Lovina: A lot tell me they consider us like friends or family due to “hearing” from us every week. Reader mail has held lots of encouragement for me!