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Celebrating Epiphany with family and a haystack brunch

Columnist Lovina Eicher says 33 will gather for 'Old Christmas.'

Guests can chose their own ingredients for a "haystack breakfast" at the Eicher family gathering.<br/><br/>

A brand new year is now before us. I wish you all good health and happiness, and most of all God’s blessings as we start another year.

Jan. 6 is Epiphany or "Old Christmas" and a holiday for the Amish in this community.

A lot of families have a Christmas gathering on this day. We will be hosting sister Emma and her extended family, sister Verena, and our whole family. We are a total of 33 place settings at the table.

It's Jan. 5 and the tables — five 6-foot tables — are ready to be set for our guest. We also will have a gift exchange after our haystack brunch. Snacks will be served in the afternoon, games played, and hopefully some singing while we are all together.

I hope you all enjoyed the letters from daughters Lovina, Verena and Susan the last three weeks. It gave me a break during the holidays and I think they all did a wonderful job. I keep asking Elizabeth, Loretta and the boys if they want to write too.


Elizabeth and Tim have had a lot going on lately. They left for Florida on Dec. 23 and arrived home on Jan. 1. They had a very nice time, but their bus was delayed on the way home. They spent 29 1/2 hours on the bus coming home. They were sitting in traffic for four hours because of a three-car accident on New Year’s Eve. Elizabeth said she felt bad for whomever was involved knowing that their New Year wasn’t starting out good.

Needless to say, Tim and Elizabeth were two happy parents once they were off the bus and safely home again.

Daughters Susan and Verena had Tim and Elizabeth's house cleaned, and I had their laundry washed, dried and folded. I’m sure that was a great help.

Joe and I went for a ride Sunday afternoon. We received about 4 inches of snow Saturday evening and overnight. We were the only ones home. I do not like that empty nest feeling. It’s just too quiet around here.

Daughter Loretta and Dustin left Saturday evening and spent the night at daughters Susan and Verena’s house. Jennifer and Ryan were excited to have them there.

Joe and I stopped at sister Emma’s for a visit. We also visited with sister Verena. She is mostly staying with Emma and her sons. Both sisters have lost their best friend and can feel the emptiness.

We then headed on to daughter Susan’s and ended up staying there for supper. Dustin and Loretta were still there, and Tim and Elizabeth also came over. I was so glad to see all the grandchildren again. In the afternoon, Dustin gave Jennifer and Ryan a sled ride with the new sled someone gave them for Christmas.

Elizabeth is tan from the Florida sun. It was good to see everyone. Susan and Verena served us a good supper then we headed home. Soon after we were home, Benjamin and Kevin came home, and Joseph and Lovina arrived a little later so the house wasn’t quiet anymore. It's always nice to catch up before going to bed.


I will share the haystack breakfast recipe.

Haystack Breakfast

Scrambled eggs

Hash brown potatoes

Crumbled bacon

Diced ham

Diced smokies or smoked sausage

Crumbled biscuits


Diced tomatoes

Diced green peppers

Diced onions

Hot peppers


Cheese sauce

Sausage gravy

Prepare appropriate amounts of each ingredient according to how many guests you have. Everyone layers whatever they want on a plate for their serving.

We put all the leftovers together to make a breakfast casserole for another morning.

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Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to her at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her.

Amish Kitchen — Lovina Eicher column sig
Amish Kitchen

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