Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Balancing the Meaning of Christmas

     Simplicity and Christmas seem to be nonexistent to most of us 'English' folks (what the Amish call the non-Amish.)
      After all, unlike the "Plain folk,' we spend lots of time and money on gifts. Santa Claus tends to overshadow the Christ Child. Children tend to expect more elaborate and costly presents these days...iPads, computer games, sneakers that glow in the dark, Kindles, iPhones, etc. The media touts such items as ones we can't do without. Our society has gradually become dependent on a good Christmas buying season to stabilize the economy. We see Christmas decorations and gifts appear in stores as early as Ootober along with Halloween candy.

       We might not be able to change much of the gift giving craze and commercialism of Christmas, but we can look beyond that and become mindful of what the many Amish already know and practice. CHRISTmas is about CHRIST. Not gifts, the clothes we wear that day, the parties we attend, the decorations and twinkling lights on our trees, or even the food.
       While all of that adds to the merriment of the season and is part of a tradition for many, we can, like the Amish, incorporate more of Jesus into it all.
        Sure, an electric train is nice under the Christmas Tree, but so is a Nativity set. Note: Amish do not have Christmas trees.
    Gift cards are rampart, although practical for lots of us.  But for those closest to us, it would be special if we made something with a personal touch. A scrapbook, a birdhouse, cookies, or whatever we do best.
        And we can certainly take a lesson from the Amish when it comes to the importance of balancing Christmas devotions with fun and festivities. They
have First Christmas on the 25th and Second Christmas on the 26th. The 25th is for focusing on the birth of Jesus and it is a solemn day of prayer and reflection. Some even fast on Christmas morning. Second Christmas is for a grand meal, exchanging practical and/or handmade gifts, and having fun with friends and family. No big bucks on wrapping paper and adornments on packages for the Amish. Simple brown paper will do.
     The Children's school Christmas program is another favorite. Every Amish child is taught that Christmas is about the birth of Christ, and their activities are focused on that fact, even in the gaiety of it all.
      Some Amish don't decorate at all, while the more liberal sects add some greenery to the home and candles in the windows (to welcome the Christ child.)
      We can simplify Christmas more to what it's really about, than what it's grown to be nowadays. As well as balance our activities so that the true meaning of Christmas remains the focal point of our celebration. Each of us can incorporate 'Christ' into Christmas in our own way...such as the aforementioned Nativity set. Story books and/or coloring books about the birth of Jesus for the children. Attending a Christmas church service. Saying a Christmas prayer before our festive dinner. Having a grab bag for gifts and then each person makes something for the person they pick.Choosing Christmas cards that convey the meaning of Christmas, rather than 'Holiday Wishes.'
       While food is one of the highlights of most Christmas celebrations, it is the same with the Amish. They usually have baked chickens or turkey, lots of sides dishes and great desserts. Here are a few recipes you might like to add to your Christmas table...

Amish Slaw
     8 servings 
1 medium head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot shredded (optional)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. prepared mustard
3/4 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, onion, and 1 cup sugar. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt, celery seed, 1 teaspoon white sugar, mustard and oil. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Cool completely, then pour over cabbage mixture, and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.


Baked Chicken

1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika                              
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3 teaspoons salt
3 pounds cut-up broiler or young chicken
1/4 pound butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the dry ingredients well in a plastic bag, then coat the cut up chicken parts with the mixture.

Melt the butter in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Place the chicken parts in the pan, but do not crowd them. Bake the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until done. Turn chicken once or twice during baking.

Good Reads for Christmas Time: 

 And of course: 
  Luke 2:1-20
Whatever you cook, however you celebrate, some of the Amish traditions of balancing the meaning of Christmas with the festivities might prove to be truly special.

Friday, November 22, 2013

An Amish Thanksgiving-

     While each sect of the Amish in various areas have different ways of celebrating the holiday, I will use the most common. (Note, that some Old Order Amish do not celebrate holidays at all. But most other sects do. And sometimes weddings are celebrated on Thanksgiving Day as well.)
       For those who do celebrate the day, the foods are quite similar to ours and it is a time for gathering with family and enjoying a good meal with gratitude for the food and one another.
      Some families are so large that they have two or three Thanksgiving gatherings during this harvest time.
    Following are a few Amish recipes you might like to try this Thanksgiving.

                                       SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE by Lovina Eicher
3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Topping: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 /2 cup nuts
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all of the ingredients except for topping into 2 quart baking dish. In a small separate bowl mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Turkey Casserole  by Lovina Eicher                         
2 cups cooked turkey
1/ 2 cup celery, diced
1 /2 cup diced green peppers
1/ 2 cup diced onions
1 /2 cup mayonnaise
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 /4 teaspoon pepper
6 slices of bread
1- 1 /2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 /4 cup grated cheese
DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, celery, peppers, onions, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Cube bread and put half in greased casserole dish. Add turkey mixture and add remaining bread cubes. Mix milk, eggs, and mushroom soup. Let stand in refrigerator overnight. Put cheese on top at bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Cranberry Sauce

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
1.2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Place ingredients in saucepan, stir well, and bring to a slow boil
Lower heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
If you like liquid sauce with whole berries, cook for 5 minutes. If you like a jam consistency, cook until thickened.
Store for up to 3 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container.
Of course, pies are part of Thanksgiving also. You can either buy a variety, such as pumpkin, pecan and apple, or make one yourself. Basically, pie is pie, and most likely each Amish cook has her own personal touch to making one. If you have one you make well, serve it along with a few store-bought pies.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies          
Whoopie Pies are a classic Amish dessert. They come in many flavors, with chocolate cookies and vanilla cream filling the most popular.  But for Thanksgiving, we'll try a seasonal flavor.                              

1/2 cup. veg. oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 egg yolks (save whites for filling)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
Beat together oil and sugars, add eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with pumpkin. Mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 F degrees for 10 minutes. When cooled, spread with the following filling...
 2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup flour
3 T. milk
2 T. powdered sugar
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat egg whites until stiff. Add the vanilla, flour, milk and 2 T. of the powdered sugar. Mix well.
Add the shortening and the remaining powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy.  Spread on two halves of the cookie cakes and for a sandwich.

 Amish Seasonal Novel:
 Autumn Winds by Charlotte Hubbard

A fun web site:

Some PA Dutch Words and phrases: Donkbawr - thankful.  Bree - gravy or juice.  Abedit - appetite.
He makes so funny. (He is so comical.)  Something come away (was stolen.)

Have a wunderbar Thanksgiving!
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
    campaignIcon Shop
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
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  1. Place all the ingredients in saucepan. Mix them and bring to boil.
  2. Then lower the heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. If you like liquid sauce with whole berries cook for 5 minutes. Or just continue to cook until it becomes thicker for more uniform and jam like texture.
  4. Store clean leftovers in airtight container for up to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Enjoy cold or warm.

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
    campaignIcon Shop
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Buy iTunes Gift Cards $60.00
Powered by Swoop
  1. Place all the ingredients in saucepan. Mix them and bring to boil.
  2. Then lower the heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. If you like liquid sauce with whole berries cook for 5 minutes. Or just continue to cook until it becomes thicker for more uniform and jam like texture.
  4. Store clean leftovers in airtight container for up to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Enjoy cold or warm.


  • Place all the ingredients in saucepan. Mix them and bring to boil.
  • Then lower the heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If you like liquid sauce with whole berries cook for 5 minutes. Or just continue to cook until it becomes thicker for more uniform and jam like texture.
  • Store clean leftovers in airtight container for up to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Enjoy cold or warm.

  •

    Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

    2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
        (canned pumpkin is okay)
    2 eggs
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
    1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

    Whoopie Pie Filling:
    1 egg white
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    3/4 cup shortening

    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

    Combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs, beating well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.

    Whoopie Pie Filling
    Beat egg white and mix with the milk, vanilla extract and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar. Mix well, then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

    Yields 3 dozen.
    - See more at:

    • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 2/3 cup sugar
      campaignIcon Shop
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
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    Powered by Swoop
    1. Place all the ingredients in saucepan. Mix them and bring to boil.
    2. Then lower the heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. If you like liquid sauce with whole berries cook for 5 minutes. Or just continue to cook until it becomes thicker for more uniform and jam like texture.
    4. Store clean leftovers in airtight container for up to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Enjoy cold or warm.


    Saturday, November 9, 2013

    Amish Homesteads-

          Here are three photos of Amish Homesteads in Stone Arabia, Montgomery County, NY.  You'll notice that there is no electrical wiring from a utility pole to any of the homes shown. Also, note the clothes hanging outdoors (no driers.) And if you look closely, you can see an outhouse or two, due to no indoor plumbing. The appearance of the homes and barns are truly 'plain.' No wreaths on doors, flags or seasonal banners. The only adornments are what nature provides, such as the changing colors of the fields each season, and the grazing cows and horses. Those in this community are of a conservative sect of Old Order Amish.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Autumn Visit to Stone Arabia, NY

       Golden fields, brisk breezes, splashes of rusts and orange in the midst of 
    bare trees, wide splashes of changing skies, and even some Amish children coming home from school, are some of the sights one sees this time of year in the open expanse of this Amish area in Stone Arabia, NY.
        Enjoy the scenery, as we did.  First pic is of me taking some photos as we began the drive.

    Until next time...

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Autumn Amish Goodies and Finds-

           The Amish make great use of apples during harvest time. Everything from dried apples (schnitz) - to pies, dumplings, crisps, pancakes, cakes, apple butter, oven baked apples, apple cider, and fresh apple sauce.  This time of year is the most popular season for apples and apple picking. And there are lots of great Amish apple recipes you might like to try.
    Here are a few I discovered:


    4 tart apples
    1/2 cup molasses
    biscuit dough (you can buy this in the supermarket)
    1.2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    2 T. butter

    Preheat oven to 3750 degrees.
    Pare and slice apples. arrange on a well greased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle over the molasses, and dot with the butter.
    Cover with biscuit dough which has been rolled out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut slits in dough to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot, cutting out squares - with fresh whipped cream. (optional.)

    APPLE BUTTER                                 

       4 qts. apples
         2 qts. apple cider
         2 cups sugar
         2 cups dark corn syrup
         1 tsp. cinnamon

    Boil the cider until reduced to 1 quart. Pare the apples and slice thin. Put the apples into the cider and cook very slowly over low heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken. Add sugar, syrup, and cinnamon. Continue to cook until thick enough to spread when cool. Seal in sterilized jars. Makes 5 to 6 pints.

    FYI: Many Amish make their apple butter in vats, due to the large quantity they prepare to share with the community and/or their large families.

    Note:  If you rather buy authentic Amish-Made Apple Butter, check out the following sources online.  Note that the last one also sells sugar-free apple butter.

    And last but not least...Amish make their own applesauce, and we can do the same on a smaller scale.  There's nothing like fresh made applesauce.  This is an unsweetened version. Simply add sugar to taste if you like it sweet.

     FRESH APPLESAUCE - Serves 4

     8 small cooking apples
     1 cup water
     1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg 
     1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Peel and core the apples.  Place in a deep pot. Add water and bring to a boil.

    Simmer until apples are tender.  Then mash with a potato masher to a lumpy consistency.

    Remove from heat, add the nutmeg and cinnamon.  Incorporate well. Place in covered containers and refrigerate.



    Some fun things to do...

          Have an Apple Butter or Apple Sauce Frolic...invite a couple friends or relatives to make apple butter or apple sauce. It's a nice way to get together and do a seasonal activity.  Each person gets a portion to take home.  Also a wonderful project for children to do together under parent supervision. Yum!


          Take a ride through Amish country if there's a location within driving distance of a couple hours.  It's cooler now and makes for refreshing drives through farmland and rolling hills.  Look for signs that point to where you can buy a nice quilt to keep off the chill of these autumn nights, or some fresh apple butter at one of the local shops or, directly from an Amish home - again, look for signs.

    (Above: Our Autumn visit to the Amish area of Stone Arabia, Montgomery County, NY)


          Cozy up with some hot apple cider, and read a couple Autumn Amish novels...Here are two you might enjoy, available on

    An Autumn Wind in Walnut Creek (Amish Orchards) by Sicily Yoder- (Book One.) Paperback. Find it on Kindle version - $2.99

    A Simple Autumn (Seasons of Lancaster County) by several well-known authors. Also on 


    New TV Series and The Amish...Vanilla Ice Goes Amish-

    Vanilla Ice Goes Amish follows rock-star home improvement expert, Vanilla Ice, as he travels deep into the largest Amish settlement in the United States. He is on a quest to learn the lost art of hand-craftsmanship and will embed with an Amish family to arrive at his goal. Along the way he will meet a group of young Amish men and women who teach him the traditions, practices and trades that have made the Amish one of the most mysterious — and misunderstood — groups in the world. Together they will tackle construction projects ranging from kitchen additions to an old-school barn raising.

    Enjoy this splendid month of October.  Hope you reap some good harvest goodies and many blessings.                       

    Monday, September 2, 2013

    September - Tomato Pies, Family Style Eating, and Fun Updates-

         It's that time of the year for most gardeners who grow tomatoes...lots of green ones that don't seem to ripen, or green ones still on the vine and in danger of a  night of frost (depending on where you live.) 
         Many of us have heard of, Fried Green Tomatoes.  Well, there's another way to use up those green a pie. Yep. Green Tomato Pie.
         The Amish love to bake, and pies are a staple in many homes. One of their many creative recipes is: Tomato Pie...both for green or red.  (The green tomato pie tastes similar to an apple pie.)
         So, whether you need to use up green or red tomatoes, here are three recipes to try...

    Amish Green Tomato Pie #1 

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

        9 in. double crust (you can make it or buy prepared crust. Cut the top of crust into strips to make a lattice topping if desired.)

     3 cups green tomatoes sliced thin
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup molasses
    1/2 cup water
    2 Tbsp. flour
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • Prepare crust for a 9 in. double crust pie
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Filling:
    • Put in bowl, 3 cups green tomatoes sliced thin, cover with boiling water, let set 10 min.
    • Drain, put in pie shell.
    • Add brown sugar, molasses,water,flour,cinnamon and nutmeg
    • Cover with a top crust - cur a small hole in the center to allow steam to escape.
    • Bake at 350 degrees, 45 min. to an hour

    Green Tomato Pie #2                                                         

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
    About 1 1/4 pound very green tomatoes-not pink
    Slice tomatoes in half and then with cut sides down, slice the halves very thinly (about 4 cups very thinly sliced).
    3/4 cup seedless raisins, plumped
    1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/8 teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 or 2 tablespoons fine dry bread or cracker crumbs.
    2 tablespoons margarine or butter

    Cut tomatoes in half and slice them almost paper thin. I keep raisins soaking in a little rum in a jar, so they are always plump. You could pour boiling water over them in a sieve to plump up if you don't want to use rum.
    Drain well.
    Put tomatoes, raisins and rind in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and vinegar.
    Mix sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt and flour in a small bowl.
    Line a large pie pan with dough. Sprinkle crumbs over bottom. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the sugar mixture over the crumbs.
    Stir the rest of the sugar mixture into the tomatoes and heap into pan.
    Dot with small pieces of the butter and top with crust.
    Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes more.

    Amish Red Tomato Pie

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2 cups Bisquick  mixed into 2/3 c milk. (Use the gluten-free kind if you don’t eat wheat.)

    Mix together and spread it out evenly in a 10″ pie pan.

    Stir together:
    1 lb grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 tsp. sweet dried basil
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. oregano

    Divide 1 1/2 cup  mayonnaise (you could substitute this with olive oil, dressing, Veganaise, etc. The Amish make their own mayonnaise)

    Peel and slice 6 tomatoes

        In layers, over the Bisquick mix, place tomato slices,  and seasonings/cheese mixture, then spread a portion of the mayonnaise. Continue until all ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of cheese mix.
    Bake 350 for about 35 min. until biscuit crust is done. Serve hot or cold.
        Be creative and come up with your own tomato pie recipes. Or find others online.  Betty Crocker has a wonderful Tomato Basil Pie, very similar to this one.  Go to:

         When Amish families and friends gather for meals they often sit together at long tables. Whether for the common meal after church, at frolics, or family gatherings. 
           This month, why not have a 'family style' lunch or dinner at your place? Whether with family, friends, co-workers, or a mix of all your favorite people. Include children too. They'll love the spread of tasty foods and the company of other children at the meal, esp. for the dessert. 
    You can 'theme' it as an Amish family style meal. Spread a checked tablecloth over a long folding table or your dining room table. Place all the cooked fare in the center in a row, so folks can pass the food around.  Do the same with dessert. A variety of pies and a couple bowls of whipped cream will do fine.  If you like how this turns out, do the same around holiday time when you're apt to have more guests at the table. 
        And if you just have a few family members or friends, three of four people, no worries.  Prepare a smaller version and enjoy the sharing of a meal all laid out on the table. 
        If you'd like to eat at a Family Style Restaurant in the Amish area of PA. I recommend: Good and Plenty, in Lancaster, PA. Be sure you're hungry, because they'll be platters and platters of food. And you'll want to leave room for dessert.

         Well, it's back to school for most children and college students this month, so on with our PA Dutch words and meanings for this month:   
    Kronk or krank - sick. "Are you feeling krank?"
    Wutz - pig. "He eats like a little wutz."
    Koos - kiss. "Did you get a koos from her?"
    A couple expressions:  "I'd like some dippy." 'Dippy' means dressing or gravy. And 'Dippy Eggs' are eggs you can dip your bread into. Our version of over easy fried eggs.
    "It's making down hard." Raining heavily. "Maybe we get a gust."  A thunderstorm.

    Amish Reading Suggestion for Sept.- Since this is a back-to-school month, this novel seems perfect.  PARADISE VALLEY (The Daughters of Caleb Bender series. Book #1) by Dale Cramer. From
        An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the children's home.
         Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. And since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation.
        Caleb's daughters are thrown into turmoil. Rachel doesn't want to leave Jake. Her sister, Emma, who has been courting Levi Mullet, fears her dreams of marriage will be dashed. Miriam has never had a beau and is acutely aware there will be no prospects in Mexico.

    TV:  The ongoing Saga of, Breaking Amish, LA. continues with a new episode each Sunday night at on TLC.  

    New episodes of, Amish Mafia, continue on Tuesday nights on the Disc. channel at 9p.m.

          Nat'l Geo Adventure:
    Living With The Amish - Leaving their mobile phones, Facebook accounts and partying behind, six troublesome British teenagers are heading to Ohio and Pennsylvania to see what they can learn from six weeks of hard work and simple living with the Amish community.
    Next Showing on Nat Geo Adventure:
    Monday, 16 September at 7:30pm  NOTE: (Not sure yet if this is for 2013 - will update if it is not.)
    Next month, stay tuned for another visit to Stone Arabia, for some autumn scenery in the Amish community of Montgomery County, NY.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Amish Tomatoes-

       Picked up two large juicy tomatoes while visiting the Amish area last week, at: Country View Grocery store, formerly, J.R.'s Groceries, in Fort Plain, NY on our way to Stone Arabia. It's run by Amish. There are no baked goods or Amish gifts, etc. Just some produce, aisles of lower priced canned and jarred items,a table of dented canned items and other such bargains, as well as a cold cuts section.
        Sorry, folks. No photos allowed there, so all I have to show are the tomato sandwiches I made for my hubby to take to work today, ready to go into their sandwich bags. 
        Note how red they are.  Umm good! Esp. with some fresh basil and balsamic dressing.
         So, if you're ever traveling through an Amish area, try some of their home grown tomatoes.

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    This Week's Visit to Amish Country-

         As promised, here are some further discoveries from my recent visit back to Stone Arabia, in Montgomery County, NY. this week. Bear in mind that this community is a conservative sect of the Old Order Amish.
         A good friend came along, and was able to keep watch for other cars (and buggies) as I took some photos, always mindful not to take any of the Amish while in close proximity. Nor of myself, posing in front of their private properties, tempting as it was.

        Some interesting facts about the Amish we interacted with...
        1- They speak with a slight Germanic accent.
        2- They are quite cordial to 'outsiders.' 
    3- As mentioned in a previous post, the Amish of this particular area sell goods and wares from their own homes. We could not find one Amish gift shop or bakery. We came upon a wooden sign in the road that read: BAKED GOODS EVERY WED. AND THURS. We followed the direction of the sign and found a young woman selling her goods at a stand set up near the road in front of her home. Below are the rich cookies I purchased. LOTS of butter.
         I tried to keep a conversation going about her pies and cookies, so as to hear her accent. I learned that whoppie pies, which she had on the table, are filled with a cream made of butter and sugar. Not whipped cream as I'd assumed.
         When leaving I said, thank you, and asked how the Amish there say it. She said: denki, and pronounced it with an 'e' and not an 'a' as in danke.

       4- Barns are huge - no wonder they can hold church services in them during warmer weather. Most are not painted the usual red we are accustomed to, but in their natural wood color.
           As we drove along the pastoral farm roads we came upon a young bearded Amish man in a two seat open buggy, he gave us a big friendly smile and waved to us. I wanted to be respectful of their rule about picture-taking, so took the pic while he was further down the road. 

    Finally we came upon a group of Amish men unloading hay.  They had their summer straw hats on.
    And last but not least, one comes upon a few signs like this...not found in any other place but an Amish area...
    My next visit there will be some time in the autumn...stay tuned. "Denki."