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.


 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 Amazon.com

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

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


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.