Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 26, 2013 - 3:04 pm
Page 1 of 6  Next ->   View as Single Page

amish1

I’ve long admired the Amish from the time, years ago, I saw an old Amish couple in an artisans’ mercado in Tijuana haggling like ninjas with a guy selling blown glass. What’s not to love about a self-sufficient community with a staggering 95 percent success rate in starting businesses and about people who load up on gravy and pie yet make health professionals jealous? And perhaps the greatest point of admiration: the kindness and concern that the Lancaster County Amish immediately showed for the wife and family of the monster who gunned down 10 of their girls in a schoolhouse in 2006, killing five before taking his own life.

It’s just a little over two and a half hours from the D.C. area up to the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. I’m not sure why I never made the trip before in nearly five years on the East Coast, except I didn’t want to be one of those tourists perceived as gawking at the plain people while contributing to the vehicular traffic making the roads a bit more perilous for the horses and buggies. This congressional recess, I decided I needed a bit of time around people who don’t give one whit about federal politics. Off to Amish country I went.

I knew there was a 20 percent chance of rain on Friday, but there was a 90 percent chance of more annoying tourists on Saturday, so I chanced it with the rain and got sprinkles. I arrived early in Intercourse, Pa., and first stopped at the oh-so-touristy Kitchen Kettle Village so the puppacita could stretch her paws. She enjoyed lots of flowers to sniff, stores to wander in and out of, the occasional piece of fallen kettle corn and staring at Amish men washing buggies and caring for horses used for tourist rides. I wasn’t opening my wallet for the higher prices and gaudy tourist items like the T-shirt that proclaimed “Virginia may be for lovers, but Pennsylvania is for Intercourse.” I vowed then and there that I would only buy from the Amish on this trip. And so with a list of tips about good roadside locations in hand, my GPS and I set out to find the best of Intercourse.

Not that GPS is necessarily needed — if you want to keep it real in Amish country, just follow the horse apples.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I left Marxist New Jersey ten years ago and we are now living in the rural area of Southern Lancaster County surrounded by Amish. I do enjoy living here and I am amazed that whenever I do business with the Amish I know that they are honest to the core and produce a good product. Their way of life is refreshing; we now live in a small farm with our daughter, her husband our two grandsons and we really can see the difference it makes in the boys attitude toward life so much more refreshing than the Jersey culture we fled. BTW I am amused at the outsiders who move in from NYC and Philadelphia and how they constantly post letter to the ed in the Lancaster newspaper condemning the Amish. They accuse them of child abuse because they do not send their children to toxic public schools and that the young children actually help their parents out with chores. They also claim that they are mean to farm animals and that their buggys leave manure on the roads. I do not know why the American yuppies don't return to their cities and wallow in their post civilized culture.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
We moved to Lancaster County my senior year of high school, from the DC area - for your next trip, might I recommend you check out northern Lancaster County, ie, Ephrata {EFF-rah-tuh} and environs? There's the Green Dragon Farmers' Market, and the Mennonite Central Committee {rather like the Mennonite version of the Peace Corps, doing missionary work and selling items from the countries where they have their missions} store & tea room - the black bean soup is wonderful.
Also, for a grocery-buying experience, seek out Stauffer's of Kissel Hill in Lititz - guarantee you'll want to do your weekly food shopping there.
You've brought back some good memories - thank you.
Semper Fii'
DM
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I left Marxist New Jersey ten years ago and we are now living in the rural area of Southern Lancaster County surrounded by Amish. I do enjoy living here and I am amazed that whenever I do business with the Amish I know that they are honest to the core and produce a good product. Their way of life is refreshing; we now live in a small farm with our daughter, her husband our two grandsons and we really can see the difference it makes in the boys attitude toward life so much more refreshing than the Jersey culture we fled. BTW I am amused at the outsiders who move in from NYC and Philadelphia and how they constantly post letter to the ed in the Lancaster newspaper condemning the Amish. They accuse them of child abuse because they do not send their children to toxic public schools and that the young children actually help their parents out with chores. They also claim that they are mean to farm animals and that their buggys leave manure on the roads. I do not know why the American yuppies don't return to their cities and wallow in their post civilized culture.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like the Californians who flee their state for NV or Idaho, then promptly try to turn it right into what they say they're escaping from.
Silly humans.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
My wife, my son and I had the good fortune to visit Amish country in the summer of 1989. We took a bus tour of the area and the driver stopped at one of these stands. He explained to us, the price is on a tag on whatever it is you wish to purchase. Just put the money in the cigar box on the counter. Needless to say, we were all astonished. Someone asked, how much gets taken without being paid for. His reply was, you'd be amazed, when people are confronted with the 'honor system', they become surprisingly honest (remember, it was 1989).

The bus driver and I got into a discussion about the ingredients of shoo-fly pie, and neither of us knew if raisins were in the list of ingredients. He said, "Let me see if I can get the lady of the house to come out and tell us." As I recall, her reply was no but she said she uses raisins in many of her baked goods. She turned to me and said, "In fact that lady on the front of your shirt is on the carton of raisins I use." I'll leave you to guess who's picture it is.

The area is charming, and of our trip back east, it was one of two really memorable places we visited and given the chance, I would love to revisit it. The other was Gettysburg.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I grew up in that area decades ago and learned to make shoo-fly pie when young. When I moved to CA I took 6 for a church community dinner. The Californians circled them warily until one brave soul took the first piece. Then they disappeared within minutes and I was, from then on, invited everywhere--provided I brought the shoo-fly pie! Don't miss it next time.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've visited Amish country many times over the years and you've captured the best of it.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's quite a recipe for whupped puppy you have there! :D

Now make sure you wander out to Skyline Drive when the leaves turn. I suspect you'll be able to whip up another batch!



47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
You should have tried the shoofly pie. I hadn't heard of them until I moved here, but they're pretty awesome.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The honor system stands were everywhere in Baltimore and Harford counties when I was a child. Ripe, fuzzy, juice-dripping peaches, pears, tomatoes, sweet corn, whatever produce they had too much of was left on a roadside stand with a flip top cash box. There was also a cider mill where you could buy fresh crushed cider or barrel fermented up to hard cider that got a head when you poured a glass. Those were the days.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
2.5 hours from DC and
you had never made the trip? Wow.
Never heard of shofly pie? Where you from? California?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds yummy. And puppacita looks very content.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know it's been a successful Dog Adventure Day when she snoozes like a rock - she had a lot of fun up there and the Amish got a kick out of her
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
That looks less like a nap than a puppacita trail bologna coma! Amish country is exhausting for the poor D.C. designer pups -- so much goodness in one day! :)

Great piece, Bridget -- you captured the heart of a trip to Amish country. We are blessed to have Amish neighbors in our area and love the roadside stands. We often see their buggies tied to light posts at Walmart, where many do their shopping -- no kidding. And as charming as those buggies are, it's terrifying driving around them, especially at night or when there's sun glare. There's nothing scarier than coming up over a hill and being surprised by a buggy. But, oh! The cinnamon rolls!!! (cream cheese icing??)
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't put my Susie (long haired Chihuahua) in a food coma, got dinged at the last vet visit for being a bit overweight. Still, she's always looking at me with loving eyes that say "thanks for rescuing me from the dog pound."
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Better than trail bologna! (which IMO is wretched).
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All