"" Writer's Wanderings: Ohio's Amish Country

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ohio's Amish Country

One of the favorite things our pastor's family likes to do is explore Amish country which is not too far to the south and east of us. Each year he leads a day long trip stopping at several towns in the heart of the area where many Amish have settled. This year we were privileged to tag along and had a great day.

Of course it doesn't take long before you begin to see the iconic Amish horse and buggy. Even before you exit the highway, there are often sightings as the buggies pass over the freeway on the bridges above. Once into the farmland, you pass by fields being tilled with horse drawn plows.

Homes of the Amish are easy to spot. They have no phone or electrical wires connected to them. Most of the conveniences they allow themselves are run on propane gas and Lehman's Hardware Store is one of the main places to find things like washers that run on propane. There is a slew of other interesting items for sale including hand pumps for water from the well and composting toilets. The day we were there was obviously wash day since most of the home were using the open air Amish dryer for their clothes.

A visit to Amish country isn't complete until you've had some broasted chicken which seems to the most popular item at restaurants. Broasted chicken is like fried chicken but I think it's pressure cooked or roasted as well. Wonder if that's where the Colonel got his KFC recipe?

And then there's the bakery. Pies abound. Every kind of pie you can imagine including the popular peanut butter pie. Homemade bread was a great temptation and we enjoyed it at lunch slathered in apple butter. And oh, the jams and jellies! We are still enjoying a strawberry-rhubarb jam and homemade peanut butter.

The stores in many of the towns are filled with lots of Amish handiwork--aprons, quilts, baby clothes, knit and crocheted items.

The modern world is fascinated with the Amish way of life. Is it because we long for the simplicity? There is a lot more to it than just the romance that is abundant in the Amish novels that are a popular read right now. While some of the Amish are quite content with their way of life, there are others who are not and leave the culture they grew up with when they are of age. For a glimpse of that, you might want to check out my friend, Brenda Nixon's blog, Beyond Buggies and Bonnets.

Holmes County is the big area for Amish. There are other clusters in parts of eastern Ohio. Check out the Amish Country website if you want more information on where to visit.

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