Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Fun Food Filled Day in Lancaster County, PA -- Part 2

Day two of our overnight at our friends home in Lancaster County began with coffee and getting ready for a task that is not part of our New Jersey life style . . . taking our to the dump. Not a very pleasant task, but the side benefit is that on the way home we stopped to get our breakfast treats from a hidden Lancaster County Gem. Way up in the hills overlooking the fertile ridges and valleys of the least touristy section of Lancaster County, there sits a yellow house that turns out delicious hand made donuts and backed goods. Sadie's Bakeshop is run out the the basement of their Amish farmhouse. The address is 489 Lambert Rd, Narvon, PA. As we arrived for our morning selection, we spotted freshly put up banana pepper and dill pickles, waiting to be shelved. Russ picked up a jar of dills. Since I plan on doing my own pickles in a couple of weeks, I held off on these. I was there for the baked goods. I picked up 2 trays of pecan sticky buns, some cream filled donuts, some apple fritters, and some butternut covered donuts. These baked good are like nothing you get from Krispy Creme or Dunkin' Donuts. They are made with loving care from old family recipes, using an abundance of top quality ingredients. "English" (that's what the PA Dutch call us outsiders) drive from miles around for Sadie's donuts, sticky buns, and pies.

Something that is pretty interesting about the Amish is that although they live separate from the "English" world and shun much of modern technology, they have figured out ways to have some comforts and conveniences without connecting to the "outside" world. For instance, at Sadie's if you look up you will see pipes running along the ceiling. These pipes are nut for water, rather they are for compressed air, which they use to power such things as fans, and presses and other tools. All of the cooking is done with bottle gas, so they do not need to rely on the gas company. Their lighting is from bottle gas and you will notice in an Amish or Old Order Mennonite home light fixtures that have the kind of mantles in them that are used in Coleman lanterns.

After feasting on coffee and Sadie's goodies back at the house, my wife and Debbie headed off to look at furniture at the shops in the area and Russ and I continued our food journey. We traveled along on of the roads along the way, stopping at different stand run by the locals. Our final stop was at the farm stand started by Russ's friend, whom we know as Pappy. Pappy and his wife Mammy, preside over an Old Order Mennonite family near our friend's house. They have twelve children, most of whom are married and have farms surrounding Mammy and Pappy's place. We stopped at Pappy's farm and I picked up some freshly picked cantaloupe and some zucchini and a loaf of Mammy's home made bread. After doing our shopping we went around back to Pappy's house and he invited us in. He offered us some watermelon, which he had just picked from their fields. It was sweet, juicy and delicious. We spent some time talking about our families and lives. Pappy took us around back to show us his son's carpentry shop. One of pappy's son has made a living harvesting wood from old barns and making rustic furniture from it to sell to the "English". He does beautiful work. In keeping with the Old Order Mennonite ways, all of his tools, from planers, joiners, tables saws, et al, are powered by hydraulics driven by a propane fueled generator.

After leaving Mammy and Pappy's place, we made our way over to Berk's County for a stop at Weaver's Orchards. I bought a half a bushel of peaches. When we got back to Jersey I put 12 aside to make a peach pie and I froze the rest. I am looking forward to the winter months when I can thaw out a quart of peaches and think of my happy weekend in PA.

When we got home the girls were waiting for us. We had a bite to each, finished our card game, noshed on the baked stuff from the morning and the left over cake from the night before, laughed about old times and then headed back to New Jersey so we wouldn't be driving in the dark. It was a great little get away and I am thankful for good friends who live in interesting places.

Stay tuned for recipe's for Peach Pie, a pasta zucchini dish I made with produce from Pappy's stand and instruction on how to freeze fresh peaches.


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Da Old Man said...

Bill, I love Lancaster County, but usually wind up in the tourist areas. Thanks for telling about some of the "off the beaten path" places.

Tom Aarons said...

Thanks Bill. This is really interesting. And I'm looking forward to the instructions on peach freezing.

Maggie said...

Looking forward to your peach pie recipe. I just saw the first donut peaches at the farm stands around here and I'm looking forward to the rest of the Michigan harvest.