North Carolina has had trouble establishing an Amish presence over the years. I think there are several reasons for this. One reason is that the state is relatively removed from other Amish areas. I think the Appalachian Mountains have sort have served a natural/psychological barrier to southeast settlement. There are growing Amish communities in Tennessee,but primarily in the western and central part of the state. Virginia’s Amish community is relatively small still. North Carolina’s only Amish settlement (with a caveat, see below) right now is at Union Grove. This is a quirky settlement of horse and buggy Amish, but they also allow electric in their homes. I have a more indepth section on Union Grove in our upcoming book Amish Cooks Across America.
Okay, the caveat…I am hearing that some Amish families are moving into rural areas near Dunn, North Carolina, but I can’t confirm that. But one woman in the Dunn area says “we just loving having them move into our community.” Anyone have any additional information?One of the first families to settle in Union Grove were Uriel and Viola Miller who put down roots in the settlements maiden year: 1995. Viola’s homemade cereal recipe is a favorite among the Amish in Union Grove. Here it is:
VIOLA’S HOMEMADE CEREAL
4 pounds whole wheat flour
1 1/4 pounds brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon imitation maple flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and salt in a very large bowl or container until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda until smooth. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until the flour mixture is evenly coated. Add the maple flavoring, vanilla, and butter, and stir to evenly incorporate. Spread the mixture evenly on baking sheets.
Bake until nicely browned (about two hours). Let cool completely, then crumble into fine pieces and toast in a warm (250°F) oven.