By Kevin Williams
Okay, time for our weekly rowboat ride down the Amazon in search of everything and anything Amish or Plain. This week offers an interesting selection of stuff that might make for fun Christmas gifts. Maybe. First stop? Beard balm.
AMISH BEARD BALM: I don't know about this stuff. I see it advertised all over the place and I suppose if I had a beard I might well try it. The hair on my head is getting gray enough when I grow a beard, most of it is gray and I look 20 years older than I am, so I keep myself clean-shaven. That said, if I had a beard, or if I knew someone that had a beard, this might be a fun Christmas gift. The Amish Beard Balm website never really states its Amish connection, but it does say: Our shop is located in a small town in Western, Pennsylvania. We make everything by hand and all of our items are made from scratch from original recipes. We carefully craft the highest quality handmade soaps, beard balms & waxes, salves, lip balms, licorice, and products using only 100% natural, organic and sustainable ingredients. We never use man-made chemicals, fragrances, petroleum by-products, or man-made preservatives and we never put or containerize our products in plastics. So, there you go. Click here to read more about it or order it.
AMISH CHURCH PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD: This is the Amish church peanut butter spread that is a staple at most Amish gatherings, a mix of marshmallow fluff, corn syrup, and peanut butter. I've tasted this brand and it is a very good, plus you get two bottles and they are the plastic squeeze type. If you want to gift a gift of marshmallow creme, you don't want to have to deal with a big, bulky glass jar. So order this and slather it on your breads, rolls, anything basically:) . This stuff is decadent, some Amish restaurants keep it a squeeze bottle on the table. Click here to see.
AMISH-MADE HANDCRAFTED VEGETABLE BIN: This looks really nice. I think I'm a bit sour on vegetable bins after a bout of fruit flies that we've had in our house, but as long as you don't put veggies in this and forget them, this looks great. Check it out here.
APPLE PIE AND APRON STRINGS: This is an amazing cookbook that, much like my cookbook Amish Cooks Across America, incorporates recipes from Amish settlements all over the country. This cookbook is a bit more low-frills (i.e. no splashy photography, etc), but it is just packed full of amazing recipes from all over. I think I have a copy of it someplace in my immense collection. For some reason there just are not many copies available online, but you can check out a couple of copies here. I highly recommend this Amish cookbook.