AMISH CHURCH PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD: This is something we’ve talked about a lot over the years and no understanding of Amish culinary culture is complete without the church peanut butter spread. It’s a staple of Amish gatherings and in restaurants in Amish country. There are restaurants in northern Indiana and Ohio where it’s just in “squirt bottles” on the table next to the ketchup because Amish customers like it so much. And, geez, what is there not to like? There are some varieties available commercially and if you have never tried it, you should. I’d go with the Mrs. Miller’s variety because you can have it shipped to you in the plastic squirt jars. Click here for this amazing stuff!
VANILLA PEACHES: This is intriguing and I’m going to have to try these sometime: vanilla peaches. In other words, peach halves soaked and packed in a vanilla syrup. That could be really delicious or really bad, I’ve not decided which. Probably really tasty. Click here to see them and learn more.
PLANK’S AMISH BLACKBERRY BUTTER: Doesn’t this sound incredible? I’m envisioning it spread on toast or biscuits. Wow! Click here to see this. The Planks are an Amish family in Illinois, so this stuff is the real deal. Click here.
AMISH SHOO-FLY PIE: From the Bird-in-Hand bakeshop in Lancaster County, PA, you can order two authentically Amish shoofly pies. $40, but you get two pies and you are getting an authentic cultural and culinary experience out of it, I am going to order these someday….click here.
AMISH-MENNONITE COOKBOOK OF TAMPICO: I probably should order this, but I just have too many right now and need to pare my collection….Still, this is an intriguing Amish Mennonite cookbook from Tampico, Illinois published in 1973. A couple of things intrigue me about it. First, I’m just not familiar with the settlement in that area. So it’s new to me. Second, this was published in the early 1970s so you’ll have a lot of recipes from a much earlier generation. If Mrs. Miller collected recipes from old-timers, there could be recipes in there that have their origins in the 1800s, easily and those provide such a cultural lens. Yes, I am sure there will be plenty of recipes in here for more modern dishes using processed foods, but I bet there are a few real gems in here. Looks like there are a few used copies for $4.99.
I did a little digging about the Amish presence near Tampico, and it is quite interesting. Click here to read this Wikipdia entry about them.