By Kevin Williams
Have some fun stuff in this "two in one" post, so let's get right to it!
THE AMISH OF LANCASTER COUNTY: Clearly tourism has changed the Amish, at the very least, economically in heavily touristed areas. That is why I think this book would be such a fascinating read. Published in 1960, this book about the Amish of Lancaster County probably is one of the last books to capture their culture before tourism really, really took root. It already had by that time, but it hadn't been rooted for very long. So if you want a fascinating window into Amish culture I would imagine this would fit the bill.
BLUEBERRY HONEY: Mmmm, seeing all these Raw Amish Honey options...one of these days I am going to cave and buy. This sounds amazing. Click here.
AMISH PRETZEL KIT: Why buy some when you can make your own? I do agree with that sentiment and this looks like a great way to start. Click here.
BYLER'S HOMEMADE PLUM JAM: Byler's is a Plain-owned business in Pennsylvania and I'd love to stop by and visit them sometime. They make relishes and jams and this "plum jam" seems like it would be out-of-this-world. Click here.
SHAKER YOUR PLATE: I will be talking a lot more about this book in February. To me, it really is the "final record" of Shaker cooking which does share similarities to Amish cooking and baking in its simplicity and freshness. You can get reasonably priced copies here. Below is a recipe from the book (Shaker men and women use the title Brother and Sister respectively) Sister Mildred brought this recipe to the Sabbathday Lake colony when the Alfred, New Hampshire colony folded in 1931. The Shaker colony would often sell these doughnuts to the public.
SISTER MILDRED'S DOUGHNUTS
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted lard
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sour buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
pinch of salt
Cream the sugar, lard, and egg together. Dissolve the soda in milk and add to the creamed mixture. Gradually add the flour, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Roll out on floured board to 1 /4 inch thickness. Cut out and fry in deep fat (375 degres)