By Kevin Williams
There’s a bit of an unintentional theme connecting several of these posts today. As someone who studies Amish culture I find it fascinating reading, hopefully you will too. The days of the Amish being a mainly agrarian culture are long gone and they are having to adapt to find ways to build businesses without compromising on their religious principles. This has created some clever and, in some cases, clunky compromises.
DANIEL YODER’S AMISH FURNITURE: There are probably hundreds of Amish men named “Daniel Yoder” in Holmes County, Ohio, but one Daniel Yoder has really caught the attention of the business world. Funny, because the husband of our Amish Cook columnist is also named Daniel Yoder and makes furniture. But this Daniel Yoder travels the country selling his furniture which he highlights as hand-made and built to last. I’m sure he’s right and I’m sure it’s great furniture. Still – and this is my personal opinion only – I think the bigger an operation becomes the tougher quality control becomes. I know of some little mom and pop Amish furniture shops tucked away into barns and those are the ones I’d probably go to if I really wanted authentic Amish furniture steeped in generations of craftsmanship. Anyway, again, not taking anything away from Daniel Yoder’s furniture. Click here to read this terrific Q &A with Daniel Yoder in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
BATTERIES INCLUDED: A lot of people just automatically assume Amish children play with wooden toys and faceless dolls. In my years visiting Amish settlements I’ve never found that to be the case. I’ve seen plenty of Amish kids playing with battery-powered firetrucks and blinking and laughing dolls. I was interested to see an article in “Lancaster Farming” confirming my observations. Click here to read this interesting piece.
AMISH ONLINE: This is an interesting article about the Amish and their increasing presence online. The Amish around Ronks and New Holland, PA have always been the most progressive when it comes to adopting technology and shedding some of their insular ways. But as an anthropological observation, the photo with this piece was startling. If the caption on the picture is correct, it shows a 26-year-old Amish man (Sam Riehl), but he’s not wearing traditional clothing. If that is accurate, that is very , very unusual and I’d be interested in learning more. Perhaps we have some readers familiar with this family since they have a shop in such a busy place. Click here to read the aritcle and see the photo.
HOLIDAY CLASSIC – AMISH SNICKERDOODLES: There’s never a wrong time to make this signature Amish cookie. Click here to see a great recipe and video demo.
SIMPLY AMISH: Arlene Schmidt is an Old Order Amish Mom and writer near New Castle, Indiana. She writes in the classic Berne, Indiana type style. She writes a wonderful monthly column for the New Castle, Indiana newspaper. This month she writes about the “Christmas rush”. Yes, even the Amish scurry to get everything done for the holidays. Click here to read her column.