By Kevin Williams
LANCASTER MELTING POT: Lancaster is no longer a homogenous Amish settlement, it is a true American melting pot and, by the way, most Amish are fine with that. I've not found, in my experience, for the Amish to be intolerant of other cultures. They are very, very transactional as a rule. In other words, if they can get something from you (and I don't mean that in a bad way), then they accept you. Better way to put it, if your culture, your creed, your personality offers them something, even as small as a laugh, or a ride into town, or a recipe, then they will embrace you...I mean, guess in many ways, in this sense, the Amish are like anyone else., but they just look at human nature - for the most part - as very transactional....but anyway, click here to read about the Puerto Rican wave sweeping into Lancaster County.
SARA MILLER'S AMISH CORNER: I love the Geauga County, Ohio Amish community and Sara Miller's monthly dispatches really give great authentic insight into there. Here is an excerpt:
The evening of Sept. 27, our family gathered at Dan and Sylvia Miller’s for Dan’s birthday. We missed Marks and Philips. Joining us were granddaughter John and Ruth Ann and family, Adam and Lori and baby, Christian and Sarah Hostetler and baby, Adam and Rosanna and family and Danny Ray and Betty. We sat around the campfire having cake, ice cream and snacks. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Ladies are winding up canning until apples come in for sauce and pie filling. Then, it is time for fall cleaning. Moving from a big five bedroom house to a smaller one bedroom home seems more doable. But, I still have too much stuff.
Her writing is not flashy at all but it reflects the rhythms of the Geauga County community quite well. Click here to read.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN'S AMISH OUTREACH CONTINUES, BUT WILL IT BACKFIRE? This article from the Columbus Dispatch.
MENNONITE MEMOIRS: Rosann Zimmerman is an Old Order Mennonite newspaper columnist, which is a rarity. So her weekly column provides a window into the OOM church and I am loving her writing. This week she writes a farewell letter to September. Here is an excerpt:
It doesn't seem possible that you are ready to leave us. We grew so accustomed to your golden sunshine, we thought you would just stay. But your gentle evenings grow ever darker and last week you handed the summer reins over to autumn.
Overflowing abundance was in your days. There were weddings and windows and water, the latter mostly coming from our wells and only an inch from your skies. The Living Water was in our Bibles and in our church in the wild wood. The weddings were dreams-come-true for the young. The windows went open and shut to accommodate your fluctuating temperatures.
There were peaches and pears and potatoes. The fruit we bought to eat, to can, to make desserts, to share. The potatoes I dug and stored in buckets.
Read the rest of her eloquent ode to September here.
AMISH CHEESEMAKERS: Some highly regarded cheesemakers in Lancaster County have found a way to thrive in the era of COVID: selling their cheese online. Here is an excerpt from an article:
MILLIE'S SWISS VEGETABLE CASSEROLE: Millie Otto is an Amish writer from Arthur, Illinois. She shares a different generation perspective from the Amish and she is Old Order where as Gloria Yoder is New Order. Click here to read her whole dispatch from Arthur this week. Below is her recipe.
Swiss Vegetable Casserole
- 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
- ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- ¼ Tsp. salt
- ⅛ Tsp. pepper
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1 bag (1 lb.) frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, cooked, drained
- ¼ cup crushed Ritz crackers
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 1-1½ quart casserole with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture is bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat.
- Add ¾ cup of the cheese; stir until melted. Stir in cooked vegetables. Spoon mixture into casserole. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and cheese.
I Love reading your stories on the Amish. I live in Australia. I was interested in how the fires affected the Amish and when threatened by fire how do they get away in time. Are you able to do a story on this
Thanks, Janine, hope all is well Down Under! Here is an easy answer to your question: I can't think of a single Amish settlement that is in a fire zone. In the USA, the worst places for fires in the west, California specifically....and there are no Amish communities in California. There are some Amish communities in Montana but most are not in known fire zones. One that I can think of might be in an area that would get threatened...if that would be the case the Amish would be able to evacuate in time, I am sure.They would follow and abide by public evacuation routes.