It's one of the most somber and holiest days on the Christian calendar: Easter. Yet that doesn't stop many Amish from enjoying the day's more secular trappings. I think it all comes down to the individual, much as it does in non-Amish society. Secular symbols like colored eggs and the Easter bunny are very much embraced by many Amish. They are able to do this confidentially because most Amish deeply steeped in the religious reasons behind the date, so they don't feel threatened by also injecting a little levity into the occasion. Of course not all Amish feel that way, so it'll be an individual decision, just like it is in the rest of society. There are, however, also commercial reasons for embracing the secular side of Easter. I thought I'd share some scenes from a confectionary in the Conewango Valley of New York. This is one of the state's oldest, largest, and most conservative settlements. And even here the secular side of the holiday is celebrated in some quarters. Take a look at these scenes captured by my wife in Malinda's Candy Shop, 12656 Youngs Road, in Leon, New York. Malinda Miller started selling baked goods to the public years ago , but when she realized how quickly they would deteriorate, she switched to more shelf-stable homemade candies and chocolates. That was back in 1995. And her store has been cultivating a faithful following ever since. I think you'll agree that these are some gorgeous hand-crafted chocolates. Chocolate isn't the only thing Malinda specializes in, though. She sells homemade goat-milk fudge and jams and jellies in season. So if you are anywhere near the Conewango Valley this week, this is a sweet stop to make!
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