By Kevin Williams
This is our weekly whirl through the news to see what, if anything, Plain is percolating. So, without further delay, let's explore!
There is some true artistic talent among the Amish. I've known Amish artists, poets, writers of varying talent levels. Some are truly exquisite with their work. The tiny newspaper in Westcliffe, Colorado published a superb piece about an Amish artist:
MEET ANDY MAST: The Wet Mountain Tribune ran a superb piece about Andy Mast, an Amish pencil sketch artist (LOL, no, that sounds weird...he doesn't sketch pencils, he sketches WITH pencils). First, the fact that this tiny paper published such a neat story is a great example of how a local paper still serves an important role. Still, the paper could have delved a bit deeper into some aspects of the story. Anyway, read about Andy Mast here.
EDITOR'S PICK - MORE ANDY MAST: What The Wet Mountain Tribune article didn't do was show any of Andy Mast's work, so I went to an art gallery website to find it and..WHOA, it is incredible, this drawing was all done with pencil???? Click here to see.
SLAW RECIPES/PEPPER CABBAGE: I think of slaw as being a summer picnic dish, but I've also seen it on plenty of Thanksgiving tables...and the Lancaster paper recently printed a couple of recipes (pepper cabbage and Katie Katie's Kitchen Cole Slaw) that are true Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch originals, so anyone planning slaw this week who wants to add an Amish touch, click here.
ANOTHER NEW AMISH SETTLEMENT IN MAINE: I've visited most Amish communities in Maine, some of them several times, but there's a brand new one that is starting that I probably won't make it to for awhile, this one is in central Maine near Augusta. Maine is proving to be an attractive place for the Amish to settlement with plentiful farmland and a ruggedly independent, live-and-let-live mindset that permeates the state. Click here to read about Maine's newest Amish community. This one, by the way, is a conservative Swartzentruber Amish community, so you have a real spread of Amish groups in Maine from the very progressive ones of Smyrna Mills to more conservative ones around Sherman, Fort Fairfield, and now this place.
BOOK REVIEW - KILLING IN AMISH COUNTRY: The Philadelphia paper had a review about a new book, Killing in Amish Country (click here to buy it off Amazon) chronicling the Barbara Weaver murder in Holmes County several years ago. We talked about that case at length on this site at the time. The reviewer was not much impressed with the book. I have not read the book, but this reviewer seems to think it was a very shallow exploration of the case (I can tell you that I had thought of writing a book at this case and had I done so I would have really put this case against the deep advance of technology into some Amish communities). Anyway, click here to read this review. If the authors didn't really dig deep than an opportunity was missed to truly explore the implications of the case.
SUPER RECIPES! The Ledger-Independent in Maysville, Kentucky is a super newspaper and not just because they carry The Amish Cook!:) Their reach over the years has been impressive for a small-town paper, extending well into southern Ohio and far into NE Kentucky. The area has also seen robust growth in its Amish population over the years, with settlements on all sides of Maysville now. These recipes aren't Amish recipes but, wow, they are some wonderful Thanksgiving recipes that showcase the area's regional flavors, many that meld right into Amish menus: Chocolate Butterscotch Pie, Cornbread Dressing, Brown Sugar Meringue, Cranberry Salad, Frozen Pea Salad and more, check out all of these super recipes here!