By Kevin Williams
Every time I visit one of these places it becomes my "new favorite." SIGH, these stores are so fun and each one has their own special qualities and things that make them stand out. But, wow, it is hard not to like the Old Home Place. The workers were super friendly and there's just something scrappy about this store that is literally out on a windswept plain at an isolated exit off the highway. I think they've become a success purely by pluck and word-of-mouth, and that is impressive.
Tucked away on US 35 just west of Chillicothe, Ohio sits a relatively nondescript building. But don't be fooled. Look inside and you'll get some sweet treats. The Mennonites that own this bakery are part of a more progressive fellowship than the more conservative Beachy Amish. They dress plainly, but otherwise are more liberal in using cars, cell phones, and computers. Many are also very active in mission work. Their store has a nice website here. This store is not to be confused with The Home Place, which is a Mennonite-owned bakery in Brown County, Ohio.
The Old Home Place has the usual assortment of bulk foods that you find at such places, but the bakery and deli is where the action is. The bakery has an assortment of homemade pies, breads, cookies, and much more. The deli is a place where you can stop and get made-to-order sandwiches and there's a cooler full of homemade dips and salsas. Those are so popular that they can comprise up to 10 percent of the store's business. You can also pick up dinners like a 3 cheese lasagna that you take home. There is also a whole line of homemade fried pies made by a local Mennonite woman.
Saturday, not surprisingly, is the busiest day at The Old Home Place. Here are some more "sweet scenes" from the Old Home Place
Okay, I know some of you want the recipe for "Double Orange Cookies" probably and I actually did find a recipe ine one of my Amish cookbooks. The recipe is below.
When researching the recipe online I found a video, little girl, maybe about 8 or 10, making some "double orange cookies"....she does a good, cute job...I can imagine my daughter Aster doing a video like this in a few years. Well, sheesh, the way she is, maybe a few months. So for your cute kid fixes cookies fix, click here. (again, no clue who the kid is). You know, actually, I had the video playing in the background as I posted the recipe below and the video really is worth watching for the instructional aspects. Beyond the cute kid part, she actually does a great job of walking you through the recipe and you can see the final product. So, check it out and leave her an encouraging comment, I'm sure you'll make her day. That would be fun to do with Aster sometime.
- 1½ c. sugar
- 1 c. butter, softened
- 1 c. sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 (6 oz.) can orange juice concentrate, thawed & divided
- 4 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. grated orange peel
- 1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbsp. butter, softened
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. orange peel
- 1 tbsp. reserved orange juice concentrate
- 2 tbsp. milk
- Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, add sour cream and eggs.
- Beat until well blended.
- Reserve 1 tablespoon orange concentrate for frosting; add the remaining concentrate with combined dry ingredients to creamed mixture.
- Mix well.
- Stir in orange peel.
- Drop by rounded tablespoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.
- Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on wire rack before frosting.
- Instructions for frosting:
- Cream sugar and butter until fluffy.
- Combine remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
- Spread small amount over each cookie.
Hi Kevin my name is Sherry, and I am late responding to your small towns article. I happen to know where Gratis Ohio is! I go through there each year to visit the graves of my Grandparents, my Gr. Grandparents and my Gr. Gr. Grandfather who was in the civil war. They are buried in Fairview Cemetery just outside of Gratis on Rt. 122. I also was wondering if you are familiar with the plain people in the area where I live in Miami County Ohio around Covington and Bradford . I have lived in Miami Co. all my life but only in this area for 24 yrs. and still not sure of their faith, they drive horse and buggies(Black) dress plain, no electric, but not sure weather they are Amish or Mennonite , and we have Old Order German Baptist Dunkards in this area also. Thought I would ask , since I am new to Amish 365 and have never heard you mention this area. Thanks for your time and keep up the great work you do on Amish 365. Sincerely Sherry
Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by, Sherry. I know right where that cemetery is. As for the Plain people in your area, I know them well. I spent a lot of time with them a couple of years ago doing a whole package of stories for Amish365.com, it was a joint project with Al-Jazeera news, you can see my whole article here http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/15/little-known-petitioners-church-sees-population.html
They are the Old Order German Baptist Brethren. Thanks again for stopping by! - Kevin