Okay, I'm a little later in posting this but still some good stuff to share. This is our weekly exploration of the blogosphere and anything and everything written about the Plain people over the past week or so.
ICE-HOUSES: Freezing food has been one of the more vexing issues the Amish have dealt with over the years. After all, electricity in the home is not permitted so a traditional freezer would seem to be out. Home-canning and curing enjoy great popularity among the Amish as a means of food preservation precisely because of the historical lack of freezer space. But different Amish settlements have evolved different methodology for dealing with the dilemma. More progressive Amish communities have gradually allowed gas-powered freezers and refrigerators in the home. These look and work just like an electric freezer (except it runs on gas). Problem solved.
In more conservative Amish settlements, the traditional ice-house still rules the roost. These ice-houses can be anything from structures built specifically for the purpose of being an ice-house to makeshift ones. I have seen old trailers (these seem to work well) converted into ice-houses. Tom the Backroads Traveler paid a visit to an Amish ice-house recently in western New York. Here, the continued reliance on ice-houses dovetails nicely with the more conservative ideology of the Conewango Valley Amish.
And, finally, the Amish in other areas have simply thrown in the towel on ice-houses yet still don't permit gas freezers in the home. Their solution: off-site electric freezer rental. The Amish in the Berne, Indiana area, for instance, (and I've heard of this elsewhere) will rent floor model freezers from a local entrepreneur. The freezers will be tucked away in little outbuildings that have juice flowing and are centrally located in the Amish settlement. Click here to join Tom on his visit to a western New York ice-houes.
APPLE ROLL-UPS: A blogger decided to give this fun Amish recipe a whirl and it looks like the result was sweet. I'll have to try these. Good step by step photos and instructions. Click here to enjoy!
MINNESOTA AMISH: A blogger shared some photos from the Amish settlement in Becker County, Minnesota. This rural slice of Minnesota's frozen north has experienced an influx of Amish recently. There are some neat photos on the blog and one of the Amish homes used to belong to the writer's maternal grandmother. Pet peeve: the writer calls the settlement a "colony." The Hutterites settle in colonies, the Amish settle in communities. While it seems like semantics there is nothing communal about Amish life (with some rare exceptions) which the word "colony" seems to suggest. It is a common misinterpretation. Anyway, that aside, click here for this enjoyable read!