By Kevin Williams
I think we have a great selection of posts to peruse in this week's blogroll so let's get right to today's goodies:
CHOCOLATE STREUSEL BARS: Patricia over at the Patchwork Quilt blog made this recipe and it sounds amazing. And, sheesh, she puts my social life to shame. She's always coming or going or baking or cooking...anyway this week's recipe comes from the Farmhouse Cookbook (I've tried to find copies for you on Amazon so you can follow along with Patricia, but no luck) which is out of Greenville, Pennsylvania, a fairly progressive Amish community. Anyway, click here to see this dessert and get the recipe!
KATIE TROYER: Maybe it's just because I love the Sarasota, Florida area. Or maybe because I've been to Pinecraft and I've "felt the vibe" there but, man, Katie Troyer does a super job capturing Pinecraft, Florida in all its emotional essence. For newbies here I'll say what I've said before: most Amish live very regimented, rule-ridden, laborious lives up in their midwestern communities. That is not to say that there isn't a lot of joy experienced in these communities, but when they come to Pinecraft (and only a small percentage of Amish actually winter in Pinecraft) it's like the rules fall aside, the church politics go away, and everyone just relaxes under the warmth of the west Florida sun. Check out her photos this week, they just are so instructive in the magic of Pinecraft. I love the photo of the Amish man, in full traditional attire, just "relaxing" (not sure how relaxed I'd be in long sleeves and denim when it is 80 degrees, but, hey, he's there). Love the photos of the siblings meeting up. Shunning isn't an issue in Pinecraft, everyone generally gets along and locals like to cheekily say "What happens in Pinecraft, stays in Pinecraft." Click here to see Katie's latest. Pinecraft is, by the way, about at it's peak with snowbirds right now and for the next month. After that the population of Amish slowly dwindles through March and when Easter arrives there is a mass exodus.
GRAVES MANSION: Okay, this is off topic, but I'm a sucker for old brick mansions and Tom is always stumbled upon such gorgeous gems in the rural Upstate New York countryside, I can practically hear the history oozing out of this amazing home. Click here to see.
AMISH BANANA BREAD: Often I find banana bread to be bland and just not the most exciting. But if you happen to find a recipe that is super flavorful and bursting with banana flavor,hang on to it. Mandy at the Amish Side of Me blog dips into her family heritage for this recipe (her Mom spent much of her life in the Amish church and gave her this recipe). Like me, Mandy is not a huge banana bread fan, but this recipe, she says, changed her mind. So give this recipe a try!
VENANGO COUNTY AMISH BREAKFAST CASSEROLE: I always say I'm not going to post another Amish breakfast casserole recipe again and then I do...but I found this one on the Venango County, Pennsylvania tourism website....this county is nestled in western/central PA near the Meadville and Clarion area. This recipe uses fresh ingredients and is steeped in Amish authenticity, so I decided to share it! Click here.
THE BLUE GATE INN: Man, amazing how parenthood changes you. I 'm not sure I'd have been all enthused about staying here a few years ago. But now that I have a 3-year-old and a 4-month old this place sounds amazing. Everything under one roof. Centrally located in Amish country. That's a win! The Chicago Foodie Sisters talk about their recent stay at the Blue Gate. I've been to the Blue Gate on multiple occasions (SIGH, I wish they'd advertise on this site) and really do like it. I mean, if you are going to stay in northern Indiana's Amish country you can't really go wrong here unless you are absolutely wanting to stay at a small bed and breakfast (which would have been my preference pre-kid) Click here to read.