By Kevin Williams
Hello! Time for our weekly whirl through cyberspace in search of everything and anything Plain and I have an interesting mix today, I think. So grab that cup of coffee - or in my case, tea - and enjoy!
AUTHENTIC PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH SHOO-FLY PIE: This is a very well-done blog post about shoofly pie. I agree with the author's premise that the best shoofly pie is one that is balanced perfectly between the "wet" type and the "dry." My first experience with shoofly pie was with the traditionally drier Indiana varieties, whereas the typical Pennsylvania Dutch version is a "wet bottom." The best shoofly pie combines the best of both and this blogger presents a great primer on how to do that! Click here to read.
COUNTRY FAIR PIE: Patricia's Patchwork shared a tasty-sounding recipe for something called "Country Fair" pie from a Susan Schwartz in Berne, Indiana, a community that, long-timers here know, I am very familiar with. While I have not seen this recipe before (which made it really interesting to me) it does contain most of the characteristics of a classic Amish recipe from this region, so I'm excited to see the recipe. Click here for this delicious-sounding pie!
BEST EVER PIE CRUST:Sorry , folks, most of the recipe demos you get with me right now are on-the-fly ones that hold the attention of my 2-year-old....so I enjoy Patricia's more in-depth take on some recipes. She recently replicated Rosanna's pie crust recipe and you get a wonderful step-by-step photo journey and commentary, so check it out here.
GOOD FRIDAY GATHERING: Bruce Stambaugh captured a photo of an Amish Good Friday gathering, so click here to enjoy the serene scene. This is a classic example of how Amish customs vary widely from place to place, Good Friday gatherings and church services are not something you find in every church. Very interesting.
EDITOR'S PICK - JOINING THE AMISH: Kelsey Osgood turns in an excellent long form piece about outsiders joining the Amish. Kelsey is a writer based in London but she was in the USA not too long ago and reached out to me about just meeting and chatting about the Amish. And, best of all, she was willing to come to my hometown to chat. Well, anytime someone is willing to come to my little corner of the world just to talk Amish, I am game. She was very enjoyable company and a good writer who delves into religious issues. Kelsey wrote a superb piece for Atlas Obscura this week about outsiders who have joined the Amish. Outsiders joining the Amish is still a rarity but, to my eye, it seems to becoming more common. Click here to read Kelsey's superbly written piece.
BEACHY BARNS: This is a little different than what I usually post, but I just thought it was an interesting read that showcased the journey some make from Amish to non-Amish (a reversal of the above post) and how they can still maintain some of the characteristics key to the Amish. This post also sort of capsulizes what happened to the Plain City, Ohio Amish settlement as a whole. Click here for an interesting read and a profile of what seems like just a good, hard-working, decent man.