By Kevin Williams
There's a lot of fun and delicious links and stories to share, and there's probably no way anyone will have time to look at every single link,but there is some good stuff here! First stop:
PINECRAFT: I never get tired of looking at Katie Troyer's photos. We are at peak season right now in Pinecraft, the winter enclave for many Amish from the Midwest looking to escape the cold and snow for a bit. The winter in Amish country this year has been pretty tame, but that hasn't stopped a lot of Amish from heading there as usual this season. There atmosphere there is carefree, relaxed, and free from so many of the rules and "church politics" that govern day to day life in typical midwestern Amish communities. The photos here just, to me, show some really, really good, decent, hard-working people enjoying some of the most relaxing moments of their lives. The Pioneer Bus line generally transports Amish people from Ohio and Indiana to Florida, while the Melard bus handles the Lancaster to Florida route. Click here to see these poignant "goodbye" photos as people prepare to board the bus and head back home. And these are just some typical Saturday morning scenes in Pinecraft, captured by Katie Troyer. Click here.
VALENTINE'S DAY SNACK MIX: Charm City's blog posts a "Valentine's Day snack mix" from an Amish cookbook day. Snack mixes like the one she posted are quite popular among the Amish. Click here to see this colorful mix festooned with bright red M&Ms. Click here.
EDITOR'S PICK - Cheryl McNulty is progressing with her depiction of two Amish children looking out of the back of a buggy and WOW, I LOVE this piece of work, check out her progression here. I can't wait to see the final piece of work!
ON THE PATCHWORK QUILT:
As you know, I love going to this blog because she does so many Amish recipes. My friend Barbara recreated our Amish "marriage meatloaf" recipe a week or so ago, but Patricia made it also so I thought I would share her post here.
But what REALLY caught my eye when I went to her blog wasn't the marriage meatloaf it was this chocolate cake. It isn't Amish, but who cares? HOLY COW, that looks amazing! Take a look at that layer of frosting in the middle of the cake, that strip of frosting is so underrated and overlooked....as far as I am concerned, the thicker the better and this cake does just that. This cake is a horrible thing to look at when you are contemplating a diet. SIGH, note I said contemplating....that cake looks too good for words....I can believe it when the recipe says BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER, click here for it.
RAINBOWS AND SUNSHINE: If I had known about this earlier, I might have considered getting it for one of Aster's Valentine's Day gifts. This is also an illustration of how the "Amish economy" is sometimes different from the larger, macro-economy. No chance in the world anyone could successfully start-up a children's print magazine in today's environment. There simply is too much competition from electronic media to justify a print start-up. Among the Amish, however, such ideas can still germinate and succeed because while electronics are creeping in more and more a child's magazine is still pretty safely ensconced from electronic intrusion. So "Rainbows and Sunshine" sounds like a cute, charming kids magazine started by Amish woman Freida Stoltzfus....I may yet have to get a copy for Aster, I think she'd love the coloring and activities in the magazine. Click here.
HORSES ON ICE: Read a great piece with some super photos about how Amish-owned horses handle buggy travel during the winter. Click here.
AMISH WOMEN: Tom Nye delivers a short, but eloquent, homage to Amish women and I do think he raises some thought-provoking points about just how effortless many Amish women make motherhood SEEM (not saying it is, but it sure seems that way looking in)...I mean, think about it, they have 8 or 9 kids, loading up a buggy, bundling them up, making meals, laundry, etc, Amish women do carry a LOT on their shoulders. Click here to read more from Tom Nye.