Archive for November, 2011


Amish Casserole

Cook noodles and drain. Brown hamburger and onion in butter. Place meat, peas and noodles in a baking dish. Pour soups and sour cream over them and put buttered bread crumbs on top. Bake at 375° F. oven for 1 hour. 1 large pkg. noodles

2 c. peas

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 loaf of bread -toasted and made into crumbs

1 c. sour cream

3 lb. hamburger

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 onion chopped

This excellent collection of authentic Amish recipes will be a treasured addition to any cookbook collection. Includes Amish home remedies. 217 pages, 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, comb bound, illustrated. To order the Amish way cook book please go to to order.      Richard from Amish Stories

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

First Michael would thank to thank everyone for the many Happy Birthday’s he received from Amish Stories. They were so kind and he really appreciates them. He couldn’t believe that they came from people not only in the United States, but other countries too. Right now he is wishing for cold weather with snow so he can use some of the items he got for his birthday. We tell him to wait-in Upstate New York he will get his wishes.

Last Tuesday evening I sent Michael down to get something out of the freezer and he came back up and told me the freezer wasn’t working.  The freezer was old and you couldn’t get her to keep things cold especially when you opened it to get something out.  I went down to the cellar, checked the fuses and light switches and everything seemed all right-so I called David to go down and take a look. He came back up and said the motor was gone but he could put in a new one.  The freezer had belonged to either my parents or David’s parents-we can’t remember whose.  When they got a new one they gave us the old one.  The motor in it was the second new motor.                 

Also it was a long freezer and if we ever got a new one I wanted an upright one-like a refrigerator. My arms are short and if I want something in the bottom of the long freezer I had to get David or Michael to get it for me as I couldn’t reach inside. After a great discussion David and I decided it was time to get a new freezer-well I decided-David finally went along with me. David said it looks like he wouldn’t be able to get me the Christmas present he wanted. I told him the new freezer could be my Christmas present.

On Wednesday Susan had to go to school, but the public schools that Michael went to were closed. Martha’s Father agreed to take us to look for a  freezers so Michael went to Martha’s house to help them do some jobs and play. We told Michael he had to be home when Susan came home. David and I took Baby David and off we went. We went in a couple of places but the upright refrigerators were too small. Finally Martha’s Dad said we were going to Sears. I found the freezer in Sears. David kept trying to talk me into a smaller one, but we need a big one with all of us in our family. While there he also had me to  look at the washers and dryers too. I had the feeling he was going to buy me a dryer for Christmas. He wanted to know if I was going to buy a set-which would I buy. I showed him what I would like, but of course, he didn’t buy it. We bought the freezer, but Sears couldn’t deliver it as their trucks were out and they were booked up for deliveries until next week.

We got home at lunch time, Michael was there so I made lunch for everyone. David got on the phone and called people he knew that had a truck to see if they could get the freezer for us. One friend offered to go get it in their horse trailer-but I was hoping David would find someone else. Finally one of the firemen he knew said he would see if his boss would lend him the company truck that had an hydraulic lift on it. The boss agreed so he came over to the house, picked David and I up with Baby David and off we went. Michael agreed to stay home and take of Susan when she came home from school. He said it was his first babysitting job. I also told him we had some relatives coming for Thanksgiving if they got there before we came back (which they did) who went in what bedroom.

Off we went to get the freezer. By the time we came back it was supper time so we stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken and got chicken, potatoes, and Cole slaw for dinner. When we got home, two of my aunts and uncles were at our house. The men got the new freezer in the basement, but you are not suppose to put food in the new freezer until it has been running 12 hours. After 5 hours I transferred the food from the old freezer to the new one and the men took the old freezer out. David offered to pay the man whose truck we had and the fireman that drove it, but none of them would take money.

Thanksgiving morning the new freezer was up and running just fine. All the food was frozen solid even though I couldn’t wait 12 hours before putting it in. I did lose a few freezer items from the old freezer as they defrosted before I could put them in the new freezer. We went to David’s parents for Thanksgiving Dinner and spent most of the day having a great meal and time together. During conversation my parents asked Michael if he had any problems talking care of Susan. He said she started to cry when she found out we weren’t home, but he took into the basement to play basketball with him. Susan said she wasn’t suppose to go into the basement and he told her when you parents are away you sometimes do things you can’t do when you parents are there.

 What we told Susan  was not to go down in the basement alone as David has paint, grease, oil, etc. down there. And we don’t want Susan and her and friends going  down there-our reason being so Michael and his friends have a place to play without a six year old in the way. Michael needs time to play with young folks his age. We did tell Michael  that he could take her down there as long as he kept an eye on her, which he did. Susan couldn’t get a ball in the basket so finally Michael put the ball her hands, lifted her up and let her drop it in. He said Susan was thrilled.

Our company left at 6:30 AM this morning when the van driver came. It is nice to have company. Now we are doing laundry which I will hang up outside. Someone asked if I have an electric washer and yes I do. I hang the clothes outside, but we were thinking of getting a dryer for me to use on rainy days or in the winter. With the cost of the new freezer, it looks like I will have to wait for that dryer.

I promised the recipe for Haystack Supper. I have a couple recipes, but they are all about the same.

Haystack Supper

1 3/4 cup-saltines, crushed

2 cups-cooked rice

3 lbs-hamburger

1 lg-onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups-tomato juice

3/4 cup-water

3 tbsp-taco seasoning mix

seasoned salt-salt and pepper to taste

4 cups – shredded lettuce

3 med-tomatoes diced

1/2 cup-butter

1/2 cup-all purpose flour

4 cups milk

1 lb-American cheese cubed

3 cups-shredded cheddar cheese

1 jar-stuffed olives, drained and sliced

1 bag-Doritos

Divide crackers between un-greased 9X13 baking dishes. Top with rice. In a skillet cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato juice, water and seasonings. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with lettuce and tomatoes. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil, cook and sir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat; stir in American cheese until melted. Pour over tomatoes. Top with cheddar cheese and olives. Serve with chips.

Be With God,


Please stop by this Friday for my post along with lots of image’s from the town of Lititz in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This historic small slice  of Americana has become one of my favorite  small towns in Lancaster county.  Richard

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 My thoughts on the TV show The Walton’s…… My recollection of the Walton’s for this post will be totally based from my memory, and the last time that I could remember watching this show must be at least 15 years ago. So this should be interesting as I read my own thoughts of what I remember, and this is somewhat an experiment for me to see what I can come up with.

The year was 1971 and remember watching a really enjoyable movie called the Home coming, sometimes age does have its benefits because I watched this TV made movie live at that time. This was the perfect holiday movie and I remember loving all of the characters in it and the time period that it was set in, so I was really happy to find out the next year that this TV movie was made into a regular television series for the 1972 season.
 The TV shows that I’ve always been attracted to as a child were family shows, and for me the Walton’s was the watermark for these type of shows and remains the best of the best from any year since. What I really loved about this show is the fact it was based on real life occurrences from the life of Earl Hammer jr during his youth growing up in the depression of the 1930s.

If love itself were based on wealth, the Walton’s would have been considered one of the wealthiest families around, so they were poor only on the surface. I wont hide the fact that my favorite character  on the show was John Boy, he was a deep thinker who had a gift for writing and expressing himself extremely eloquently for his years. John Boy was also the oldest of the siblings,   which brought on extra responsibilities of being the man of the house when his dad was not around.

He had dreams and an imagination that went far beyond his modest home and surrounding’s on Walton’s mountain, and I wanted to be like his character in so many ways. His parents John Walton Sr and Olivia Walton were fine people just trying to get through another year in what would be some of the most trying times in American history. And they somehow came through with grace and honesty and were wonderful parents to this large family. Grandma and grandpa Walton were the monarchs in the family hierarchy, wise with knowledge and experience, and I loved the fact that they still loved each other  so much  after all the years spent together. I really enjoyed how silly grandpa could be at times, yet when the time was called he could provide much needed guidance and advice to the rest of the family when called upon.  Richard                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
John boy always seemed deep in thought, and i admired the person he was very much

Grandpa always seemed to be getting into trouble, yet how could you be mad at him for very long

The Walton’s is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer’s Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show centered on a family growing up in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II. The series pilot was a television movie entitled The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, broadcast in 1971. The show originally aired on CBS from 1972 to 1981. I would like to thank Paul from for providing me with these images for this Walton’s post.  Richard from Amish Stories.

Sometimes words only get in the way when expressing ones love, and John and Olivia did that beautifully

I never knew any of my grandpa’s,  but if i had ever met one of them i would have wished he was like grandpa Walton!

They had what some family’s long for, which was their strong love for each other
Mamie and Emily Baldwin drinking their  famous recipe
John Boy reflecting on his thoughts of the day
With the last Walton saying good night…………….

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie.(A john Boy favorite) 

1 (3 pound or more) chicken  3 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt

Boil chicken in water until tender and comes off the bone easily. Put chicken and broth in a large kettle (or Dutch Oven), add salt and more water, enough to make a full three quarts again.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
3 tablespoons broth
2 large raw potatoes, diced
1/4 cup grated onion

Mix egg and broth. Add flour and mix until stiff enough to roll out. Put on floured board and roll thin. Let set for 20 minutes to dry.

Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Add to broth and chicken which is boiling hot. Cook 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and the onion. Cook over slow heat until all are tender.

Serve hot with biscuits and a tossed salad.

Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns (Grandpa Walton’s favorite)

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk, scalded
3 tablespoons
granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups sifted flour, divided
3 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup chopped raisins
2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons finely chopped citron
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Soften yeast in warm water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add milk to sugar and salt. Mix and cool to lukewarm.

Add 1 cup flour and mix until smooth. Stir in yeast. Add remaining flour mixing well. Knead dough on floured board until smooth. Put in greased bowl, grease top, cover with towel and let rise in warm room until double.

Punch down dough, and roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with the softened butter and spread with mixture of raisins, currants, citron, the 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up like a jellyroll and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Lay the slices in a buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Sprinkle top with the 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.

 Click above to listen to this Christmas album, it will really get you in the mood!



             Amish Stories will return after the Thanksgiving break on Nov 29. Id like to wish everyone a warm and memory filled Thanksgiving. Richard

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

Warm thanksgiving wishes from Jean and her family to yours.
Our Thanksgiving Day is a day much like you have. The Sunday before Thanksgiving the sermons at our meetings (church) are on remembering and thanking the Lord for all He has done for us. In our home prayers David quotes verses on thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has done for us. After our dinner on Wednesday, we fast until dinner is served on Thursday. We also remember the gracious things the Lord has done for us. The children have Thursday and Friday off of school including the weekend.

When David and I were about Susan’s age (6), all the Old Order Mennonite that went to our meetings would meet and have one Thanksgiving meal together at someones home. Since that time we have grown in size  and that is really impossible today. Today, we rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas among our family. My Mother and Father were going to have it this year, but David’s Mother asked if she could do it-as David’s Grandmother passed away and she wanted to have a happy occasion in her house. So David’s parents are having Thanksgiving, my parents will be having Christmas. Next year one of those will be at our house.

Many relatives usually come in from out of state, but because of the Grandmother’s funeral not all of them will be coming this year. David’s Father came from a large family and our family is a large family so some will be coming. Also some of our parents families will be going out of state to their children’s homes. Some of our my families relatives will be coming here for Thanksgiving so there will be lots of family here.

On Wednesday a lot of us ladies will go to David’s Mother’s house to clean and help cook the turkey, ham, stuffing, noodles, and rolls. The rest of us will bring a dish to the dinner which will include salads, vegetables, jams and jellies, corn relish, chow chow, cakes, pies, cookies and more. Dinner will be at 12:00 noon on Thursday. We all get there an hour or two earlier to chat, and help David’s Mom. When we set for dinner, we have silent prayer and David’s Dad offers a voice prayer. He doesn’t always do this, but he does this on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It is not written as a way of our meetings, but something that David’s Dad does. After eating as each person is about to the leave the table, he asks the person of one thing they are thankful for that God did for them this year. He asks both children as they usually leave first and then he asks the adults as we sit at the table. Again this is not written in our meetings to do-it’s something David’s Dad does and my Dad has picked this up as David has, so we do it every year.

After dinner we ladies do dishes and clean up the kitchen while the men are outside chatting (or inside) depending on the weather. When dishes are done the ladies and men might go into the living room to chat or sing. Depending on the weather the children may go out and play games which we watch while chatting. If the weather is bad, we may play inside games with the children. We leave in time to get home and door chores. On this day, as on Sunday, we only do the chores of milking the cows, feeding the animals, etc.-only chores we have to do. That evening before bed, David will read Bible quotes on thanking the Lord.

David says this day is one of the worst day for fires and he will probably get a fire call. People put something on the stove or in the oven and forget about it. Sometimes they don’t pay attention to their fire stack or fire place. They seem to get a lot of things on their minds and don’t pay attention. Almost every year they get at least one fire call on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

As we have relatives coming in from out of state, some will probably being staying at our house. Of course we will be providing meals, transportation and more for them. They do it for us when we visit in their area.

On Friday, we do not try to get to the sales on at the stores. In fact, if we can we try to stay off the road that day or just go between our family and friends. We don’t want to get on the road with all the traffic and people buying. If it is absolute that we go some place that day out on the Main Roads, we get someone with a car to drive us. You have to book ahead because car drivers all seem to be booked up this weekend. If it were an emergency we would call Martha’s parents, because they would come. Martha’s parents are not consider “drivers” as they do not drive for everyone. They would never turn anyone down in an emergency, but driving is not jobs for them. Martha’s Mom and Dad have other jobs so they can’t be on call all the time.

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and please remember the good things the Lord has done for you.

Be With God, Jean


2 Cups fresh or frozen Cranberries

1 1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 c. chopped nuts

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine melted

Spread cranberries over bottom of a greased 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and nuts. Beat eggs well. Add remaining 1 cup of sugar gradually and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour and melted butter or margarine. Beat well. Pour batter over the top of cranberries. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Tastes better served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream.

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Amish custom car

Friendship Cinnamon Bread

1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped

Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, stir together Amish Friendship Starter, oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and milk.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the starter mixture. Mix in the vanilla pudding mix. Fold in the chopped nuts, raisins and dates. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from recipe goldmine. Richard from Amish Stories.

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Lovina’s column will return next week in its regular format. In most markets we are running a few of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes. In other markets, I have a column running. Lovina is fine, there are just a lot of newspapers that like “recipe packages only” to run on their Thanksgiving food pages. So enjoy the recipes and my column!


2 cups cooked turkey

1/ 2 cup celery, diced

1 /2 cup diced green peppers

1/ 2 cup diced onions

1 /2 cup mayonnaise

1 /2 teaspoon salt

1 /4 teaspoon pepper

6 slices of bread

1 1 /2 cups milk

3 eggs

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 /4 cup grated cheese

In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, celery, peppers, onions, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Cube bread and put 1 /2 in greased casserole dish. Add turkey mixture and add remining bread cubes. Mix milk, eggs, and mushroom soup. Let stand in refrigerator overnight. Put cheese on top at bake at 350 for one hour.


5 medium potatoes; cooked in their skins

1 cup whole milk

4 average slices whole-grain bread

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup finely-chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Salt ; to taste

Freshly-ground black pepper ; to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the cooked potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and place them in a large mixing bowl. Coarsely mash the potatoes with 1/2 cup of the milk.

Cut the bread into 1/2-inch dice. Place them in a small mixing bowl and pour the remaining milk over them. Soak for several minutes. In the meantime, heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and celery and sauté over low heat until the onion is lightly browned and the celery is tender. Combine the onion and celery mixture with the mashed potatoes in the large mixing bowl. Stir in the soaked bread, parsley, and seasoning mix. Season to taste with salt and lots of pepper. Pour the mixture into a well-oiled, 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is a crusty golden brown.

This recipe yields 6 servings.


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the crust: In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar then mix in flour. Now add the oats to make an oatmeal crumble crust to press inside a 9×13 inch baking dish. To set the crust for the pie filling bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the pie filling to add to the crust. In a large bowl, beat eggs and mix in white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust. Return to the oven and bake in heated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

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A man of force, a woman of faith, worlds apart.”

After the 1955 Broadway musical PLAIN & FANCY, there were various local shows and musicals about the “plain people” produced in the Lancaster area for visitors. But nothing much happened on a national scale until 1985 and the movie WITNESS, which became a worldwide hit. Just last year, a columnist for the NEW YORK POST wrote that “everything I know about the Amish, I learned from the old Harrison Ford movie, WITNESS. ” While undoubtedly an exaggeration, this statement probably holds true for many people even today.

As an indicator of how Witness is part of our popular consciousness, let it be noted that Mad magazine did a parody of the movie Witness and called it “Witless.” And when director Rob Reiner made the disastrous 1994 film comedy NORTH, he cast Kelly McGillis and Alexander Godunov (her Amish suitor), as an Amish mom and dad. Obviously, nearly ten years later, he believed the audience would still remember them from their original roles.

WITNESS was, of course, a serious film, which contrasted a violent modern world with the peaceful Amish, and turned it into a romantic thriller… “A big city cop. A small country boy. They have nothing in common…but a murder.” Helping to add to the film’s success was actor Harrison Ford, fresh from starring roles in STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, who played Philadelphia police detective, John Book. The movie is undeniably well made, acted, and directed (by Australian Peter Weir), and many Lancaster hotels have it available on video or DVD for their guests.

The film opens at an Amish funeral for the husband of Rachel Lapp (Kelly McGillis). Soon she and her little boy Samuel (Lukas Haas) are on a train trip to visit her sister. This is Samuel’s first big trip to the “outside world” and, at the Philadelphia train station, he mistakes a Hassidic Jewish man as Amish.

The drama begins when Samuel witnesses a murder and John Book (Ford) takes mother and son in for questioning. In a famous scene, Samuel is looking at newspaper clippings in a trophy case at the police station and points at one of the men in the picture. Book now knows the three men involved in the murder are fellow policemen. Wounded in an attack, Book flees the city, taking Rachel and Samuel to their farm in Lancaster County.

The Amish elders permit the injured Book to stay on the farm to recuperate, unaware that the murderers are looking for him. When Samuel discovers Book’s gun in a drawer, grandfather (Jan Rubes) gives the boy a lecture on violence and the value of life. He tells Samuel that when you take a gun in your hand, you bring violence into your heart.

Soon Book is helping to milk the cows and putting his carpentry skills to use during the spectacular barn-raising scene, now recognized as a classic blending of music and visual imagery. (Interestingly, Maurice Jarre, composer of large orchestral scores for movies like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, decided on “electronic” synthesizer music, since there was no Amish “folk music” that could be used.) Film critic Steven D. Greydanus summarized it…

“The barn-raising scene particularly is both a glowing celebration and an unanswerable challenge: This is no Hollywood fantasy, no idealized fiction, but how the Amish actually live. We can hardly imagine living that way ourselves, having that degree of commitment to our neighbor, to our community — but how reassuring it would be in this lonely world to be able to count on others in this way.”

As the story progresses, Book and the conveniently widowed Rachel discover a mutual romantic attraction, raising serious concern within the Amish community. But before too much can happen, the bad guys from the city trace him to Rachel’s home. While Book uses violence to defend himself from the thugs in the movie’s climatic showdown at the farm, it is the Amish who save the day by not fighting back. In a wonderful scene, the Amish, by their sheer numbers and presence, use non-violence to end the killing. As Book leaves the farm, grandfather offers this parting advice, “You be careful out among those English.”

The love story reminded director Weir of Madame Butterfly, two individuals who can’t stay together because of cultural reasons. As film critic Roger Ebert wrote, “The love that begins to grow between them is not made out of clichés; the cultural gulf that separates them, is at least as important to both of them as the feelings they have. When they finally kiss, it is a glorious sensuous moment because this kiss is a sharing of trust and passion.”

For those visitors who have seen the film, the local town sequences were filmed in the village of Intercourse, particularly on the porch of Zimmerman’s Store on Main Street. Just up Queen Street near the Best Western Inn, Ford (dressed in Amish clothes) gave an obnoxious punk a bloody nose while a local businessman complained, “This is not good for the tourist trade.”

The “WITNESS farm” itself, which was not Amish and owned by the Paul Krantz family Farm, was located out of view off a backroad west of Strasburg. It is not open to the public (except for special bus tours in 2005 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the film), and looks quite different from the way it did in the film. Known as the “Willow Spring Farm,” it is now Amish-owned and being preserved for agricultural use through the preservation efforts of the Lancaster Farmland Trust because of its connection to the film.

Because of Harrison Ford’s popularity around the world, and the marketing of the film as a romantic thriller, millions of people from Europe to Japan saw Witness. For many, it was an “introduction” to Amish culture, and a visit to a locale and people that were foreign to most people’s perceptions of America. It remains a popular film, often shown on TV, and now to be re-released as a 20th anniversary “Collectors Edition” DVD by Paramount Pictures in August.

Following the film’s release, a reviewer for TIME magazine noted the movie taught a valuable lesson — that people of two different cultures could meet and be enriched by their friendship, but not have to destroy or radically change the other’s way of life. Regardless of what faults you may find with the movie, it definitely provides some food for thought. Published with permission from the Amish country news. Richard from Amish Stories.

Amish Chili : 1 pound hamburger 1 onion, diced 1 cup diced celery 1/2 cup carrots 1 can pork and beans 1 can kidney beans 1 can tomato soup 1/2 cup ketchup 1 can lima beans Corn, if desired 1 handful spaghetti Fry hamburger with onion in large pan. At same time, boil carrots, celery and spaghetti until vegetables are soft; drain. Add pork and beans, kidney beans, tomato soup, ketchup and limas; add to meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Heat through, then serve. If too thick, add tomato juice or water. Serves 6. Recipe from the recipe goldmine.

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

I thought this time I would answer questions that were asked of me that I haven’t answered yet and also questions that people frequently ask David and I at bake sales, craft sales, etc. Jean

Why do men and women sit on opposite sides of the meeting (church)?

When I was a little girl I thought all men and women sat that way in all different meetings or churches. Once I got to know the outside world I was surprised to find that Old Order Mennonite and the Amish are about the only religions that do this. The separation of men and women seating’s in church was originally founded in the early Catholic Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem spoke of this during his lectures : “If the church is shut and you all are inside, yet let there be a separation, men with men and women with women, lest the pretext of salvation become an occasion of destruction. Even if there be a fair pretext for sitting near each other, let passions be put away.” So the men and women separate seating’s was intended to keep worship pure. It was felt that the intermixing the sexes would be a distraction to worship and cause us to sin by looking on the opposite sex. The Catholics no longer observe the separation but Old Order Mennonite and Amish still do.

Why don’t the ladies cut their hair and why do we wear prayer caps (as the English call them)?

We go buy the 1 Corinthians, 11:5-6 “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. ” and Verse 15 “But if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” Because of these verses in the Bible which we believe, I do not cut my hair and I do wear a prayer cap. We in Old Order Mennonite and the Amish follow this word of the Bible, but there are many other more worldly Mennonite Orders who do not wear prayer caps, longer dresses and who do cut their hair.

Why do we dress the way we do? Why don’t we wear jewelry?

We go by several Bible verses including 1 Timothy 2:9 “In like matter also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair or gold, or pearls or costly array.” And also 1 Peter 3:3,4 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel: ” (We feel the next quote is for us all) “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of grace price.” Because of these readings of the Bible and more we feel we should not wear jewelry and to dress modestly.

Why do Amish men grow beards and most Old Order Mennonite do not anymore?

The reason the Amish and some Old Order Mennonites wear beards is also in the Bible under Leviticus 19:27 “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of they beard.” and Leviticus 21:5 “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.”In the 1950’s or 1960’s the American Mennonite changed to smooth-shaving as part of a general cultured process. It was said that resistance of certain conservative group to the smooth-shaven were resistance to general accommodation. Some of the older men like my Grandfather still have a beard, but he keeps it trimmed. When he was brought up Old Order Mennonite men wore beards-he has shaved his off twice for a few weeks-I saw his face completely shaved once when he shaved it off, but being brought up the way he was he has regrown it both times. He said, the last time he shaved it off several years ago, he won’t shave it off again. He just can’t get use to it. David, my Dad and David’s Dad are all clean shaved. All of the Old Order Mennonite men are clean shaven except some of those by Grandfather’s age.

Is our Bible in German or English?

We have both. We mostly used the German Bible, but now that Michael is here we use mostly the King James. Michael is learning our language but, of course, understands English better. Sometimes David and I will get talking our language and Michael will have to ask us to speak English. Then of course there is the high German which we also have and use at meetings and sometimes at home. All of us each have our own Bible and we have one in the living room that David uses when we gather for readings and prayer. Michael wants a German Bible like we use, so we are getting him one for Christmas. Even if this gets back to him as some of his friends have computers and so does his school-I don’t think this present is any surprise for him.

All the quotations that I have used in this post are the King James Version. We do not use any of the revised editions nor do they use revised at our meetings (church). If you have any other questions you would like to ask, please do.

Be With God,


If there are any mistakes in the Bible quotations I will take the blame. It would be do to my computer mistakes. The best way for exact Bible quotations would be to read them from your King James Bible.


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Moses the Amish hat maker also comes to mind as one place where i felt welcomed and my experience there was a very positive one, so look for that post sometime in the future from me. Johns business is a family affair with him and his brother running the business that they originally bought from his cousin, so there has been a Lapp’s wood working for sometime now.

 And of course his mom helps out and folks she does not have to go far as she lives in a farm house right behind the woodshop. I’ve told John that i would help him with designing his web site maybe a little better to reflect his retail business and to include prices and shipping cost. 


So with the month of November being upon us some of you might be thinking about Christmas gift buying,  so please stop by Johns web site and give his Amish made wood products a look. From what I’ve seen i think his workmanship is very good and his prices are fair, so here again is that link to his web site.Just click on to Richard from Amish Stories 

Johns cousins buggy (former Lapp’s wood shop owner)

Wood for craft building
Outside view of Lapps factory. Screen is to air out building for wood staining, and to help thing s dry

Johns dog and best Friend. I’ve been told that he’s always the first one in, and the last to leave. Unless there’s a tasty snack waiting for him at home!

Typical Amish  compressed air fittings for wood working tools
A cool machine to do some pattern drilling
No a.c, but they do have a fan!
Finished products drying out after being stained

I really like these tractors
More drying as product await selling

Some larger items await finishing


A side view of Lapp’s with its nice flowers adding color

 A shot that i was barely able to make as i was leaving Johns wood shop, I’m glad that i captured it!

Snitz for Moon Pies

Cook dried apples until soft. Put through a ricer and add cinnamon and mix. Makes 3¼ qt. prepared snitz. 1 gal dried apples

5 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

This excellent collection of authentic Amish recipes will be a treasured addition to any cookbook collection. Includes Amish home remedies. 217 pages, 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, comb bound, illustrated.

 to order The Amish Way Cookbook please see our freinds at
Richard from Amish Stories

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Following is a diary of this past Saturday:

7:30 a.m. We slept in this morning. It was a nice break to sleep later after another week of a busy schedule. Last night we got home later as we went to Jacob and Emma’s house for supper in honor of Jacob’s 39th birthday which was November 1. They had a delicious supper of barbecued pork steak and ribs and a haystack supper. Emma presented Jacob with a big ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. After dishes were washed singing was done and some of them played Aggravation.

8 a.m. Everyone is awake now and the girls and I are making breakfast. Joe and the three boys are doing the morning chores. It is relaxing to have a Saturday morning that isn’t so rushy. We made a breakfast casserole layering scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and cheese with sausage gravy poured over everything. Yum!

9:15 a.m. Breakfast is ready. We have the casserole along with frosted sugar and ranger cookies, milk, and grape juice. Elizabeth and Susan baked almost 200 cookies on Thursday. Some are for church services on Sunday and the children wanted to take some to their teachers. They are delicious and disappearing fast.

10 a.m. Joe and the boys are working at odd and end jobs outside. Verena and Loretta are sorting potatoes for the winter. We like to sort through all the potatoes we pick up from the fields. We separate the good ones from the ones with cuts and bad spots so they can be used first. Elizabeth and I start with the weekly cleaning while Susan and Lovina wash the breakfast dishes.

1 p.m. The cleaning is done and everyone takes a break from work. We eat a light lunch of sandwiches, apples, and bananas.

1:30 p.m. Joe leaves to go get some repairs done on our buggy.

3 p.m. Joe is back home and him and the boys start on the evening chores. Taking care of the stove is another chore on his list during the winter months.

3:30 Joe’s brother Junior comes for a visit. We haven’t seen him in almost 7 years so our younger children do not remember him. He had lived out of the area but recently moved back. Joe tells him to stay for supper.

5:30 p.m. Joe starts the grill outside to prepare some chicken. I make a chili soup in the house.

6:30 p.m. Suppertime and Junior joins us and also Elizabeth’s friend Timothy.

7:30 p.m. Junior leaves for home and everyone gets cleaned up and ready for church tomorrow. Our time will go back an hour tonight which we will be glad for the extra sleep. Both our buggies are repaired so we will be able to take both of them to church. Our single buggy had not been usable since it flipped over several weeks ago. Our 17-year-old horse, Diamond, felt his harness catch on the shaft and this scared him enough to take off and flip the buggy. But now the damages are all repaired.

8:30 p.m. Everyone is ready for bed. With Thanksgiving on the way I have a great recipe to use up some of the leftover turkey.


3 slices of bread, cubed

2 cups cooked turkey pieces

1 egg

1 can of chicken noodle soup

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of cracker crumbs, crushed

1 /4 cup of margarine, melted

Place cubed turkey pieces and bread in a greased casserole dish. Combine egg and soups and pour over meat and bread. Combine cracker crumbs and melted margarine Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes. reprinted with permission from Richard from Amish Stories

Dont miss my part 2 post on Lapp’s woodshop as i tour its production area. along with an Amish recipe.

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