Archive for the ‘Amish’ Category

Part Two: Work at Home vs. Factory

In the Amish community of Lancaster, the “lunch pail” problem of the 1970’s became an important issue. As farmland became scarce and expensive, more and more men were working in factories, taking their lunches off to their jobs away from home.

In the July, 1972 issue of the Amish monthly magazine Family Life, there was an article concerning farm versus factory. It told the story of a man who worked for a while in a factory, but decided to try to buy a farm, even if it would cause him financial difficulties. On the negative side of factory work, he saw the following:

1. Working with worldly people who practice smoking, swearing, telling dirty stories, etc.
2. Men and women working together under such conditions.
3. Fathers away from home.
4. Too much money available.

The author then came up with some alternatives to factory work…
1. Spread out. In most of our communities farms are available on the edge of the communities at a much cheaper price.
2. If you want to buy a farm some day, then begin now to live simple and save money. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s (the Beilers, or the Lapps).
3. In many communities there is a good market for truck crops or specialty crops. This could provide profitable employment for the children and can be done on a small acreage.
4. There are always older people who are well established financially. Why not help the young people get started instead of putting money in the bank?

Finally, the Amish writer spells out the importance he sees in remaining a farmer…

“The high cost of living, or the cost of ‘living high,’ makes it difficult to start farming today and to keep on farming. As far back as we can go in the history of our people, we find they were an agricultural people. To change this now would be taking a serious step.”

When work involves going outside the family and community for economic survival, it can drive a wedge into the family which can cause disruption by getting economically involved with the outside world.

When many of the Amish church districts in Lancaster County permitted the use of machinery powered by diesel, hydraulic, or compressed air systems, many small Amish businesses were set up at home, forming another option for the family that could not farm. Dr. Donald Kraybill in his book The Riddle of Amish Culture quoted an Amishman as saying that these small family shops and businesses were…

“a sharp turn towards home, that is back to an Anabaptist culture. Many of these shops were erected on the farm or adjacent to it. They provide the off-farm worker a job at home with or near his family, self-dependent, self-supporting, making, repairing, or selling a product that he knows is useful, one which he has a right to be proud of.”

Yet, as Kraybill makes clear, “businessmen and bishops alike fear that, in the long run, prosperity could ruin the church.” Some larger Amish enterprises have annual sales of over one million dollars. This kind of growth can be dangerous. Even a family farm can turn into a large and complicated business venture, as with many non-Amish farm operations of hundreds of acres.

This concern of “getting too big” came up earlier in the century with the farmers themselves, and the arrival of the tractor. While some Amish in Lancaster bought and used the early tractors, these machines were banned in 1923. In time tractors were allowed to power other stationary farm machinery, and horses could pull diesel-operated farm machinery in the fields. There was a fear that normal use of “tractors will lead to cars.”

The Amish saw in the car a threat to the community’s existence. Yet the use of a car for trips, or of the bus to go to town, is allowed. As Kraybill noted, “The Amish believe that by turning the use of cars over to individuals, they would quicken the pace of their life, erase geographical limits, weaken social control, and eventually ruin their community.”

Two of the strengths of the Amish community are its ability to accept that it is not self-sufficient, and its ability to establish boundaries for dealing with the outside world. The Lancaster Amish found that the constant stream of tourists provided a steady market for their cottage industries, which in turn allowed many of them to make a living without leaving the homestead. While some writers have decried this, others have argued that tourism and cottage industries may have indirectly strengthened the Amish community in Lancaster. How successfully the Amish adapt to the changing economic situation will be a matter of great importance as they move with us into the 21st century.

Part Three: Work & gender Roles in the Family next week

Published with permission from the Amish Country News.

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With the recipe of the week i thought id include this video which i Stumbled Upon while browsing YouTube. I remember going on a buggy ride sometime in the late 80s or early 1990s and having Jessica drive the buggy. A buggy ride is a good way to see what the Amish see and feel when they are on the road, so i recommend trying this when your in any Amish community across America. Richard Sadie Glick’s Shoo-fly Pie

Liquid: Lightly mix eggs and sugar. Add syrup and stir till smooth before adding boiling water and soda. Stir well and set aside.

Crumbs: Mix together; add 2 double handfuls of crumbs to liquid and fold in lightly. Divide into 4-8″ pie shells. Spread rest of crumbs over top. Bake at 300° for approximately 50-55 minutes. Liquid:

4 eggs

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups King syrup (fresh sorghum molasses)

2 cups boiling water
1 tsp baking soda


3 cups dark brown sugar

6 scant cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup lard (heaping)

When Norman and Marlena Miller, along with the entire Evart, MI Amish community, set out to compile their family favorites, they did so with a song and plenty of inspirations. And that’s exactly the recipe they used for Cooking With Praise. This cookbook has a delicious spread of Amish favorites: Potato Salad, Poor Man’s Steak, Tator-Tot Casserole, and Oreo Pudding, to name a few. Then there are the seven sections for those who watch their diet. Then like a good cook who adds a pinch of this and a dash of that, bringing the taste to perfection, the Millers have added hymns and inspirational thoughts throughout. Cooking With Praise is ready for your table and your guests. 450 recipes. 254 pages. Spiral bound with laminated covers. Fully indexed. To buy this book just go to

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Amish baseball game part: 2

More Amish coming in to catch the game
A good shot of the action
All eyes are on the hitter
Running the base’s
Checking out who showed-up at the game
A young Amish girl moves  in for a better seat, and shes holding her seat as well!

Soft Amish Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoons baking soda (place in the milk)

1 (12 ounce) bag chocolate chips or butterscotch chips

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and milk with baking soda. Mix together and add baking powder. Gradually add flour and stir well. Stir in chocolate or butterscotch chips. Place dough by teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F until the edge is light brown. Recipe from

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I had my camera with me on this Winter evening outside of a restaurant in Lebanon county, so i thought id take a few pictures every 20 minutes or so of the same buggy as the sun was going down. The Amish couple who owned it were eating at the table next to me and had no idea I’m sure of my little experiment of sorts. I’ve been very conscious lately of trying to take more  sunset image’s because i really think some of them come out really beautiful, and i admire when i visit someone else’s web site who has these type of pictures on them. Those folks seem to specialize in these type of shots, so i wanted to do something at least different for myself and shoot this Amish buggy as night was casting over it. I liked the second to the  last image so much that ill be  placing  it on the right-side of Amish Stories this Monday. Richard
Dutch Oven Pot Roast with Black Night Barbecue Sauce recipe

1 (5 pound) round bone pot roast

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons shortening

1/2 cup Black Night Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup apple cider

8 carrots, pared, cut in 2-inch pieces

6 potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 onions, sliced

1 (10 ounce) package frozen okra or

1/2 pound fresh okra (optional)

Rub meat with salt. Melt shortening in Dutch oven; add meat and brown over medium heat, turning once. Reduce heat; pour over barbecue and cider. Cover and simmer on top of range or in 325 degrees oven 4 hours.

Add carrots, potatoes and onion 1 1/2 hours before end of cooking time. Add okra 15 minutes before end of cooking time.

Serves 6 to 8.

Black Night Barbecue Sauce

1 cup strong black coffee

1 1/2 cups Worcestershire sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Combine ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Recipe from

Serve with Dutch Oven Pot Roast.

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Id like to wish everyone a merry Christmas, and  i couldn’t leave Marilyn out so on behalf of her she also wishes all the folks happy holidays as well. Its been some year with a terrible economy and high unemployment , and its also the year that i started Amish Stories this past January. In fact i found myself going back to some of my very first post’s and now look in amazement how much i had to learn about blogging and posting , so I’ve learned  a lot  along the way i think. 

All image’s taken on December 2011 in  Lebanon and Lancaster counties.
 On December 10 Amish Stories had 100,000 hits so id like to thank all of its readers for taking valuable time out of your busy schedule to visit, and to post your comment’s. I’m not sure how the year 2012 will be, but all i can hope is for good health for all and that everyone will be in a good place in their lives for the new year. I know that these are just wishes from myself, but its these hopes and goals that help keep us all going in life for the next tomorrow’s. Richard
Lancaster county
Yes folks the small town movie theater still exists and is located at Annville in Lebanon county Pennsylvania.

Lebanon county’s Amish settlement

A song that many associate with the holidays done by the supreme’s in 1966, brings back many childhood memory’s for me so enjoy…….. Richard

Christmas Pecan Snowballs : 1 cup butter 4 Tbsp sugar 2 tsp vanilla 2 cups flour 2 cups pecans Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add pecans and flour. Roll into balls and flatten slightly. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour, then bake for 45 minutes At 300 degrees. While warm roll in powdered sugar. Both homemade recipe’s from Jean.

White Christmas Candy: 1 lb. white chocolate or almond bark 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter 1 1/2 cups Spanish peanuts Melt and blend white chocolate (or Almond bark) and peanut butter together. Add rest of ingredients. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper. Store in covered container when cook and firm.

Lancaster county, all 6 pictures taken this December 17
Intercourse,Pa on a cold December day!
Amish buggy in a hurry going through town

Amish Stories will return on January 3, 2012

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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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