Archive for the ‘Lancaster’ Category

Images by Amish Stories

Anne Murray’s Cherry Cake

1 1/2 cups butter 375 mL
2 cups granulated sugar 500 mL
4 eggs
1 teaspoon each vanilla, 
Almond and lemon extract 5 mL
4 cups all-purpose flour 1 L
2 teaspoons 
 baking powder 10 mL 
1 teaspoon salt 5 mL
1 cup milk 250 mL
1 1/2 cups each halved red and green candied cherries 375 mL

With electric mixer, cream butter with sugar thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in extracts.

Combine 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) of flour with baking powder and salt; mix thoroughly. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Toss cherries with remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) flour; fold into batter. Pour into well-greased and floured 10-inch (3 L) Bundt pan. Bake in 235 degree F (160 degree C) oven for 1 3/4 hours or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool a few minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely. From

This coming Monday Jean shares some natural home remedies that she uses as requested by the readers.  And next Friday Author and Lancaster native  Tana Reiff writes about “The Amish and Commerce”. 

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Welcome to part 2 of this post and I’m pretty sure most who have already visited the Lancaster area have tried some shoofly pie and pot pie, and to me the 2 businesses that are in my photos here are two of the best at what they do. 

Since I’ve literally grew-up here almost every place that I stop at has a special memory to me, and what may be just a picture to someone else really means something much more to me. And I realize that much more now  as time slips by, and times passing is unstoppable.  Richard

For years I’ve heard of Zooks pot pies yet never tried them until early this year, folks trust me they are really good at what they do and now I try and stop over when I can and pick one up. Chicken being my favorite, and at some point I will attempt to ask this Amish family business if I could take a few pictures and find out a little about the history of Zooks pies.

Picking -up a shoofly here is a must if you love this kind of pie
One of the buildings that most have remembered on their visits to Lancaster Pennsylvania.

The Dutch Haven has been around since 1946 so to me its a Lancaster institution that has endured many changes over the years. Some changes were good while others I think not so much, but its the shoofly pies that we all have come to love regardless if your a local or not. For many years the Dutch Haven had a restaurant which for the most part was very good, but all of that changed around 1989 as the place closed and remained closed for a few years until the current owners bought the place. 

Sadly what remains of where  the restaurant had been is now filled with the usual  tourist trinkets, but the really good stuff sits within an eyes reach being the Dutch Havens shoofly pies and root beer. And I’m really happy to report that’s its shoofly still drives me crazy much like it did when I was a kid, and tasting it warm slaps a big smile on a grown mans face-priceless!  

Strong Root Beer that requires a acquired taste.

No caption needed, just fill in the blanks……..
I will let this picture do all the talking……….

Would an honor system like this  for these farm eggs work  in say “New York City”
A quiet moment that I wont disturb!

The Mustang and me just taking a break and enjoying the view.
Two horses side by side, with one that eats grass while the other craves gas! 

The sun seems to take a brief break overlooking the Lancaster farmlands

Amish farm in the background with their homes seemingly expanding every month to make room for  growing Amish families.
The best image taken for part 2 as I had  patiently waited for this buggy to enter my line of sight on a slight hill.

The Mustang was hungry so I stopped for some feed, or should I say “greed” with gas almost being 4.00 a gallon at the time these images were taken!

And now the end of the road, with the mustang receiving a bath and me gaining some fulfillment, we both win………..

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

Oatmeal Raisin Whoopie Pies

Prep: 15 mins
Cooking:14 mins
Level: Easy
Cooling: 10 mins
Yields: 24 (2 dozen cookie sandwiches)
2 pkgs. (16.5 oz. each) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated
    Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bar Dough
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
PREPARE cookies according to package directions. Cool completely.
BEAT cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon in small mixer bowl until smooth.

PLACE about 1 tablespoon filling on flat side of 1 cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.
The Amish series continues next Friday with part 6

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Profits from the sale of this   24″ x 36″ art poster befits the Literacy council of Lancaster-Lebanon. This would look great in any room and would help remind someone of the goodness that is Lancaster county.  Richard     To order just click on  Literacy council of Lancaster-Lebanon. 


Signs of Lancaster County
By Tana Reiff
You know you’re in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, when one minute you’re in a bustling little city and the next you’re in the heart of Amish country. I live just outside Lancaster city, with Amish farms a stone’s throw away. The clatter of horse hooves leading buggies coming by our house mixes with the sound of lawn mowers and cars. I buy my eggs and vegetables on the nearby farms, and chat with my Old Order friends about the weather, the wrens, and so many other topics we have in common.
I’m not a native of Lancaster County, but have lived here nearly 40 years. Long ago, I began noticing that almost every Amish and Mennonite farm has a product or service to sell. You can tell by the signs posted by the road, inviting customers to buy everything from tomatoes to brown eggs to quilts to birdhouses. Need your shoes repaired? Knives sharpened? Does your wringer washer need some work? You’ll find what you need along the back roads and main pikes. Just follow the signs. Drive back the farm lane, where someone will welcome you, or park out front, help yourself to the fresh produce, and leave your money in the jar. Sometimes it’s hard to believe you’re in the twenty-first century.
About six years ago, I started really observing the signs and taking pictures of them. There are the crafted signs in front of a coach or blacksmith shop, the historical markers and street signs in English and German, and the hand-lettered signs for everything else. I found them enchanting, amusing, and graphically appealing. I also found the tranquility of driving around the countryside a real stress-reliever.
The more I roamed, the more wonderful signs I discovered. My collection of photos was growing. I compiled some of the most engaging ones into a 24” x 36” poster collage, called, appropriately enough, Signs of Lancaster County. It is currently on sale as a fundraiser for the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, at $22.95 (plus PA sales tax and shipping, if requested). I’ll refer you to a page on their website – – for purchase information. I also have notecards at
To be sure, I do not take pictures of Amish people. This is a respectful rule that is the first lesson for tourists. At one farm, I was crouched down taking pictures of a sign for whoopie pies when two little Amish children came running out to take care of a potential customer (me). As soon as they spotted the camera, they walked backwards in unison. I could tell they had been trained how to react to cameras. “Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m not taking your picture. Is it all right if I take a picture of your sign?” They nodded. That day I came home with not only a whoopie pie, but also a broom (which is on the poster) and a big bag of onions.
One of my favorite pictures is “Maytag Wringer Washer Sales & Service and Parts.” It was out along Hensel Road, near Kinzers, which is near Paradise. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an Amish girl riding by on a scooter. Only when I looked at the picture on my computer screen did I notice that she is in the shot. She’s barely visible, and not recognizable, so I don’t think I violated the Biblical rule about graven images.
I hope you enjoy the Signs of Lancaster County poster. There is a lot to look at and you’ll quickly see that these are “signs” in more ways than one.            Tana Reiff

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I’m seeing so many of the Amish doing this, and just like us they also sometimes need some extra utility space!
A classic Ford Mustang and i think a 1969 or 70 model

Much nicer than the boring interiors of most new cars today i think

My first car was a 1972 olds cutlass that i inherited from my dad, so i have a soft spot for anything Oldsmobile

 The Chevrolet Chevelle ss, a much feared car during that day if you were into racing. A much sort after car today and increasing in value every year

Intercourse Pennsylvania

Kells Shepherd’s Pie recipe

Source: Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub, Portland, Oregon 1 1/2 pounds ground free-range beef
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup baby carrots, diced
1 to 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup Guinness draught stout
1/4 cup cabernet wine
7 ounces (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup peas, preferably fresh, or frozen (thawed)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Ulster Champ Topping

Brown beef in a Dutch oven or other large heavy
saucepot over low to moderate heatablespoon Allow to simmer until cooked throughout, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain excess fat when cooked and
add onion, carrots, garlic, stout, wine, broth, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, sage and marjoram. Stir and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook 15 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Add peas.

While meat is simmering, bring large pot of water to boil for potatoes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux (paste of equal parts butter and flour used to thicken liquids). Slowly incorporate roux into simmering beef mixture until desired thickness is achieved. (If mixture was simmered too long or cooked too high, less roux is needed.) Continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes to allow roux and flavors to meld. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a 9 1/2-inch round casserole dish or deep
pie dish.

While meat is simmering, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare Ulster Champ
Ulster Champ Topping 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, about 4 medium
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely grated Irish white Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
1/3 cup scallions or chives, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste

Scrub and peel potatoes. Cut into large pieces.

In a large pot, simmer potatoes in water until fork tender. Drain well and return pot to low heat to remove excess moisture. Stir in butter and cheese and whip, gradually adding milk, parsley and scallions or chives. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon potato topping evenly over
meat mixture, making irregular peaks with the back of a spoon. Alternatively, use a pastry bag and star tip to pipe potatoes over meat mixture.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and crusty on edges and mixture is heated throughout. If desired, place casserole under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to crisp potato topping. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly to set, and serve immediately from casserole dish. Serve with HP sauce (Irish-English steak-style sauce), steak sauce or pan gravy, if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: Pie can be cooked and served in individual baking dishes. Adjust final baking time as needed.

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I think that i love the fall as much as any time of the year here in our Amish communities of Lebanon and Lancaster counties, with activities still going strong even right through Winter. Things do seem to slow down a bit in January but that does not mean we wait inside our homes until spring, there is still many things to do and see and i cherish these times and appreciate  them nevertheless.

 All of these images were taken in November in Lancaster county, with me spotting this air balloon getting ready to take-off in Bird-in-hand while i was on my way to a bakery that was across the street. I did get to the bakery and had a nice hot cup of coffee to help warm me up a little, and maybe a whoopie-pie to help give my hands something to do of course!         Richard

Being in an environment  like this always helps give me a sense of calmness and balance, and i never seem to be able to get enough of it. 


Do you see the flames!


This is called Holiday Breakfast Souffle but I use it several times a year for Sunday. I can make this the night before and pour in a metal pan. I leave it in the refrigerator over night and put it in the oven when I get up in the morning. While it’s cooking David and Michael are milking the cows and I am getting myself, Susan and Baby David dressed. When the men come in we eat this for breakfast. The men get dressed for meeting (church) while I finish up on the children. We all leave with a good breakfast in us. This is made by the Old Order Mennonite and the Amish. Holiday Breakfast Souffle: 8 eggs 6 slices bread, cubed (use crust) 1 lb. sausage or bacon crumbled 2 c. milk 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated 1 tsp salt 1 tsp dry mustard Mix milk, salt, mustard and eggs. Pour over other ingredient’s tossing lightly. Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Refrigerate 1 hour. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.     Enjoy. Jean
Best Ever Fudge: 1 lb. butter 1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese 1/2 lb cream cheese 1 1/4 cups cocoa 4 lbs powdered sugar 1 lb chopped nuts 1 tsp vanilla Melt butter, cheeses, cocoa, and vanilla on low heat. When melted take off burner and add sugar and nuts. You will find you have a hard time stirring-so I use my hands. Pour onto an un-greased cookie sheet and refrigerate. Cut into small pieces. Hope you like it!    Jean

Next Monday jeans final Christmas post will be published instead of Tuesday. With Martha’s Christmas post going up on Wednesday and my own post for Friday, these will be the last post’s for 2011 and i hope to see you folks there!

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