Archive for the ‘pa’ 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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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 have a lot of history with this particular motel and its restaurant , you see i first paid a visit when i was very young in 1967 , so this place has reserved that special place in my heart. This motel was the very first place that me and my family had stayed in on what was our first ever visit to Lancaster Pennsylvania coming from New York City, which also would be the first time for us being exposed to some people (Amish) who seemed so very different than we were.


   We stayed only for one night in the summer of 1967 because we had very little money, but its that one night that was the beginning of what would be a life time of memories and continued visits that still are taking place for me today. (See  restaurant review below)       Richard

Some facts for 1967: President of the united state’s Lyndon B Johnson. Adverage cost of a home $24,600. Median household income 7,143. Cost of a movie ticket $1.20. Cost of a big mac 45 cents. 1967 Chrysler town and country cost 4,086. A gallon of gas 33 cents and a gallon of milk one dollar and 3 cents. The number one song for the month of  March 1967 is from the   Doors “Light my fire”. Actor George Kennedy wins an academy award for best supporting actor in the movie “Cool Hand Luke”.

Introduction:  Since i was in the area for the “Witness” farm tour the movie that stared Harrison Ford in 1985 i needed someplace to have dinner before the start of that tour which was to begin at 5pm this past fall. First let me ask “does anyone remember when this motel and restaurant was calledDeitsch Shier before best Western bought it and made it part of its chain of motels.

 Those of you who knew that  answer  were surly  here in the old days when this area was not on the top of most every one’s vacations list like it is today, with a lot of those visitors coming from the northeast states since its drivable. I walked-in hungry after not really eating for most of the day, and was seated by a friendly waitress.

 My Review: Having been here many times than i could even count i was fully aware of how packed  this place could get with Amish and non-Amish customers, so because i was early i had my pick of any seat in the restaurant. After getting a cup of coffee and an ice tea i made my decision to order the  Lasagna with salad which was the special of the day with all you could eat for around $7.99 plus drinks. 

 These specials that this restaurant offers is great for those who have maybe been walking or biking, or who just have a big appetite like i did on this day and the price wont break the bank if you chose what’s on the menu wisely like i did. The lasagna was pretty good but if your looking for Italian  restaurant quality then you should order something else like what they really do best which is  their meatloaf or local Lancaster ham.

To be honest with you I’ve never really had a bad meal here, and breakfast time might be the best time to drop by because of all the Amish tradesman that stop by in the morning for a quick meal. If you love chili soup then you will truly be paradise here because its great with a good amount  of tomato’s and beef along with beans, and best of all its not sweet tasting (i hate that).

If your hungry then id give the specials a look, and if your looking to maybe strike-up a conversation with some of our local Amish then id sit at the counter to have your meal and enjoy some good conversation. Then when that meal is all over it will be now part of your own memories for your own tails to tell someone, just like I’m now doing with almost 45 years of them locked in that special  place that i sometimes like to remember.  Richard

Amish one room school house in north Lancaster

A his/her outhouse

The north part of Lancaster county which has a fairly good sized old order Mennonite settlement, and this buggy is something that i like to call a Mennonite work buggy. With its stainless steel trim in the back and tough look makes it for them a sort of old order Mennonite version of a pick-up truck!


A teaser really for what’s coming up next Friday when i post all of the image’s from the Witness movie farm tour that i had gone to the same day as my visit to the village restaurant, And since i had a good amount of images from that movie location’s tour i decided to post a few of the  very first images of the start of my tour. We had some flooding in the Lancaster and Lebanon area among other counties, so some of the other covered bridges that we were to take a look at were flooded out and one was almost destroyed and was washed away from its original location. That bridge will  now be restored so thankfully it was saved.


Don’t you just love covered bridges
Hey i go for the detail’s, i have to see whats under a bridge!
I took this picture while the tour van was still on route to the farm home where the movie was filmed, so its really a picture of a picture that was in a book being passed around to all of the folks on the tour

The Amish Experience tour van and this is where this post stops, you will have to drop by next Friday for the complete post with lots of images from this day. Now how’s that for promoting folks,lol.    Richard

 Overnight Lasagna recipe

2 pounds ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large can or jar spaghetti sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

Lasagna noodles, uncooked

16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup water

Brown hamburger and onion, drain. Add spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, and tomato sauce.

Place a layer of lasagna noodles on bottom of greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Place half of hamburger mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with Mozzarella. Repeat layers. Pour water around edges. Refrigerate covered overnight or freeze.
Bake 1 hour covered at 350 degrees F, then 15 minutes uncovered or until golden. Let stand 15 minutes.

Recipe from

Serve with garlic toast or Parmesan bread.

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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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I was in Lititz this past Halloween and wanted to capture the leaves that were starting to change color, and just walk around the town. Its a place i remember going to when i was a child mostly to visit the chocolate and pretzel factories that are both in town, but this small town is so much more to me now and is packed with charm and history which provide very different reasons to drive here now. On these pictures i took my time and wanted to do something somewhat artistic and create a mood, so i hope you folks enjoy them. Richard
Yes this clock really is made by Rolex
This log building was built in 1796
This lovely stone building was built in 1762
Front door of 1762 building
2 historic building together and having survived after all these years
A window from another building made in the 1700s
Nature claiming its place on this building
Reminders of fall

Lititz park image’s
Lititz: A Town Worth Exploring for over 250 Years. From the Amish country News.

Being a “local boy,” I’ve always enjoyed visiting the town of Lititz. Its small town atmosphere and unique shops, food, and history, all within walking-distance, make it a wonderful Lancaster County asset. When we think of Lititz, we think of pretzels, gold, and chocolate, as you will soon discover below. There really is no place quite like Lititz, and everyone should plan to spend some time there while in Amish Country.

10,000-Year-Old Water?

Lititz Springs Park is a popular spot for locals, and the site for many community activities. Indeed, the town’s 4th of July Celebration, begun in 1818, is one of the oldest continuing community-wide observances in the United States. Here in the park, home to many other local events, you will also find the Lititz Welcome Center, in the lovely replica of the 1884 Lititz train depot.

Historians say the springs are what brought Indians to the area. Spearheads have been found nearby, dating back to perhaps 6,000 B.C. Records indicate that the Nanticokes Indian tribe once lived at the “big springhead.” The first European settler in the area is said to be Christian Bomberger, in 1722.

A Good Start

When you come to Lititz, you’ll want to travel Main Street, too. A good place to begin is The Lititz Museum and Historical Foundation, normally open from 10 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Saturday. The museum is one of the most tastefully and professionally arranged town museums you are likely to see anywhere. The exhibit rooms will give you background on the town’s history, from its founding in 1756. Visitors are usually amazed at the two parquet clocks, made by resident Rudolf S. Carpenter in the early 1900’s. The larger of the two consists of over 50,000 pieces of wood!

Admission to the museum includes a tour of the nearby Johannes Mueller House, for a look at life in old Lititz. The house is practically unchanged from its completion in 1792. For visitors interested in the town’s historic structures, the Foundation also has an excellent walking tour brochure.

Moravian Beginnings

The Lititz story is tied to that of the Moravian faith in Bohemia. It was in the present-day Czech Republic that John Hus (1369-1415) and followers founded the Moravian Church in 1457. Historians note that since this was 60 years before Luther’s Reformation, the Moravians may lay claim to being the oldest organized Protestant Church. But through years of persecution and the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), its 200,000 members nearly disappeared.

In the 18th century, a renewal of the Moravian Church came through the patronage of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf of Saxony. He invited all those persecuted for their faith to come to his lands in 1722.

As was the case with other persecuted religious groups in Europe, many Moravians sought freedom by taking the perilous journey to the New World, arriving first in 1735, and establishing a settlement in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1741.

On a Mission

Missionary work was integral to the faith, and preachers were sent forth from the Moravian community in Bethlehem. Zinzendorf himself arrived in America in 1742. A local resident, John George Klein (Kline), was so moved by hearing Zinzendorf’s preaching that he made arrangements to transfer his lands over to the Moravian community in 1755.

In addition to mission work, music and education were important to the Moravians. In fact, the Lititz schoolhouse erected in 1746 marked the beginnings of what was to be Linden Hall, the oldest continuously operating residence school for girls in the United States.

Name Dropping

It was on June 26, 1756 that Count Zinzendorf sent a letter giving the settlement the name of Litiz, the German spelling, in commemoration of the castle of Lidice nad Citadelou, located in northeastern Bohemia near the Silesian/Moravia border, where the early Moravian brethren found refuge in 1456. However, in 1880 the Postmaster General ordered the spelling changed to Lititz, so that the English pronunciation was more correct.

A Church Town

The town was laid out in 1757 and, for about a hundred years, Moravian church members were the only people permitted to live in the town. They administered and supervised the settlement. A Brothers’ House and Sisters’ House were erected for the educational and vocational training of the unmarried men and women, although they did not live communally. Marriages were by lot until 1819, when local respected schoolmaster John Beck chose his wife.

There were strict rules throughout the settlement, including no dancing matches, beer-tapings, or common sports and pastimes. Permission was needed to have an overnight guest, change occupations, or build a house. It was not until 1855 that non-Moravians were allowed to own their own houses.

Although the Moravians, like the Mennonites and Amish, were non-resistant and tried to stay neutral, the church did play a role in the American Revolutionary War. George Washington ordered the Brothers’ House used as a military hospital between 1777-78. Some 1,000 soldiers were nursed there, and over 100 of those who died were buried nearby.

Moravian Christmas Traditions

Lititz is famous for its Christmas observances, particularly the beautiful Moravian stars, the music, the “putz,” and the Christmas “Lovefeast,” which dates back to 1727 and Count Zinzendorf. Today, the Christmas Vigil services are held for several nights because of the demand of members and visitors who fill the church.

The beautiful 26-point Advent Star originated in the Moravian school handcraft sessions in Niesky, Germany, in the mid-1800’s. The simple 26-point version is quite common, seen hanging and lighted at night on porches in Lititz. Many people are surprised to learn that the first Moravian Star was red and white, not the lovely soft white color usually seen today. Every Christmas the Moravian Church in Lititz displays a spectacular 110-point star. The design was obtained from Germany, reproduced in Lititz, and first hung in the church in 1980.

The “putz” is the Pennsylvania Dutch interpretation of the crèche or Nativity scene. It probably originated to help children better appreciate the Christmas story. The word “putz” is from the German “putzen” for “to decorate, especially to adorn a church.” Originally, the putz consisted of wooden, clay, or tin figures arranged to depict the Nativity. There were also other scenes displayed, such as the Holy Family, the shepherds in the hills, the three kings, etc. It is said that such a putz, with carved sheep and shepherd, was placed on display at the Moravian Female Seminary in 1761, perhaps making Lititz the beginning of this tradition in America.

The complex of buildings comprising the Moravian congregation is well worth seeing, particularly the church built in 1787. A museum and gift shop are also on the grounds.

A New Twist

In the old village of Lititz, the Moravians operated a general store, tavern (Zum Anker, now General Sutter Inn), grist and saw mills, plus the first apothecary shop in Lancaster County. But of the various businesses in Lititz, from the making of pipe organs to blacksmithing, the most famous is surely “bretzels,” German for pretzels.

It is said that pretzels (“pretiola” in Latin means “little reward”) were created as treats for children in Europe in 610 from leftover bread dough. The shape was to signify hands crossed in prayer, the three holes for the Holy Trinity. Hundreds of years later, bakers coming from Europe to the New World brought recipes for this treat along with them. Following is the story of what happened next, courtesy of the Sturgis Pretzel House…

By the early 1800’s, every bread baker in Lititz knew how to make soft pretzels. It was a simple way to get rid of left over bread dough at the end of the day, and a popular treat among housewives and school children. A young man named Henry Rouch took over his father’s bread bakery at 69 East Main Street in 1820. In 1850, a 15-year-old boy named Julius Sturgis began his bread baking apprenticeship under Henry. It was here that Julius began to experiment with the soft pretzels. Julius’ soft pretzels became a popular item for Rouch’s bakery, so they continued to use one of their two ovens to bake them.

Julius noticed that from time to time, some of the pretzels were left in the oven overnight and accidentally baked a second time when the ovens were fired up for the day. This “accident” made the pretzels hard and crispy. The bakers all liked them, so Julius began to experiment with ways to make a hard pretzel. He experimented with the dough, the solution they are dipped into before baking and the methods with which they are baked.

By 1860, Julius felt like he has perfected his recipe. He approached Henry to inquire about selling these pretzels in the bakery or to the larger general stores as a staple item. At the time, there was no such thing as a hard pretzel in the marketplace. Henry said no, that he saw no future in the hard pretzel. Julius left his apprenticeship to open his own bakery. He chose an old stone house that was built in 1784 located just a few blocks from Rouch’s bakery. He added on to the existing house and built a 4 brick oven bakery in the back. By 1861, Julius had opened up America’s first commercial pretzel bakery. Julius is credited with the starting the hard pretzel as a popular snack food. The house and bakery are still standing at 219 E Main Street today and serve as a popular tourist destination for the area.

When Lititz joined the rest of the world in welcoming the new millennium, they decided to lower (what else?) a giant pretzel to ring in the New Year in 2000!

The Gold Rush

General John Augustus Sutter was born in Switzerland and in 1834, fleeing creditors in Europe, arrived in New York. In time, he headed west and sailed up the Sacramento River to begin a settlement. By 1848, work was being done on a mill when some gold flakes were spotted in the water. Soon Gold Rush fever struck and Sutter’s land was overrun by thousands of gold-diggers in 1849.

Besides the months living in Washington, D.C. while seeking reimbursement for their lost land, the Sutters spent summers elsewhere, including the Springs Hotel in Lititz, whose spring water might have lessened John’s rheumatism. They eventually decided to settle in town, place their grandchildren in school there, and build a house.

Built in 1871, the Sutter home at 19 East Main is across the street from what is today the General Sutter Inn. Their home was one of the finest in town, with a good selection of California wines, and the first to feature indoor plumbing for both hot and cold water.

It was in a Washington hotel room where Sutter died in 1880, still involved in unsuccessful attempts at redress from the government for his seized lands. Sutter, a Lutheran, was buried in the Moravian cemetery, normally reserved for Moravian church members. Sutter’s grave is just behind the Moravian church.

A colorful local legend says that Congress later decided to honor General Sutter’s grave with a seven-foot high solid marble fence. Resident Anna Eliza Hull refused to allow such a site to mar the cemetery, and a trench six feet deep was dug, allowing only one foot of the marble slabs to show above the ground today. In recent times, the people of Sacramento, California, sent a plaque to honor the founder of their city. It is also at the gravesite.

Wilbur Buds in Town

Visitors to Lititz usually notice the smell of chocolate, sometimes to their great surprise. During the industrial development of Lititz around the turn of the century, the merger of two companies eventually led to a reorganization that became the Ideal Cocoa and Chocolate Company. Today, Wilbur Chocolate Company, begun in 1884, has been manufacturing premium quality chocolate, compound, and cocoa products for over 100 years. About 150 million pounds of chocolate products and food ingredients are produced each year at factories in Lititz, Mount Joy, and Burlington, Ontario, which are used by many of America’s most well known food processors.

The scent of chocolate in the air beckons people to take the short walk up Broad Street to the Candy Americana Museum beside the park. The museum displays Wilbur products and packaging over the years, as well as an old chocolate “kitchen,” and an amazing collection of Chocolate Pots used for serving hot chocolate in various countries around the world. The outlet store will tempt every chocolate lover with all kinds of specialty items. Be sure to try the delicious Wilbur buds, which were created by Henry Oscar Wilbur in 1894, several years before the famous Hershey Kiss!

The history of Lititz re-published with permission from the Amish country News in Lancaster,Pa.
Richard from Amish Stories

On Jeans post next Tuesday she discusses this up coming Christmas and her plans for the holiday, and also answers some reader’s questions about old order Mennonite life. And next Friday Jeans very good friend and Amish Stories favorite Martha returns to the blog to share her story on farm life during apple season.

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Small Amish girls playing in the backyard.
A tight fit for this Amish buggy
Amish farm in the background
A bird house waiting for its quest’s

Amish buggy that had passed me by 20 seconds before

Where I live in New York State is grape country. Right now it is Grape Season in the Finger Lakes of New York State. So I thought you might like some grape recipes. In our area most of the grapes are Concord but other purple grapes can be used. Jean

Grape Pie

4 Cups Concord Grapes

3/4 cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Pastry for one 2-crust 9-inch pie

2 Tablespoons butter

Two hours before preparation, slip skins from grapes and reserve the skin. In medium saucepan over high heat, heat grape pulp to boiling, occasionally stirring; reuce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, constantly stirring. Press pulp through sieve into medium bowl to remove seeds. Add grape skins, sugar, tapioca, and lemon juice; mix well. Let minxture stand while preparing pastry. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line the bottom of the pie plate with one of the pastry crusts. Fill with grape mixture and dot with butter. Prepare top crust and make a decorative edge. Bake 25 minutes or until golden.

Grape Cheesecake

                 1 9-inch graham cracker crust

1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese

2 cups milk

1 pkg. lemon instant pudding

1 cup Basic Concord Grape Filling

Soften cream chesse, blend with 1/2 cup milk. Add 1 1/2 cups milk and the pudding mix. Slowly beat just until well mixed, about 1 minute. Do not over beat. Pour into graham cracker crust. Chill at least one hour. Just before serving, remove from pan and spread 1 cup Grape filling on the top.

Grape Filling

6 cups Concord grapes

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Slip skin from grapes, set skins aside. Bring pulp to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Press through sieve to remove seed. Add skins to pulp, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Combine sugar and cornstarch, mixing until well blended. Add this and the lemon juice to the pulp mixture, bring to a boil again, and cook for 5 minutes until thick. Cool. May be stored in tightly covered container in refrigerator for several days or grozen.

Grape Bread

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups concord grape basic filling

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoom baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup walnuts and/or coconut (optional)

3 cups slipped Concord skins

Blend together eggs, oil, sugar, Basic Concord Grape Filling and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients, add to grape mixture. Stir only until well moistened. Fold in nuts, coconut and grape skins. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9″ x 5″ X 2″ bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes or until loaf tests done.

The Amish cook on Thursday. And a post from myself on Friday  of the Intercourse Heritage Festival part 3 with a recipe from Jean.


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Mennonite church in Lebanon county
 Lebanon county
Indian motorcycle
Classic Ford tractor
  Amish food stand

What Does “Pennsylvania Dutch” Really Mean?

A: “Pennsylvania Dutch” is a phrase commonly seen and heard throughout the Amish Country. It refers to a people, a language and a culture, but it has nothing to do with Holland, as many people think.

The problem word here is “Dutch.” It should actually be “Deutsche” or “Deitsch,” referring to German. For a better explanation, let’s journey to Philadelphia. It was in Philadelphia that various religious groups first arrived from Europe in the early 1700s. Most were escaping persecution and were responding to William Penn’s promise of religious freedom in the New World. They included Lutherans, Amish, Mennonites, Reformed Quakers, French Huguenots and others. These immigrants, many of whom had once lived in countries bordering the Rhine River, now found themselves settling in southeastern Pennsylvania between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers.

Germans were some of the first to arrive in “Penn’s Woods.” Many German visitors tell us even today that the Lancaster County landscape reminds them of parts of Germany. Perhaps that is why Lancaster was one of the first places they settled. Some people say the word “Deitsch” (for German) was difficult for the non-German populace to pronounce, and so in time it became “Dutch.” Whatever the case, Pennsylvania Dutch refers to people of German background, descendants of German, Swiss and Alsatian immigrants and also to the German dialect spoken here, and their art, foods and culture.

The language is still spoken by the Amish, as well as many non-Amish residents, particularly in the Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks County areas. The dialect is close to Palatine German folk speech. (A publication in the dialect is currently published in Germany.) Interestingly, the language was primarily spoken and not written. (The Amish, for example, write to each other in English.) But in recent years, more people have begun to both read and write the language in an effort to preserve it. Now there are even classes offered locally in the Pennsylvania German language, and a dictionary has even been published.

This German influence is also seen in many local foods. Few people escape Amish Country without sampling such Pennsylvania Dutch specialties as shoo- fly- pie, chow chow and chicken pot pie. This is hearty eating, and we love our desserts, sometimes having as many as four or five at a time!

Finally, most people have seen the folk art of the Pennsylvania Dutch, whether it be in hex signs, quilts, furniture or fraktur. Pennsylvania German art is found in many of the world’s museums. Its distinctive birds, tulips, hearts and other images reflect the region’s religious faith, love of color, and closeness to the land. Published with permission from the Amish country news. Richard from Amish Stories.




Don’t miss this Fridays Bonanza post as i look back and Honor this classic TV show.


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Some pictures of Lancaster county on what was a very quite day. I’m almost done with all of my winter images of Lancaster, so I’m looking forward to posting images of spring after the next few posts. Richard from Amish stories.

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This Amish coach shop is located right off of route 340 in Bird in Hand in Lancaster county. It is one of the many shops that make or repair Amish/Mennonite buggies. While I was there, I had asked if I could take pictures of some of the finished buggies in their shop. At first I was given the ok, until I was politely told no. I thanked them anyway, and asked if I could at least take pictures of the outside, and was told “no problem “. To be fair to that Amish shop, there was a lot of Amish men working inside the shop at the time so I think that was one of the big reasons. My attitude is to always be courteous when asking to take pictures, so I don’t try to push. And one benefit is maybe down the road, that same shop under different circumstances will let me get those pictures.Some of the buggies that are outside were repaired or modified in some way, and are waiting for the owner to pick them up. Some of the Amish could get fiberglass wheels, or maybe have their brake system beefed -up a little. There’s not a lot really that you can do to these buggies because of the simple nature of the buggy itself, but the changes are enough to keep Amish businesses like this one thriving and growing. I plan on visiting another coach shop to get prices on the different buggies that are made, and also info on what kind of options that you could order for your buggy. Richard from Amish Stories.

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