Last weekend we visited an Amish community not far from Cave in Rock, IL. It's near Marion and Fredonia, KY. I did a blog post on Cave in Rock a couple of years ago. You can read about it here
Some friends of ours were telling us about the amazing sweet corn they always buy this time of year from the Amish, so we piled in our trucks and took off. It was about a one hour drive from our lake house.
Visiting an Amish community is like taking a step back in time. They have no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no cars. They travel using horses or horse and buggy rigs....
The women all wear long dresses and bonnets - the men wear long pants, white shirts and hats. The men all had beards. The heat Saturday was stifling with a 105 -110 heat index. The only concessions the Amish make to the horrible heat is to go barefoot and open every window in their homes or stores. I almost felt guilty every time we climbed back into our vehicles and turned on the air conditioning. How do they do it??
Even with the heat it was great fun. You drive up and down the back roads - and some of them are all gravel back-country roads, the kind that kick up clouds of dust that coat your car like a second skin. If an Amish house is selling stuff, they have a sign out front advertising what they have for sale.
There are all manner of goods to be purchased along the way...
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- woven rugs
- baked goods
- carpenters making shelves and bookcases
- flowers and plants
- small livestock
- jams, jellies, pickles, and eggs
- saddle and other leather goods
- gorgeous hand crafted furniture
I was amazed - You just drive up to the house and they come out and greet you. Some had small buildings alongside their houses to display their wares. Others just had tables set up with goodies spread out for you to choose from. Fresh laundry was hanging on clotheslines and chickens squawked and clucked in the yards.
We went to an Amish bakery and bought fried pies. The jelly donuts were as big as my hand. They were crammed full of strawberry, lemon or blueberry preserves.
Deb got pickles and cakes and cookies. We all sat outside of the bakery at a picnic table eating sweets and watched as an Amish man pulled up with a horse and buggy and made a delivery of some sort. I was very careful to respect their privacy and not take any photos of the Amish people themselves....
Leaving the bakery we drove down one of the back roads that lead to a stream and we had to ford over it in our vehicles....
Some kids had built a raft out of pop bottles and pallets and it was laying, discarded, nearby. Up above was a wire bridge that was strung across the river. It looked precarious at best and I'm sure it was only used when absolutely necessary.
At another place our friends bought 25 DOZEN ears of corn. Deb takes them home and shucks them, cuts the corn off the cob, cooks and bags it all for future meals. She explained how she does it so we bought 3 dozen ears and we're going to try it. I also bought one of the largest and sweetest smelling cantaloupe I've had in awhile.
We stopped at another place where Terry bought feed for his chickens and then we found a house that sold guinea chicks. Terry bought 3 guinea chicks to put in with their chickens because they are like watch dogs and squawk when a snake or predator comes around. My daughter got to go into the pen and pick them out. One got loose and they had to chase it all over the garden and catch it which was pretty funny...
Those little things are quick! We brought them home in our car in a card board box. They chirped all afternoon. The chicks, not Chablis. LOL..
One of my favorite stops was the house that had 2 baby Holstein calves. One of them latched onto my daughter and I think it would have followed her home. It kept licking her hands. She loved it...
Afterwards we stopped at a carpenters shop where they make beautiful cabinets and shelving units. He had 2 huge workrooms with all kinds of equipment, lathes and hundreds of tools hanging all over the place. I think my dad would have loved to see that.
We were there for several hours and didn't even get to stop at every location. I can definitely see us going back again sometime soon. The woman were very reserved and polite, but the men were extremely friendly and talkative. None of the children we saw talked to us at all. The Amish take such pride in their work and it shows. The countryside was so pretty and we thoroughly enjoyed driving around....
On the way home we stopped at a restaurant called "Copper Top." I had a huge baked potato that was topped with BBQ brisket, cheese and sour cream....
It was delicious! It was so big that Louie and I shared it and he had a side order of chicken wings.
Next up is a post on what we did with our 3 dozen ears of corn!