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 Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burgh and a slice of Jersey

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wanderingjew

  • Total Posts: 7386
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Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burgh and a slice of Jersey Sun, 08/14/11 9:19 PM (permalink)
98I know the heading is a mouthful. but I accomplished quite a bit in six days of Roadfooding.
 
In fact this WAS a straight Roadfood trip- no trains or planes- just my car-  not a baseball trip, not really a sightseeing trip, in fact I kept leaving my camera in the car when it was time to sight see, although I did manage to get a few good photos in.
 
Thursday August 4
 
This was a pick your poison day. Did I want rush hour traffic or construction traffic. I decided to go with Rush Hour Traffic . Leaving from Rhode Island and heading south is always brutal. At least for me it is. I never seem to get a break driving south on the I 95 corridor. I left work a little early and hoped it would take me less than 6 hours to get to Princeston NJ which is where I would be staying overnight.
 
Not quite in Roadfood mode yet (that begins on Friday) I stopped at the Post Road Diner in Norwalk CT for a very healthy Spinach and Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard dressing and a cup of chicken soup. 
 
Here's an interesting brief write up in the Norwalk Patch.
 
http://norwalk.patch.com/listings/post-road-diner
 
It took me  a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes to get to Princeton (including my stop for dinner) had a Sam Adams at the hotel (The Hyatt Regency & only 50 bucks on priceline) and called it a night.
 
Friday August 5
 
Looking forward to a Trenton Style Pork Roll, I knew where I was going to go.....however
 
It's never a good omen  to approach this sign- especially on the first Roadfood stop on my trip.
 

 
Travelin' Manned!
This doesn't happen to ME!
 
I always plan in advance! 
In fact I called The Little King in Hamilton Square  the previous weekend to verify how early they open, and they told me they would be open- no mention of any vacations 
 
Well, I did what any Roadfooder would do, I'm certainly not going to settle for a meal at Denny's or Ihop
I took out my GPS, looked up "Deli's" the closest ones to me and started making calls....
1st call - are you open? yes 
              do you make sandwiches? yes
              do you have Pork Roll ?- we just ran out!
 
2nd call-  are you open? yes 
              do you make sandwiches? yes
              do you have Pork Roll ?- YES!
 
Great- and it's only 2 miles away.
 
I drove directly to
 

 
The New Briarwood Deli- 
also located in Hamilton Square
 
I asked if they can do a Pork Roll and Cheese on a half hoagie roll- no - not at breakfast, only on a hard roll, how about onions and peppers? Yes- that they can do.
 

 
Unfortunately there was no seating at this deli- take out only- however there were a couple of outdoor tables and chairs by the dry cleaners a couple of doors down in the same plaza.
 
This is my second experience with pork roll- my first was at a Trenton Thunder game back in 2003. Pork Roll, to me is like a combination of thick sliced bologna and canadian bacon. I enjoyed my sandwich, although it would have been even better on a hoagie roll.
 
After breakfast, I drove back to the heart of Princeton to enjoy some good strong coffee at Small World Coffee- in fact this was my favorite coffee house on the trip. 
 
Checking out of my hotel- I crawled through Eastern PA in  heavy construction traffic. I was wondering if I would ever make it to the other side of the state.
 
I finally made it to Amish Country in time for lunch and a stop at 
 

 
Risser's Family Restaurant.
 


 
 
A full lot with in state license plates- always a good sign
 
I spoke with proprietor Ernie Risser a week or so before after verifying that they have an every third friday lunch special that I've been dying to try for years. And I was in luck- they were going have it this friday.
 
Walking into the restaurant you have the option of sitting in the diner side of the restaurant or in the actual dining room.
 

 
I chose the dining room because I really enjoyed this mural.
 
Starting out with an UNSWEETENED Iced Tea, I had the option of going with the soup and salad bar instead of ordering two sides with my meal- After I asked the waitress to recite the soups of the day- I opted to go with the two sides since there was no Chicken Corn Soup Today ( a Penn Dutch specialty)
 
I started out with a salad just loaded with warm bacon dressing.
 

 
yes, the dressing actually came   on the salad "as is" and wow it was good- I've had this a couple of times in the past and I've never seen this much dumped on a salad before- but in this case- the more the merrier.
 
Some fresh corn fritters also made its way to my table.
 

 
However I came here for the main course- something I've been waiting to try for the last 20 year years.
 

 
Schnitz und Knepp
 
A Penn Dutch dish thats getting harder and harder to find- most restaurants, like Rissers will just have this as a revolving special.
 
Made with thick cuts of ham sided with  soft warm billowy dumplings and with what seemed to me a combination of apple pie filling/stewed apples bathed in hot apple cider this is ideal comfort food and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
 
I ensured that I ordered a whole shoe fly pie "to go" before I left- and no that's not for me (who could it possibly be for?)

You'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out
 
Much more to com.e
<message edited by wanderingjew on Mon, 08/22/11 8:31 PM>
 
#1
    leethebard

    • Total Posts: 6081
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    • Location: brick, NJ
    Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Sun, 08/14/11 11:14 PM (permalink)
    Say, we've been to Amish country in Lancaster hundreds of times, and eaten about everyplace there is..but must have missed Risser's. Where is this place located..it's one we should try!!!
     
    #2
      californyguy

      • Total Posts: 513
      • Joined: 10/30/2002
      • Location: sacramenty , CA
      Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Sun, 08/14/11 11:27 PM (permalink)
      great report so far- three of my favorite regions- cannot wait for the rest- thanks!!
       
      #3
        billyboy

        • Total Posts: 2363
        • Joined: 1/23/2005
        • Location: New York City, NY
        Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Sun, 08/14/11 11:46 PM (permalink)
        Great stuff, WJ!  Looking forward to more!  I think I may have an idea who was the recipient of that Shoo-Fly Pie!
         
        #4
          brookquarry

          • Total Posts: 277
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          • Location: bangor, PA
          Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 6:53 AM (permalink)
          Lee, Rissers is in Womelsdorf, Berks County on Route 422.
          I have not been there in some years, glad to see it is still good.
          It is becoming harder to find old fashioned non-touristy "neighborhood" Pa Dutch restaurants, since the younger generationseems to be moving toward"healthier eating".
           
          #5
            leethebard

            • Total Posts: 6081
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            • Location: brick, NJ
            Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 8:09 AM (permalink)
            Thanks ....that accounts for why we didn't know of it...we tend to stay in a 20 mile radius around Intercourse and Strausburg. Wonder if any of the places in that area serve Sshnitz and Knepp? Have never seen it!!
             
            #6
              brookquarry

              • Total Posts: 277
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              • Location: bangor, PA
              Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 8:35 AM (permalink)
              If they do, its probably an occasional special.
              You might call Oregon Dairy Family Restaurant or Country Table  in Mount Joy and see if they will be featuring it. (I doubt any of the tourist places will have it)
               
              #7
                leethebard

                • Total Posts: 6081
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                • Location: brick, NJ
                Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 8:42 AM (permalink)
                Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.
                 
                #8
                  brookquarry

                  • Total Posts: 277
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                  • Location: bangor, PA
                  Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 8:53 AM (permalink)
                  Berks County is traditionally the 'FANCY' dutch, rather than the "Plain" dutch. There are a large number of Mennonites, including Old Order (horse and Buggy) Mennonites especially around the Fleetwood -Oley area.
                  The culinary tradition is the same however.
                   
                  #9
                    josefinajoisey

                    • Total Posts: 69
                    • Joined: 5/10/2005
                    • Location: Rutherford NJ
                    Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 9:39 AM (permalink)
                    I asked if they can do a Pork Roll and Cheese on a half hoagie roll- no - not at breakfast, only on a hard roll, how about onions and peppers? Yes- that they can do.
                    Heresy!  A Jersey breakfast on a hoagie roll?  Onions and peppers?  I've lived in NJ my entire life, and have never contemplated either combo!  (I think I may just have to broaden my Taylor Ham horizons!)
                     
                    #10
                      ScreamingChicken

                      • Total Posts: 4732
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                      • Location: Stoughton, WI
                      Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 9:55 AM (permalink)
                      WJ, is salty country ham used for Schnitz und Knepp?  It seems like it would be a good choice if the apples are on the sweet side.
                       
                      No one in western PA eats pie.  Clearly you were misled.
                       
                      Brad
                       
                      #11
                        leethebard

                        • Total Posts: 6081
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                        • Location: brick, NJ
                        Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 10:36 AM (permalink)
                        brookquarry


                        Berks County is traditionally the 'FANCY' dutch, rather than the "Plain" dutch. There are a large number of Mennonites, including Old Order (horse and Buggy) Mennonites especially around the Fleetwood -Oley area.
                        The culinary tradition is the same however.


                        Thanks brookquarry...I just learned something....Fancy Amish aren't Mennonites, right? What makes them "fancy"?
                         
                        #12
                          leethebard

                          • Total Posts: 6081
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                          Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 10:40 AM (permalink)
                          josefinajoisey


                          I asked if they can do a Pork Roll and Cheese on a half hoagie roll- no - not at breakfast, only on a hard roll, how about onions and peppers? Yes- that they can do.
                          Heresy!  A Jersey breakfast on a hoagie roll?  Onions and peppers?  I've lived in NJ my entire life, and have never contemplated either combo!  (I think I may just have to broaden my Taylor Ham horizons!)


                          Wow...my reaction too....never heard nor have seen porkroll served like an Italian sausage sandwich....very strange...but so what.....and in my 65 years, never thought that this great Jersey staple ever was like Bologna or a mix with Canadian bacon at all..(ate some yesterday,and tried to see the comparison...nope!) 
                          <message edited by leethebard on Mon, 08/15/11 10:43 AM>
                           
                          #13
                            brookquarry

                            • Total Posts: 277
                            • Joined: 2/27/2003
                            • Location: bangor, PA
                            Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 10:58 AM (permalink)
                            Lee, there are no "fancy' Amish.
                            "Fancy Pa Dutch" are the majority of the population in South Central Pa-including Lancaster County. Their ancestors immigrated from Germany in the 1700's at the same time as the Amish and Mennonites.
                            Their religious background is Lutheran or German Reformed (now part of the United Church of Christ)
                            They are the people that gave us hex signs, redware pottery, fraktur and the other decorative Pa Dutch folk  art.
                            Although many still spoke Pa dutch as recently as a generation ago (my grandmother-the wife of a Lutheran minister-was fluent in it )they are now largely acculturated.
                            Their foods, however, were pretty much the same as that of the Amish-Mennonites.
                            Because of the acculturation, the Pa Dutch restaurants serving the local communitys are gradually closing-being replaced by more conventional diner and family restaurants serving almost the same menu as metropolitan Philly or Jersey- maybe with a couple Pa Dutch specials such as Pork and Sauerkraut thrown in.
                             
                             
                            #14
                              ChrisOC

                              • Total Posts: 901
                              • Joined: 7/9/2008
                              • Location: Ocean City, NJ
                              Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 11:07 AM (permalink)
                              Taylor Ham, cheese, a soft kaiser roll, PERIOD.  Oh..... a PA Dutch birchbeer on the side.
                               
                              #15
                                Big Frank

                                • Total Posts: 134
                                • Joined: 2/20/2007
                                • Location: Conyers, GA
                                Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 1:13 PM (permalink)
                                leethebard


                                Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.


                                There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA
                                 
                                #16
                                  NYPIzzaNut

                                  • Total Posts: 3127
                                  • Joined: 3/8/2008
                                  • Location: Sardinia, OH
                                  Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 2:34 PM (permalink)
                                  Big Frank


                                  leethebard


                                  Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.


                                  There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA
                                  We have quite a few Amish in our neighboring Adams County and a lot of Mennonites here in our Brown County (many of our Mennonites were formerly Amish.)

                                   
                                  #17
                                    EliseT

                                    • Total Posts: 2849
                                    • Joined: 7/11/2001
                                    • Location: L.A, CA
                                    Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 2:40 PM (permalink)
                                    That is some serious dressing!
                                     
                                    #18
                                      CheeseWit

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                                      • Joined: 4/10/2003
                                      • Location: West Chester, PA
                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                      Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 3:00 PM (permalink)
                                      As to the request for a hoagie roll for the Taylor Pork Roll, many food trucks and luncheonettes in Philly give you a choice of  kaiser roll, bagel, or hoagie roll - Probably because of the many hoagies and cheesesteaks made and the ample supply already on hand at those locations. 
                                       
                                       
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ken8038

                                        • Total Posts: 1560
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                                        • Location: scotch plains, NJ
                                        Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 3:09 PM (permalink)
                                        Count me in as a NJer for 26 years now and I've never heard of pork roll as a combo with onions & peppers. Cheese and eggs over easy on a hard roll is how I prefer it, although some places around here (Union County) add home fries to the mix and I'm OK with that.
                                         
                                        Too bad you missed out on the Little King. It's one of those places that's very good but seems to fly under the radar. I didn't know of it (and I'm only about 25 miles away) until I saw it listed on Roadfood. You found it OK? First time I went my GPS messed up the location and I wound up about 10 miles out of my way (Toward Trenton) and it took me two or three stops before anyone even that close had ever heard of the place.
                                         
                                        Great report so far!. Thanks.
                                         
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Foodbme

                                          • Total Posts: 9567
                                          • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                          • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                          Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 3:59 PM (permalink)
                                          Big Frank

                                          leethebard

                                          Are there many Amish in Berks county? Thought most of the Pa Amish were around Lancaster County.

                                          There are also quite a few Amish and Mennonites in Mifflen County PA

                                          There are also quite a few in Centre County AKA "Happy Valley". They made JoePA an Honorary Amishman!
                                           
                                          #21
                                            brookquarry

                                            • Total Posts: 277
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                                            • Location: bangor, PA
                                            Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 4:06 PM (permalink)
                                            Frankly, there are probably Amish in most counties in Pa.The population has doubled in the last 20 years, and new settlements are being formed where farmland is cheaper than Lancaster County.
                                            We visit an extended Amish Family in Eastern Lancaster County once or twice a year and ,of the 7 kids, two of the sons relocated to Tower City,north of Harrisburg, where a new settlement was formed.
                                            Lancaster County still has the largest number of Amish in the state (second only to Holmes County, Ohio, nationally)
                                             
                                            #22
                                              wanderingjew

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                                              Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 5:29 PM (permalink)
                                              Billyboy
                                               
                                              You'll have to wait for the next chapter to find out.
                                               
                                              josefinajoisey and ChrisOC
                                               
                                              My first experience with Pork Roll was at Waterfront Park, home of the double A Trenton Thunder. The Pork Roll came on a hoagie roll and was served with onions and peppers.  It may not be traditional but  I was hooked.
                                               
                                              brookquarry,
                                               
                                              When you mentioned those two other restaurants you must have read my mind- Stay Tuned..
                                               
                                               
                                              Screaming Brad
                                               
                                              I think I was too far north for Country Ham, that's just plain old ham.
                                               
                                              Lee
                                               
                                              When I first tried Pork Roll, it was bologna and canadian bacon that came to mind, not  thin sliced deli bologna, but the rugged thick cut bologna you get down south served either as a breakfast meat or on a  sandwich doused with BBQ Sauce like in Memphis.
                                               
                                              ken8038
                                               
                                              Never say never- remember I have to get back via the same direction that I got there.
                                               
                                               
                                              #23
                                                wanderingjew

                                                • Total Posts: 7386
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                                                Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 6:43 PM (permalink)
                                                Friday night's dinner deserves  a chapter all of its own.
                                                 
                                                Making my way across the rest of Pennsylvania, I arrived in Da Burgh aka Pittsburgh aka "Yinzerville" aka The Big Pierogi just in time for evening rush hour.
                                                 
                                                Making my way to the Hazelwood Section of Pittsburgh I arrived at
                                                 

                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                Jozsa Corner
                                                 
                                                Pittsburgh's premier by appointment Hungarian Restaurant featuring multi course meals. Now you don't think I'm going to dig into this multi feast extravaganza by myself do you?
                                                 
                                                As I arrived, Buffetbuster and Mariton were already standing outside at the restaurant. Roadfooders, katherinecurry and Ralph Melton arrived shortly afterwards and last but not least, Ralph's lovely bride icecreamchick made her appearance.
                                                 
                                                The proprietor, Alex an immigrant from Hungary is an engaging fellow who makes you feel like you'r right at home. In fact entering the dining room with two long tables, I felt like I was eating in somone's dining room.
                                                 
                                                The meal I enjoyed here makes the typical Basque Experience look like a quick snack at a convenience store. I didn't know when the parade of courses would end and frankly I didn't want it to end. Not only was this the best Roadfood restaurant of the trip, but it could easily be one of the best of the year.
                                                 
                                                Unfortunately I don't recall several of the courses that landed on my plate, not because they were unmemorable but because there was just so much. I'm hoping that the others who were there will be able to fill in the gaps.
                                                 

                                                 
                                                The meal started out with this delicious fried bread encased with spices and
                                                 

                                                 
                                                this refreshing vinegary coleslaw.
                                                 
                                                 
                                                 

                                                 
                                                followed by this rich hearty vegetable soup.
                                                 

                                                 
                                                We then moved on to some some stuffed Grape Leaves and yes, you guessed it- that's pork cracklin's on the far left.
                                                 

                                                 
                                                 
                                                Then there was this dish, it obviously has tomatoes in it and was very good but I don't remember what it was.
                                                 

                                                 
                                                Now we're getting into the meat and potatos of the meal- or in this case the cabbage and noodles otherwise known as Halushka.
                                                 

                                                 
                                                This was one of two main courses- Goulash- who said there can never be too much sour cream..
                                                 

                                                 
                                                 
                                                sided by warm fresh braided bread...
                                                 

                                                 
                                                The other main course here is Chicken Paprikash- again there's alway sour cream when you need it...
                                                 

                                                 
                                                afterwards Cucumber Salad (I think?)
                                                 
                                                and dessert 
                                                 

                                                 
                                                 
                                                which includes some type of fried dough, prunes and chocolate  dusted with powdered sugar...
                                                 
                                                 
                                                We left Jozsa's Corner with great memories and full bellies, but of course there's always room for ice cream..
                                                 
                                                 
                                                We drove the short distance to Page's Dairy Mart, a classic soft serve ice cream stand in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood. I believe I had some type of Banana Waffle Cone.  The Ice Cream was fine but it didn't blow me away.
                                                 
                                                Unfortunately no photos. 
                                                 
                                                Afterwards It was time to sleep off the food.
                                                 
                                                Much more to come....
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  ann peeples

                                                  • Total Posts: 8317
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                                                  Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Mon, 08/15/11 7:51 PM (permalink)
                                                  Definately some awesome food on this trip!!And good company, as well.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Ralph Melton

                                                    Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Tue, 08/16/11 12:10 AM (permalink)
                                                    Because you invited additional identification:
                                                    - the fried bread is called Lángos.
                                                    - I think the cracklins were chicken cracklins, not pork.
                                                    - this dish was the mushroom paprikash




                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      mcatpeery

                                                      • Total Posts: 5
                                                      • Joined: 12/6/2006
                                                      • Location: Lewes, DE
                                                      Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Tue, 08/16/11 12:55 AM (permalink)
                                                      I grew up in Lancaster County & have traveled most of PA. I've seen Amish in almost every part of the state (I live wayyyy up in Wellsboro now & they are up here too). I love Dutch style cooking, & ate it so much growing up that it feels like home. Thanks to working as an assistant to a midwife who served the Amish I am lucky enough to count quite a few of them as friends. We call them the Bonnet Mafia 
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Foodbme

                                                        • Total Posts: 9567
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                                                        • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                                        Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Tue, 08/16/11 1:02 AM (permalink)
                                                        you_talkin_to_me_77

                                                        I grew up in Lancaster County & have traveled most of PA. I've seen Amish in almost every part of the state (I live wayyyy up in Wellsboro now & they are up here too). I love Dutch style cooking, & ate it so much growing up that it feels like home. Thanks to working as an assistant to a midwife who served the Amish I am lucky enough to count quite a few of them as friends. We call them the Bonnet Mafia 

                                                        When you delivered a baby, did they give you a pie and a loaf of bread or something else tasty? I bet you have some interesting stories to tell.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          ann peeples

                                                          • Total Posts: 8317
                                                          • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                                          • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                                          Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Tue, 08/16/11 3:25 AM (permalink)
                                                          Yum to everything pictured!!!!!!!!!!
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            mcatpeery

                                                            • Total Posts: 5
                                                            • Joined: 12/6/2006
                                                            • Location: Lewes, DE
                                                            Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey Tue, 08/16/11 4:25 AM (permalink)
                                                            Sure, sometimes they did. I'll never forget watching one woman (it was her 7th baby) rolling out pie crust through her contractions. She claimed it helped . Other times it was something pretty they had made. It was a great job, although sometimes it was overwhelming...
                                                             
                                                            #30
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