Do you enjoy weekend getaway to country leaving the hustle and bustle city life behind, and soak up with fresh country air?
There is something about country that takes a special part in my heart. I was not raised in the farm but just thinking of country life makes me feel like I’m home.
Last weekend I took my family to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. We stayed in a small working farm house with lots of farm animals. We learned to feed the calves and milk the cow. My kids had a blast by playing with kittens, ducks, bunnies, chickens, goats, etc.
We ate about 10 different pies in 24 hours time. Yes, 10 pies! All made from scratch… We even had rhubarb pie for breakfast.
Out of all the farm experience we had there, my most cherished moment would be getting to know the Amish community in Lancaster county. I have known little about their belief and the life style. It was such a wonderful experience to get to know better of them.
Ruth setting a table for her dinner guests
(Amish don’t believe in photography so I made her face out of focus to respect her)
We had a dinner with an Amish family one evening. A woman named Ruth, mother of 11 children and widowed, prepared such an amazing meal for us. All from her garden, the meal was simple and humble but it was the best home cooked meal I ever had.
She shared her life story and her faith in God with us. She was willing to answer to all of our questions patiently. “My husband died when my youngest was 6 weeks old but God took over to take care of us, and we helped each other.” Her faith in God and the strength touched my spirit and I felt embarrassed how spoiled I am to complain the hardship of raising just 2 kids. She had many trials in life just like us, but her attitude toward the challenges may not be the same as ours. Her example was the strength of woman and of motherhood. Her children are so well mannered and diligent. They are the fruits of her example.
Amish people are obedient to their religion down to the core. They have many restrictions on modern technologies. But as Ruth said, “We don’t know all the answers but we obey”. Amish people are kind and hard working people who chose to live in different way of life. It was great learning experience for us to observe the principle of obedience and self-reliance from them.
Below are some highlights of this trip.
“Ahhh! the fresh smell of country farm…”
Learning to feed the calves in the crack of dawn.
This kitten was desperate to drink some of the formula prepared for the calves.
Learning to milk the cow by hand from the local farmer.
Fresh raw milk (w/o pasteurization) for breakfast.
Their milk was licensed to drink as raw.
Taste just like milk only freshier…
Amish men delivering some hay.
They looked like teenagers but had beard, which means they are married.
Amish fry pie, deep fried pie with icing on top.
(at the Amish yard sale cross the street from our farm)
An Amish farmer working with his horses on the farm.
The modern farmers using a tractor on the other side.
Typical Amish kitchen.
They don’t use electricity but use portable gas to run the refrigerator or lamp, etc.
A lovely baby carrier.
Their humble wardrobe.
They used to prohibit any buttons since they were believed as embellishment.
Women attached their apron on the dress with pins only.
Amish school house.
(Those kids in the photo are not Amish)
This is what I am talking about, kiddos!
4 year old boy named, David, running in the village.
He told me that he loves to catch frogs and snakes.
I shared a piece of licorice with him and he gave me a big smile.
David and his sisters staring at outsiders…
Amish kids are so beautiful.
It must be the pure Germanic gene.
Tying shoes is difficult to any young children no matter who they are.
One of the Ruth’s son helping in the kitchen before the dinner
He is 12 years old and made a tree house in his yard with his 10 yr old brother.
How many 12 yr old do you know that can build a tree house from scratch?
One of the main dish we had, Pork loin with stuffing. Really good!
Ruth served fried chicken, pork loin, mashed potatoes, green beans, asparagus, garden salad, buttered noodles, rolls, homemade butter and jam, and banana bread.
For dessert, she served strawberry pie, apple pie, brownies, and pudding.
All made from her garden, she must have spent the entire afternoon to prepare for that meal.
Thank you, Ruth!
Ruth’s strawberry pie.
She picked the strawberries from her garden moments before she made into pie that day.
So fresh and good…
Her brownies, my favorite.
Very soft and cakey with divine frosting, almost like a sheet cake.
Ruth was gracious enough to share the recipe with me.
I will post that someday.
The bible was located near the entrance of the front door.
You can tell their love of scripture.
An Amish girl was selling baked goodies on the country side road.
We bought some of her whoopie pies and they were soooo good.
Amish buggies were everywhere. They go quite fast.
I can still hear the echo of the buggy horse galloping on the road.
So, I made strawberry pie to recollect my memory of this trip. My strawberries were from Costco, not from the garden, but it was delicious.
The recipe came from the “Cook’s Country”. I have had my eyes on this recipe for a while to try out since I saw that episode in PBS. Unlike Ruth’s pie, which she used strawberry jello for the filling, this recipe uses frozen strawberries with unflavored gelatin to set.
I have to admit that I should have let it chill overnight to set completely before I cut it. My patience was running out so I cut after only 1 1/2 hours. Of course they were not fully set, but tasted excellent. The only change I made with this recipe is that I used graham cracker crust instead of pie crust.
Ahhh…, the weather is getting warm.
Summer has just arrived.
Celebrate your summer with fresh strawberries and delicious cream on top.
And let’s be grateful for the beauties of nature and be respectful of every life in it.
Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!