The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Cool Cabinetry

Some of you may have seen my "Texas Amish" post last night before I took it down. It'll go back up on Thursday. I am trying to post my visits to various Amish settlements in chronological order.  So this is a photo I wanted to share frommy recent visit to Mount Victory, Ohio's Amish settlement.  This is a hand-made countertop/cabinet I saw at Joseph Troyer's shop.   Editor's Adventures subscribers will get a tour of me visiting the tiny store.  What really struck me was the authenticity and craftsmanship of the products.  The term "Amish furniture" has been cheapened somewhat in recent years by the proliferation of products with questionable connections to the Amish (um...think mantels for the infamous "Amish heaters").  But the products in Troyer's shop are just superb in their workmanship, with most of the items being made by 22-year-old Jonathan, who can turn-out a well-made dresser in just a couple of days.  The countertop/cabinet combination in this photo is fashioned from "red oak", which gives in a darker hue.   Also note the neat toy to the left.  Drop a marble in top and it goes into each bird's "beak" on its way down.  Pretty cool.  Troyer's shop sells a selection of hand-made wooden toys, no worries of lead paint or questionable Chinese manufacturing practices.

The Amish of Beeville - Introduction

PHOTO CAPTION:  One of the houses in the Amish settlement outside of Beeville.  There is a barren beauty to the area as a soft sunset starts the nightly plunge into darkness.

I am back from the border and what an interesting few days it was! Feels good to be back in Ohio again!

On more than one occasion in the vast Texas scrubland, I asked myself:
"What am I doing here?"  

I spent the past few days standing on rural stretches of South Texas road watching tall grass wave in the wind.  A rusty windmill groaned nearby and the sound of horse hooves on asphalt clopped in the distance.  This small Amish settlement outside of Beeville, Texas is definitely no Lancaster County, Pennsylvania or Holmes County, Ohio.  I was - to be honest - a bit taken aback at first by the spartan appearance of this community.   But the Amish quickly won me over with their kindness and genuine stewardship of the land. So I ended up spending my days being shown how to harvest wild grapes, being given a sample of fresh figs, jalapeno jelly, and learning about how the Amish have incorporated some of the native South Texas flora and fauna into their culinary lives.  That's why I was here: to learn about the South Texas Amish culinrary culture for my upcoming book about Amish foods across America.

I like to think that I am doing valuable anthropological work, documenting the lives of a very reclusive, but very special, people and chronicling their food traditions.   Part of me thinks I am a bit of a naive idealist trying to make a career out of this...I'm still not sure.    But I am very excited to share with you photos and videos in the days ahead from my time in Beeville.  So stay tuned for more photos and blog entries from my time inBeeville.  Editor's Adventures subscribers will get a video next week.

My wife Rachel is trying her hand at some of the photography, like the above photo... I think she's doing a great job!

Neat Little Buggy....

I don't want to o.d. everyone on buggy shots lately, but this is an interesting horse-drawn vehicle I saw outside Mary's Bakery in Hardin County, Ohio. Mary's brother Willie is the owner.   Willie said this is an Amish man's version of a motorcycle.  He said he can carry just enough on it for himself and he can sort of go out into the countryside and ride around with just himself.  Notice he has some paint cans and other supplies in the cart, a perfect-size vehicle for one-person and a few supplies.



Going Buggy in Hardin County.....

Wow, I had such a great time today visiting with the Old Order Amish of Hardin County, Ohio. There are eight church districts tucked in the countryside around Mount Victory, Ohio.  I visited a bakery, a sawmill, a furniture shop, and several other wonderful small Amish businesses.  This may well be my new favorite Amish settlement.Smile  I figure if I say that about every place I visit then I won't get in trouble!   But, really, it is just a great settlement.  It's not far from Belle Center's Amish community, which I also really enjoyed.  I'll be interested to hear what Gusluke has to say about Mount Victory when he returns from Central America.  For newcomers to this site Gusluke is a New Order Amish man who lives in nearby Logan County and has occasional access to a computer.

Tomorrow, I head for the Amish community near Beeville, Texas.  But I'll be posting photos and videos of Mount Victory over the weekend.  Editor's Adventures subscribers will get new videos next week of Mount Victory and Beeville.

This photo shows two buggies parked in the driveway of Mary's Bakery outside of Pfeiffer Station, a tiny crossroads in rural Hardin County.

Scenes From Hardin County...

I spent this afternoon (okay, site regular, Margie, I dropped the ball on meeting you and your husband for lunch todayFrown, I'll be in touch) exploring Hardin County, Ohio's Amish settlement.  I'll be there again all day Thursday.  Some fascinating photos to share in the coming days and Editor's Adventures subscribers will get a new video or two.  The top photo was just an interesting color clash between a bright, bumble-bee yellow motorcycle and a passing charcoal black buggy.   The bottom photo illustrates the signage that local Amish businesses use to advertise.  These are most unusual signs and if you don't look closely you could easily miss the businesses...I'm not sure what the story is behind the minimalist, minimalist signage, but it's definitely interesting. I get the idea that this is a pretty conservative Amish settlement.  More tomorrow!

Syndicate content