The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Holmes County Buggy....

This is just a pretty routine, garden-variety shot of a buggy topping one of the rolling twilight-bathed hills  of Holmes County near the town of Shreve.  It was twilight on Saturday and most Amish had just finished another work week.  Saturday nights are for socializing and preparing for a Sunday of church, fellowship, and family.  This buggy appears to have just an orange safety triangle, but no reflective tape on the back.  There are some reflector lights higher up which helps the buggy to be seen in the dark of night.   Driving hilly Holmes County requires a much greater level of awareness than flatter Amish settlements like Berne, Indiana.  In Holmes County a buggy can appear seemingly out of nowhere over the crest of a hill. So the lesson: drive slow, drive aware and enjoy the serenity and peace of the beautiful countryside.

A Most Awesome Store: Lehman's!

Ohio's Amish country in Holmes, Wayne, and Knox Counties is dotted with unique businesses that cater to the Amish and English.  But perhaps no business is better-known than Lehman's Hardware in the tiny Wayne County hamlet of Kidron.  The surrounding area is known for its Amish ambiance and perfectly manicured farmsteads, horse-drawn buggies often outnumber cars.  Started 55-years ago by Jay Lehman, the store is a cornicopia of almost anything.   The business was originally conceived as a place for the area's Amish and Mennonite residents to buy hard-to-find replacements for aging appliances.  After all, most people aren't still using butterchurns from the 1930s or old hand-cranked washing machines from the 1920s.   Lehman's is a place where you could always go to buy a cherry-pitter, hog scraper, butterchurn handle, or lantern wick.   Now, however, Lehman's is still a store where you can find those unusual oddities but it also offers high-end dishes, wood-stoves, and cookware.  The mix of merchandise and customers is just amazing.  On a recent day, there were were a mix of Mennonites, Amish, and non-Amish customers looking at everything from high-end appliances to hard-to-find appliance pieces.


Jay Lehman, at a spry 81, is still very much involved in the business, although his children now do much of the day-to-day "nuts n bolts" stuff.  Glenda Lehman Ervin is the enthusiastic publicity person that spreads the word about this amazing store and it truly is a gem...Rachel and I may be heading back there to do our Christmas shopping, you can truly find something there for anyone on your list.  Click here to watch a video with Glenda and I talking about Lehman's.   Editor's Adventures subscribers will be getting a special tour of the Kitchenwares section in the coming days.

Buckeye Book Fair....

SIGH, don't like posting pictures of myself.  But Rachel snapped this one of me at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster, Ohio on Saturday. I really did have a good time.  I shared a table with a neat novelist from Dayton, Ohio who writes literary fiction.  Anyone familiar with Carrie Bebris's work?  Meanwhile, we moved a lot of "Amish Cook" titles and I was able to meet readers from the email list, from nearby Mansfield News Journal and New Philadelphia Times-Reporter country and former readers of The Amish Cook when it used to appear in the Coshocton Tribune and The Zanesville Times-Recorder.  Both of those papers decided to drop the column.  Kind of a dopey decision by the editors there since the column was really popular, but whatever.  I even met a regular reader from the Traverse City Record-Eagle who happened to be in the area and a couple of readers from the Press-Enterprise in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. All-in-all a fun day.  It was just great to spend a day with a bunch of bibliophiles and authors in an age of anxiety over e-readers and Kindles.   So at least for a day the printed page was still king!Smile

The Ever-Changing Amish....

There was a neat Amish article in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.   As an aside, the Tribune-Review is Pittsburgh's scrappy "second paper."  It's a real rarity for any city to have two print papers these days.  Thirty years ago most cities still had two newspapers but now the number of "two newspaper towns" can be counted on one's fingers and toes.  Sad. But times change.  

And speaking of changing times, this article describes how the Amish continue to evolve and adapt from agrarian people to an entrepreneurial one.   The workmanship ingrained in Amish culture has given rise to some very innovative entrepreneurs, although I continue to think that this evolution from pure agrarianism to unbridled capitalism is going to lead to a split sometime soon with the Amish church. I think within the next 10 - 15 years.  

More Holmes County...

Beautiful blue hues are seen on this front porch clothes line.  Typical colors worn by the Amish in this area.  We shot this photo yesterday, before Holmes County was dusted with its first snow of the season overnight.  In fact, Rachel and I got caught in a pretty darn heavy snow band near Wooster last night.

Meanwhile, I had a wonderful time at the Buckeye Book Fair today, and even got to meet a few of you who stopped by, which was great!Smile  I'll play catch up on content tomorrow, by posting more photos and videos tomorrow and then it's back on the road this week to some more neat places!  So stay tuned!

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