When most people think of Amish, they think of black horse-drawn buggies. Not me, I think of fried chicken. More to the point, an endless buffet of fried chicken and fresh vegetables. What can I say, I really love food.
Over the past year, I have spent a lot of time in the Amish Country area of Ohio and I am still not used to the serenity of this land. I come from a small town area in Texas, open land and the small town feel is what I know. What I don’t know though, is the brightest lawns of green or the humble way these people work their fields. It is peaceful and I love it. I knew I had to explore and find out more.
One name that comes up quite frequently in this area is Yoder. Everywhere we go, there is another business with the name Yoder in it. Matter of fact, the first order of business was to find a good place to eat and Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen sure did deliver. I thought, being from the South, that I knew how to fry chicken. Apparently Mrs. Yoder could teach me a thing or two. This lady can also do some things with rhubarb. If you want to know where the good eating places are, follow the black buggies. There is always a couple in the parking lot there.
Once we was fed, it was time to explore. We really wanted to get a sense of how the Amish lived. It just so happens, that the Yoder’s let you explore one of their old family homes. The tour came complete with a tour of the barn and the animals that the Amish use for everyday life, the old Yoder home, and another home that replicates the life of the Amish today. Bring your cash though, they bake a heapful of cookies and the smell will have you handing over a fistful of ones. The highlight of the tour (and my husband’s all time favorite experience) is the buggy ride at the end.
Scattered all across Amish country are small towns, each with their own charm and stores waiting for tourists to stop by and purchase their wares. As a quilt collector, the homemade quilt shops are a favorite. Be prepared for the price though, you will definitely pay for quality. In fact, don’t be worried about where to stay either. There are several Bed and Breakfasts around to welcome travelers.
Driving around Amish Country really gives you an idea of how the Amish stick to their ways. A lot of their traditions are made to keep them away from vanity and envy. They stay modest in their dress and steadfast in their religion. They tend their land with their horse drawn plows and offer us a glimpse into their lives. But make no mistake, we are outsiders to their world.