Monday, August 3, 2009

Lancaster County, PA

I have a long list of places that I want to re-visit when we finally retire. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was beautiful and I was just in awe of the Amish farms. They were so neat and tidy. And with the size of the families and acreage, that had to mean a lot of work. The gardens were perfectly laid out in rows so straight they looked as if they had used rulers!

One of the oddest things we saw were the clotheslines. Attached to the house and barn with a pulley, they went Heaven-ward for what seemed like a mile loaded down with sparkling whites and colorful work clothes. No electricity runs to these farms so washing clothes would be a tremendous chore I imagine. Growing their own food, baking from scratch always, managing a farm and caring for a family…how do these women do this and not fall over from sheer exhaustion!?!

The Amish are dedicated to living simple lives that honor the traditions of their past.

Famous for their pickled watermelon rind, pickled eggs, chow-chow, pickled beets, pickled green tomatoes, sweet or hot salsas, apple butters, fruit preserves and jellies...Cane and Reed can send you any of these delicious Amish Made delicacies!

It's the quaint charm of the people that capture your heart.
Simple life, simple living appeal to us now more than ever.
Days start as the sun rises and hard work is a part of their life.

Everything is done the old fashioned way with no modern day technology to speed up the process.

W. L. ZIMMERMAN & SONS GROCERY & HARDWARE at Intercourse, PA is the hub where the Amish and local folks shop and thousands of visitors come each year. The beautiful Amish farms surround the Village. Within walking distance of the Village are art galleries, museums, lodgings, camping, educational opportunities and Pennsylvania Dutch taste sensations in local restaurants and specialty shops. The Paramount motion picture "Witness", starring Harrison Ford, was filmed in Intercourse.

I loved the beautiful handmade quilts. Not cheap by any means,
but you can imagine the hours of work that goes into these masterpieces.

The area offers much for us to enjoy but the Amish life and it's people are the real attraction.

We can't help but look on in awe at the life they lead.

They are decent folk who cling to old ways and support each other.

The Good and Plenty Restaurants are famous in Lancaster. Whether it's "family style" or buffet, fresh homemade white and wheat bread with Apple Butter, cottage cheese, butter, and other goodies called "smears" are served. Pickles of all kinds and Chow-Chow relish with a tangy taste that is out of this world! Fried Chicken, Baked Ham, Roast Beef, Baked Country Sausage, Pork and Sauerkraut and all kinds of delicious Pennsylvania Dutch style foods, all you want and can eat, and lively conversation fill the room. Shoo Fly Pie is the dessert staple of the house but fruit and cream pies, rich cakes and puddings will tempt you to have "just a little bit more!"

These winning recipes from the 26th Annual Rhubarb Festival held in Intercourse sound delicious!

Grand Champion & 1st Place Pie Division Winner
Rhubarb Pear Pie Belinda Myers, Dallastown, PA
Recipe for Pie Crust (2 crust pie crust):
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
7 to 8 tablespoons of ice water
In a large bowl mix flour, salt and shortening until coarse crumbs form on a well floured surface. Roll out ½ amount to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Use remaining for lattice strips.
4-1/2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
1 cup sugar2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 fresh pears, cored, peeled and diced.
Mix filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Place into prepared shell. Lay lattice strips on top of pie. Seal and crimp edge. Place on cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.

1st Place Rhubarb Dessert Division Winner
Rhubarb Bars Linda Glick, Lancaster, PA
3 cups rhubarb
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup water
Cook together rhubarb, sugar, water, and cornstarch until thick. Cool, add vanilla.
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 3oz. Strawberry Jello
Mix crust & topping ingredients (except Jello) Place about half of mixture in pan, press down. Spread with filling. Sprinkle with Jello. Put rest of crust/topping mixture on top and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

1st Place Rhubarb Cake Division
Rhubarb Cheesecake Carolyn Fisher, Kinzer, PA
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter
Mix all together and put in a 10 ½ inch cheesecake pan or a 9 x 13 glass cake pan.
5 cups rhubarb
2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Toss together and put on top of crust. Bake at 350 for 15 min.
18 oz. cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix eggs and sugar. Add softened cream cheese. Mix together. Do not over mix. Pour over hot rhubarb. Bake at 350 for 30 min.
8 oz. sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together. Spread over cream cheese mixture while mixture is still hot. Bake 5 minutes. Chill and serve.


  1. Joycee, what a wonderful tour and the recipes were a surprise delight. I love the rhubarb bars.

  2. Lancaster County is one of the most beautiful places and pieces of country one can go through. It is well worth the trip and I believe everyone should at some point in their lifetime go through. I have to go through there to get up the New England coast and I don't mind one bit.

    Great post. Blessings. Tammy

  3. I just love the Amish!!! I will add this to places to see!!! Its just hard to leave the Ozarks because its so beautiful....This summer has been amazing!!

  4. I love these pictures! Definitely makes me want to check it out!!

  5. What a lovely site! I have forwarded to my readers. Thankyou for showing us the rhubarb winning recipes.

  6. Funny that you should post this today. I am in the middle of reading a novel that's set in Lancaster County. It's been years since I've been there, but it's on my places to return to as well.

  7. Joycee, Lancaster County is such a beau...tiful place! I will definitely try those recipes for sure! Thank you so much for sharing and have wonderful day!


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