Amish Country

  We love farmer’s markets and this one was especially inspiring.  We were told this area is an agricultural paradise because of the rain, long growing season and incredibly rich soil.  The Brussels sprouts were massive. The gorgeous red tomatoes next to them do not provide adequate size comparison, as they were also extra large! Dietitian or not, these handmade chocolates and candies appeal to any and all!  I don’t really crave sweets, but I truly wanted to dive into a baby pool of these goodies! The cheeses…oh, the cheeses.  I tried a creamy Amish Butter cheese and a Lancaster extra-sharp cheddar that was the best tasting, boldest cheese I have eaten since the 5-year aged Gouda I use to buy at Wine World in Destin. IMG_7826 The milk here is extremely clean and fresh!  There is no aftertaste.  I’ve never used the word delicious to describe milk before but, here you have it!  I wish I could buy this milk at home.  Most of the Amish here are dairy farmers and Holstein cows can be seen from almost any road. We attended an Amish village tour and learned a lot about the Amish way of life.  They don’t believe in photography, therefore I have no photos of them.   If they suspect you may photograph them, they politely duck their heads to hide their faces. IMG_7857 For lunch, I had a tuna melt at an Amish cafe.  The tomato slices on the sandwich were beautiful. Several people have pointed out that although the Amish have many rules, they follow no food restrictions.  The Amish are Christian and follow the Bible.  As I was obsessing over the high-fat content of the traditional Dutch meals we’ve eaten, I remembered a verse from the Bible: Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (As much as I worry about everything, I need to have verse 27 branded to my forehead) Also, I was  thinking of the amount of physical labor involved in their life work. They aren’t sitting down to watch television, dining out, sitting at a computer crunching numbers or playing video games all day.  They are working in the fields, planting and harvesting crops,  kneading dough, hanging heavy, wet laundry on the line.  They don’t own IPhones, laptops or IPads. I fully appreciate the Amish way of life.  I suppose I might miss my memory foam mattress, Amazon Prime and my Snapper with spicy Malaysian glaze, wild mushroom, spring pea and Parmesan polenta.  However, there’s something to be said about living off the land,  depending on members of your community and eating all the soft pretzels and apple butter you want.  
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