My plans for today included cooking breakfast, making bread, cooking a late lunch/early dinner and spending the rest of the day sewing. Right after breakfast, I mixed up a batch of bread and came downstairs to sew. Before I ever got started, Vince asked if I wanted to run up to the apple orchard. Not really! But, being the good wife (stop snickering!), I said . . sure, how long will we be gone because I have a batch of bread started? Vince didn’t think we’d be gone more than an hour which was fine because the bread needed to rest for 45 minutes for the gluten to do whatever it does before I went through another kneading process.
Off we went . . about 15 miles up the road to the apple orchard. Just before getting there, Vince suggested we go up to Rich Hill, just about 4 miles farther, and find the Amish grocery store. We didn’t have a clue where it was but Vince found it. I tell you . . if I’d been driving out there by myself, you’d never have heard from me again. I would still be going around in circles.
I know that everything in the Amish community isn’t always peachy but . . I’m not sure I admire them tremendously or if I have a gigantic fascination for their way of life. No, I do not want to be an Amish person but I wish I could spend some time with them. Part of what I admire about them is their commitment to their way of life. Too often in my own life, I’ve had what I thought was a total commitment to something and then circumstances changed and doing whatever I thought was so important became a chore and I gave it up. I cannot imagine going through life traveling everywhere in a horse and buggy, having no air conditioning, cooking on a wood stove when it’s hotter than heck, having no refrigerator. I’d have thrown in the towel a long time ago and taken the easy road. I could sit and talk to them all day . . I have so many questions. I’m sure they’d send me on my way in a short time but the 5 or 6 Amish people we came in contact with today, I had a zillion questions. Vince kept saying “stop asking so many questions” and they all said “oh, that’s ok!”
Here are some pictures I took, with their permission. I asked before taking pictures, knowing they don’t want to be photographed. They were fine with me taking pictures of “stuff”, so long as none of them were in the pictures.
The almost 2 years we’ve been here (2 years on January 2, 2009 but . . who’s counting?), as much as I love this town, I can hardly stand the gross produce in the grocery stores. It’s awful and it’s darned expensive. Why didn’t someone tell me that 15 miles up the road, I could get this!
I don’t think I can convey in a blog post how horrible the produce is in our stores. Green peppers are almost $1 each (and that’s not the organic ones — that’s the shriveled up, oozing green peppers that should have been thrown in the dumpster). While I’d rather not pay $1 for one green pepper, if it’s halfway decent and that’s the asking price, I’ll do it but I refuse to pay $1 for a green pepper that is downright gross. At the Amish store, the green peppers feel fresh . . they’re heavy, their skin is shiny and tight and they’re big and juicy looking and they were 3 for $1.
They had homemade breads and pies – $5 for a homemade pie and $3 for a loaf of homemade bread. What bargains!
And, here’s the owner’s horse out back.
I’ll share more pictures tomorrow but here’s wherein lies the major problem of the day:
In the box on the left are some jellies, and some warm sorghum syrup that they were just processing and putting into jars as we watched. I could drink that stuff . . but I didn’t! See that box of yams on the right? $6 for that whole box! In the white bags are tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, several kinds of squash, and I can’t remember what else. Somewhere in there are 40 pounds of apples, 50 pounds of wheat, an apple peeler (cannot find mine anywhere so we bought another one!) but the best buy and the biggest problem of all . . 90 pounds of tomatoes!
If you’re guessing we were gone about 3 hours instead of 1 hour, you’re right and if you’re guessing I’ve spent about 9 hours in the kitchen, you’d also be right!
30 quarts of tomatoes! I’ll tackle the apples when I get back to town on Tuesday. I just heard Chad ask Vince “What kind of apples are these? This is the best apple I’ve ever had!”
Oh . . look at my canner! It barely . . just barely fits under that microwave. I didn’t have anything to can last year so I never got it out. Never even thought that it might not fit under that microwave. It fit fine at both houses in Kentucky. Would I have been up a creek or what if I had 90 pounds of tomatoes to put up and the canner wouldn’t fit? Let’s not think about that.
Yep, I’m very, very tired and I’m going to bed now to read.