One thing I love so much is going on a little escapade with my girls. I love it when the whole family is together, but sometimes the girl time is really on the top of my list and it’s priceless to me. Add to the mix one of my favorite destinations ever and some fabulous late August weather, and you have a banner day.
We made our way to Lancaster, PA and the Amish country. Our first stop was a little shop that sells all sorts of wonderful stuff and has Amish rubbing elbows with the “English.” (Literally rubbing elbows. This store has pretty narrow aisles and a ton of stuff to look at.) They’re known for their apples and other produce, and their extensive line of jams and fruit butters, but I think the thing that rocks my boat pretty hard is right inside the front door:
It’s so cool! There’s a neat display of honey all around it and it’s fascinating to watch the bees in action, doing their thang.
We usually stock up on some jams, some seeds and nuts, some baking supplies, my beloved whole-wheat raspberry bars, oat bran sesame sticks, and gingersnaps. While waiting near the register to check out, we were fascinated (and not at all tempted) to see this for sale:
Then we were on our way to the Green Dragon Market in Ephrata, about 20 minutes north of Lancaster. This market is open on Fridays only, year-round, unless Christmas falls on Friday. It is a mammoth mix of farmer’s market, Amish bakery, flea market, furniture shop, and butcher. We parked our car pretty far away (it was a super busy day) and saw this bucolic setting:
Then turned ourselves around to behold this:
And that doesn’t even begin to show you the size of it.
We visited our favorite Amish booth, the Kings, to get our favorite applewood and hickory smoked bacon. We buy it 10-15 pounds at a time because we get there only once or twice a year, then freeze it one pound packs and enjoy it roughly once per month. It is so amazingly delicious, bears no resemblance to the salty soggy plastic stuff in the supermarket, and the taste just butters my toast. Plus, it’s always nice to visit with Mrs. King, she is a delightful woman and her husband has a very very dry sense of humor. During my visit I learned that “goomba” is Pennsylvania Dutch for potato. I am now equipped to go forward in the world.
Another must is the little shack that hold the secret to happiness. Once you have this prize, all is right with the world and you have the strength of ten:
It is an Amish pretzel dog. Whoever thought of wrapping a hot dog in pretzel dough and baking it is officially my best friend. What a marvel of nature, what an astounding miracle, and oh, it’s so not good for you. Except it is. Especially when you only get it once or twice per year.
We bought sprinkles, kitchen tools, glasses, whoopie pies, apple dumplings, and a long dress. And bacon.
Then, to make a completely healthy choice to end the day, we met Hubby at Cracker Barrel. Don’t judge me.