Lovina’s column will return next week. The column is taking a break this week so I can take a brief hiatus to enjoy the arrival of my first child. I’ve watched Lovina’s eight children grow up over the years, so I am excited to be beginning this new chapter of my life. By the time you read this my wife will probably have given birth to our daughter. Check out The Amish Cook Facebook Fan Page or theamishcookonline.com for updates. Thank you for all the kind words and well-wishes.
I would take this week to tell you about a book I’ve been working on, in a sense, for over 20 years.
Over the past two decades I have explored Amish settlements from Maine to Montana, from Missouri to Minnesota, from Texas to Florida. Whereas Amish communities used to be clustered generally in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and a handful of other Midwestern states, that is no longer the case. For those wanting a taste of the faith and family-filled life of the Amish, you probably need look no farther than your home state. But there has never been a travel guide providing comprehensive information about Amish Country. Until now. Introducing The Williams Guide to Amish Country scheduled for release October 1. The book features dozens of day-trips, long weekends, and vacation itineraries in Amish settlements across the USA.
The book is divided by states and then subdivided by settlements. So you can flip to Indiana and easily look up Parke County’s Amish community or Berne’s or Nappanee-Lagrange. In the book I give my recommendations for lodging,best Amish eats, bakeries, bulk foods, Amish furniture stores, Amish-run bed & breakfasts, immersion opportunities and more. This is a travel guide to Amish country that pulls it all together in I hope a breezy, user-friendly way with maps, sidebars, etc. The book is heavily tilted towards showcasing Amish-owned or Mennonite-owned businesses and restaurants where one can go to sample culturally authentic meals. Here is a excerpt from the “tips” section of the book:
Tips For Making The Most Of Your Visit To Amish Country
We spend a lot of time in this book recommending visiting Amish-owned home-based businesses whether that be buying a dozen fresh eggs or stopping into a quilt shop. Visiting a home-based Amish business is a great way to make new friends and see their farmsteads first-hand. Always employ the “golden rule” when visiting an Amish home or business. Be respectful and courteous. You probably wouldn’t want someone tromping through your flower beds or garden and peering in your windows, so it’s a safe bet an Amish person doesn’t want that either. Here are some other suggestions to make your trip more enjoyable:
Buy, don’t browse. Time is money for most entrepreneurs and the Amish are no different. Don’t visit a home-based Amish business and launch into a three-hour conversation about your grandchildren or garden back home. Do go in and exchange pleasantries and small talk, but even such small interactions should be accompanied by a purchase. Of course there are times when you’re going to want to just browse and enjoy the craftsmanship at an Amish furniture store or quilt shop and that’s great, just be respectful of the proprietor’s time.
Cash, not Credit. The vast majority of Amish businesses do not accept credit cards. Some of the bigger bulk food stores and bakeries do, but they are still the exception rather than the rule. Most Amish businesses will accept checks but with horse and buggy being the main mode of transport it can take a long time for a deposit to go through so if you don’t balance your checkbook methodically a check hitting your account 5 weeks later can be a surprise. We once bought some cinnamon rolls from an Amish bake sale and the check was deposited three months later. So we like to use cash when shopping in Amish country, especially at the home-based businesses
Pre-Order now for a discount by sending $19.45 (price includes shipping) to Oasis Newsfeatures, PO BOX 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042. Books will ship around Oct. 1 Order two copies for $30 and 3 for $42 (prices including shipping). Or go online and pre order at www.theamishcookonline.com/preview