This post was contributed by: Karlene M. Williams, MHRM candidate 2017, Touro Graduate School of Business, originally from Grenada.
For the past three years, I have enjoyed visiting the Amish in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, which occurs on the second Saturday in November. I first participated in this trip in November 2006 with some family and friends, and it has become my favorite pre-Thanksgiving activity since I moved to the United States in 2013. You may ask yourself, why a trip to the Amish? For me it’s about getting away from the hustle and bustle of New York City for an entire day and appreciating the way of life of a religious group that has preserved its identity in the midst of technology and a fast-paced world.
We meet on Linden Boulevard and Hendrix Street at 6:30am on the designated Saturday for the hired coach bus. We usually depart by 7am and breakfast items, which include muffins, juice, tea or coffee and a fruit, are served on the way. The ride normally takes about 4 hours one way depending on the traffic.
What We Do
Shop….shop…shop! Yes that’s what we do. The bus makes three main stops, one at the farmer’s market, the next is at Stoltzfus and the final stop at Kitchen Kettle Village where the smell of freshly made caramel popcorn awakens your taste buds. We come prepared with shopping bags and frozen meat bags to bring the goodies back to New York City.
The list is long but worth it: fresh organic greens, corn meal flour, seasonings, apple cider, peach cider, my favorite cherry cider, turkey, fresh meat, chocolates both sweet and non-sweet in many flavors, apple butter, peach butter, pumpkin butter. The items that make our Thanksgiving celebrations unique. Home-made gift items or unusual pieces are also purchased and serve as Christmas gifts.
What I enjoy most is the buffet at Good N Plenty Restaurant. As a lover of the culinary arts I must say that meals prepared and served at this restaurant are truly a delight. The freshly prepared meatloaf, that country style fried chicken, their famous shoo fly pie leave you with a sense of pure contentment. Other menu items include: apple butter, corn, pasta, roast beef and of course desserts. For dessert, we are given five kinds; chocolate and vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate pudding, apple or blueberry pie and shoofly pie. This delicacy is prepared using molasses; thus it sweet nature, which is the origin of its name, “shoo fly.” Unsweetened iced tea, lemonade and water accompanies this scrumptious feast.
The Journey Home
Like everything else, all good things must end and so after a day of sight-seeing, shopping and eating, the coach departs from Kitchen Kettle Village around 6pm. Tired yet happy with our purchases, we are served snacks, coffee, water, sorrel and mauby on the return trip. A movie is sometimes shown, and after about four and a half hours we arrive in New York at the same spot in Brooklyn we departed from.
Further Reading from Touro Libraries:
Real people: Amish and Mennonites in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by Denlinger, A. Martha 1993
Success made simple: An inside look at why Amish businesses thrive, by Wesner, Erik 2010