We live just 20 minutes drive from Amish Country. It's like taking a step out of reality to beautiful countryside and a 'simpler' way of living. We joke that moving to America has immersed us in a different culture ... but the Amish way of life is another experience altogether and we live so close to the largest Amish population in the USA.
There have been a few documentaries recently, both in the UK and the States, covering the Amish lifestyle and introducing Amish people to 'western' living. It is not uncommon for us to see some of the Amish community in Walmart while we do our grocery shopping or see their horse and buggy's driving round town. But if you take a short drive north you are surrounded by their homesteads, shops, fields and ways of cultivating them, animals etc ... and it is a little bit like stepping back in time.
In some respects it makes me laugh that we talk about them living a 'simpler' life. No technology, electricity, working the earth. If you think about it, if anything, we use technology to make life easier. So while it could be described as simpler ... it would definitely be a lot harder work on many levels too. In some ways it also reminds me of how many of my friends live in Africa as well.
We have had the opportunity to get to know some Amish folk and have had the privilege of sharing a meal in their home on a few different occasions. We did it when we first arrived here, about halfway through our time and just last week while my mum was visiting. It has been a lovely experience to build a relationship with them a little bit, learn about the cultural differences (of which they are really interested in how the English customs differ) and we will keep in touch, as these new friends have asked to receive all our updates after we leave America too.
This last visit they gave us a small pocket recipe book with some Amish recipes in it ... their food is delicious! The quantities are always quite large, so this weekend we tried the Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad out, at a pot luck dinner we went to and lets just say, there was hardly anything left in the bowl to bring home! It was really easy and really yummy! I have never eaten so much raw broccoli and cauliflower in my life as I have since living in Ohio, this is one recipe that rocks the raw stuff though!
- 1 bundle of broccoli - cut v small
- 1 medium diced onion
- 6-12 fried and crumbled strips of bacon
- 1 medium head of cauliflower - cut v small
- 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup mayonaise
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
1. Prepare and mix salad
2. Prepare and mix sauce
3. Mix altogether
4. Chill before serving