Saturday, October 23, 2010


There are many areas in Ohio that Amish country. I always thought their settlements were clustered in the northeast portion of the state, but on our way driving southwest from Newark to an archaeological site known as “Mound City,” near Chilicothe, I noticed one of those classic black buggies parked beside the road. Nearby, a folding table had been set up under a canopy. A middle-aged woman and a little girl, dressed in typical Amish attire complete with bonnets, sat on folding chairs. Unlike the Mormon polygamist wives we saw in Arizona, their clothes were drab neutral colors (see earlier entry). The table was strewn with all sorts of homemade goodies: cookies, candies, pies, cakes…you name it!

I really didn’t want to buy anything (honest), but I was dying to have Rick take some photos. It would have been too rude to simply cruise by, roll down the car window, and snap their pictures (drive-by style). So, I casually sauntered over to their table, while Rick surreptitiously took a few shots of me talking to the Amish woman.

She was very nice and seemingly “normal,” except for her clothing. The woman actually invited us to “the ranch,” in Circleville, ( named after Native American mound circles found there ), where they not only had more types of candies for sale, but furniture, quilts, and other items their community had produced. Okay, now I felt guilty about only looking at the yummy stuff she and the other Amish had made. I knew this was their main means of support. Besides, the little girl was really, really cute. So, I scooped up several little plastic containers filled with a variety of candy. “The pies were fresh baked this morning,” she said with a pleasant smile. “They’re really good.” So…long story short, I bought a peach pie, our favorite.

Continuing on our way to Mound City, the smell of the pie (which was still slightly warm) wafted through the car. In a word, it smelled wonderful. If we had forks with us, we might have dug in right then and there. No, we promised ourselves we would wait to have a piece after dinner that night.

Mound City wasn’t nearly as interesting as the Newark Earthworks. It’s believed by many historians and archaeologists that there’s a direct link between the two sites (which are about 70 miles apart and were once connected by a walled pathway). So, we walked around and took some photos.

That night, I cooked a light dinner in the beast (soup and salad), in an effort to save space in our stomachs for a piece of that much-anticipated, delicious-smelling pie. We warmed up a couple of pieces, plopped on a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and got ready to devour it.

“Oh, no. This is terrible!” I said. Had the Amish forgotten to include sugar? It was so sour! And the crust was absolutely awful. Rick sprinkled some sugar on his piece and managed to choke it down, but I wound up throwing the entire pie in the trash! Store-bought pies were better than this one. I don’t know about you, but I figured that the Amish had been at pie baking for generations, and that they would have perfected it by now. What in the heck happened?

Oh well. Calories saved for the Fliedners, who certainly need to watch their weight and get more exercise! The candy was good, though most of that wound up in the trash as well. Too many calories!! But at least we got our pictures!!

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