Many Amish and Mennonite traditions include the horse.
On Sunday the young men of Lancaster County borrow Dad's top-down buggy for a horse-drawn cruise around town. Their Standardbreds high-step down Route 30.
The Amish are expert horse trainers and each large farm might have as many as seven draft animals such as the Belgium or Percheron to pull the plows. They will also use two draft mules to pull winnowers, and they will have a trotter to pull the surrey used for the Sunday drive.
The young men will use the open coach in the Sunday courting ritual and prize the grace and spirit of their thoroughbred and Morgan crosses initially bred for harness racing.
Amish Penn Dutch Traditions, Pennsylvania Dutch Country
The Traditions of the Amish of Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Amish of Pennsylvania Dutch Country: Traditions
Strasburg dinner train
The Penn Dutch Amish Family uses the covered coach
Part of the Amish tradition is to be self-sufficient; the families teach the children the skills and crafts of farming, woodworking, baking, and needlework at an early age. When their crafts and confections, including an array of strudels, come directly from the farms to the shops of Lancaster County, roadside shopping in Amish country becomes a unique event.
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How to Reach Amish Penn Dutch Country:
By Auto: From the south take Route 95 to Baltimore, Route 83 to York (Harley Factory). Route 30 to Lancaster,
From the north, Route 95 to Philadelphia and then Routes 76, 202 and 30 to Lancaster. From the west, Harrisburg
By air: Philadelphia airport and rental car
As important as the draft animal is to the Amish, Cooking and Confections might be of equal importance. These are traditions that the Amish brought from Germany over two hundred years ago. Their children are taught to cook at a young age and they share in the farm work that provides most of the ingredients that they need. Although the pastries are very high in sugar content, an import, they otherwise supply the butter, eggs, milk, lard and cream that make up their Amish pastries, ingredients home grown with a German accent.
Funnel Cake is a good example of high fat, high sugar pastry.
The cook makes an unleavened batter made with flower, butter, eggs, and milk and pours this through a funnel into hot cooking oil (lard) The cook works the funnel in a circular motion to form a round cake. Deep fried until browned, the cook then dusts the cake with powdered sugar.
The funnel cake is similar to fry dough but the unleavened batter makes the two slightly different
- Shoo Fly Pie is a southern sounding molasses pie
between the two.
- Whoopee Pie; Two round bun-sized chocolate cakes or pumpkin cakes with a cream filling
Amish Penn Dutch Cooking Traditions
(Fastnatch) these are doughnut like pastries often topped with powdered sugar. They are prepared and served on Shrove Tuesday or Fastnacht day, the day before the start of lent. The cook purges the larder of all the forbidden Lenten treats like lard, butter,and sugar and makes this Shrove Tuesday tradition.
To make the dumplings the cook wraps a pastry dough over a cored apple that is dusted with cinnamon. Raisins may be included along with nutmeg, the pouch is baked and may be served with ice cream.
Strudel is made from flour and butter dough that is rolled out and filled with apples or another sweet filling, or dairy cheese/cream cheese. The pouch is folded and baked. German Origin for the name strudel
When to Go To Amish Penn Dutch Country: April is a good month to visit because you might combine your visit to Amish country with a visit to Longwood Gardens where on the second or third week in April the tulip gardens are in full bloom. Otherwise May until October are good months to visit and enjoy outdoor activities.
Photo, Bucks County Tourism
The Amish Penn Dutch Traditions in Pennsylvania Dutch Country are that the farmers be self-sufficient. The families of Lancaster County teach the children the skills of farming, woodworking, baking, and needlework at an early age.