The Bird In Hand Bakery is an example of the way the farm families of the Villages of Bird-in-Hand, Intercourse, and Paradise teach their children to be self sufficient. Part of that tradition is to learn to cook along with learning handcrafts that will bring in a little cash. Pennsylvania's Dutch Country is a great place to step back to a time of hand made goods and The bird In Hand Bakery is a great place to sample some home baked pastries like wet-bottomed Shoofly Pie, Apple Dumplings, Velvet cake, Pumpkin Pie and Whoopee Pies, all recipes handed down through the generations.
In the Amish tradition self-sufficient living they teach the children the skills and crafts of farming, woodworking, baking, and needlework. When their crafts and confections including an array of strudels, dumplings, and cakes come directly from the farms to the shops of Lancaster County, they make roadside shopping Amish country an event.
The pastry shops are of particular note. The family will cook from scratch right in the kitchen or a wagon will come in with fresh made pastries. They will be quickly gone.
The cooking tradition is of German descent, where pastry chefs are not stingy with the sugar.
Pennsylvania Dutch country gets its name from the many groups of farmers of Swiss, Dutch, and German descent who immigrated during the 1740s.
For the most part, these farm folk choose to live without modern technology but they have outfitted their horse-drawn buggies with running lights for safety and they also use bottled gas for light and power to run their milking machines. Focused on humility, thrift, simplicity, and submission to a higher authority, these wholesome farm folk might deny themselves some luxuries but they are no strangers to technology; they just prefer to live without electricity and the automobile. They do not skimp when it comes to cooking
Penn Dutch Surreys run the main streets in lancaster County
Pennsylvania Dutch Confections, Sightseeing in Amish Country
You will find a lot of sightseeing in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Village shops and museums like Village Pottery in Intercourse, the Wine Gallery in Mount Hope, the Cornwall Furnace Museum near Hershey, and the Harley Factory in York.
Penn Dutch Confections come to the roadside stand of Lancaster fresh from the Amish kitchens. Sightseeing in Amish country will introduce you to many unique Penn Dutch confections.
The Amish live a life of self sufficiency but do like to take in a little cash to buy those items they can not grow or raise on their farms...One way they generate that cash is to sell their home made confections.
The carriages clip clop down the country roads with a load of strudels for delivery to the local bakery. Strudels German style, rich with sugar, eggs, cheese or apples and cinnamon. They will taste great with morning coffee.
Visitors can experience the life on an early 1700s Pennsylvania Dutch farm two miles north of Lancaster where two brothers of German descent created the Landis Valley Museum. Costumed guides demonstrate open-hearth cooking, weaving, and horse-drawn plowing in a preserved traditional farm where visitors can also purchase heirloom seeds and handcrafts.
For another look at the religious history of the area, the nearby town of Ephrata preserves its Cloister, a group of buildings built by a German charismatic leader who in 1732 gathered followers for the practice of a celibate and mystical religion. The vegetarian sect, renown for their musical compositions in five part vocal harmony and for their Germanic calligraphy and printing press, grew to 300 in the 1740s but then withered after 1768, remaining as a 28-acre museum with many of the original antique buildings preserved.
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
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
Hershey Park Penn
Penn Dutch Sightseeing
Penn Dutch Traditions
Penn Dutch Area Lodging
Penn Dutch Hotels
Lancaster County Lodging
While sightseeing in Amish Country you will see that the farmers have outfitted their horse-drawn buggies with running lights for safety. Some farmers also use bottled gas for light and power to run their milking machines.