December 25th, 2016
The Amish love food and it shows. The love of Amish food is about more than the foods that they actually prepare. When exploring the savory delights of the Amish world, it is important to take a step back and look at the whole picture and not just the process of preparation.
Amish food isn’t just about following steps and recipes. The delicious results of Amish cooking is, in part, the result of a concrete strategy, one built around cultivating the best ingredients. In Amish cooking there is an emphasis on using fresh ingredients.
People who try Amish food for the first time are often quite surprised by the vitality and richness of the food. One of the reasons for this fact is that for people used to eating processed foods and fast food are not accustomed to eating genuinely fresh food. Most fast food and processed food is largely devoid of nutrition, and this leaves the body craving more food in a quest to get the nutrition it needs.
Amish food, with its emphasis on healthy, fresh and real ingredients, provides the body with a meal that leaves diners feeling full and satisfied. The end result is a true, and memorable, food experience.
Let’s take a closer look at 5 of the best Amish restaurants and what it is that makes these restaurants such great examples of Amish cuisine.
1. Dienner’s Country Restaurant, Great Buffets and More
Discussing Amish food and Amish restaurants usually leads to Lancaster County, a hub for all things Amish. A standout Lancaster County, Amish restaurant with an excellent reputation is Dienner’s Country Restaurant. Well-known and well-loved, Dienner’s Country Restaurant is seen as a go-to spot in Lancaster Country for Amish dinning.
The Yelp reviews for this popular spot are consistently good. Part of what makes Dienner’s such a favorite and worth your time is its large buffet. Dienner’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets that are reasonably prices ranging from about $11 to $13 dollars and includes everything from such stables as eggs, bacon and sausage to biscutis, girts and pastries for breakfast. The lunch menu consists for an array of chicken and fish dishes, vegetable platters and more. For dinner, the menu features burgers, fish and chicken dishes such as rotisserie chicken and a surprising array of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, onion rings and more.
Again, like all Amish cooking, the Dienner’s approach is to provide dinners with simple and rich food. Learn more about Dienner’s Country Restaurant by visiting their website by clicking here.
2. Boyd and Wurthmann
Boyd & Wurthmann began as a grocery story in the 1930s, but from that beginning has expanded to include a Amish style restaurant providing breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in Berlin, Ohio, Boyd & Wurthmann use employ real Amish cooks to ensure authentic Amish cuisine.
One of Boyd & Wurthmann’s specialties is homemade pies. In fact, they have anywhere between 15 to 20 different types of pies ready to go! If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll find that Boyd & Wurthmann’s is a true treat year round. For breakfast, diners can expect everything from eggs, omelets and hot cakes and more. On the lunch and dinner menus pork chops, country fried steak and homemade chicken noodle soup are all on the menu.
You won’t forget what Boyd & Wurthmann has to offer. Click here to learn more about this this Berlin, Ohio legend.
3. Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen
Like Boyd & Wurthmann, Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen is also located in Ohio. Located in Mt. Hope, Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen is what Amish food is all about. Founder Gloria Yoder, who actually grew up in Mt. Hope, fell in love with Amish cooking. The approach is centered on providing guests with traditional Amish meals, but there are also other options as well. Egg and chicken dishes are popular on the menu.
The Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen website even features recipes for pumpkin pie and more.
4. Hometown Kitchen
Hometown Kitchen, whose motto is “The Restaurant with Amish Cooks!” like Dienner’s Country Restaurant, is also located in Lancaster County. As their motto indicates, dinners can expect lots of tasty traditional Amish recipes.
Hometown Kitchen’s offerings range from homemade chicken pot pies to roast beef dinners, homemade breads and even an assortment of traditional Amish desserts such whoopie pies and shoofly pies. Located in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, Hometown Kitchen is a great example of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and includes some real surprises such as chicken cordon bleu, which is a Monday special.
Click here to learn more about Hometown Kitchen.
5. Lititz Family Cupboard Restaurant & Buffet
Located in Lititz, Pennsylvania, Lititz Family Cupboard Restaurant & Buffet is a unique Amish food offering. The restaurant’s goal is to offer authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and a variety of made-from-scratch dishes. The diverse menu is great for those who want to experience Amish cuisine while having other food options available as well. The breakfast menu features omelets, pancakes, French toast, Belgium waffles and more.
Learn more about Lititz Family Cupboard Restaurant & Buffet by clicking here.
Amish Cuisine Might Just Change Your Approach to Food, Health and Nutrition
The blend of great recipes and the best, freshest ingredients helps Amish food stand out. It is no accident that many people who try Amish food ultimately make changes in their approach to food and begin incorporating fresher ingredients into their cooking and their diet.
The five restaurants featured in this article are, in fact, only a small slice of what Amish cuisine has to offer. Amish cuisine is diverse, but dinners can always expect a hearty meal that is both nutrition and flavor packed.
November 21st, 2016
For those who suffer from allergies, an average day can seem like anything but, well, average. Regardless of the source of allergies, suffering can be quite pronounced. Finding relief of any kind can be highly elusive. There are many theories behind why the immune system responds and creates allergies.
Medical science is working on improving how we treat allergies, and a safe way to largely eliminate the symptoms of allergies may someday be possible. However, for now, those of us who suffer from allergies are sadly stuck. Research into the world of allergies has taken scientists in some unexpected directions. One of the directions researchers are exploring is why allergy rates are generally so low among the Amish.
Focusing in on Amish Communities in Indiana
Amish culture and society is built around a different set of approaches and principles. Summed up another way, the Amish do things differently, and researchers have discovered that this fact has some substantial implications for allergies. Studies have been conducted examining children raised in rural Indiana. The reason for these studies is that these children suffer from lower levels of allergies and asthma.
Surprisingly, Amish children in Indiana are practically allergy free; this cannot be a coincidence. Researchers, logically so, were left wondering, “Exactly what is going on here?”
Comparisons to the Swiss
The evidence is impressive and intriguing. According to 2012 Reuters article, a mere 5% of Amish children suffer from asthma. A study compared Amish children with Swiss farm children and Swiss children living in urban settings. The results were startling. While the Amish children had a 5% incidence of asthma, the Swiss farm children percentage was 6.8% and the Swiss urban children rate of asthma was significantly higher at 11.2%.
Looking at these numbers, it seemed safe to conclude that some factors, such as growing up on a farm, was playing a role in halting the development of asthma. The results were similarly impressive, as the Amish children had allergies about 7% of the time, whereas the farm-raised Swiss children had allergies 25% of the time. Urban dwelling Swiss children suffered from allergies 44% of the time.
The Microbe Link
While no one is yet sure as to the source of these profound statistical differences. Many believe that the answer may have to do with exposure to microbes. By comparison to life in urban centers, life on farms is full of exposure to a greater number of microbes. After all, children on farms come into contact with cows, drink raw milk, are around various kinds of animals and animal feces, and the list goes on and on. Simply stated, farm life is dramatically different from city life, especially where microbe exposure is concerned.
Scientists and researchers are also considering that there could be genetic differences at play here as well. In particular, researchers are looking into whether or not the smaller gene pool of the Amish is playing a role. A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine compared the Amish of Indiana with Hutterites living in the Midwest, who also have German ancestry.
Examining the Hutterite Communities
Importantly, the Hutterites tend to keep their animals miles away from where they live. By contrast, the Amish keep their cows and other animals close to their houses. In Hutterite communities, only adult men work with cows. Whereas Amish children work with cows from a young age and even play nearby. The study found that the Hutterite children have about the same levels of allergies as the typical American child.
While this is not conclusive proof, it does strongly support the notion that the elevated level of microbe exposure that the Amish enjoy may indeed be reducing overall allergy levels.
How Does this Apply to You?
Parents of children suffering from allergies may want to consider the ramifications of these findings. For example, spending more time outdoors, particularly in parks and other natural surroundings, looks to be a surefire winner. Not only does spending more time outdoors boost vitamin D levels, but it also can serve to boost microbe exposure and, in the process, potentially decrease childhood allergies.
Encouraging children to spend more time in healthy dirt is likely a very good step in the right direction. Of course, the optimal word here is “healthy” dirt. Having children play in your backyard, forests or the dirt in parks (that are known to be low in pesticides) is likely safe and healthy.
Just keep in mind that the dirt in many urban settings may be contaminated with heavy metals, such as lead from industrial pollution, and even car exhaust left over from from when gasoline contained lead.
Getting Back to the Natural World
While living next to cows might not be that practical, there are many other steps that can be taken to take advantage of potentially beneficial microbes. Four thousands of years ago, our ancestors weren’t just spending time outdoors, but were in fact, were living outdoors.
Around 10,000 years ago our ancestors began the process of farming and raising livestock and the human relationship with dogs appears to go back at least 40,000 years.
For millennia, humans have lived in close proximity with both animals and natural. It is only in the past century that the bulk of humans have shifted away from this microbe rich existence to one that is far cleaner for a lack of a better term. However, in the end, this new found level of cleanliness may not be as beneficial as we once believed. Returning to the soil and getting some dirt under our fingernails may be even more beneficial than we ever suspected!
October 22nd, 2016
Kate went traditional with her dining room, and chose an Imperial Single Pedestal Dining Table in cherry with Sealy stain. Here she shows it with one leaf in a flowery decor scheme.
Without leaves, the table is round. The pedestal curves inward, keeping clear of her luxurious upholstered dining chairs. Kate is thrilled to fit the hardwood table into her design:
Just wanted to let you know, I just received my new table and it is just beautiful! So pleased with the workmanship and it’s just amazing. It was worth the wait and I can’t wait to order my next piece! Thank you so much, Kate Wagner
It’s just as worth the wait to see where these tables end up.
October 21st, 2016
The Amish live a different way of life and can provide us with a range of different approaches to how we live our lives. The traditional wisdom of the Amish can provide us with tremendous insight into how we should approach health. Let’s take a closer look at five of the top health tips that we can learn and how best to incorporate those tips into our day to day lives.
Tip One-Time Outdoors Means More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a tremendously important vitamin and essential for good health. Modern medical science has shown that there is a link between vitamin D and everything from strong bones and a enhanced immune system to lower incidents of diseases including cancer.
Nature has decided that vitamin D is so important that it is the only vitamin that the body can actually manufacture on its own. However, in order to manufacture vitamin D, direct sunlight exposure on the skin is a must. Sunlight is converted by cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D.
It goes without saying that the impressive amount of time that Amish people spend outdoors contributes to an increased intake of Vitamin D. This is in stark contrast to the tendency that so many modern people have to largely spend their time indoors on their computers or handheld devices.
Medical studies are pointing to the fact that low levels of vitamin D may be making people sick in a surprising number of different ways, ranging from weakened bones to an increase risk of multiple sclerosis, and the list goes on and on.
Tip Two-Time Outdoors Boosts Mood
Scientist have been somewhat surprised to learn that spending time outdoors has a surprising benefit when it comes to boosting mood and lowering rates of depression. People regularly exposed to good bacteria in soil experienced a general increase in their sense of well-being.
Over the millennia, humanity has evolved to benefit from contact with soil. Regular contact with soil and beneficial organisms that get kicked up into the air can produce health and even mood boosting benefits. The Amish spend a great deal of time working the land and growing crops. As a result, they are almost constantly in contact with the land and the dirt; this helps increase immunity, improve mood and more.
Tip Three-The Big Benefits of Even a Little Farming
Farming, in addition to exposing people to beneficial microbes and boosting vitamin D levels, has another benefit in that farming means physical activity. Instead of sitting at a desk all day, the Amish are often outside and working the land. Working the land means building, lifting, carrying, tons of walking and manual labor.
The Amish way of life is a very different way of life and it comes many health benefits that anyone can enjoy. While you don’t have to start farming tomorrow, keep in mind that that Amish don’t have gyms or health clubs. Yet, they enjoy a far greater overall level of health than the average non-Amish citizen.
Tip Four-Growing Your Own Food Comes with Surprising Benefits
The Amish grow their own food and utilize ancient techniques for keeping the soil rich and healthy. One of the key results of this approach to food is that Amish grown food is nutrient dense and farm to table fresh. They largely consume food that was recently grown and picked, rather than food that has been sitting on shelves for days or even weeks.
This lifestyle comes with big benefits. A primary benefit of farm to table fresh food is that it is nutrient dense food. Much of the nutritional value of store bought food is lost by the time it reaches your table. The average consumer can minimize this problem to an extent by joining a CSA (community supported agriculture). A CSA brings food directly from the farm to consumers; this food is far fresher than food bought in conventional grocery stores. By joining a CSA, you can get a small taste of what Amish food is like.
It is important to note that the Amish diet is devoid of many of the ingredients that are adding to health problems and obesity in the non-Amish population. Chemicals, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other toxic food compounds are essentially unknown in Amish life. There are no Amish fast-food restaurants and this is reflected in the overall health and well-being of the Amish community.
Tip Five-Don’t Smoke or Drink
One of the key reasons that the Amish are healthy that the general U.S. population is that they simply don’t smoke. Smoking is viewed as being horrible for the body and the Amish, in general, avoid smoking. Like fast food and foods with preservatives and additives, smoking and drinking also damage DNA. Smoking, for example, is extremely harmful to one’s health as the typical cigarette is a carefully designed mixture of toxic compounds specifically designed to be addictive.
Simply stated, the Amish lifestyle is different. However, hidden within that lifestyle are many health boosting habits and approaches that non-Amish everywhere can adopt and call their own.
While you might not be able to go and live on a farm and grow your own food, there are many steps you can take. It may be possible for you to grow a small percentage of your own food, for example, herbs or a few tomato plants. Also like the Amish you can avoid fast-food and processed food and seek out as much organic farm to table food as possible. Many of us may view the Amish lifestyle as being a thing of the past. But when it comes to the future of health and well-being, the Amish seem to be well ahead of the modern curve.
October 18th, 2016
Modern style is in, in Ellen’s Chicago dining room. To complement her colorful palette knife painting and grey upholstered chairs, Ellen chose the Kalispel Dining Table with ebony stain. The Kalispel’s legs are two geometric squares, supporting the mod look.
The square leg shape adds support like a trestle would, so Ellen can have a large surface:
I decided to keep the leaf with the skirt in the table all the time. I can sit 12 people easily. Love it! The men who delivered the table were so nice.
She also asked for a longer custom length, 76”, even before adding leaves. Because we order from real Amish workshops, you can call our customer service representatives and they’ll see if they can get customizations on your furniture.
After all, Ellen’s dining room deserved the perfect table.
October 15th, 2016
Hardwood furniture is the heirloom option for using vertical space. Beth’s new Victorian TV Wall Unit adds visual interest with variously shaped shelves, panels, crown molding and even glass. Oak with Baywood stain adds texture to the dedicated wall space. While the picture shows us how the unit makes Beth’s house a home, Beth wanted us to know it gets the job done:
I got my wall unit on Saturday. It is beautiful and the stain color is good.
October 9th, 2016
When John Pozniak got a Carson Legged Dining Table for his enclosed dining room, he knew exactly what he was doing. The space blends traditional and classic design in a mix of coffees and creams, with a curvy chandelier illuminating Kona-stained brown maple in the center.
John’s response to his new table is as elegant as his dining area:
The table arrived beautifully.
Outstanding work; thank you.
October 6th, 2016
Dan got an Ethan Leg Dining Table to fit the classic modern style of his New York dining room. Cherry wood with Boston finish adds a warmth to this table, making it a contrasting focal point of the room.
Says Dan, I just wanted to let you know that our table arrived today and it looks great! Thank you so much for your excellent customer service and quality products. You can count me as a fan of AFF!
Here is the table adding shine to Dan’s dining set.
September 26th, 2016
Bill and Lisa needed a big, beautiful dining set that could expand for important family dinners. So, they chose a Country Shaker Trestle Dining Table and Sullivan Dining Chairs. The set is quarter-sawn white oak with Michael’s Cherry stain. Here is the set between uses in their gorgeous open kitchen.
Lisa is happy with the table whether she’s taking photos of it or actually living with it.
We always receive multiple compliments from our family and friends when they see our new kitchen table we got about a year ago. We purchased a quarter-sawn oak table than can seat 6 people at our family meals but easily converts into a table to seat 10 with the leaves stowed inside the table. Attached is a picture of our table in our newly remodeled kitchen as well as one with family on Easter.
What a big, warm family for a big hardwood dining table. Thanks for letting us peek into your home.
They even got the dog in the picture.
September 20th, 2016
The Amish have a different way of life. As part of maintaining their lifestyle, the Amish renounce much of what most people would call “modern society.” But there is no doubt that Amish people face modern pressures. How do they respond to them?
What Do the Amish Know About the Outside World?
It is important to note that just because the Amish are living a different lifestyle that does not mean that they are unaware of the modern world and what it means to live in the current decade. In short, the Amish just choose not to partake in much of what the modern world has to offer. This is a stark difference from being unaware of modern developments.
One of the pressures that the Amish invariably face is the lure of technological advancement. The appeal and benefits of modern technological advancements have always been something that the Amish had to address. However, as the rate of technological developments has increased, so too has the potential appeal of modern of that technology, especially for the young.
Technology is changing and evolving at an increasing rate. In fact, the rate of technological change is now seen as being exponential in nature; this means that the potential lure of technology could be harder than ever for the Amish to avoid.
Technological breakthroughs such as nanomedicine, artificial intelligence, human like robots, asteroid mining, large scale space transportation, space colonies and many other scientific marvels that were once in the realm of science fiction are now moving into the realm of scientific fact.
Will There Be a Rise in Isolation?
In the coming decades the Amish may feel more isolated from the rest of society than ever. The world is rapidly evolving and changing and this could lead to the gulf between the Amish and the rest of society feeling more pronounced than in any other time in history. Additionally, the ubiquitous nature of these technologies are such that they may become harder and harder for the Amish to avoid, for example, flying cars zooming overhead, evidence of space travel in the night’s sky and the list goes on and on.
In short, being Amish in the future may prove to be more challenging than it is today. The feeling among some Amish that they are “missing” more than at any other time in history may become more pronounced.
The Influence of Religion
Another key pressure that the Amish will likely face in the future is that most of the areas where the Amish live, for example, the United States and Canada are becoming less religious overall. Studies show that Generation X and Millennials are far less religious than previous generations, and this could add to the feeling of isolation that the Amish will likely feel from the period of accelerated technological advancement that we are entering.
In the past, the rates of participation in organized religion was higher. As a large percentage of Millennials move away from organized religion, the Amish may be seen as more “foreign” than with previous generations. While it is difficult to know for certain that this could further isolate the Amish, it is a realistic possibility.
The combination of accelerated technological advancements and lower Millennial religious participation rates could put more pressure on the Amish than ever before. The lure of modern society, especially on the young, could become more intense and demanding than anything the Amish have ever faced.
Other Potential Rising Pressures
There may be other, more difficult to predict, pressures on the Amish in the coming decades as well. The way that the outside world engages in commerce could change. One example of this change could be in the form of a cashless society.
A cashless society could, ultimately force the Amish to adopt a certain level of technology in order to continue to participate financially in society. Likewise, the Amish tradition of ending education roughly at the eighth grade level could face pressure as well, as international competition becomes more intense and demanding. While it is of course difficult to predict in the near future, the Amish may be required to educate their children beyond the grade school level.
Currently, the Amish face pressure to drive cars, use the Internet and engage in modern society in a variety of ways. However, in the future, these pressures will likely only intensify.
To date, the Amish have resisted those changes quite well, but in the future our rapidly changing society may make it much more difficult for the Amish to avoid modern society. It is possible that modern society may change so much that in order for the Amish to have any meaningful interaction with the outside world they may have to engage in a modest level of adaptation.
In the past, the Amish have adapted on a case-by-case basis to different technologies. Some Amish affiliation have chosen for example to adopt indoor plumbing, pneumatic tools, chain saws and some mechanical devices such as powered lawn mowers and mechanical refrigerators.
An Adaptable and Resilient People
In the future, the Amish will likely once again have to evaluate the changing world around them and decide on what is the best response. One great motivator for change could be a shift in how the world at large addresses commerce.
For the Amish to maintain their way of life and continue to produce their traditional products for the world, it may be necessary for them to adapt what technology they incorporate into their business practices. Historically, the Amish have proven that they are resilient, capable and independent. In the coming decades it is likely that this decidedly Amish traits will be called upon more than ever.