There are many Amish families living in the area around the inn. Most of our guests are very interested in learning about their lifestyle, and understanding why they live the way they do. And some of the local Amish families are willing to share a glimpse into their daily lives with our guests on a one-on-one basis. Recently we took our inn staff to one of those farm homes to meet with the owners and sample some of her wonderful cooking. Located about a 20 minute drive from the inn, along very scenic backroads, we were greeted by a very friendly dog and a smiling cook. Verna Troyer welcomed us into her home, where 12 of us were seated around a large kitchen table. Verna and her daughter had prepared a feast for us. When I made the appointment I had told Verna to go ahead and prepare her favorite foods for us. I knew whatever it was it would be delicious. Verna asked if we'd like to say a prayer or engage in silent reflection for a few moments before the meal began. Our salads were on the table, and everything else was passed family style in bowls or on platters. The mixed vegetable salad was served with Verna's home-made sweet and sour dressing. Big baskets of home-made bread were accompanied by peanut butter spread. I have to say it ranks among the most delicious breads I've ever tasted. Verna had chosen to make oven-baked chicken cutlets and barbeque pork chops for our two meats. Twice-baked potatoes with cheddar cheese and bacon topping, home-made noodles, and green beans from her garden accompanied the meal. Groans of contentment issued out of everyone as we tasted each item. Just when we thought we'd done justice to the meal, Verna and her daughter appeared with additional platters of everything. I had requested pies for dessert and we were given the choice of fresh strawberry or peanut butter cream pie. I don't know how she had managed to choose my two favorites! Fortunately she did offer to do half portions of each so I didn't have to choose between them. After dinner Verna sat at the table with us and shared her family's history and some interesting stories of life in the Amish community.
It was a delicious meal and a lovely evening. In another two weeks we're planning to visit the home of another Amish cook for a similar event. We'll be offering this same experience to guests of the White Oak Inn as a package, that will include a self-guided tour around some of the local genuine Amish stores and services. We think it beats the pants off eating in one of the big factory-style restaurants.
Innkeeper White Oak Inn