Confessions Of a Lancaster County Yankee

There are many misconceptions about people who come from Lancaster County.  I’m here to set a few facts straight.

  1.  I may be from Lancaster County but I most certainly am NOT Amish.  I haven’t even played one on TV.  My oldest daughter, a college student, gets this assumption a lot.  It probably doesn’t help that we may or may not, sort of, kind of, support this belief because Nicole finds it so horrifying.  We think it’s funny.
    However, my husband and I both represent a Mennonite/Brethren heritage.  At one time I did wear a head covering.  (No, they are not strainers as some people are led to believe. Tried it once.  The pasta stuck to it.  J.K.!)  But currently we attend a way less conservative Brethren church.                                                                                     meamish
  2. I do have black friends.  In the United States we live in today, the media sensationalizes racial differences to such a degree that, no wonder the country has issues.  Yes, black lives do matter, but not to a degree that policemen are shot and places are looted.  I also have friends who are police officers.  All lives matter!  Christ died for all of them!  It does not matter the color of your skin or what you do for a living!  girls-462072_640
  3. I know that whoopie pies originated in Lancaster County….. not in Maine.  What’s a whoopie pie you ask?  Aw, you gotta come to Lancaster County to try one but essentially it is two chocolate cookies made into a cookie sandwich with vanilla frosting between them.  It’s not a pie at all!  Here is a basic Lancaster County recipe.

    Whoopie Pies Cake Ingredients

    • 4 c. flour
    • 1 c. baking cocoa
    • 2. sugar
    • 1 c. shortening
    • 2 tsp.s baking soda
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 c. of milk
    • 1 c. of warm water

    Preparing the Cakes
    Preheat oven to 375°.  In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda. Mix well. Set aside. In another bowl, combine sugar, shortening & eggs. Beat approx. two minutes. Combine dry ingredients with the egg mixture and add warm water and milk and beat at a medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased non-stick cookie sheets. Bake  375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until center of the “cookies” spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool thoroughly.

    Filling Ingredients

    • 4 T. flour
    • 4 T. milk
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1-1/2 cups vegetable shortening
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

    The Filling
    Beat the egg whites until stiff. Set them aside. Combine other ingredients and beat vigorously for several minutes at high speed. Fold in beaten egg whites.

    Whoopie Pie Assembly
    Spread a generous amount of filling on a completely cooled cookie and top with another cookie. To preserve your newly created treat, wrap whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap.


  4. While a lot of country calls cola pop, we call cola soda in our area. I don’t know why or what the difference is but I know it can be frustrating for those visiting here or for those from here visiting elsewhere in the county.        coca-cola-821512_640
  5. I like pig stomach.  Now before you head for the bathroom to bring up your lunch, I want you to know that the stomach is actually emptied out, cleaned and filled with sausage and potatoes.  And you think pig stomach is bad?  You don’t want to know what sausage originally was!  I also love Scrapple, cut thick and fried and then lathered in King syrup! Yum!  It’s one of my favorite comfort foods.  And before you think we eat weird food, you might want to find out what is in Caviar or Rocky Mountain Oysters.
  6. I say “Ya’all” and I have never lived in the south!   However I can pick up a southern accent in no time.                     heyyaall
  7. I do not speak Pennsylvania Dutch which is a dialect of German.  I learned German in high school something-something years ago, but that was a different dialect and too long ago.  I can understand a little but not a lot.  Usually enough to get the gist of the conversation.
  8. I have only ever ridden in an Amish buggy once….. as a tourist!  One year our family decided to take a Stay-cation and visit places we always would see but never up close. We were able to get a ride at Abe’s Buggy Rides in Bird-In-Hand, PA.  Speaking of Amish buggies, a friend and I decided to do a Photo Scavenger Hunt and one of the photos was to be an Amish buggy so we thought, “Oh, we’ll go to Green Dragon Open Market (near Ephrata, PA)..  Surely we will find one there!”  We arrived and quickly located the area to park buggies and stopped.  There were eight buggies there and they were all different.  Which was the real one.  Locating a plain lady in head covering, we explained our quest and asked her to point out an Amish buggy.  She looked over each one before declaring none of them were Amish!  They were all from various denominations of Mennonites and Brethren.
  9. We have had some fun with Amish friends.  My mother’s family was good friends with their Amish neighbors and I remember them taking us to visit a family when I was younger and they gave me a rather fast and furious ride on a wagon down a steeply sloped farm lane.  We also are friends with Amish in our town and have already been guests at their home where they have their own reservoir made specifically for swimming including a beach and diving board.  It is easily much nicer than local pools.
  10. I never understood the big deal a few years ago when scooters became popular.  The Amish have been using scooters for decades!  I have seen Amish travel several miles on a scooter.  To me it was no big deal.

Here in Lancaster County we are normal folks who live the same dreams and have the same struggles.

We just have some interesting culture differences that are a big draw to tourists.  However the Amish shooting several years ago was just a few miles from my mother’s home.  It was a huge shock but should not have been.  I am just hoping the Amish testimony of forgiveness can benefit someone else.

     One thing you will take notice if you have ever seen an Amish family in a store.  Their children are always well behaved and respectful.  Better than I can say for the “Englischer” youth.

We can learn much from these people to make our own lives better!


1 thought on “Confessions Of a Lancaster County Yankee”

  1. Just been to Lancaster in June and it was beautiful weather! Did not try Whoppie pie but will try that next year when we swing by again (Mel goes for business annually). Did not know you can ride a buggy as a tourist. Will definitely try that!


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