12 November 2008

A Step Back In Time

We enjoyed a fall drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway this past weekend. This is a two-lane highway that travels from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. A small portion of it goes through the NW corner of Alabama, not too far from where we live. It has an interesting history that you can read about at the link above and it is a beautiful drive--especially in the spring and the fall. The leaves here are past their peak, but they are still so pretty and colorful!




We took the trace just far enough to get off and visit Ethridge, Tennessee, where there is the largest Old Order Amish community in the South. It's not a huge community like those in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, but it is charming. There are a few shops where you can buy Amish goods and some antique shops, too. My only regret is that there are no wonderful restaurants there like in other Amish communities. You can take horse and buggy tours through the community though or you can simply pick up your own map in one of the shops and drive yourself through. Since it was pretty chilly, we opted to drive. At nearly every Amish farm there is a sign by the road telling all of the goods available for sale at that home (bread, butter, jams, baked goods, wood crafts, candies, candles, etc.). We stopped at one house where we bought some muscadine jam, peanut brittle and white chocolate peanut butter cups. I was hoping to find someone who would sell me some sourdough bread starter, and I asked several people without any success. The Amish lady at whose home we stopped by told me that they didn't use it much any more since yeast worked better and faster. Hmmm.....they want to bake their bread faster and I want to use the old method....hmmmm. I thought that was kind of funny.

This last picture (below) isn't an Amish barn, but we were curious about what they were drying in there. We wondered if maybe it was tobacco, but it doesn't look like the tobacco farms I've seen before. Anybody have any ideas?

7 comments:

Betsy said...

That sounds like a nice little trip! I'm wondering if you googled a search for a homemade sourdough starter if you could find out how to start one...maybe with buttermilk or yogurt?

Lora said...

Yes, Betsy, I'm thinking of trying to make my own. I watched one video that Vince found on making one. The process was almost a week long and seemed a little intimidating to me, but I may check into it anyway.

Sharon said...

Hi Lora Love your pics of the Amish and countryside..We don't get much change of season here in Queensland (too tropical so love the fall colours) the Amish lifestyle is mighty appealing to me. I loved the movie "The Witness" with Harrison Ford years ago and was fascinated with their simple way of life and how they all pitch in and help one another. We went to an old shaker village some years ago and I have some amazing photos. I can't recall exactly where it was I will have to have a look. It was on the East Coast but not sure if it was Canada or USA.
Well I have made a very slow start on some of my favourite things. I am going to try and do one a day but not necessarily just the kitchen. Blessings xx <><

farrellbrothersproductions@gmail.com said...

Your blog eats vince's blogs lunch, and dinner

Kari said...

Glad you had a good trip. Bet the kids had fun! =)

KC said...

Looks like a fun trip. My mom use to do the sourdough bread starters and pass them out to friends.. Wonder if she still has the recipe.. Last summer we did sort of the same thing with something called amish friendship bread and it was tasty also..

Nancy said...

Sounds like a great family outing! How do you find all these amazing outings for your family? You must be quite the researcher! Have you ever considered doing some travel writing...you paint great word pictures and give good detail about the points of interest. Not sure how to get started in that genre...but I think you'd be great at it!