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?