Today was a blustery fall day – cold, windy and rainy! Just the type of day I would prefer to spend indoors – either cooking, or curled up with a good book! But that wasn’t to be! This was the day planned to visit Casey County, or Amish country! Since we missed breakfast, first thing on the agenda was lunch! We stopped at the Village Restaurant in Liberty – a small town of approximately 2,000 people – where life is much slower than in most areas! Our buffet lunch – everything homemade – was $5.49 – and that was all-you-can-eat. I opted for the hand-breaded chicken tenders – so moist and tender they practically melted in your mouth – mashed potatoes, green beans and fried apples! After all, the local festival held at the end of September is their Apple Festival! The owner and waitress came by several times to ask if we wanted more food – and just to talk.
After our fortifying lunch we drove out of the town of Liberty and on into the county area where the Amish have made their homes. We turned off the main highway and made several more turns until we were traveling down a small road on which it would take some wrangling for two cars to pass. This is the area in which a horse and buggy are a much more common sight than a car! Our destination was Sunny Valley Country Store – which definitely did not live up to its name today! We usually always visit in October to replenish the herbs and spices we don’t grow ourselves. Bergamot leaf and peppermint leaf for teas, crystallized ginger slices, bay leaves, hot crushed red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark chili, bay leaves and eucalyptus leaves – among others!
Their frog preserves was a must – haven’t you ever tried it? I bought a jar for my intended daughter-in-law (at least I’m keeping my fingers crossed!) – think that will ingratiate me with her? Now before you start making awful sounds of disgust let me explain – figs, raspberries, oranges and ginger. Ah, now that sounds quite nice, doesn’t it? We keep it on hand since it is so tasty!
Apples and hickory nuts were also purchased. Oh, and my favorite candy – strawberry caramel creams – the only place they can be found! A creamy center surrounded by a strawberry flavored caramel! So good!
Two young Amish women with a wee babe were chattering away to each other in what I thought was German, but Ritchey said was Dutch – he could understand a word here and there. I would love to have taken a picture but didn’t want to ask.
By the six o’clock hour when we arrived home we were cold, tired and hungry! What better remedy than a bowl of simple vegetable soup? Ritchey voted yes! Sauteing the onions, potatoes and carrots in olive oil until they just start to brown – plus a stick of butter! – makes this yummy and delicious! Enjoy this after your own adventure – or any time at all!
- olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 – 14 ounce cans vegetable broth
- 1 – 12 ounce bag frozen baby lima beans
- 3 large tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 can Niblets corn
- large sprig of rosemary
- 1 stick of butter
In a large pan saute the onion in olive oil over medium-high heat. After a few minutes add the potatoes, stirring occasionally. After two or three minutes add the carrots. Allow to cook until the vegetables start to brown. Add one can of vegetable broth to de-glaze the pan. Add the remaining ingredients. When the soup comes to a boil turn heat to medium-low. Let the soup cook for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Enjoy!
Our beautiful pottery bowl was made by our good friend David Gianino.