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Celebrating 21 Years!

 

 

Savor the Flavors - FlavorFEST™ 2006

This year and next, the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau is celebrating the world of foods to be found in our area as an event titled FlavorFEST™. It is billed as “a celebration of food so big it lasts all year!”

Indeed, Amish Country and food are intertwined in visitor memories to such a degree, that it is only logical to truly celebrate the diversity and traditions of foods the region has to offer. While visitors often think of our local specialties, such as shoofly pie, chow chow, and chicken pot pie, there is much more than that for the hungry visitor. From an array of ethnic restaurants and fine dining establishments, to wineries and canneries, there is much more to savor beyond the goodies on display at local farms and roadside stands.

Lancaster County is known as “the Garden Spot of America.’ Locals here mark the seasons and the months by the foods that are available, often starting with strawberries in the spring, moving on to corn and peaches in the summer, and then apples and pumpkins in the fall, to name just a few examples. We will roam the backroads to buy directly at the farm, or head to one of the many farmers markets to shop and compare. Some of the most beautiful rural scenery in the world is enhanced as the crops are planted and harvested, such as the green fields of corn that turn into rows of brown corn shocks by the autumn, and fields of pumpkins creating rows of orange dots across the landscape.

Culinary Trails

The Flavorfest celebration encompasses many fascinating aspects that will require you to stay a few days or make repeated visits. The Visitors Bureau website (www.padutchcountry.com) is a great place to explore the options. Here you will find a section on Culinary Trails. Besides the great scenery, these driving tours help you to explore both famous and lesser-known food locations. The five trail maps available for easy download are: Sweet N’ Salty, Dairy, Market Basket, Water & Winery, and Ale Trail.

For example, if you take the Dairy Trail, you will begin at the old-fashioned ice cream parlor at Strasburg Country Store and Creamery, move on to a working Amish dairy farm at Riehl’s Quilts & Crafts, make another stop for ice cream at Coleman’s, head north for the amazing dairy tour at Kreider Farms (where 1,600 cows are milked on a revolving carousel), and then finish up at Hershey’s Chocolate World, where a lot of this local product goes to make milk chocolate. (Whew!) I’ll leave it up to you to check out the remaining trails.

As you travel around the area, the kids might enjoy counting cows along the way. That will keep them busy, since we are home to more than 98,000 cows on more than 1800 family dairy farms. That provides enough milk for about 10.2 million people.

Foodie Towns

The Visitors Bureau has also designated Foodie Towns and Market Towns. Villages and small town life are an important part of our cultural tradition.  Let’s begin with the three Foodie towns. Intercourse is a known for its unique blend of Amish and non-Amish residents. You can easily park your car and explore. Activities might include a stop at Kitchen Kettle (a signature FlavorFest site), twisting a pretzel at Intercourse Pretzel Factory, or observing the work at the Intercourse Canning Company. Each stop provides free samples, too! Then move on to explore the other two Foodie Towns --- Lititz and Hershey.

Market Towns

There are four designated Market Towns. Lancaster City’s Central Market is the nation’s oldest continuously-operating farmers’ market, offering baked goods, fresh produce, and meats since 1730. Get up and go early on market days (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday). While downtown, don’t miss the Lancaster Cultural History Museum and the Quilt and Textile Museum, with free admission to visitors. Lancaster City is also home to several fine dining and ethnic restaurants, lest you think we are only about pot pie and corn on the cob. Depending on the days you visit, the other markets worth a visit are Bird-in-Hand, Columbia, and Ephrata’s Green Dragon.

There are also LOTS of unique events going on all year long. We have already had a Whoopie Pie event at Hershey Farm Restaurant, and an internationally recognized shoofly pie eating contest at Rockvale Outlets. So be sure to check out the events calendars when you are planning a visit.

Restaurant Week

Finally, to top off the foodie experience, a first-ever “Restaurant Week” is on tap for September 11-17. Choose from 30 restaurants offering special menu and dining options, each priced at $30. Organized by the Visitors Bureau and the Lancaster Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association, the idea is to encourage visitors and locals to discover new restaurants and foods, as well as to return to favorites for the special menus being offered.  (See below for details.) Your options range from traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cooking at Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant and Hershey Farm, the lavish smorgasbords at Miller’s and Willow Valley, and the famed family-style experience at Good ‘N Plenty and Plain & Fancy. For fine dining in a historic setting, there is the Revere Tavern in Paradise, where Stephen Foster wrote some of his immortal songs. And casual diners will enjoy the unique menu items at the Kling House at Kitchen Kettle. These are just a few of the restaurants to enjoy.

For those who want to create some of our great dishes, you have by now seen recipes from select local cooks and chefs scattered through these pages. I’d like to thank all those who were gracious enough to share their recipes with us. As for me, I may consider trying to bake my very first apple dumpling, unless I come across some at a roadside stand on the way home!

--- Brad Igou

Lancaster County Presents Restaurant Week

Thirty restaurants. Three courses. Thirty dollars.  That's the message of the first-ever Lancaster County Restaurant Week, where diners can choose from a variety of restaurants at one fixed price. Lancaster County Restaurant Week takes place September 11 - 17 with a variety of different dining options ranging from traditional Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbord favorites to fine dining delicacies for the perfect special evening. 

Diners looking to preview the many Restaurant Week offerings can log on to www.padutchcountry.com/restaurantweek for a full listing of participating restaurants and prix fixe menus. All restaurants featured as part of Lancaster County Restaurant Week are members of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau or the Lancaster County Restaurant Association. Participating restaurants will offer a special multi-course meal for only $30* per person. Menus and offers vary per restaurant, so be sure to view the restaurant’s listing for details. (For instance, some may offer two meals for $30.) *Tax and gratuity are not included. For reservations, please call restaurants directly.

Visitors to Pennsylvania Dutch Country can also take advantage of special Restaurant Week vacation packages, which include overnight lodging and Restaurant Week vouchers to be used at any of the participating restaurants.  Package rates start at $153/night based on double occupancy and can be obtained by calling 1-800-PA-DUTCH and pressing "1" for the Reservation Center. 

RECIPES

 

Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn  

(Rt. 896, 1½  miles south of Rt. 30), Strasburg, 800-827-8635, www.hersheyfarm.com

Recipe: Refreshing Lemon Bars

Crust                                                   Filling

1/4 cup soft butter                                2 eggs

1/4 cup 10x sugar                                1 cup sugar      

1 cup flour                                           3 Tablespoons lemon juice

dash of salt                                         1/4 cup flour

Mix all of the crust ingredients together and press the dough into a 9x11 sprayed pan. Bake in a 350 deg oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the finished crust. Bake again at 350 deg for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the filling no longer jiggles. Allow to cool overnight.

If you are looking for a cool summertime treat, cut a 3" square of the lemon bar and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some fresh raspberries. This will be a hit at your next family dinner.  

 

Kitchen Kettle Village

Rt. 340, East Main Street, Intercourse, 800-732-3538, www.kitchenkettle.com

Recipe: West Indies Peanut Soup

1 pint Kitchen Kettle Peanut Butter Schmier

15 oz. can chopped or crushed tomato

4 T butter

1 T chopped garlic

5 T flour

½ cup diced celery

1 pint diced chicken

½ gal. chicken stock

1 T curry powder

½ t cayenne pepper

Sauté onions and celery in melted butter. After the vegetables become limp add the flour and continue to cook. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper and cook a few minutes. Don’t let it brown. Add chicken stock slowly and then tomatoes. Add Peanut Butter Schmeir and simmer another 20-30 minutes. Remove from stove and check seasoning. Yields 12-15 cups.

 

 

Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

 

510 Centerville Road, Lancaster, 717-898-1900, www.dutchapple.com

 

Recipe: Chocolate Pecan Pie

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 whole eggs

1 cup pecans, pieces or halves

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 frozen 10-inch deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the brown sugar, melted butter, corn syrup, and salt. Mix well. Add the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Combine the pecans with the chocolate chips and place into a 10-inch pie shell. Add the corn syrup mixture, but do not stir. The pecans will rise to the top and the chocolate chips will combine as they melt. Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for one hour. Allow the pie to cool or serve slightly warm with fresh whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.

 

Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant

Rt. 896, between Rts. 30 and 340, Smoketown, 717-394-7111, www.goodnplenty.com

Recipe: Baked Corn

2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
4 fresh ears of sweet corn
2 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of pepper

Mix two tablespoons of flour in one tablespoon of melted butter, pour in one cup of milk and bring to a boil. Stir in the grated kernels of corn, sugar and the yolks of two eggs, beaten. Beat the whites of the eggs until stiff, then fold in and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

 

Miller’s Smorgasbord & Bakery

2811 Lincoln Highway East (Rt. 30), Ronks, 717-687-6621, www.millers1929.com

Recipe: Baked Cabbage and Cheese

1 large head cabbage

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 cup milk

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

1 cup American cheese, shredded

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Core and cut cabbage into 1” x 2” pieces. Par boil cabbage by dropping it into water to cover, allowing it to cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and cool cabbage. Mix cabbage and all ingredients except cheeses. Pack into a shallow 4 qt. Baking dish. Spread cheeses over the top of the cabbage mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 20 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Garnish the finished casserole with chopped fresh parsley.

 

Plain & Fancy Farm

3121 Old Philadelphia Pike (Rt. 340), Bird-in-Hand, 717-768-4400, www.PlainandFancyFarm.com

Recipe: Apple Dumplings

1 medium apple (Rome variety), peeled and cored

2 tsp. cinnamon

Pie crust

¼ cup sugar

1 egg, beaten 2/2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. sugar

Roll out pie dough to 1/8” thickness and cut into a 7” square. Placed peeled and cored apple in center of dough. Fill hole where core was with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bring opposite corners of pie dough to meet at the core opening and press down into core hole. Bring remaining two corners up to core opening and overlap. Place into baking pan. Brush top of apple dumpling with egg mixture and sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

 

Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord

2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, 717-768-8266, www.bird-in-hand.com

Recipe:  Pumpkin Bread

3  1/3 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

3 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1  ½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. cloves

Mix the above dry ingredients, then add the following:

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2/3 cup water

2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin

Mix until well blended. Place in 2 large greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

 

Intercourse Canning Company

3612 East Newport Road (Rt. 772), Intercourse, 717-768-0156, www.intercoursecanning.com

Recipe:  Black Bean Chili

1    lb ground beef or ground turkey

1    small onion chopped

1    32 oz jar of ICC Black Bean Salsa

1    28 oz can diced tomatoes

1    Tsp  Chili Powder (optional)

Brown 1lb of ground beef/or turkey and onion. Add ICC Black Bean Salsa and diced tomatoes; add chili powder.  Simmer on low for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with a tossed salad for a complete meal.

 

Willow Valley Restaurants

3 miles south of Lancaster City on Rt. 222, Lancaster, 717-464-2711, www.willowvalley.com

Recipe: Aukamp Chicken Corn Soup Lancaster Style

3 gal chicken stock    

2 bay leaves                                                

¾ gal diced or picked chicken                                      2 tsp thyme

3 cups each of celery and onion diced                         8 diced hard cooked eggs

2 cups shredded carrots

6 cups corn—put in a bowl and smash a little

Sautee celery, onion and carrots along with bay leaves and thyme in ½ cup butter. Then add stock, corn and chicken. Bring to a fairly heavy boil and add rivels. Simmer and when rivels are done, turn off and add the diced hard cooked eggs.

Recipe for Rivels

3 eggs

3 cups of flour

1 tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper

Mix eggs, salt and pepper well. Slowly add flour while mixing. It should be a crumbly yet wet mixture. Push through a colander or a sieve into “tiny dumplings” to form the rivels.

 

Iron Horse Inn

135 East Main Street, Strasburg, 717-687-6362, www.ironhorsepa.com

Recipe: Black Bean Soup

1 onion chopped

1 clove garlic crushed

1 jalapeno pepper chopped

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chicken broth

2 cans black beans

Cook onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, black pepper, cumin and salt in a heavy soup pot, over medium heat, stirring until vegetables are softened. Add the chicken broth and the beans and simmer, partially covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Lightly mash some beans to thicken the soup's texture. If desired serve with chopped onion or a dollop of sour cream.

 

Best Western Eden Resort Inn & Suites

222 Eden Road, Lancaster, 717-569-6444, www.EdenResort.com

Recipe: Crusted Hazelnut Salmon
1 each 8oz. salmon filet
1 once crushed hazelnuts
2 ounces raspberry cabernet sauce (see following)

 Raspberry Cabernet Sauce
1 cup pureed raspberries
2 cups cabernet wine
1 oz chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ounce red wine vinegar
Place all ingredients in the sauté pan and reduce until the sauce will
coat the back of a spoon.

Grill or broil salmon until half-way done, remove from heat, lightly
butter top and cover with crushed hazelnuts. Bake salmon for 5 minutes
(350 degrees) until desired doneness. Place on plate and drizzle
raspberry cabernet sauce over the salmon.

 Amish Country News Article by Brad Igou 

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