If you asked the average person to describe Lancaster County in one word, my guess is that a common response will be the word quaint. But having lived in this area for a little while now, my sensitivity to this particular adjective might have dulled slightly. However, this weekend C and I had a huge bucket of quaintness splashed in our faces as we entered the heart of the Amish-Industrial-Complex: the town of Intercourse, PA.
Intercourse is, not surprisingly, a popular tourist destination. People love to take pictures of themselves in front of its sign, but they also love it as a main hub of the Amish community here. Visitors from far and wide come here to experience the “authentic” Amish lifestyle – a large percentage of which apparently consists of knick-knacks! However, one of the larger tourist stops in Intercourse is Kitchen Kettle Village, a collection of 40 shops/restaurants crammed in about 2 blocks.
And we were excited to be in the heart of the action!
More than anything else, this was the land of free samples! The two best stops for freebies were the:
- The Jam & Relish Kitchen
Want to try Pecan Praline Jam? Why not! Or maybe Peach Blueberry Preserves? Sure! How about giving Peach Amaretto Pecan Honey Butter a try? Go for it (we bought this one…)!
All that is required is a steady hand to smear tiny crackers with!
2. Aged & Cured, the place to go for cheese, cheese, and more cheese (plus meat I guess…)
Who could resist trying a cheese called “Killer Dill?” Not us, that’s for sure.
And of course, no quaint collection of shops would be complete without its own fresh, local ice cream stand.
How we managed to eat those cones after all the free crackers and cheese we ate is a mystery, but we did it.
You might assume that after a visit to a place called Kitchen Kettle Village, the two of us would be entirely quainted out. Not so! In fact, we took it up one more notch and drove to a place called: Lil’ Country Store and Miniature Horse Farm. Yes, you read that name right.
It was here that we met our new friends: Dream Dazzle, Hope, Star of Mine, Shining Star, and the newly born Ruby.
It was a magical place! Even next door some friendly goats hung out in their elaborate living quarters.
The whole animal gang were a friendly bunch, who were extremely happy and pleased to receive neck scratches and food pellets. All, that is, except for one…
Goldendust: The most diabolical, calculating, dangerous miniature horse that ever lived. DO NOT PET GOLDENDUST!
Filled with the feelings of warmth that always accompany close animal friendship, we stopped inside the Li’l Country Store and quenched our thirsts with some delicious homemade root beer, a beverage that is surprisingly quite common around Lancaster County farmland.
All in all, the day was a wonderful visit to the heart of Amish country. We ate some good food, made some wonderful friends, and (most importantly) learned a very valuable lesson: DO NOT PET GOLDENDUST!