In Big Valley, Pennsylvania, where many of my ancestor lived, bean soup and moon pies were a favorite meal. As I recall, one group of Amish met at one of their farms for their Sunday church service. They sat on long wooden benches. When the service finally ended, a meal of bean soup and moon pies was served. Everyone ate their fill and then got in their buggies and rode on back home. The locals sometimes referred to this group as beanies!
You can still buy homemade moon pies at Peight’s store in Belleville and Mount Union. They can also be found at smaller farm stands and bakeries throughout the Valley and beyond.
I always loved moon pies, which were made from apple schnitz, or from apple butter as well. I decided to make some of them for myself over the weekend.
Bean soup and Moon pies;
Always a treat // a great delight
among Amish and Mennonites alike.
Home made pie dough rolled out thin;
Cut in circles to put fillng in.
Filled with apple schnitz
baked golden brown;
They’re always delicious
After bean soup slides down.
Photos: Dwight L. Roth
Tonight at d’Verse, De Jackson asked us to write a Quadrille of exactly 44 words using the prompt fill. I made the above moon pies over the weekend and filled them with an apple butter filling. This brought back memories of Pennsylvania Moon Pies that I usually purchase every time I go back to visit relatives.
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Amish buggy clopping down the road
Horse looking straight ahead pulling her load
Not seeing side to side // distractions might scare
Blinders shading each eye // make her unaware.
On down the road and into the barn
Knows her place // she always goes home
Just like us clopping down the road
Choosing our blinders pulling our load;
Refusing to see what’s all around us.
Distractions might scare us // the news might blind us
Tell us we might be wrong // or twist our thinking
With all our choices, it could drive us to drinking
As long as we can see straight ahead
We stay on course knowing we’re lead…
Down the road of our personal choosing;
We forge ahead even though we’re losing.
Unlike the horse, who must wear her blinders
We choose to ignore reality’s reminders
Photos: Dwight L. Roth
With the new election year coming up, I thought this little rerun jab might wake us up!
What is that wonderful smell
Drifting from field to window
Driving through the Pennsylvania countryside?
It is the smell of new mown hay…
Alfalfa drying in the summer sunshine.
Aroma like mint tea leaves crushed between fingers
Overpowering the rich smells coming from
The cow manure flying from the spreader
Still pulled by Amish horses a century later.
Alfalfa hay raked and baled filling hay mows…
Favorite of cows and heifers on cold winter days.
Green turned to white and hauled away
In a bulk tank truck for our breakfast table
Photo: from the family album
At d’Verse poetry group today Bjorn asked that we think about scents in our poetry today. Having worked on my uncle’s farm for five summers as a teenager, I have a great appreciation for the scent of new mown hay. Alfalfa was the hay of choice in Pennsylvania. This smell always takes me back to the farming days of the early 1960s. The photo above comes from that era.
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Over the weekend I went back to the home of my ancestors in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Kishacoquillas Valley for a funeral of a cousin who died. I was only there for a short time, but I did get some shots of the lush farm land and some Amish buggies. While there I went to an Amish Bakery where I purchased homemade moon pies that are made with apple schnitz (dried apples). They are similar to an apple turnover. I am going to let you enjoy the beauty of the photos and the poetry of motion and growth they show. I shot a lot of these from inside the car as we traveled around. No words needed…
Photos: Dwight L. Roth
Note: The Amish are a branch of the Anabaptist Mennonites who, broke away when they felt the church was becoming too much like the world around them. They wanted to maintain their agrarian roots and their conservative way of life and their German roots. There are several different Amish groups. In this valley there are yellow top buggies and black buggies each representing the particular group to which they belong. They are wonderful farmers as you can see.
Wikipedia: “The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.”