2/02/2007

Friday's "Explore" of Enraptured Caswell County

You know me and Ellen are bad to wander.

Today's "explore" took us to "Amish" country in Caswell County. We were in search of an Amish market, Yoder's.

In my mind, I suppose I had pictured the Amish markets of my childhood. Row after row, booth after booth of noodles, eggs, meats, baked goods and other special things grown close by and put up fresh.

I could see the Amish girls, cherry cheeked, in plain black and white frocks, their hair neatly coiled beneath small white bonnets. The air yellow with the reflection of light bouncing off brilliant butters and cheeses. The smell of baked yeast rolls in the moist warm air. That is how it is where I come from, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Lancaster, the hub of all things Amish in my old neck of the woods was only thirty miles away but scores of Amish farmers would make their way in to the local farmer's market to sell their wares each weekend.

I set out with this in mind, thinking how Ellen would love this sojourn, what fun it would be to explore the acres of produce with her. What did it matter we were driving over an hour to get there? I'd seen the list of items they offered for sale and it was a gracious plenty.

We drove. We got lost, as usual, but eventually we wound up on the right road...but at 3.4 miles, per the directions printed out on Mapquest, there was nothing. At 5 miles still nothing.

"It says End Branch Road," Ellen said, squinted to read the print on the map. "Maybe we just have to drive to the end!"

Almost.

In fact, we nearly missed it...



There were certainly no acres and aisles of booths filled with Amish. In fact, the Yoders sold out to another family and they are not Amish...at least not traditional Amish! Not with a website and a van advertising their store. Not with a gaudy purple and gold Jesus is Lord flag. Not the Amish I know!

Still- we found plenty to bring home...but not the golden cheeses and butters I remembered. Noodles, thick Amish style noodles, tee-ninsy bow ties no bigger than a half inch in size; tie-dyed butterfly sprinkles to top cookies; steak rub; lightly roasted cornmeal; oatmeal mixes...It was a right good haul.

In keeping with my "never repeat yourself on the way back" philosophy, we turned left out of the lot and took our chances with a sketchy map and the car compass. We saw one sign near the store that said to look out for horse drawn buggies, but we didn't see a one, leading me to speculate it was a marketing ploy to attract tourists to Yoders. (Didn't see any horses drawing buggies, either. Now that would've been something...a horse wearing an artist's smock and beret, sitting out in the field on a bale of hay just painting away...Forgive me, it's been a long day.)




While the route was not as beautiful as the one on the way in, we stopped to take picture...Ellen looking out for ill-tempered homeowners with rifles who don't like "touristy" types and me snapping away as fast as I could.




Don't know why I rushed myself though, we hardly saw a single soul on the road, in the yards, or for that matter, anywhere!



Ellen thought maybe they'd been snatched up by the rapture while I thought, nah, aliens...Rapture, aliens...Same difference, really...

1 comment:

Teena said...

Sounds like a nice visit :)

We have a place about an hour away from us called St. Jacob's where they are Amish. It's quite a different community than ours for sure.