Posted by: Josey | August 28, 2007

Outsmarted by the Amish: Part Twee*

by Josey Miller

Our favorite thing to do in Amish country is to get lost in the cornfields…

…while gawking at their homes―and clotheslines―from afar.

But now we were actually about to go inside one of those homes to eat dinner with the family.

We were right on time, but I started to get nervous. After all, our lifestyle is, of course, as different from theirs as theirs is from ours. What if they asked me questions in response to the questions I’d prepared for them?

We followed the directions Carolyn had given us. And their farm was so picturesque that I asked Jeff to pull over so I could photograph it:

But just as I looked through the viewfinder and pressed the button, something unexpected happened. Cars started flying down the road behind us… and turning into the driveway of the Amish family’s farm. Our Amish family’s farm.

Lots and lots of cars.

Twenty-two cars, in fact.

I counted once we reached the packed parking lot.

Apparently our dinner with an Amish family was actually a “dinner in the restaurant an Amish family is running out of their basement.”

I did not eat in their kitchen or their dining room. I did not bond with Naomi and Jacob’s children (though not for lack of trying). I did not get to ask any of my questions. We did eat family style, which was apropos given that we were sitting in the middle of a non-Amish family reunion of more than sixty non-Amish people.

They’d eaten there “at least seventeen times.”

Naomi only looked in my direction once―not to admire the Amishness of my dress (shocking, I know), but rather―to show the room how she mashes the potatoes with a mixer attached to an electric drill.

But between their fresh, homemade peanut butter and their fresh, homemade chicken and bread and chow chow and their fresh, homemade, well, everything else… somehow we still left satisfied.

And I was pretty glad we didn’t bring flowers.

*Dutch for “two.” At least Google answers my questions.



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