Monday, November 14, 2011

A little culture on a Saturday afternoon

Das Dutchman Essenhaus…a pleasant little surprise in Northern Indiana’s Amish Country.  A quick jaunt from Elkhart, my sister and I decided to do something different and have a home cooked meal and ditz through the shops. 
As we pulled up, I remembered coming here with my mom.  What a beautiful setting.   
We ate in the café but the dining room definitely looks like a place to share a ‘family-style’ meal together.  My favorite part of the trip was the bakery.  Seriously, the oven-fresh…made-from-scratch breads, cakes, muffins, rolls, cookies, etc.  It all looked so…tempting.  The woman behind the counter said they make over 30 varieties of pies.  Wow.  Unfortunately, strawberry rhubarb is out of season.  Guess I’m going to bring the traditional pumpkin pie to dinner next Thursday. 
Starred on the menu was this creamed chicken served over a fresh baked biscuit.  Delicous!
Lucinda ordered the beef and homemade noodles.

Strawberry Rhubarb jelly!! 
Looks amazing!

I love the little burlap sack and design.
I wished I could have tried all of these.

As we drove through Middlebury, I wondered what the difference between Amish and Mennonite was? Do you know?  Let me tell you what I found out.
They definitely have common historical roots.  They both basically stress that they should live out their beliefs in daily life.  While the groups agree on basic Christian doctrine, their differences come in interpreting how those practices should be lived out.
Wikipedia defines the Amish as a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite Churches.   The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology.  
Specifically, the rules of the church must be observed by every member.  These rules cover most aspects of day-to-day living and include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing.  Many Amish church members may not buy insurance or accept government assistance such as social security.  They also will not perform any type of military service.  Members may be shunned if they do not conform.  Amish groups, as you may notice, seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish world.  They place a heavy emphasis on church and family relationships.  They typically operate a one-room school and discontinue formal education at grade eight.  They value rural life, manual labor and humility.  I also read that some other common practices among the Amish include: untrimmed beards….hooks and eyes in place of buttons on outer garments on men’s clothing, horse and buggy transportation, horse-drawn implements for farming, no electricity in homes and plain dress patterns for women.
Mennonites also believe in simple living but express that simplicity in a spirit of stewardship and awareness of the needs of others rather than completely separating from society as the Amish have continued to do.
We drove by a large Amish farm where there were two lines of laundry put out to dry.  I loved how it was waving in the wind.   There was a young man out tending to the horses so I asked if he would mind if I took a few pictures of it.  He said he didn’t but then hid behind the horse so he wouldn’t be photographed. It isn't against their religion to be photographed however, it is against their religion to pose for a picture. 

It was an interesting afternoon which provoked some thought and wonder. I am thoroughly impressed with their way of life and continuous courage to live outside the norm.

1 comment:

  1. The girlz and I met Ben and minna in shipshewana Saturday evening!!! How funny! Looked like fun!