Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery Book Review - Custard's Last Stand

Custard's Last Stand (A Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries with Recipes)

Custard's Last Stand is a PA Dutch Mystery written by Tamar Myers. Custard's Last Stand is a humorous murder mystery.  It is number eleven in the Pennsylvania Dutch mystery series. The Price is $5.99 for paperback. Each book in the series contains recipes.  This particular book contains recipes named after, you guessed it, Colonel Custard.

Custard's Last Stand is about a character Colonel George Custard who comes to the little town of Hernia, PA to stay at the inn Penn Dutch while conducting business. The Penn Dutch is run by Magdalena Yoder a Mennonite woman. Colonel Custard thinks that the little town of Hernia could use a five star mega hotel.  But the folks of Hernia are not too keen on the idea.

Colonel Custard then turns up dead, found shot to death in the inn.  An all out investigation is underway when Magdalena takes matters in to her own hands to figure out who shot the Colonel in her inn. She certainly can't rely on the bumbling idiot town police chief Melvin Stoltzfus, her brother-in-law.

Custard's Last Stand will keep you laughing with Magdalena's sharp witted humor and her feisty Amish Cook Freni Hostetler's antics. 

I found this book to be a light-hearted quick read. To see more about this book or other books in the series visit :

Custard's Last Stand (A Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries with Recipes)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Airville Mud Sale

Saturday March 19th I attended a Mud sale in Airville, PA. You might be wondering what a mud sale is. No, its not a place where they sell mud. Mud sales are auctions that are held at various Fire companies throughout Pa Dutch Country. The auctions benefit the fire companies. The ground is thawing and its rainy, so therefore it is muddy. Hence the term mud sale. 

You will find various items up for auction, such as quilts, farm equipment, household items, arts and crafts, tools, and much more. Below is a quilt I purchased at the auction.

If you have never been to a mud sale you should check one out sometime. Below is a little video I took at the Airville Mud Sale.  You can see the parking area for the Amish buggies, one of the auctioneers and a little sample of some of the things available at the sale. If you have never been to a mud sale you should check one out sometime. Just be sure to wear your mud boots.

There is another Mud Sale coming up in April that I will be attending. It is April 2 Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company Mud Sale 7 a.m. breakfast, , 2271 Robert Fulton Hwy., Peach Bottom, 717-548-8995 They will have Crafts, plants, tools, antiques, farm equipment, furniture, food, buggies, wagons, groceries, horses, antiques, glassware and more. Robert Fulton Fire Company 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pennsylvania Amish Horsepower Is Where Its At

Back in February I sent out a tweet about PA Amish horses that pulled out 18 wheeler out of the snow in Ottawa, PA.   For those of you who may have missed it I have included the video footage of that incident. Also I have provided a video of the milk truck driver being interviewed by Fox and Friends in Philly.

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 468 x 60

Old Fashioned Horsepower beats Modern Horsepower. Sometimes simple is better.

I guess he could of used the horses two more times that day. Hope you enjoyed the videos!

Shop At FamilyChristian.com Today!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Whoopie Pie War wages on

As some of you already know there is a whoopie pie war waging on between Pennsylvania and Maine.State lawmakers want to pass a bill making it the official state dessert. Maine would love to claim that the whoopie was first invented in there.  But here in Pennsylvania we know the real truth. So anyway here to explain a little more about the situation is a funny video created by the Pa Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Will Maine lawmakers pass the bill to make  whoopie pies their state dessert? Only time will tell.  But when you think about it.  Shouldn't it really be blueberry pie or something?  I mean they are famous for their Maine blueberries.

And if your from Maine, your in luck if you visit the Pa Dutch Country anytime this year.  If you go to the Bird In Hand Restaurant they will give you one free whoopie pie if you show them your Maine drivers license.

Whoopie Pies Cake Ingredients
  • 4 cups flour
  • Lancaster, PA Whoopie Pies1 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of warm water
Preparing the Cakes
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda. Mix and set aside. In another bowl, combine the sugar, shortening and eggs. Beat for about two minutes. Mix the dry ingredients with the egg mixture and add the warm water and milk and beat at a medium speed for two to three minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Bake the batter as drop cookies. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased non-stick cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until the center of the "cookies" spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool a wire rack.

Filling Ingredients
  • 4 T. flour
  • 4 T. milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable shortening
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
Preparing the Filling
Beat the egg whites until stiff then set them aside. Combine the other ingredients and beat vigorously for several minutes at a high speed. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
Whoopie Pie Assembly
Spread a generous amount of filling on a completely cooled cookie and then top with another cookie. To preserve your newly created treat, wrap each whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap.

*recipe provided by Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and visitors bureau

If you in Pa in September, then save the date for the Whoopie Pie festival Sept 17 2011 held at Hershey Farm Restaurant and Inn.

Stay tuned for more updates from Pa Dutch Travel about the Whoopie Pie War

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Brethren Book Giveaway

Giveaway Instructions

I am doing a book giveaway. One lucky winner of the Pa Dutch Travel blog will be receiving a copy of The Brethren by Beverly Lewis.  Here’s how it works. You can leave one comment for each of the following activities.
  1. Join my Facebook page
  2. Tweet this blog Post on Twitter (provide url to your tweet)
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Go to Pa Dutch Travel website and sign up for Pa Dutch Country Insider Newsletter
  5. Follow this Blog
So, you can leave a total of FIVE individual comments. Make sure you let me know what you’ve done in each comment. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the commenter and then, we’ll have a winner.
The giveaway ends on February 19th at 1:30pm est.

Thank you for all that Entered! The winner was Donna K.. Stay tuned for more contests and giveaways!! We will be giving away more books, travel products and Pa Dutch items!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Win a free Burton Wheelie Double Deck Luggage

Wouldn't you like to win a piece of new luggage to take on your next trip? I know I would. Well you can have a chance to win this luggage by Burton if you head on over to  Altrec.com .

The contest runs till  February 28th 2011. You'll find all the contest rules and details there.  Happy Traveling!

50% off 1st purchase - Join now!

Pa Dutch Travel does not claim to or imply to be directly affiliated with the manufacturer(s), brand(s), company(s) or retailer(s) of the products listed on this site, and in no way claim to represent or own their trademarks, logos, marketing materials, or products. None of the companies that produce, manufacture, promote, or distribute the products listed on this site own, endorse, or promote Pa Dutch Travel.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Amish Haystack Dinner Recipes

I'm going to start off by defining what hay is. I'm sure your probably thinking, of course I know what hay is. But, actually many people get it confused with straw.  One website even had a picture that said they were haystacks when in reality it was a picture of dried corn stalks bundled up. Now, I am not trying to be condescending if you didn't know. We all didn't grow up on or around farms. I didn't live on a farm, just near them. And believe me when I say there is plenty I don't know about farm life. I always say you can learn something new every day. So here is the definitions and then will get on with the recipes.

Hay is cut grasses and legumes. Hay is usually greener then straw unless it has been sitting around and is bleached out. Animals eat hay for nutrition.Straw is cut grains.  It is much more coarse and is used for bedding for animals. So, the top picture is hay and the bottom picture is straw.

What exactly is a Amish Haystack dinner? The dinner is for large gatherings of people and are many times used to help raise money for families in need. The first recipe is the traditional haystack dinner from the Old Order Amish, which the guests serve themselves. This way there are able to put it together how they like. One layer on top of another. The second is a casserole. Enjoy the recipes!

Haystack Supper
Soda crackers, crushed
Hamburger, browned, drained and taco seasoning added
Lettuce, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Green peppers, chopped
Onions, chopped
Spaghetti or rice or both (cooked until soft)
Put some of each on your plate, one layer at a time. Top with shredded cheese or a homemade cheese sauce. Also good to add is salsa or ranch dressing

Amish Potato Haystacks
10 med. Potatoes
2 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 c. sour cream
1 c milk
4 lb. Hamburger
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 pkg. taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese Sauce:
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
4 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 box Velveeta cheese
Melt butter in pan. Add flour. When boiling, add milk, salt, pepper and cheese.
Cook, peel and shred potatoes. Add sour cream and milk to dressing mix. Fry hamburger with onion and add taco seasoning. Layer all ingredients in casserole in order given, then put cheese sauce on top. Bake until hot. Before serving, top with crushed nacho chips.

So, now that you have been inducted to the world of Amish cooking you may want to try more. Below is the Amish Heritage cookbook from bestselling Amish fiction author Beverly Lewis.

The Beverly Lewis Amish Heritage Cookbook
A homespun, authentic collection of Amish recipes collected over the years by Beverly Lewis. Many are from her grandmother and other family members as well as dear friends from the Amish world she writes about with such power and authenticity. Now she lovingly shares these with her millions of readers who have come to treasure her insights into Amish life. The additional Amish sayings and line drawings make for an appealing gift. 
The Beverly Lewis Amish Heritage Cookbook

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Top 7 Favorite Travel Blogs

These are my top 7 favorite travel blogs. That's right I said top 7, not top 10. I like the number 7. There are 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 days of the week etc... I could go on but my blog post is not about the number seven but rather about my top favorite travel blogs right now. I just wanted to make you aware cause you will probably hear me reference seven a lot.

Okay, so lets get started. First of all let me tell you this was NO easy task.  There are many wonderful wonderful travel blogs that are not listed here, but you may find them at a later date. And I couldn't possibly read all the travel blogs that are out there, there are far too many. So, hang on here we go...

http://www.elliott.org/category/blog/ - What can I say about Chris Elliot's blog? Chris is just an awesome all around guy who is a consumer advocate and journalist.  He will keep you on top of all the latest in Travel.

http://atravelerslibrary.com/ - Love to read? Love Travel? So do I,  this blogger combines the best of two worlds.

http://www.gadling.com/ - Your one stop for everything travel. From travel news, travel tips, and everything fun and exciting in the travel field.

http://www.padutchcountryblog.com/  - Staffers of the Pa Dutch CVB give you information about Local activies and events in Lancaster county along with attractions to visit.

http://blog.artistinn.com/ - See Lancaster county Pa Dutch country through the eyes of local  innkeepers. A very informative blog.

http://amishamerica.com/ - Join Erik Wesner as he teaches you about Amish traditions. He has visited over 30 Amish communities.

http://www.yorkblog.com/ - This is the blog for York County.  It is jam packed with information about York County, the the county I was born and raised in.  Where to eat, where to visit, what to see, and  pa dutch traditions and much more.

Some of the authors of the blogs have written books. Please go check them out you will be glad you did.  Also I included an extra book which is a cookbook for this area by Phyllis Pellman Good.  I will be posting more on her later. So go ahead, see what new books you can add to your library!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top Seven Tips for Flying on an Airplane

Everyone needs to get away on vacation or holiday every now and again.  And sometimes this requires flying, so I am going to provide some tips for flying that will make your next experience smooth and hassle-free.

1. Make sure when you are checking rates you check all the airports in the area, for example, some cities have two airports. Or, if your in a small town such as York, Pa you could fly out of a bigger city such as Harrisburg or Baltimore.

2. When packing, make sure to put your lotion and such in bags. If the luggage gets smashed, at least the lotion won't end up all over your garments.

3. Get to your destination a day early for important events. Not only with this insure you are well rested for the event, but it will also insure that you will be there on time. You don't really want to miss your sibling's wedding or another important event. Trust me, I know, I missed a funeral this way, when the plane I was on was delayed, and I missed my connecting flight. It was a devastatingly sad day for me.

4. If you decide to take a nap, make sure you put your seat-belt over your blanket, or you will have flight attendants waking you during mid-flight to make sure your seat-belt is on when the seat-belt sign lights up.

5. Make sure you take reading material along. Nothing worse than being on a long flight with nothing to do.  You may even want to pick up the latest travel memoir or novel about the place your visiting.

6. Don't leave old tags on your suitcases. You don't want to cause confusion to where your luggage is supposed to to be going. You could end up with your luggage in another state, or worse yet, another country.

7. Chew gum or suck on mints to prevent your ears from popping due to cabin pressure.

**Want to learn secrets of getting cheap flights and hotel reservations. Click Here!

The above image of the purple airplane logo was developed by the CDA(Chicago Department of Aviation) This label can be downloaded and printed on to 2.5-inch sticker circles. This symbol indicates people who have disabilities and require assistance. Chicago airports receive training in recognizing the symbol in order to help passengers.

Have fun and be Safe!

eBags Packing Cubes + OnSite Offer