A Taste of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

York County, Pennsylvania is where I'm from, and where my immediate family live, and where we visit while in America. Here we are at Wrightsville, a small town on the edge of York County before crossing over the Susquehanna River into Lancaster County. The town has a lot of history and historical houses, and a lot of the downtown areas are being revived with new shops, antique stores, places to eat, etc. In our photo, in the background, is the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge. Once-upon-a-time it was a covered bridge, and famous for a time as being the world's longest covered bridge. It also became known during the American Civil War for being burned in an effort to prevent Confederate troops from further invading the North.

There are a lot of beautiful spots along the Susquehanna River.  And beautiful rocks along the River near Wrightsville. We found these and bought them home. Love this one that's like a little heart...

When Stateside visiting, we often cross over into Lancaster County, it is an extra heart home for us. We just LOVE all that Lancaster has to offer in its culture, history, landscape, food, the arts and so much more! The gentle landscape and farm lands of Amish Country in Lancaster is a joy to experience, where many Amish, Mennonite and others make their living and shape their life from the land. We like to take the backroads and wander around. And it was great fun to be home during autumn and harvest time and seeing corn fields in various stages of harvesting. It was still VERY green many places while we were in Pennsylvania... the warm summers can last so long. We were hoping to see more of the changing colors of autumn--the reds, oranges and gold... but it was mostly green!

When in Lancaster we always stop in at the Bird-In-Hand Bake Shop in the sweet village of Bird-in-Hand!  It was VERY busy there the day we visited, and many Amish work there, so I did not like to take many photos in the shop out of respect for them. They hold with NO photography or making images--"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth..." Deuteronomy 5:8 KJB. The shop has some of the best sweet treats in Lancaster County--famed for delicious regional favorites like whoopie pies and shoofly pie, as well as cinnamon rolls, cookies, breads and lots more.  The shop also sells locally made gifts and crafts, and out on their front porch there were autumn delights!

Locally made jams, preserves, pickles and just about anything that can be put into a jar! So much good food at every turn in Lancaster!

We visited the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and The Mennonite Information Center, which are next door to each other, and work together, both offering different resources for learning more about the Amish and Mennonite communities--the people, their history, their faith, their way of life, etc. For all the years we've explored Lancaster, somehow we just now got around to visiting these places. And both places offer special events throughout the year, exhibits, documentary films, books (LOTS of books), Pennsylvania German folk art & crafts and other goods for sale. We saw a film "Who Are the Amish?," which we enjoyed very much. And we spent a long time browsing the many books dedicated to the Anabaptist groups of people who settled in Pennsylvania, and specifically in Lancaster. I've long been fascinated and inspired by these people, their faith, their way of life...and learned a lot more on this visit. We will be going back!

The bookshop/ arts & crafts shop at The Mennonite Information Center...

...where parts of the floor was tiled to look like quilts!

We brought back this book, On the Backroad to Heaven by Donald B. Kraybill and Carl Desportes Bowman, which explores the unique worlds of the Old Order Anabaptist--a study of the different cultures, histories and ways of life of each group. I can't wait to start reading! Also a little treat in the form of two sets of Scripture cards made by a local artist in the Fraktur style of art. Fraktur can be compared to illuminated manuscripts, and was a style of folk art of the Pennsylvania German people from around 1740-1860, named after the Fraktur calligraphy which was/is used to create the works with--usually baptismal and marriage certificates, wedding, house blessings, etc.

And you just can't go to Lancaster County without at least ONE trip to a great buffet restaurant! We went to Yoder's at the Yoder's Country Market and Restaurant complex in the village of New Holland. It was evening, and after much fun tooling around Lancaster, we enjoyed the hot dinner buffet. (Along with menu options for other times of day, Yoder's also offers a breakfast buffet, which we'd like to try another time.)

Here's my dinner plate... from the right, clockwise, there's mixed vegetables, Salisbury Steak, Browned Butter Noodles, and Amish Rosht (Sometimes called Wedding Rosht--roast--as it is often served in BIG quantities for large gatherings among the Amish). Rosht is a mix of all the favorites into one--a bread stuffing mixed with cooked chicken and gravy, and usually served with mashed potatoes...Yum!  Believe it or not, after all that, I managed a small slice of shoofly cake (a variant of shoofly pie)... but forgot to take a photo, we were enjoying the food so much!

Lancaster County in pumpkin time... be still my happy-beating heart!! :)))

For more information about all sorts to be seen and experienced in Lancaster County, visit Discover Lancaster.  And for some info on food and family tradition of the Amish, take a look at this page from Amish Country News

Stop by again mid-week, if you can, for one extra stop in Lancaster... 


  1. Enjoyed reading and seeing your pictures of your adventure in Lancaster County. It did bring back memories of visiting in that area quite a few years ago and stopping in Bird in Hand. Oh my yes! the food and history is wonderful. My family history has Mennonite in it, so it was particularly fascinating. I loved the quilts so much, so it was fun to see the quilt design on the floor too. What a wonderful trip you had, I am so happy for you.

    1. So glad this post brought back some nice memories for you, Marilyn! Lancaster has sooo much to offer. We've spent a lot time there through the year, but we're always discovering more! :)

  2. Be still my heart too, I've just had supper but that plate with the rosht made my mouth water. I have the book plain and simple which is about the amish which has always fascinated me, their way of life, how they maintain their lifestyle without letting the modern world encroach - just fascinating! Also all the pumpkins and to be honest your whole post was just fascinating. You and TJ look so sweet there! Hope theres more of Lancaster county you can share here with us.

  3. Thanks, Everydaythings! When I went back this morning for one more check on this post as it went out, I was getting hungry too... hungry to go back to Lancaster to eat again! ;)

  4. I love the picture of the two of you! it's so good! and happy!
    what a wonderful trip you had.
    I especially enjoyed reading about the way the amish have their meals
    in the link you gave to the amish news.
    and the picture of your plate at yoder's. oh my!
    the best bread dressing I've ever eaten was at an amish meal. it was so light.
    I've never eaten anything like it since!
    just the simple act of sitting down and sharing a meal with each other
    has been lost in american life now. and they know the importance of it.
    a wonderful post darling girl of the north! xo


    1. Thank you, Tammy--glad you enjoyed so much! The Amish sure know how to do food and family! I admire so much about their way of life, and try to take some of how they live into my own... and I make a lot of Amish recipes, thanks to having a few treasured Amish cookbooks on my shelf...mmm... :)

    2. It has long been my dream to go to Lancaster County Tracy! I have enjoyed this post so much!your dinner looks lovely! I used to go to a Mennonite restaurant in Southern Ontario that served really good home style meals like this! It varied according to the day of the week and was alwYs so good! Loved all your photos and words. You would make a great tour guide! Love and hugs! Xoxo

    3. Thanks so much, Marie! Oooo... but that restaurant sounds you mention sound sooo good! We love places like that home-style places, almost like diners. :)

  5. oh how neat! I was just given an Amish cookbook from Lancaster! (published in 1982 and still being sold! :) ) I had to google the word rosht to see that it meant the stuffing in the chickens (I think)....I know you explained this but I was looking in my cookbook for the word rosht under R and did not find it... then I looked it up and understood what it meant and re-read what you wrote and saw that now I understand! Anyway, I have 2 recipes in my book for it! if you want to see them, I can email you pictures :) Love the picture of you both! Such lovely places to visit. I love the Amish too. The community and being able to be more self-sustaining really attracts me. Now if they could have this but with images (and the Mother of God), I would be all set! (Of course this would be foreign to them...)

    1. VERY fun with your Amish Cookbooks, Elizabeth! Which ones do you have? Yes, please, do share your recipes for the Amish Rosht--THANK YOU--I would really appreciate that as I've been hunting for recipes of this to try. It can be hard finding recipes online for this sometimes (and in books too) due to the inter-changeable spellings used and references to it. I feel as you do regarding the Amish. It would be great to be able to somehow have a combination of their ideals and still have some of the Catholic belief and rituals... But then it wouldn't be Amish, would it, as they separated from Catholicism during the Reformation. Guess we can't have it all. ;)

  6. With daughters living in Ohio and MD, I often drive THROUGH Pennsylvania. But it seems I never stop to sight see. Must remedy that sometime soon!

    1. Pennsylvania has sooo much BEAUTY, Willow... do hope you'll get to stop and linger a bit longer sometime during your travels. Let me know when you might be in MD. We could meet up! :)

  7. Oh my dear friend, I really enjoyed reading about your trip. The Susquehanna River is part of our religious history. I loved learning more about the Amish history, culture and etc. found in Lancaster County. I have always been fascinated by the culture and religious beliefs of the Mennonites and Amish. I kind of like the thought in many ways of their simple life. They work hard and are very creative. I love the food, crafts, quilts and etc. that they do. All their bottled products I am sure are delicious. I liked your descriptions of the food that you had. It all sounded so yummy.

    The places you visited looks so interesting. I love going into quaint shops. The rows of pumpkins were awesome.
    I have always had a desire to visit Pennsylvania; it sounds like such a lovely State. Again, our early beginnings of the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were in some of those areas.
    The book entitled On The Backroad To Heaven sounds like a good book. I will look forward to you thoughts on that one.
    I loved the most the sweet photo of your husband and you. You look so happy.
    I'm so happy that you had a good time.
    Sending loving thoughts your way and hugs too.

  8. My goodness, you have a big appetite after a day of sightseeing! Interesting post and I love the photos. There are now Amish communities here in PEI - they started to settle on the island a couple of years ago - I’ve seen the horse and buggy warning signs on the highway, but haven’t actually seen any on the road yet. Thanks for sharing your visit. Marie x

    1. Admittedly, this plate if more than I normally would eat... LOL! With so many good things on the buffets, it's not always easy to end up with a small plate. I ate lighter the next day. ;)


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