The Roads That Should Be Taken! - Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown Blog at - 245545

Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown

The roads that should be taken! 
Aug. 1, 2011 3:57 am 
Updated: Apr. 12, 2014 12:14 pm

   I live in central Ohio within 5 miles of a very large Amish community.  A rural area…with lots of fields, full of corn, wheat, hay, and soy beans.  The rolling hills and green valleys are dotted with farm houses, barns, and animals.  Highways with "Share the Road" signs and dirt roads marred by buggy tracks and "horse tracks" are all the norm in this area!

     Tucked here and there are the usual Amish shops...selling cheese, flour, spices, and everything a home baker could ever want.  And the prices are VERY reasonable!  That's because these shops aren't amid a village or "tourist trap" town (like Ohio's Walnut Creek and Sugar Creek).  These shops are usually found in front of modest two story homes, with no unsightly poles or wiring, against a backdrop of green pasture and blue sky. 

      Blue and black clothing blow in the wind on clotheslines.  The line running from the second floor windows of the houses to the tops of barns using a pulley system.  Dogs sniff at your heels, chickens run a muck, and curious, barefoot children peak from behind their mother's skirts at the "strange looking" people invading their sanctum.

     There are other homes "just up the road" where you can get anything from homemade furniture, upholstery, leather goods and tack, maple syrup, and the freshest of produce.  Others boast fresh baked bread, pies, and cinnamon rolls. 

      In our area, there is an auction house (in the middle of nowhere) where every Wednesday local folk bring in bushels of produce to sell in bulk.  You can find a wide variety of fruit and veggies for canning, freezing, or just enjoying!  “Outsiders” flock from nearby to take advantage of the good prices. 

     Amazing as it seems there are not large crowds pushing and invading these quaint country shops.  It’s like those of us who “know” only share our secret with a select few.  Small, well-worn signs are posted where the highway intersects with the rural roads…pointing the way to these gems of the countryside.  Luckily, for us, few venture off the beaten path to investigate further.

     One of my favorite stores is only 4 miles from my home.  It took a year of living up here before I found it.  On a gravel road, within spitting distance of a major interstate, sits the “Bent and Dent” grocery store!  I don’t know where or how they get these items (and I don’t care) but the bargains I find there are absolutely AMAZING! 

     The name says it all…bent boxes and dented cans are in abundant supply.  Name brand and store brand veggies of EVERY variety are available for only 35 cents a can!  On some occasions we have lucked out and gotten banana boxes full of assorted cans “reduced” for $9 a box…which we figured out to be 20 cents a can!

     BBQ sauces, Marinades, and salad dressings for 85 cents a bottle.  Hamburger Helper, boxed potatoes, and pasta for 85 cents a box!  I check the dates and they are mostly 2012 and beyond!  And food isn’t the only bargain they have.  Just this week we got a large bag of Kingsford charcoal…which retails for $12 for only $3.00!  Just because the bag had a small rip on the outer layer!

     The “jewels” we find are the icing on the cake.  Olive oil imported from Italy and Australia pops up from time to time.  Most retail online for $10 but we pay $3.65 a bottle.  And just the other day I found a 34oz tin of extra virgin olive oil for $6.55.  When I looked it up online I found it for $36.99 on Amazon!  Another goodie was a 250ml can of Black Truffle Oil for $1…online $14.95!!  I assume some of these more “pricey” items are slow moving ones that have been discontinued in the stores.  All I know is that I would never have tried Black Truffle Oil if I hadn’t got it at such a good price! (it is AWESOME by the way) For a wanna-be gourmet cook, access to these big ticket items are like gifts from the Gods!

     Now I AM NOT going to divulge exactly where MY little Amish stores are!! (it's a secret)  But I do encourage you to take that unbeaten path and see what YOU can discover.  Dare to investigate where those weather beaten signs can take you.  The most inconsequential looking sign could lead you to treasure!  I look forward to hearing about your adventures!    .........Holly=) 

Aug. 1, 2011 4:08 am
I would like to give a big THANK-YOU to Baking Nana for giving me tips on how to post more pictures!!=)
Aug. 1, 2011 5:08 am
Nice blog! I live in NE Ohio and love to go down the "road less travelled". You never know what you'll find! We just got back from VA and we took a winding, treacherous road (??) up a mountain only to find a beautiful winery there! I may venture down your way and see if I can find any of your "secrets" some day! Lovely pictures, thank you for sharing!
Aug. 1, 2011 5:35 am
Thank-you Mother Ann! I know what you mean about the "roads"! My hubby and I love to meander through the countryside coming home from long trips. We are going to Indiana this week and I can't wait to see what find in that direction!!
Aug. 1, 2011 6:25 am
Lovely - absolutely wonderful. I have never had the pivledge to visit Amish Country. Some day....
Aug. 1, 2011 6:26 am
Oh, I forgot to say, Your welcome. I am glad I could help. Your pictures are great. Thanks for sharing.
Aug. 1, 2011 6:42 am
Thanks again Nana! I really LOVE allrecipeeps! You all are an extremely wonderful, supportive group of people=)
Aug. 1, 2011 9:26 am
beautiful country side. We have hutterite colonies in Alberta. Similar, German heritage, communal living, etc., but easier to find. When my garden does not produce a particular item, I often visit the colony in the fall and stock up on anything I need. It seems my garden may not give me good cabbages, but their gardens (just 25 minutes away) produce massive cabbages for sourkraut, it's not fair:( The boys on the colony also do a lot of wood work, leather work, etc. Simple lifestyles are a way of life, and they all seem to have smiles on their faces.
Aug. 1, 2011 9:27 am
BTW, I love your avatar-lots of hard work there but good eats through the off season:)
Aug. 1, 2011 9:50 am
Thanks redneck gramma! We do love our garden and nothing beats home canned freshness! Corn is what we seem to have the most trouble with! What does grow the raccoon's get! We usually end up going to our "neighbors" for our freezer corn=) The over abundance of rain we had this year and then the HOT humid weather has not been good for the garden! That's where the Bent & Dent comes in=)
Aug. 1, 2011 11:32 am
omg, am so glad to have checked the new Blogs today and to see yours Holly! I recently posted on AR post #245459 a question about Amish recipes and was fascinated by the knowledgeable answers from everybody here on The Buzz. Your photos are just great [loved every single photo!] and make me want to visit that area some day, hopefully within the next year. So peaceful and looks similar to the country drives in Wisconsin I remember from my childhood, so very long ago. ~ My husband and I always enjoyed driving through Ohio and Pennsylvania and Indiana when we traveled the main highways to visit our parents years ago [in between Milwaukee and Boston]. However, I can see we missed the best scenic parts and we never saw any Amish! It is time we re-visit and take our time and maybe find a B & B to relax… AND perhaps find an unbeaten path or two of our very own. Those are the best vacations, with its own surprises unfolding. Thanks so much, really enjoyed it. ~ Just looked up my post about Amish food (which YOU would know so much about!), and there were so many worthwhile comments on it, here is the interesting reference (if you have time):___
Aug. 1, 2011 5:06 pm
Wow Sue! Thank-you so much for the wonderful comments=) I seem to be good for about a blog a But then something hits me and I think..."that might be an interesting blog"!! So glad I was right about this one! I have always been fascinated with the Amish way of simplistic and serene. It is wonderful interacting with them at these shops! Some are very reserved and don't talk much at first...but seeming how we frequent the store so much...they are getting more chatty. They know my husband will take any "deal" they make him, when they want to move out inventory for the next delivery. They put new stuff out every day so we like to go at least twice a week to check for goodies. You should definitely do the B & B thing and meander the "backer back roads" (that's a comment a friend of mine made to make fun of me!!) It is so much fun! I look forward to hearing about it after you go=) Now I'm going to go check out your link!
Aug. 1, 2011 9:58 pm
Wonderful blog Holly and love the pictures. I used to live in Kansas near an Amish settlement. We got to see the buggys and horses and did some shopping in the Amish stores. Wonderful people and wonderful cooks!
Aug. 2, 2011 4:02 am
Thanks grannygigi! And yes...the food is awesome too! Every Saturday morning an Amish woman (and one or two children) sets up her table on the corner uptown. Now by uptown I mean next to the one and only traffic light we have in our small village. She has fresh baked pies, breads, and sticky buns, as well as some fresh produce. It only takes her 3 to 4 hours to sell out, pack up, and head back home!=)
Aug. 9, 2011 9:11 am
A great blog Holly! I am a native of northern Indiana, and familiar with the nearby Amish communities. Now in west-central Illinois, we have several Amish families who have moved on to the farms nearby. Several have opened shops that sell a variety of goods: bakery, greenhouse, tool sharpening, furniture, etc. We need to visit their shops more often. Loved your photos! And love those drives down the roads less traveled.
Aug. 9, 2011 12:46 pm
Thanks scooter2!! We love to drive the back roads and "get lost" on purpose! Eventually, we'll come to a main road that we recognize and get headed in the right direction. We've had a lot of awesome adventures doing that! We don't do it so much now...with gas prices so high=)
Oct. 25, 2011 7:05 pm
Do you happen to be La holly from sizzle on the grill?
Apr. 12, 2014 12:14 pm
Your recipe - Dad's Breakfast Pizza - sounds absolutely to die for. So the recipe indicates that the eggs are to be beaten - but the first picture is a serving where the egg is sunny side up. Could you do the recipe with some beaten/scrambled and then a few eggs on top at the end of the baking time??? Would you please reply to me at Thank you so much!!! God's blessings to you!
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Holly Chadwick

Home Town
Centerburg, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Apr. 2004

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Gourmet

Gardening, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Reading Books

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About Me
I am in my 50's, married with 2 grown children, 2 grandsons, and a granddaughter. I started cooking as a grill cook at the age of 16. I have been a prep cook and currently I am the manager of a deli/bakery at our small town grocery store. I love cooking for my family and friends and enjoy making up thier plates and serving them. I adore hearty appetites!
My favorite things to cook
We love good food! I enjoy trying all sorts of new recipes (which is why "ALLRECIPES" is my favorite site on the web). It is exciting for me to try something new and have it turn into a family favorite! I make a great traditional lasagna using ground beef, Italian link sausage (cut into small chunks), four cheeses and homemade red suace. I always have to make 5 or 6 pans and pass them around to my kids, siblings, parents, and whomever else I want to treat at the time. Half of my family works at the same grocery with me, so whenever they see me buying the ingredients to make it they ask to be put on the list:)
My favorite family cooking traditions
My dad is from Texas and as the next to the youngest son of a family of 9 he was designated the cook when my grandmother passed away. The older boys went to work with their dad and the girls watched after the younger children. I grew up eating alot of fresh baked bread and good mexican food as a result. As my dad also had alot of hard, hungry days during his boyhood..our house always had a well stocked pantry and freezer. My mother grew up in the same town we now live in and is also a great cook. While dad worked she was a stay at home mother (the norm back then) who baked us goodies for after school and made great meals for her family. Our family get-togethers always revolve around alot of food.
My cooking triumphs
Canning our fresh veggies for winter is my most rewarding triumph! .....But I have cooking triumphs every time someone tells me how good tasting something I've made is. Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing alot of "ums" while people are eating and hardly any talk! Just last night a couple of our bachelor friends stopped over and I heated up our leftover Hasenpfeffer (rabbit stew) found on ALLRECIPES for them. They never said a word until it was all gone and then they raved on how great it was. They are going hunting this week and bringing over their rabbits so that I can make it again!! My husband is my greatest fan and most nights he tells me "that was a great supper!!!" And I tell him, "thats why I do it".
My cooking tragedies
At the tender age of 11 I made potato salad for my family. I presented it with pride to my father who ate a goodly portion of it and raved on how good it was. Later, I found out that you are supposed to "cook" the potatoes!!!
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