Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday, September 15 - Voting and Mennonites

It's only 52 days until Election Day. Plus there's an active Mennonite community here in Casey County. Now those two items may see to have nothing in common, but they actually do.

We needed to find K C's Quick Stop convenience store in Hustonville. That's where we will vote. So off we headed. Oh, and it's supposed to be on the way to south Casey County where the Mennonite community is located.

Well, we drove all over heck's kitchen in the Hustonville area, running from Ellisburg to Chicken Bristle (YES Virginia, there IS a Chicken Bristle, KY), trying to find K C's. Never did, gave up, headed for south Casey (many people don't even bother to say "Casey County" -- it's just "Casey" like you should assume they mean "Casey County". LATER: We called the store when we got home, so now at least we know where to vote -- we just didn't go far enough out KY-78.

In any event, I had read that the Mennonite community was located along KY-910 near the village of, get this, "Phil." There's a "Teddy" right down the road from "Phil" but that's for another trip. Well, we ended up at the end of KY-910 in Russell Springs, sort of hungry and thirsty so we stopped at McD's. I could say that we drove over into the Central Time Zone for a cheeseburger, but that wouldn't be exactly accurate. We DID drive over into the Central Time Zone, and happened to find McD's. You see, Casey is the western-most county in the Eastern time zone -- which is why our sunrises and sunsets are about an hour later than they are in Waterville. Yikes, the sun is barely over the knobs by 9AM here!

Well, wouldn't you know, we actually found almost NO Mennonite stores or businesses on KY-910. But we DID stop at the "Bread of Life Cafe" and bought a Penn's Ham, home-made bread, and some sorghum. A bit of explanation...

(1) Penn's Ham is a tradition around here. You may have heard of "Smithfield Ham" from Virginia -- well, Penn's is KY's version. We haven't tried it yet, but it is supposed to be "finest-kind" as we'd say in Maine. Cutter's Whistle Stop in Moreland serves ONLY Penn.

(2) The Bread of Life Cafe is a fund raiser for the Galilean Children's Home, begun by Sandy Tucker, a Mennonite, many years ago, taking in homeless children. It's an institution around here, and the cafe and a Goodwill-type store in Liberty, are the main fund raisers for the home. The restaurant offers Amish-style buffets twice a day, all you can eat of great home-cooked food for $11.95. It's not a bad price, and considering where the profits go, we need to return for dinner soon.

(3) Sorghum is a molasses-like syrup produced from the sorghum plant. It looks like corn, but the syrup is more nutritious than molasses. There are several sorghum mills around here where the sorghum cane is pressed for its juice, and the juice is then boiled down (10-1 ratio) much as maple syrup is made in Maine. Kentucky and Tennessee are the two top sorghum syrup producing states in the country.

Barry is in the kitchen now baking corn bread, on which we WILL spread the delicious (I hope), amber-colored sweet syrup. Doctors used to prescribe sorghum because of its high nutrition level, not found in other sugary syrups.

Now that we're home, I found out that most of the Mennonite/Amish businesses and shops are OFF KY-910, along South Fork Creek Road or South Fork Ridge Road, and there are literally dozens of them, ranging from leather harness stores to quilt shops. One place even advertises that it has hitching posts out front for you to tie up hour horse and buggy. Anything from quilts to cheese, bulk foods, leather goods, daylilies to sorghum and home-made jams, jellies and breads. I can see where we're going shopping for gifts in the future.

Now to dinner, and to watch or listen to the University of Kentucky (Lexington) v University of Louisville (not Lexington) football game -- it's kind of like the Sox v Yankess back in Maine. The results will be the headline in every newspaper in the state tomorrow.

The Advocate Messenger in Danville has videos of the candidates we saw yesterday -- Beshear, Conway, Fletcher, Lee (alphabetically). In the Beshear video, right at the beginning, he's referring to a totally scared squirrel running back and forth on the lawn in front of the stage. It doesn't come over well on the video, but in person it was totally hilarious!

My, what we're learning here.

No comments:

Post a Comment