Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jam, Mustard, Wine, Pretzels and Chocolate!

We hit the road Wednesday morning thinking we’d get some sightseeing done before the rain came back and we did pretty well on that front. Our first stop was Kitchen Kettle Village almost around the corner from our park. We could have easily walked it, but there’s no shoulder on this road and too many fast vehicles so we felt it was safer to drive.  We also planned to do some other exploring when we finished here.

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Kitchen Kettle Village is a cute little tourist shopping center where you can purchase many things Amish and many things made in China. You just have to be aware. Many thanks to all of you that recommended this place. We enjoyed fresh ice cream

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and we spent at least an hour in the Jam and Relish store sampling a wide array of products. They are made and canned right in the store in small batches. We tasted  some very hot things and some very sweet things. We ended up purchasing a jar of horseradish mustard and a jar of jalapeno jam.

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We tried the horseradish mustard on some Johnsonville brats for dinner that night and the flavor was outstanding! They also make several different types of salsa that we enjoyed sampling and I might have to go back there and get a jar or 2 before we leave. This weekend is their annual rhubarb festival, so I know we’ll be back there to check that out :) I love rhubarb anything.

When we left Kitchen Kettle we just drove and enjoyed the scenery. Everything is so green, thanks to all the rain.

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We eventually made a large circle and came back through Bird-in-Hand to Intercourse where we stopped at the Mount Hope Wine Gallery for a tasting.

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They offer free tastings, which is becoming a rare thing. We eventually chose a Chardonnay that was made especially for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival. It was my favorite of all we tasted which really surprised me because I usually don’t like Chardonnay. Maybe my taste is changing :)

Thursday dawned much brighter than the previous 2 days, although there was still no sun to be seen. There was no rain, though, either…yet. After lounging around all morning, drinking my coffee, reading blogs and answering emails, I finally got myself in gear and we headed out to Lititz, PA. No sooner had we gotten on the road than the sky opened up. It rained so hard we had to pull into a parking lot to wait it out. Once the rain let up a bit we continued on to Lititz which is northwest of here. Lititz is another old Pennsylvania Dutch community that was founded in 1756. There is a little park in the middle of town with open parking so we pulled in there as it appeared to be a central location. As soon as we parked, the sky opened up! I think it was the system that hit us when we first started out. It was traveling NW and we apparently just stayed ahead of it until it caught us :)  We waited until it slowed, grabbed the umbrella and took off.

These little ducks were the only ones at home in this weather :)

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First stop: Sturgis Pretzel Factory

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Sturgis Pretzels was the first commercial pretzel bakery in the country. We took the tour, learned to twist a pretzel and got a certificate proclaiming each of us an “Official Pretzel Twister”.  It was fun. The pretzels were very good so, of course, we had to buy some before we left.

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Next stop: Wilbur Chocolate!

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Above photo compliments of PADutchCountry.com

I wasn’t about to let a few (ok, many) raindrops keep me from visiting Wilbur Chocolate, but it did keep me from getting a picture of the outside of the building, so I borrowed the one above ;) It was a highly recommended stop and it was definitely worth it. Thanks Laura ;) We visited the museum before browsing through the store.

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Wilbur Chocolate has been in business since 1865 and are  famous for their chocolate coatings. They also make other great chocolate products including their Wilbur Buds which seem to be very popular. I had never heard of them before, but I can say that they were very good and found their way into my  shopping basket along with some other yummy chocolate goodies. Rick finally hauled me out of there for my own good :)

Now this is my kind of diet pill! :)

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Once we got back home, I made a pot of Italian Stew for dinner. It just seemed to fit the weather and it hit the spot too.

The weather is supposed to improve for the weekend which will be nice. We have 4 more days to fill while we’re here. I don’t think that will be hard :)

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

BTW, for those of you curious about the town names in this area, the links above will take you to Wikipedia pages giving some background and history of the communities and their names.

6 comments:

  1. Send a couple of those diet pills our way :-)))

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  2. You're making us want to head that way before we plan to later in the summer.

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  3. We're definitely adding Kitchen Kettle Village to our list of places to go. Yummy!!

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  4. We're on the way, in a week. I love the area already.

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  5. Love the Chocoholic Diet Pill. Don't we wish!! Visiting this chocolate factory is now way up on my list when we get back east where perhaps the chocolate won't melt before I take 3 steps from the store to my car.

    Italian stew sounds yummy. What's in it that makes it "Italian"??

    Sherry
    www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

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