Just recently we saw an ad in the local paper for an Amish fundraiser – held the 2nd Friday of each month at the Borgholm Town Hall – where they raise money for their school by serving Amish haystacks. We had to give it a try.
When we arrived, the parking lot was about half-full. As we got out of the car, about twenty kids went running by. laughing and chasing one another – dressed in nicely pressed solid-colored dresses (and bonnets) for the girls and a solid-color shirt and black pants for the boys. The weather was on the cool side – 60 to 65 – but that didn’t see to bother the children, many of whom were barefoot.
As we entered the building, before us were tables in a U-shape, piled full of food.The Amish women and older girls, wearing long solid color dresses and aprons with white bonnets, were lined up behind the tables, some filling the food containers, some doing dishes. While we were there, the women stayed behind the tables. The Amish men and older boys, wearing solid color shirts and hand-made black trousers, bused the tables and kept our coffee and water full.
One of the Amish men instructed us to take a plate, take as much as we want, and eat what we take – all in a friendly manner. To make a haystack, you start with either mashed potatoes or diced potatoes; then add whatever you like – hamburger, cubed ham, onions, lettuce, carrots, various salad-type fixings, and then you cover it with a cheese sauce – which turned out to be delicious. One thing we learned – you put the potatoes in the middle of the plate – not on the side like we did – to build a bigger, better haystack. Of course, they were also serving dessert – many types of bars and home-made ice cream.
As we ate, the Amish men checked often to see how we were doing. They were very friendly and, when we asked, they explained that they came to the area from Iowa and Missouri. As we ate, more and more people arrived and soon the line went well out the door. Before we could leave, however, we had to stop at the baked goods table and buy a loaf of bread and a container of chocolate covered cashew crunch – the bread for my husband, the candy for me. It was delicious. Do you see why we have been looking for Amish farms? I think we found the farm where they sell that candy! We are planning a visit to that farm and are going back next month to work on our haystack-building skills. I can’t wait!