Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Barn Inn Granola Bark Recipe from The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Barn Inn Granola Bark
In a recent trip to Florida I was given a bag of Granola Bark by my daughter in law.  I have never considered myself a fan of granola and typically do not eat it, but after the first bite, I was a dedicated fan of this delicious snack that was not too sweet and quite addicting.  It is produced and sold through a large chain grocery store.  Upon arriving back to our Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, I began a quest to replicate the recipe.  Unable to obtain the exact ingredients, I formulated my own.  It might be slightly sweeter; however, it is incredibly better and I've included ground flax meal, which is a very healthy ingredient.

This took about 45 minutes to prepare the grains, spices, and syrup, and another 30 minutes for baking.  One bite and you will be convinced.

Barn Inn Granola Bark


3 Cups regular oatmeal
1 cup raw sliced almonds
1 cup whole raw almonds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup raw, hulled sesame seeds
1/2 cup chopped dried apples or raisins
1/3 cup flax meal
2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup honey
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla


1.  Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line a 11 1/2" x 17 1/2" cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray paper with cooking spray or simply use only a cookie sheet that has been sprayed.

2.  Place the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax meal, dried fruits and spices in a large mixing bowl and combine.

3.  In a small, heavy saucepan combine honey, corn syrup, cream, and butter.  Using a candy thermometer, cook on low until temperature reaches 250 degrees, which is hard ball stage.  After reaching hard ball, stir in sea salt and vanilla and remove from heat.

4.  Pour the hot liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula or large spoon.  You will have just enough liquid to act as a "glue" to hold the grains together.  Quickly press the granola onto the prepared pan and press firmly into the cookie sheet.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes. 

Barn Inn Granola Bark - A Nutritious Snack
 5.  After the granola has cooled, use a knife to cut into desired size pieces. The granola will be firm but chewy.  Store in an air-tight container or zip-lock bags. Good, good, good!

Great sources for grains and baking ingredients are the many bulk food stores in Ohio's Amish Country.

The Ashery Country Store, conveniently located on SR 241, is situated several miles north of Mt. Hope and offers a broad selection of nuts, grains, and fruits, along with hundreds of other baking items and meats and cheeses.

Berlin Bulk Foods situated in the heart of Berlin offers a broad selection of gourmet seasonings, spices, cereals, meats, and cheeses all packed into this small location with an enormous inventory. 

Walnut Creek Cheese is one of Holmes County's largest income-producing businesses.  They offer what is probably the largest selection of all your baking needs.  They also carry fresh produce, meats, cheeses, Mudd Valley Creamery Ice Cream, and more.  This location has a bakery, lunch counter, cannery, kitchen/housewares department - a must go to location.

Troyer's Country Market
 Troyer's Country Market carries a lot of fresh produce, features a deli, many food samples, a good selection of grains and cereals.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 29, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Amish Cheese Ohio, Vacation Holmes County Cheese Houses

Typical Scene in Holmes County Ohio - Grade B Milk is Shipped for Cheesemaking
 Amish and Swiss immigrants who left the Swiss Alps to settle the hill country of Holmes County, Ohio, brought with them cheesemaking skills and experience in the science of producing exceptional cheeses.

Prior to refrigeration, the only means of preserving milk was to make it into cheese.  An elderly Amish man, Johnny Y Schlabach, who lived to age 101, was the cheesemaker at the Honey Run Dairy Company, today the home of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, told me, "If you want good cheese, don't let your cows get into apples."  He explained that something in the apples will ruin the cheese.  He also said that every time they had to make cheese, they had to kill a calf because they needed the enzymes from the calf's stomach.   At that time there were many cheese houses in Holmes County, one about every few miles.  Farmers took their cheese to the local cheese house by buggy, cart, or hack.  Between the late 1800's and into the mid 1900's, in Walnut Creek Township alone, there were eight cheese factories. In the early 1900's there were about 50 cheesehouses in Holmes County.

Every year millions of pounds of cheese is made from milk produced in eastern Ohio.  Many varieties of top-quality cheese may be purchased from cheesehouses in the greater Holmes County area.  Include a cheese house visit on your next Amish Country vacation.

Broad Run Cheesehouse & Swiss Heritage Winery offers 30 cheese varieties that may be paired with one of their many fine wines.  A nice vacation stop.

Heini's Cheese Near Berlin, Ohio
 Holmes County Cheese produces cheese, selling wholesale and retail, located at 9444 SR 39, Millersburg, (330) 674-6451.

Heini's Cheese Chalet in Berlin, Ohio is a cheese-producing facility where you may enjoy a free factory tour and sample many different varieties of cheeses. Recommended stop.

Guggisberg Cheese in Charm, Ohio
 Guggisberg Cheese is home of the original Baby Swiss Cheese, which was developed in Holmes County.  The Guggisberg family is 2nd generation from Switzerland and still maintains ties to their Swiss heritage.  Their market features 60 varieties of cheese and other authentic European products, including Black Forest Cuckoo clocks, another recommended stop.

Brewster Dairy, a large producer in Wayne County cuts and packages over 200,000 pounds of swiss cheese daily.  Their Big Cheese Shoppe presently is under construction, not available for retail sales.

Pearl Valley located in Coshocton County is known for a number of award-winning cheeses.  Just south of Holmes County, a stop is worth your time to stop and sample or watch cheesemaking in the morning hours.

Yaggi Cheese in New Philadelphia, third generation cheesemaker, offers fines cheeses and many other local food products. Recommended stop.

King VIP Suite at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
  When visiting Holmes County consider a stay at the award-winning Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast , originally the home of Honey Run Dairy, for the finest in hospitality, where our friendly staff will give you up-to-date information on places to go and things to do in the area. 

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Estate, Collectible, and Animal Auctions in Ohio, Antique Goose

Typical Farm Auction in Holmes County, Ohio
Estate, collectible, and animal auctions in Holmes and Wayne County, Ohio, represent the majority means of land and asset transfers.  Not only is this how many assets are transferred but auctions also provide the perfect setting for Amish socialization and entertainment. Forms of entertainment such as the county fair, a Cleveland Indians ball game, or the movies are forbidden for the Amish once they have joined the church. Auctions, on the other hand, offer the opportunity to set aside one's work for a few hours, do business; and, of course, during the course of doing business socialize with others.  Much local news is learned at auctions.  Sometimes husbands and wives both go, but often only the men and one or two sons go along, especially if it is to one of the local weekly animal auctions.  Generations of young Amish have learned to auctioneer simply by observation.  I have witnessed young boys who are very adept in auctioneering. 

Father and Son at Mt. Hope, Ohio
 An antiques, collectible, or estate auction is held almost every Monday evening of the year at the Kaufman Auction House, located at 3149 SR 39 in Walnut Creek, Ohio.  Beginning at 5 p.m., the goods being sold usually include collectibles and antiques, but may also include business store closeouts, new or surplus items, household, tools, and more. They also conduct specialized coin auctions. Because of Christmas, their regularly scheduled auction for this week will be held on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shown below is a favorite find, an antique hand-carved antique goose, now a part of my decor at the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast. 

Antique Hand-Carved Goose Found at Auction

If anyone out there knows the history or information on the carver who made a number of these geese, please contact me at the inn. The carver used very heavy ironwood for the base.  Perhaps he was a carousel maker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which was an idea presented to me by an expert.  I am most interested in learning who the maker was. I was told that this was one of numerous geese that were discovered in a barn in northern Ohio.

A great source for information and postings of upcoming auctions may be found in the Holmes edition of The Bargain Hunter.

Weekly auction dates are:  Sugarcreek - Mondays and Fridays
                                        Farmerstown - Tuesday
                                        Mt. Hope Auction Barn - Wednesday
                                        Kidron - Thursday (Thanksgiving - Moved to Friday)
Any auction that falls on an Amish holiday will be postponed to the next day.  Ascension Day is one of those dates.  Good Friday and Old Christmas (January 6) are two other Amish holidays.  Throughout the year (during fair weather) the Amish host school auctions and other humanitarian fundraisers that the community and visitors enjoy; ie, Kidney Sale, Haiti Auction, Holmes County Home Auction, and more.  An interesting antiques and collectible auction will be held on January 14, 2011 at the Kidron Auction Barn.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sleigh Ride in Holmes County, Ohio

Enjoy a wintertime sleigh ride in Holmes County, Ohio.  Each year visitors to the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast take pleasure in an old-fashioned winter sleigh ride offered at a few local attractions.

Sleigh ride at The Farm
The Farm at Walnut Creek provides a unique experience for patrons. Enjoy a one hour ride over the 120 acre farm filled with over 500 different animals, including some exotics such as zebras and kangaroos, can be hand feed on your journey. The cost is $25 for adults and $16.75 for seniors and children. The farm also offers a group rate of $14.75 for 15 or more people. Reservations are required, and of course, the ride is provided, weather permitting. Sleigh rides are conducted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and leave hourly.

Amish Country Riding Stables
The Amish Country Riding Stables in Charm, Ohio, offer sleigh rides when there is enough snow on the ground. Reservations are required.  The standard sleigh holds 2-3 people.  Larger groups wishing to ride must give ample prior notice for larger sleigh accommodations. The cost of the 20-25 minute ride is $40 per person.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast will be happy to schedule your reservation for a delightful winter wonderland trip. Return to The Barn Inn for servings of hot chocolate and a warmup at the fireplace.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 22, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Amish Fry Pies in Ohio's Amish Country and Recipe

Amish Fry Pies - What years ago was found only in the south, today are offered at many locations in Ohio's Amish Country. Visitors to Holmes County and the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast greatly enjoy shopping at the local bakeries, taking home a supply of these delectible fruit-filled desserts. Why bother eating a pie with a fork when you can enjoy your favorite fruit pie eaten from the palm of your hand!
Fry pies found at a local bakery

Fry pies, traditional to the South, have grown in popularity among the Amish. Traditionally, they were filled with apple or peach pie filling and baked, but now they come in a wide variety of choices.
Fast food chains also caught on to this trend; McDonalds and Burger King offer baked apple pies in some locations.

Today these popular treats are freshly made, beginning with pie dough rolled into a circle. The thickened pie filling is placed on one side and the pie dough is folded in half and sealed shut. They are then deep fried and finished with a delicate sugar glaze.

Hershberger's Farm and Bakery
Hershberger's Farm and Bakery opened in 1986 and offers 16 varities of these delicious pastries. Flavors include: apple, cherry, black and red raspberry, raison, lemon, elderberry, peach, strawberry, blueberry, and grape; just to name a few! The Amish Pie Company, located in Walnut Creek, Ohio specializes in many kinds of pies and pastries which can be ordered on line. Additionally, Kauffman's Country Bakery just outside of Berlin that offers a wide variety of baked goods, including fry pies.

Recipe for Amish Fry Pies:

Pie Dough:
2 C. white pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. sugar
6 T. butter
1/3 C. milk
1 egg yolk

2 cups pie filling of choice

2 T. warm water
1 T. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar until thickened to flowing consistency

Mix flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and butter with pastry cutter until slightly lumpy.  Beat egg yolk with milk and add to the flour mixture.  Stir with fork and pat into a ball.  Knead as little as possible.  Form into 8-9 small balls.  Roll out between two pieces of thick plastic.  Place into a fry pie press and fill with 1/4 cup pie filling, or if you don't have a press, simply fold over and press edges with tines of a fork.  Moisten edges with egg whites before sealing.  Deep fry like doughnuts at 375 degrees for two minutes, then glaze.  Serves 8.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 19, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Amish Christmas

Guests of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast often ask if the Amish celebrate Christmas. Yes they do, but in a very different manner from the rest of us. An Amish Christmas is very simple, as you will see in the poem below.

The Old Order and the New Order Amish spend more for gifts and may participate in gift exchanges; whereas the Swartzentruber sect would keep with the older ways.

The picture to the left displays a snowman made by Amish children. Look at how creative they are since they are not sitting in front of a television or gaming device! They even thought to add a beard and a pet cat.

At Christmas time I usually read the poem, "The Year of the Sled" by my cousin Barbara Yoder Hall. It so aptly describes an Amish Christmas.

The Year of the Sled
By Barbara Yoder Hall

Amish Christmas... No trees, no trimming, no toys, no Santa,
But no sympathy needed. Different world... secluded and sheltered.

No electric... so no stereo, TVs, radios, cassette recorders, electric trains.

Christmas was simply- The birth of the Christ child, a day of rest.
I loved resting on Friday, or Tuesday, or Saturday for no apparent reason.

Oh, but Christmas WAS different; Breakfast was better. No mush, no oatmeal.
Instead, fried potatoes, sausage, eggs, fresh butter, biscuits, buttermilk...
AND one gift, unwrapped, beside our plate... a practical school item;
sometimes a ruler, or Eversharp, or a box of Crayolas.

Christmas really WAS special;
Our only candy of the year... a block of chocolate... a
Knife stuck in the middle to chip off pieces all day, and
the next, if there was any left over.

Oranges too... juicy, run down your arm kind.
Chocolate and oranges all day, what a delight!

Oh yes, the year of the sled.
"It stood in the smokehouse between the hams and
Sausage for two weeks," Dad said.
"where did you get the money for it?" an older and wiser
Sibling asked.
"I sold a cow," he said simply. "Good," I said, "One less to milk."
"Smaller milk check," Mom said.

Amish children sled riding

Boys rode first, while girls did dishes, naturally.
Ten children and a sled, two at a time... plus baby.
Baby squealed. Babies don't know you're supposed to be quiet.

Long, cumbersome dresses and a sled, but still happy.

Brother Ferdinand said to me, "I knew it was in the smokehouse."
"No you didn't," I told him, "YOU would have told me."

Today I went shopping... bumper to bumper traffic...
Tired clerks, rude people rushing.
I say to myself, but ONLY to myself,
"I'm going back to the year of the sled."

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz

Joe Keim from Map writes about his Christmas memory: In our home Christmas meant having lots of oranges and grapefruits around. Otherwise, we received homemade candies and maybe some chore gloves for the winter. Very rarely did we get more than a $10 or $20 gift, and this, of course, had to do with the fact that there were 14 of us children. However, I must point out that I did receive one gift that will forever stand out. It was a black wool hat. I was 14 years old at the time, and I, in the worst kind of way, wanted to be respected as an adult and not just a kid. The black wool hat made that difference. I got rid of my stocking cap and started wearing the wool hat and finally I felt like a grown up.

There are about 10 different sects of Amish in the Holmes and Wayne County area. For more information, visit the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center.

The owners of the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast share Amish information at breakfast time. A small orientation is given while guests are eating their meal about places to go and different ideas to do. We provide places that normal tourists wouldn't think of, as well as highlight interests such as quilting, wood working, antiques, etc.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Shopping in Ohio Amish Country

Plan now to Christmas shop in Ohio's Amish Country, avoid crowds, and find the gift that you will love to give and they will love to receive.  As most people know, in Amish country, the pace of life is slower, simple gifts are the norm, thriftiness is a virtue, and friends and family are the most valued gifts.  For the most part, the Amish and Mennonites keep Christmas gift-giving practical, simple, and within their budget.  This, of course, eliminates a lot of stress.  Businesses listed below that are not linked to a website are Amish businesses and do not have a website.  If a telephone is listed, it usually serves as a place to leave a message.

Keim Lumber Company, long known as a leader for tools, also offers wooden toys, board games, sleds, old-fashioned ice cream freezers, bird feeders, home decor items, Bosch mixers, and more. Note their sales and special hours.

Amish Country Peddler offers, in addition to their primitive home accessories, Crocs of all types including fur-lined shoes and boots and has become one of the largest Croc retailers in the state of Ohio.  Their sister store, The Amish Country Peddler, offers much in the latest country decorating trends.

If you're serious about a practical gift for a "Down to Earth" person, consider the purchase of the Muckmaster Boot from Maysville Harness, 8572 Mt. Hope Road, Maysville. Muckmaster boots are rated to provide comfort in temperatures from minus 20 to 70 degrees.  This commercial-grade boot is an ideal gift for that person who works in harsh outdoor winter conditions.   Charm Boot and Harness is another exceptional store where top-quality shoes and boots for both men and women are sold at very competitive prices.

Hundred of belts to Choose From
 At R. W. Leather, 4415 Co Rd. 114; with a Sugarcreek mailing address, they are located in Walnut Creek, you will find the absolute best priced leather goods in the area.  Their entire-hide belts should last for 20 years and will not crack or distort.  An average comparison is theirs at $18 compared to a belt purchased from a finer store at $40 or $50.  They also carry purses, wallets, and exceptionally warm fur-lined winter caps.

Unique Play Structures
 What's more practical than a needed outdoor structure?  One Amish woman wanted a chicken coop for Christmas, and she got it!  Whether it for him or her, it's nice to have that additional outside space.  If you're shopping for a child's playhouse, Little Cottage Company surpasses all other builders of playhouse structures.

Create your own holiday meat and cheese basket which may include a selection of cheeses from Guggisberg Cheese, and many locally-made Holmes County food products.   Baskets containing fresh fruits, jams, jellies, Trail Bologna, and sauces may be ordered from Walnut Creek Cheese.   Offering a wide selection of cheeses is Heinis Cheese, and for the best in chocolates, visit Coblentz Chocolates or order on line.

A simple gift such as a book or inspirational CD may be purchased at the Gospel Book Store in Berlin.

Always at your service are the owners and staff at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Members of the staff can direct you to many other out-of-the-way businesses that offer goods and services not found elsewhere.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 8, 2011

Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns, 2011

The Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, on December 4 and 5, 2011, along with eleven partnering inns, participated in the 4th Annual Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns.  Our white chocolate-draped snowmen were the stars of our dining room table.  We are providing the instructions we promised to our guests who toured the inn. Our inspiration was a recipe published in a Kraft Foods book and linked here.  We, however, have significantly modified and elaborated from the original recipe.

Snowmen in a White Forest
 You will need:

8oz. cream cheese, softened
24 Nutter Butter cookies, crushed
Melted white chocolate
Melted chocolate
Oreo cookies
Mini peanut butter cups
Gum drops
Sprinkles for mouth (Wilton Jumbo Rainbow Nonpareils)
Black Sugar Pearls 78-523K for the eyes
Pretzels sticks (for arms, optional)
Plate, spoon, & wax paper

Mix the softened cream cheese with the crushed Nutter Butter cookies. Once combined, roll into balls (about 1in. for the heads & 1&1/2 in. for the bodies). Combine the "heads" with the "bodies." Place on a plate and refrigerate until firm.

In the meantime, prepare the hats. With half of an Oreo cookie without the frosting, dot the middle of the Oreo cookie with a little chocolate and place the mini peanut butter cup, upside down onto the Oreo.  With a large spoon, pour chocolate over the hat.  Do not submerge the hat into the chocolate because the peanut butter cup will melt. Make as many as needed and place on wax paper to harden.

Prior to beginning, set up a station for the eyes, mouths, and noses. Since the cookie balls are cold, the chocolate hardens quickly so you must be fast. We used tweezers to place the eyes and mouths. Make "carrot" noses with orange gumdrop candy.  Break off a tiny piece and shaped into a carrot nose. If your fingers get sticky, use granulated sugar to help form the nose.  You can actually use sugar and a rolling pin to roll out gumdrops to form other shapes.  On snowman we added a gum drop scarf as well as pretzel sticks for arms.

Once the cookie balls are firm, take the snowman and slice a small piece off the top of it's head. This gives a flatter surface for the hat to sit on. Dip the snowman in the melted white chocolate. Make sure that it is completely coated. Place him on waxed paper and, with your spoon, pour more white chocolate over it. This will give the "puddled" effect. Immediately begin to stick on the nose, eyes, and mouth, as the chocolate dries quickly.

Place the hat on his head. If you chose to make a scarf, drape it around his neck and put the pretzels in for the arms.

Reindeer on cookie sticks
We used the same recipe above to make reindeer as well.They were placed on sucker sticks and we used the regular chocolate to coat them, mini pretzels for the antlers, a dot of white icing and a colored nonpareil for the eyes, and cinnamon red hots for their noses.

 Dip the heads into melted chocolate and coat well. Place onto a sucker stick. Immediately apply the eyes and cinnamon candy for his nose. Use two regular shaped pretzels for his antlers. Place them back in the refrigerator to harden.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 7, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Award Amish Country

At it's annual conference held on November 21, 2011, the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association named the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast as the Bed and Breakfast of the year for 2011-2012.  This award, determined by an impartial board, along with other criteria, recognizes the member bed and breakfast that best demonstrates excellence in customer service as evidenced by guest reviews.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio
 Today, a licensed hotel, The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast located in Ohio's Amish Country, in Holmes County Ohio, is a tangible reminder of Ohio's rural past.  Owners, Paul and Loretta Coblentz, with the professional services of an architect, engineer, preservation resourses, and an Amish contractor, adapted the barn to meet the specifications for a hotel/bed and breakfast while maintaining the character of the original structure. 

Grand Beams Showcased in Inn's Great Room
 In all their grandeur, original barn beams extend to the inn's height of 33 feet. The dining and great room serve as a perfect reception area for friend and family fellowship or relaxation in the sitting area.

The finely appointed, 11-guestroom inn serves as an oasis for guests wishing to experience the best in hospitality and service.  The Barn Inn has long been recognized for exceptional full country breakfasts served daily along with a breakfast presentation.  Seasonal and custom packages, such as couples massages, Amish tours, Amish meals, and cheese and fruit packages are available.  Rooms range from classic standard to VIP suites with Jacuzzis and fireplaces.  Typical breakfast foods served are egg casserole breakfast, hashbrowns, locally made sausage, fresh fruit cups, cinnamon rolls, juices, coffee, etc.  Alternate breakfasts are served with consecutive stays.

Consider a stay at The Barn Inn to renew your spirits and find rest for your soul.  A guest services specialist is available by telephone 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. or you may book on line.  The online reservation status is always current.  If you are in the area, stop by to see rooms that are available for viewing.  It is best to call before coming.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 24, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gift Certificate at luxurious Ohio Bed and Breakfast

Delight your friends and family by giving them a gift certificate from the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.  A gift to Ohio's Amish Country is simple to arrange and will "make big smiles" when given to any member of your family this Christmas!  With fine VIP accommodations and on-site owner innkeepers who share area and cultural information, your loved one will experience a gift of lasting memories.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast VIP Tub
 The inn features rooms for all occasions, from classic standard rooms to VIP Suites offering a heavenly hideaway for an intimately luxurious retreat.

Of Amish descent and familiar with the culture, owners, Paul and Loretta, share cultural experiences and will direct your loved ones to significant local shops and points of interest as well as secluded Amish businesses tucked away in our rural countryside. 

Barn Inn gift certificates can be ordered on line or, for more personalized service, call toll-free 877-674-7600 and one of our friendly staff will assist you in ordering in whatever amount you wish. Barn Inn certificates have a three-year expiration, are not redeemable for cash, but are transferrable; and, if you wish, can be sent directly to the recipient.

Barn Inn Breakfast Served Daily
 A stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast includes, in the price of the room, a full country breakfast served daily.  Breakfast provides three hot entrees, fresh fruit cups, homemade breads, locally made sausage, yogurt, juices, and sometimes cinnamon rolls or apple crisp, and more.

Wineries, shops, and eateries may be found throughout the area, and we'd be pleased to accommodate your request for a combination of gift certificates from other businesses.  Let us package gift certificates from your favorite shops like Coblentz Chocolates, Raven's Glen Winery, or one of our other local restaurants.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Amish Family, Ohio Amish Country

New Stove for Amish Family
 Today was a joyous day for an Amish family who, through the love and kindness of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast guests and friends, have received a much needed new stove.  I was unable to get over to their house until about 2:30 this afternoon.  This new stove was already installed and the children were very excited.  They still did not have time to rinse out the reservoir and put water in it and they still hadn't started a fire, but were preparing to do that; as tonight was going to be their first night using it to make supper and for heating their home.

The family is humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of all who helped and say "Thank you, thank you."  The wife pointed out that the place inside the stove, where the wood is stocked, is two to three times larger than their old stove; which, by the way was made in 1922.

Guests of the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast have learned to appreciate their visits with this family where they go to purchase hand-made baskets.  The children help make baskets when they are not tending to chores or doing school work.  Today when I drove in their lane, two of the girls, in their bare feet, dressed in 18th century garb, were chasing a stray cow back to the pasture.  The scene was priceless, a step back in time.

What is impressive is that the children are truly happy.  I have not found such a happy family among the "English."  They have few toys and they derive great pleasure in working together to make the household run efficiently.  Two weeks ago I got there late one night to see the father and his eldest son bring in a large load of loose hay on a wagon pulled by a team of Belgium Horses.  Probably the most important value the Amish teach their children is to become "Hard Workers."  Hard work is as much a cultural distinction as their plain clothing.

Amish parents assign tasks to their children that they believe they are capable to handling.  My husband, Paul, at about age 11 or 12 worked horses in the field before going to school and upon returning home.  I recall at about 5 years of age, my mother teaching me to wash the kitchen floor on my hands and knees.  For the Amish, work is an opportunity for fulfillment and accomplishment.  They derive great pleasure in a job well done.  Work is blended with enjoyment and fellowship as family members socialize as they accomplish necessary tasks.  Amish parents typically do not tell their children that they love them; but it is my experience that because children contribute in such a meaningful way, they know they are needed and they feel secure.  As a child, no one had to tell me that I was loved.  I knew I was loved.  For the Amish, work is fun.

Guests staying at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast are told about and directed to this Amish home.  Our guests, when purchasing have noted that the girls, ages 12 and younger, are very adept in tallying bills and making change from the sale of baskets.  While Amish children are assigned tasks, they do not work all the time.  They are provided ample time for play.

Ohio's Amish Country is comprised of about 10 different sects of Amish.  People comment to us, "The Amish help each other don't they?"  Yes, most do, but the strictest sect is tightly governed and have fewer opportunities to build their wealth.  The men may not hire a driver to go to a jobsite and they usually cannot run any power tools.  If most of this sect is poor, how can they help each other?  How can the poor help the poor?  This is why God uses people like you and I.  God bless you all!

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Paper Casting

This year the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast donated a tree to the Pomerene Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Tree Festival. We created some paper cast ornaments, which were super easy to make, very fast, and a lot of fun! I used Springerle cookie molds from House on the for my molds. The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast now sells these molds, many of which are replicas of 16th & 17th Century molds found in European Museums. The Goode Wyfe paper cast mold shown above, depicts rural Medieval life, probably Swiss 14th-16th century. These are some of the nicest molds I've found.

Supplies Needed for Paper Casting
Paper casting is a great project for adults
and children.

Cookie Mold
100% Cotton Paper or Cotton Linters
Paper additive
Mold release spray
Sponge or terry cloth rags
Clean absorbent towels
Straight edge knife or stainless steel spatula

You will discover techniques that will work best for you. To the cotton linter, add some cuts of brown tissue paper or 1" pieces of brown paper bag to get a nice natural warm color. You can add a handful of yellow tissue paper pieces for a creamy off-white color. Do not add paint to the pulp as it will discolor your mold. Food coloring tends to fade in the sunlight. Always remove the casting from the mold to dry. Do not expose this brand of mold to prolonged moisture. Tea used for some of the water will give your mold a very old-fashioned look. In some of my castings, I used both tea and brown tissue paper to create an olde-world look.

Prepare the mold, making sure it is clean and dry. Spray mold with release spray (Don't breathe fumes). Spray the mold every 3rd or 4th time it is cast. Place your mold face up on a cloth on a firm surface.

1. Prepare the pulp: Experience will teach you how much water to put with pulp and paper. In a blender pour 3 cups of water or tea/water combination. Next combine 1/4 cup of loosely packed pre-shredded cotton linter for a 3x3" size mold. Add 1/2 tsp. Paper Additive to blender. (Additive will make your casting stronger). Blend pulp mixture on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Blend longer if lumps remain.

2. Using a mesh kitchen strainer, drain water from the pulp. Save the water in a bowl for the next casting. When reusing water for subsequent casts, use additive only every third blending. Do no press the pulp into the strainer. If it is too dry it will not cast into the delicate details of your mold.

3. With your fingers, place about a 1/4th layer of watery pulp onto your mold being sure to cover the entire carving
allowing it to extend to the very edge or beyond and even over the edge of the mold. Make sure that there are no thin or bare spaces on the mold.

4. Extract the water: Gently push the pulp into the carving with fingers. Cover pulp with rags or sponge and blot out excess water. Make sure to press firmly over the detailed areas of your mold to ensure they will appear on your casting. Continually use dry paper towels to remove moisture.

5. Remove casting: When toweling no longer soaks excess moisture, gently turn mold over onto a dry surface. With a small sharp knife gently push back the edges around the entire edge of the mold. Very carefull, use the knife to gently release the casting from the mold. Place the casting on a counter or flat surface.

6. Deckling the edges: At this stage your casting is very fragile and will tear very easily. Controlling the tear of "deckled edge can be tricky. To help control the tear: Apply gentle pressure to the eara you wish to retain with a dull knife or spatula edge as you use a tweezer to pull away tiny pieces of pulp to create a deckled edge. Be extremely careful to not remove more pulp than desired. Work slowly and gently.

7. Dry the casting overnight. Drying time may vary dependin on the humidity or temperature. A cookie cooling rack works well for this by allowing air to flow on both sides. Large pieces tend to begin to warp after drying for several hours. When the mold is half dried, I place a light object on each side so that it dries flat.

If, in the morning, I find that a piece is warped, I often find that I can gently bend it into place; however, if it is really twisted, I dip my finger tip in water and gently moisten the casting on the back side (using minimal moisture). In a minute or so I am able to shape it into place. A slight twist is no problem, as it will glue flat when applying it to a base. Remember, if you are not happy with a casting, simply place it back into the blender!

Cotton Linters, Paper Additive, and the Mold Release can be purchased from House on the Hill or from Arnold Grummer's.

I have also made cookies with these Springerle molds. They are truly almost too pretty to eat! A small recipe booklet is given with the purchase of molds.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Amish Youth, Rumspringa

Mural at Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center
 We, at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast are often asked about Rumspringa, a term, literally translated, meaning "running around."  Life dramatically changes for the Old Order Amish young person upon turning 16 years of age.  The entire family and community realizes, that upon reaching 16, the teenager will experience freedom they've never before had and parents have little or no jurisdiction in their teenager's social life.  Unlike the New Order Amish church, the Old Order church does not provide any structured social leadership for their youth.  Parents, who, they themselves experienced Rumspringa, ask few or no questions as their youth seize this "Rite of Passage."  In the Old Order and stricter sects, youth who, as children, were tightly disciplined and governed and have made few decisions on their own, now have weekend freedom without supervision and no curfew.

Rumspringa, for the most part, relates to weekends.  In day-to-day living, parents maintain their control of the family. For example, parents have a voice in what kind of job their young person has and how they spend their money.

When one joins the Amish church, they commit themselves to submission to God and accountability to the brotherhood and the ordnung.  The ordnung, usually unwritten, is an agreed-upon set of rules prescribed by the church that governs behavior, dress, and the implementation of, or the forbidding of certain technologies and worldy influences. Only when a young person over age 16 is a church member can they be disciplined.  Once a member, violations of the ordnung will result in disciplinary action.

Depiction of Amish Wedding at Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center

Rumspringa is not the same for all and does not necessarily mean wild parties, alcohol, drugs, or getting a car. It is simply a term referring to the time period from age 16 until they join the church when a young person is free to socialize, unrestricted, with the young people.  Many Amish youths, especially New Order Amish youth, wish to please their parents and elders and maintain an exemplary lifestyle, participating in youth volleyball games, singings, and other wholesome community and social activities.

For others, Rumspringa offers an opportunity for unsupervised weekend socializing, parties, or "whatever."  Because they are not church members, parents and the community believe they cannot tell them what to do.  Parents and church leaders, who they themselves in their youth, experienced Rumspringa, believe that they cannot forbid it; and the youth would say, "You did it too."  In the Amish society, whatever was done by past generations is considered acceptable.

Enjoying Each Other's Company in Mt. Hope

Amish youth can choose when they will join the church, not if they want to join.  It is the expectation of the parents that their son or daughter will join.  Most often Amish young people join the church in preparation for marriage.  The parents will not give them a wedding and the church will not marry them if they are not members.

The New Order Amish, who embrace salvation, are more committed to addressing the moral and religious concerns of their youth and emphasize more accountability to God for high moral and spiritual standards.  Even though embracing salvation as a free gift, the New Order youth still must follow the traditional expectations of the society - keeping the traditional dress forms, the German dialect, horse and buggy transportation, and a commitment to basic Amish ideology.

Whether Old or New Order, the Amish are concerned that their children and grandchildren not drift into worldly ways.  Holmes County Ohio is the largest community of Amish in the world.  For in depth research material, visit the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio, enjoy the 25' historic mural, and avail yourself to the vast resources of books available for purchase.

Mr. & Mrs. Joe Keim
 We support Ministry to Amish People, MapMinistry.org  This is the best organization we have found that is giving positive direction to those who leave the Amish.

Consider a stay at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast where owners, Paul and Loretta will answer your questions about rumspringa.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ohio Amish Restaurants

 We at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast recommend any of the following restaurants for your dining pleasure.  When planning a visit to Ohio's Amish Country, consider one of the many Ohio Amish Restaurants in Holmes County, Ohio. Holmes County also offers many other types of dining options; however, these are the Amish style options available.

Boyd and Wuthermann Restaurant in Berlin, OH
 Located in the heart of Berlin you will find Boyd & Wuthermann Restaurant, a name that it has held for more than 50 years. Dining here is a step back in time. This is where many of the locals go for very traditional food at a very fair price.

Farmstead Restaurant, Berlin, OH

Farmstead Restaurant, located one block North of Main Street in Berlin, is now under the ownership of Dutchman Hospitality, offering the same fare as Der Dutchman located in Walnut Creek and Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugarcreek. The Farmstead features a salad bar as well as a hot food buffet, Monday through Saturday. Der Dutchman offers a hot food buffet as their special Monday through Thursday in the evenings at the cost of $12.99.

Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen, Mt. Hope, Ohio
 Don't miss dining at Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen in Mt. Hope, located across the road from the Mt. Hope Auction Barn. There you will find many interesting sales including their weekly, Wednesday livestock, produce, and flea market. Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen offers a salad bar and speciality hot food buffets throughout the year, often adding new entrees to their food bar.

Another favorite is the Inn at Amish Door located in Wilmont, offering a salad bar, bakery, banquet center, and seasonally offers an evening dinner theater.


Beachy's Country Chalet in Sugarcreek offers typical Amish fare Monday - Saturday.  They feature daily specials and homemade pies, and sell handmade quilts.

Cindy's Diner, located in the center of Berlin, serves delicious home-cooked meals in a 50's style atmosphere. Featuring daily lunch specials, homemade cream pies, Amish date pudding, and 24 flavors of ice cream! Home to the "Berlin Burger" and "Diner Dog."

Miller's Dutch Kitch'n
Enjoy a leisurely drive to Baltic where you will find Miller's Dutch Kitch'n offering authentic Amish cooking. Miller's features the area's largest menu variety, the lowest prices, excellent desserts, and banquet facilities. Their specialty is broasted chicken, unmatched by any other restaurant!

Have dinner in Switzerland any day! The Chalet in the Valley features numerous European dishes along with traditional Amish favorites and an unmatched view of Amish Country.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 14, 2011