Friday, March 30, 2012

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Recipes Include Mom's Soft Raisin Cookies

At our Ohio bed and breakfast we put a plate of homemade cookies in our guest rooms each day.  Our bed and breakfast recipes for cookies include 'Mom's Soft Raisin Cookies'.  These cookies are so soft, so delicious, that no one can eat just one.  This recipe was passed down from Carol's mother, who often bakes cookies for the guests.
1 c. water
2 c. raisins

1 c. butter Crisco Sticks
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. vanilla extract

3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg

Combine raisins and water in a small saucepan; Bring to a boil; Cook 3 minutes; Remove from heat and let cool (don't drain)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar.   Add eggs and vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Gradually add to creamed mixture and blend thoroughly.  Gently stir in raisins.  (make sure they are cooled or cookies will flatten out too much when baked)

Drop by tablespoon, 2" apart, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

Yields about 6 dozen small cookies.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Berlin Ohio Bed and Breakfast Announces New Amish Country Theater

At our Berlin, Ohio bed and breakfast we are always looking for new things for guests to do.  The Walnut Creek area is now home to Amish Country Theater.  It will offer variety shows that include live music, comedy entertainment, magic, and some good, clean fun.  One of the best features is that there will be evening shows when all of the local shops and restaurants are closed.  Their inspiration came from shows in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that include several acts and entertainers that interact with the audience.  The auditorium has 400 seats and will offer homemade concessions as well.  The decor will make you feel as though you are sitting in an Amish barn or barnyard.  Shows will begin on May 24, 2012 and run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Tickets run $19.95 per adult.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Shares History of Charm, Ohio

Many guests ask our Ohio Amish Country lodging establishment about the tiny town of Charm, Ohio.  They see a lot of Amish there, quaint shops, and beautiful scenery.  It was not always called Charm, but Stevenson.  When a post office was to be started in 1886 they discovered that there already was a Stevenson, Ohio so they would have to change the name of the town to get a post office.  There was a well-known jeweler who made many charms for watches.  In honor of this local jeweler the town was then named Charm.  In the 1800's the businesses included the jeweler, general stores, feed mills, a harness shop and a cheese factory.  Charm used to be located in Germantown Township, but in the 1900's Holmes County changed the name to Clark Township.  In 2012 you will still find farms and Amish, but you will also find businesses like Keim Lumber, Millers Dry Goods, Guggisberg Cheese, Old Mill Furniture, and some cottage industries owned by the Amish such as Millers Bakery.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ohio Amish Country Getaway offers Donut Making with the Amish

On your next Ohio Amish Country Getaway you have the option to participate in a donut making session in an Amish home.  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has made arrangements with an Amish neighbor to teach guests how she makes donuts.  Your hostess is New Order Amish and eager to share her donut making expertise with you.   This will be a hands on class where everyone will get to bring some donuts home when you are done.  The package is offered the weekend of June 29 - July 1, 2012.  The class will take place Saturday morning after breakfast at the B&B.  It will end with a light lunch with your hostess where you will have the opportunity to visit with her and experience an Amish home.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, March 23, 2012

Holmes County Ohio Amish Tourist Attractions: Make It a 3-Day Weekend

Holmes County, Ohio has so many Amish tourist attractions that you will want to book a 3-day weekend.  Many people are aware that the Amish businesses are closed on Sunday but Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has another option.  Stay Friday and Saturday to explore the Amish tourist attractions and local attractions.  On Sunday morning, after breakfast at the B&B, you will board the tour bus for a Sunday adventure.  You will start off with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.  Once you arrive you will have a couple of hours to explore on your own before returning to the bus.  Afterwards well will take you to Gervasi Vineyards which is like an Italian estate.  They have a piazza where you can purchase a light lunch or visit the Bistro where you can purchase a gourmet meal.  There is a Market Place where you can shop for gift items or purchase wine.  Be sure to stop by the wine tasting bar and check out their wines.  Perhaps a stroll around the lake would top of your adventure.  The bus will take you back to the bed and breakfast where you can relax on a porch swing and unwind at the evening campfire.  These 3-day weekend packages run from April - November 2012.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Holmes County Ohio Lodging Explains Why Amish Worship in Homes

Many guests at our Holmes County, Ohio lodging establishment ask us why the Amish worship in homes when most of the world worships in church buildings or synagogue.  When I have asked that question of my Amish friends I usually get an answer like, "We've always done it that way" or "It is tradition...our parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents have always worshiped in homes".  A few years back I met a local woman who had taken a tour that originated in Switzerland and traced the steps of the Amish to when they migrated to Pennsylvannia and then Ohio.  She shared the real reason for worship in homes . . . The Amish are Anabaptists, meaning they believe in adult baptism.  Many years ago churches in Switzerland and Europe didn't like "those people" who were Anabaptists because they didn't believe and worship like they did.  They came up with a plan that if they eliminated all of "those people" then only the "normal" religions would exist.  Amish were drowned, burned, and killed in other ways by those "Christians".  Their faith in God kept them from stopping their worship.  Instead they changed how they worshiped.  They met in basements, barns, forests, and other unusual places.  They would bring a dish to pass so that they could share a meal after worship.  When religious prosecutors saw the people walking down the road with food dishes they assumed that they were having a meal or party so they left them alone.  When the Amish came to the USA they heard that it was a land of religious freedom but they didn't want to take the chance of religious persecution so they continued the tradition of meeting in homes.
The Old Order Amish worship every other week.  Each member of the congregation takes a turn at least once a year to hold church in their home.   Men and women sit on opposite sides of the room.  The church service usually begins with singing, followed by preaching, and then a lunch meal.  Since Sunday is a day of rest the meal is simple.  It may include foods such as bread, peanut butter spread, pickles, beets, soup, cookies, and pie.
When visiting Holmes County, Ohio you can learn more about the religious persecution and how the Amish live by touring Behalt at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in the Berlin area.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Amish Country Inn Shares History of Walnut Creek, Ohio

One of the favorite places of our Amish Country Inn that is located in Holmes County, Ohio is the town of Walnut Creek.  If you have ever driven from downtown Walnut Creek to Walnut Creek Cheese you have past one of the most historical places in the County and probably didn't even know it.  On the south side of State Route 39 you will find County Road 114.  Just off of the State Route you will see an old home with an historical marker in front.  That marks the home of Jonas Stutzman who was the first permanent settler in eastern Holmes County who was Amish.  One of the things that Stutzman is famous for is that he published a booklet that stated that the Lord would return to earth in 1853.  He wanted people to have the chance to save their souls and repent.  He was so sure of his prediction that he built a wooden chair that he prepared for Christ to sit in.  Today you can see that chair at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center inside the mural, Behalt.  Behalt is on County Road 77 in the Berlin area just south of Heinis Cheese Chalet.  Tourists can drive by Stutzman's home but cannot tour it since it is now a private home.
In the town of Walnut Creek you will see business names like Carlisle Inn or Carlisle Gifts.  The town was originally called New Carlisle before it became Walnut Creek.  Many of the original settlers were of Swiss and German descent.  One place that you will want to visit is the German Culture Museum.  There you will see displays depicting the history of the township.
Today the town is one of our favorite places because of the businesses:  Coblentz Chocolate Company, Carlisle Gifts, P.Graham Dunn Gallery, Walnut Creek Cheese, and Rebecca's Bistro.  If you visit Holmes County be sure to make a stop in Walnut Creek, Ohio.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, March 16, 2012

Visit 2012 Breitenbach Dandelion Festival For Ohio Weekend Getaways

If you're looking for Ohio weekend getaways this Spring be sure to visit the 2012 Breitenbach Wine Cellars Dandelion May Festival.  This years dates are May 4, 2012 from Noon - 7 p.m. and May 5, 2012 from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.  
Breitenbach Wine Cellars makes a Dandelion Wine that you can taste plus there will be cooking demonstrations and food stands with foods that contain Dandelions.  You can take wine cellar tours, do some wine tasting, shop in the arts & crafts tent, and listen to music outside from the portable stage.  There are several food stands for you to grab a meal or snack from plus Breitenbach has an outdoor BBQ and a cafe that offers food.  There are enough activities that you can spend several hours there.
This winery is the 2nd largest winery in the State and you won't be disappointed with the selection.  Whether you prefer a dry Cabernet or something sweet like Strawberry Wine or Ice Wine you will find it here.  In the store you will find cheese, crackers, and other foods or snacks that go with wine.  They also have a gift shop too.
If you want to make an entire weekend package you can book a room at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast for their murder mystery weekend.  The mystery has a 50's sock hop theme and you can play a suspect.  There will be plenty of free time to enjoy the Dandelion Festival.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Holmes County Ohio Anniversary Sale at Keim Lumber

You won't want to miss the Anniversary Sale at Keim Lumber in Holmes County, Ohio this April.  The actual dates are April 18-21, 2012.  This store has incredible prices to begin with but when they run a sale you will find great deals.  They will also be giving out prizes!  Some lucky person is going to win the Grand Prize of a $10,000 gift card to Keim Lumber.  If you are doing any remodeling you will be impressed with the vast displays of kitchens and bathrooms to give you decorating ideas.  The store is located in the center of Holmes County, Ohio in the town of Charm.  They have been around since 1911 and are currently run by the third generation of the original owner.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, March 12, 2012

Berlin Ohio Lodging Shares History of Berlin

One common question at a Berlin, Ohio lodging establishment is how Berlin, and the surrounding area, came in to being.  Berlin is actually the oldest village in the County.  It was laid out in 1816 and began to thrive as it was considered the center of commerce in the area.  The founder's name was John Swigert, who was a native of Berlin, Germany.  Joseph Troyer, from Berlin, Pennsylvannia, was another early settler whose home town played in naming the town.  In the 1800's the town looked much different.  There were dry goods stores, hotels, machine shops, tailor shops, a foundry, blacksmith shops, hat factories, a tannery, a chair factory, and distilleries.   Holmes County's first factory was in Berlin and began in 1847.  The first threshers manufactured in Ohio were made at this company.  Most of the people that settled in Berlin came from Pennsylvannia, however they were originally of German or Swiss decent.
Today, Berlin, Ohio is located in the heart of the world's largest Amish community.  Main Street is full of gift shops that have country folk art crafts, a bakery, a book store, a craft mall, to name a few.  Off of Main Street you will find factories but not like the ones that were started in the 1800's.  There are more shops than any of the other towns in the County so Berlin is the most popular shopping spot.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Musical Mother Day Package at Amish Country Ohio Bed & Breakfast

Bring Mom to an Amish Country, Ohio bed and breakfast Mothers Day weekend for a special package that she'll never forget.  We'll treat her to a dinner prepared by a Master Chef who has catered Emmy and Grammy Awards.  He's got a special menu with salad, dinner, beverage, and dessert with coffee.  Her night won't stop there.  When she gets back to the bed and breakfast Bud Preston, a Grammy-nominated, acoustic guitar artist will perform at our campfire (indoors if we have bad weather).  The weekend includes plenty of free time for you and Mom to spend on your own having fun.  We'll serve a delicious breakfast on Mothers Day before we send you on your way to celebrate the day with family.  This wonderful weekend package will take place May 11-13, 2012.  Visit our website for details.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Turn Your Ohio Vacation Package in to a Luau

How would you like to put on a hula skirt on your next Ohio vacation package?  Think Hawaii, luau, and murder mystery!  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast is hosting Lethal Luau murder mystery weekend April 13-15, 2012.  Guests play a suspect in the mystery so if you sign up you will want to brush up on your hula skills.  Although the weather in Ohio may still be cool in April you'll be taking yourself to a beach party in Hawaii.  You may play a Hawaiian dancer, a chief, a surfer, a tourist, but one thing is for sure . . . everyone will have a lot of fun and good food.  No acting experience is required.  You innkeepers will mail your character name and description prior to the mystery so that you can pick out a costume.  During the murder mystery you will be given all of the information you need to play your character and to interrogate other suspect.  Most mysteries have 8-10 characters so you can get your friends to join you and have even more fun.  For more information on this Ohio Amish Country getaway visit the website.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Amish Country Tours Include Wine Tasting

Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has their own tour bus to offer Amish Country Tours to their guests.  One of the regular tours includes wine tasting weekends.  "We've had an awesome response from guests that have already booked a wine tasting weekend", said Carol Steffey, Owner.  While the most common reaction is that the guests loved having a designated driver so that they could indulge in as must wine as they wanted, they also rave about the food, the wine, and the experience.  Every group is different but guests have made friends on the tours and exchanged email addresses before the end of the tour.  There's and old saying about good food, good friends, and good wine and these tours offer all three.  During the months that the weather is questionable the itinerary stays on State Routes and includes wine tasting, cheese tasting, winery tour, and a 5-course dinner at at winery.  During the Spring, Summer and Fall months the tours last all day long complete with lunch and dinner.  Both tours include a winery tour, tasting at dinner at Ravens Glenn Winery.  The food at Ravens Glenn is just as good as their award winning wines.  The next date is March 23-25, 2012.  For more information on the tours, rates and dates visit the website.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, March 4, 2012

On Your Next Amish Country Vacation Ohio Visit a New Attraction in Sugarcreek

On your next Amish Country Vacation in Ohio you will want to visit Sugarcreek, Ohio.  The Community Arts Council has commissioned a Brick Wall Project.  The wall will be 115 feet long and 8 feet high.  It will contain 13 scultures that depict a different places in the area history, teach area culture and share the Sugarcreek heritage.  The photo on the left depicts a portion of the wall with Swiss culture as seen at the annual Ohio Swiss Festival such as steinstossen, Swiss wrestling, alphorn, Swiss costumes, plus the World's Largest Cuckoo Clock.  The artist of the new mural, that is being constructed from Belden Bricks, is Sherry Crilow.  She is a former art teacher from Garaway School.  Each of the 13 panels will contain 105-120 bricks.
The project is expected to be finished by Summer 2013.  The Arts Council is still seeking donations to be able to complete the project.  If you would like to contribute, donations can be mailed to: Community Arts Council - Brick Wall Sculture, PO Box 503, Sugarcreek, Ohio  44681.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Shares New Live Theater Production in Amish Country

Our Ohio bed and breakfast was recently at a meeting announcing a live theater production coming to Amish Country Ohio.  The production is based on the Beverly Lewis book, The Confession.  The book has been adapted to a musical produced by an award-winning team from Nashville, Tennessee.  It has been in Shipshewana, Indiana and Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania with great success.

The story line is of a young woman being raised Amish who finds out she is adopted.  She finds out that her birth mother is "English".  Meanwhile the birth mother finds out that she is dying and wants to find her daughter.    The Dove award-winning script writer has incorporated some humor in this musical.  The humor combined with the music make this production appealing to both men and women.

Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in September 2012.  To celebrate, guests staying the weekend of September 21-23, 2012 will be part of a package that includes transportation to The Confession, dinner and the show.  Details are on the bed and breakfast website.  Guests who cannot come that particular weekend can have the innkeepers make reservations for them to attend the musical on other dates.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608