When on the road, whether it’s for work or pleasure, it’s always nice to take a break from the usual dinner choices. On a recent work trip to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a group of colleagues and I enjoyed just such an opportunity. We experienced a truly unique and fulfilling treat, dinner with an Amish family.

Our group travels regularly and is always on the look out for something different. A colleague who lives in the area learned about this while searching for dining options for our group. The venue is a working Amish farm about 30 minutes from Harrisburg where Verna King and two of her sons, Sam and Tom, were our hosts.

As is the case with so many good ideas, this one was born from necessity. After the death of her husband and still with young children at home, Verna was in need of income. She figured since she was already cooking and having dinner, why not invite guests?

Verna told us the first dinner was a bit awkward. Her guests said they’d never done this before and Verna replied that neither had she. As you can guess, they all had a laugh that broke the ice and enjoyed a great dinner.

Our meal was everything you might expect on a farm, excellent comfort food and plenty of it. We started with a simple salad topped with homemade dressing made, according to Verna, from whatever she had on-hand in the kitchen. It was excellent! She also served us outstanding homemade bread and home-churned butter, green beans, mashed potatoes, meatballs, pork chops, homemade cookies, and ice cream. Needless to say, we were all stuffed.

After dinner, we took a quick walk around the picturesque farm and were immediately drawn to a litter of super cute puppies. Verna raises puppies to sell, so if you’re in need of a cute new furry addition to your family, you may bring home more than a full stomach.

One request from our hosts was photography is not allowed. All of us left our phones in our cars. After our evening spent on this Amish farm, we all felt it was a nice break not to have our phones, which made our dinner experience even better.

To make this happen, you can reach Verna by phone 717-687-6930. You may have to try several times to reach her, and, as you may guess, she does not have a website. There is no set charge for the meal. After dinner she passes around a guest book and a basket for a donation. The suggested amount is $20 – $25 and is well worth it.

Photo courtesy of Terry Ross

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