Shady Maple Smorgasbord and Shady Maple Farm Market

8/20/14 Wednesday in Lebanon,PA (Hershey-TT)

You know how some days you have the energy and motivation and others, not so much. Today was a “I can tackle that blog” day. Thus I got into it as soon as my morning jobs were completed.

By lunch time I had a bright idea. We needed to do some grocery shopping. Shady Maple Farm Market looked like a good place for produce and we’d heard that Shady Maple Smorgasbord was a must see. John noted that it would be cheaper to eat lunch rather than dinner there. My idea was to go there for our shopping and lunch and invite Betty/Dale. When we did ask them about it you should have seen Betty’s face. Pure happiness. Dale said he wouldn’t ever turn down a chance to go to Shady Maple Smorgasbord. Since we left around 12:30 pm and it would take almost an hour to get there, we figured we’d just have bigger appetites, thus a better capability to eat more.

Thus we arrived at 1:30pm and sure enough, just as people said the place is HUGE. It’s run by Mennonites with a lot of PA Dutch country food. The buffet seems to go on forever. They had 3 grill areas (oriental, fast food, beef, pork, chicken). Lots of vegetables (14) and salad bar choices (40), deserts at 2 ends (over 25). Loads of beverages as well. It’s hard to stop. Hot, fresh food. My Seafood Croc (Croquette) was yummy. Betty and I loved the corn fritters (like fresh corn in a pancake) and enjoyed the shoo fly pie (thick molasses as bottom of crumb type pie). The guys pretty much stuck to basics: lots of meats, potatoes. Dale added vegetables to that list. John added a hamburger meal to his. Most surprisingly the price (10% off if over 60) was $12.50+tax each.

smorg 1 smorg 2

Then we went to the Shady Maple Farm Market. Wow. Also huge; a grocery store with excellent, really fresh local produce. The best I’ve seen since the West Coast. Phenomenal prices – like 2 years ago on the West Coast. Plus so much variety. I’d never seen all the sorts of egg plants, nor lima beans in their pod. Bulk food as well which I’ve always enjoyed at Amish food stores. Betty/Dale were amazed as well and really wished they hadn’t done all their shopping the day before. Sure wish we lived here! If it weren’t for the humidity……

farm 1 farm 2

We had so much fun talking on the way to and from the Shady Maple businesses that the time passed quickly. (The name Shady Maple is from the first farm produce place that was under a large maple tree.)  We got home a bit after 5 pm so John watched his “Emergency” TV show. I started reading then fell asleep. Then a miracle happened. When I woke up he asked if I wanted to go for a walk!! (We never felt hungry and never had supper or even a snack). On our walk we stopped a bit to see Shorty and his wife, then met Ray/Jeannie who are selling their 1999 MCI RV for $345,000. A bit outside our capability. We had a fun visit with them while walking too.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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