MILLHEIM — Penns Valley is home to many Amish families and farms. Bearded men in straw hats, ladies in long dresses and horses and buggies on the roads have been familiar sights to residents of the valley for the past 50 years. Most Amish in the valley are farmers, and they are known for, among other things, their excellent home cooking.
On March 2, the Millheim Fire Company held a traditional Amish wedding dinner for the public as a fundraiser for the company. Fire company member Donald Heggenstaller said that all the food was donated by local Amish and was prepared in individual Amish homes.
According to tradition, Amish weddings bring out the finest foods, and plenty of it. That tradition held true at this event with a menu consisting of roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, cream of celery soup, vegetable pizza, applesauce, coleslaw, homemade pies and homemade ice cream — in an all-you-can eat format.
Heggenstaller said this is the fourth year the fire company has held this event and that it is one of their major fundraisers. He noted that the Amish originated the idea for the meals, and they take no money for the food or the time spent preparing it, so all the money taken in goes to support the fire company. Another member said that past meals have served nearly 600 people during their three-hour duration.
A steady stream of customers filled the fire hall’s engine bay, adorned with green St. Patrick’s Day balloons, throughout the event. Eat-ins as well as take-outs were served to hundreds of Penns Valley residents, and many from surrounding areas.