While in Pennsylvania, some of us spent our Saturday afternoon wearing our arms out, playing volleyball. The rest of the group went up on the muddy ball field to freeze to death and play Ultimate. This is what the decision comes down to when I’m faced with a choice between my two favorite sports. I actually like playing frisbee in the snow, because you can slide major distances and your jacket gives you additional padding. But when I’m really tired and it’s extremely cold? Besides, I hadn’t played volleyball in forever. And we’re supposed to play volleyball at the March conference. I thought everyone knew that!
When we’d worn ourselves out, temporarily, we abandoned the volleyball court, and prepared to pile into the cars to get ice cream. And then discovered that only three of us knew where Windy Knoll was, and I think every one of us knew a different way to get there. So, we split up and enjoyed the back roads of PA.
The guys riding in my car were from Maine and New Hampshire, and no matter how many times they come that far “south”, they appreciate the fields that seem to have no rocks in them. Or no rock walls separating the fields, to show how many rocks there used to be in the fields. I guess they haven’t seen that dairy farm down the highway? They have tons of rocks.
Windy Knoll Market & Creamery makes their own ice cream, which our conferences regularly travel to enjoy. Also, one Fall, I remember wandering through their corn maze for an hour or so. I have pictures somewhere…. I’ll have to go find them.
As soon as I hopped out of the car, I had to get some better pictures of the building than I’ve taken before, and really wished I could get a better vantage point to show you the rolling hills of PA. They’re quite a sight, whether they’re bare in winter or loaded with crops the rest of the year.
I hurried into the building, because it was quite cold outside, and then took a few pictures on the way back to the ice cream area, where the rest of our group had formed a mile-long (ok, it just seemed like it). No one else was in the seating area, so we were able to fill it up. I was looking for something close to Moose Tracks ice cream, though I’m not sure why it was necessary. I was going to have Moose Tracks at the snack shack, that evening. Instead, I had Peanut Butter Overload and Tin Roof Sundae (which had chocolate covered peanuts).
I actually hadn’t noticed the different cones you could choose from, until one of my friends pointed them out. I love cones, but I tend to get a dish, because it’s cleaner. I know, I’m boring. When I’m really in the mood for a cone, I get one dipped in dark chocolate, at the Marble Slab. In the summer, when I can be OUTSIDE. But I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a pretzel cone or a chocolate chip cone, before.
Then I went back to checking out the variety on the shelves in the main part of the store. You can’t walk down the candy aisles or the dried fruit aisle and not want to buy just about everything. And the soda aisle… my family loves Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer. If you’ve never had it, it’s a bit like root beer or cream soda, but not quite. I’m not sure how else to explain it.
While living in PA, I also discovered the Kutztown brand of soda, and I particularly love their Sarsaparilla flavor. I’m guessing Aussies don’t have these, so they’re pronounced either “SASS-puh-rilla” or “SARS-puh-rilla” (I use the latter).
I had to stop and figure out what Bumbleberry Jam was. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, with lemon juice, sounded pretty good to me. And also for the Aussies, the pretzel aisle. Americans love their pretzels, but I think the Pennsylvania Dutch have perfected the craft of making them.
You will be thrilled to know that I left Windy Knoll, only having bought myself some sassafrass hard candy, which tastes like the flavor in gum drops (at least I think it does). I can’t say as much for some of my friends, who were really into the gummy candy. If I had remembered, I would have made another trip to the local grocery store, so I could buy candied ginger by the pound. I had a special jar for that, when I lived up north.