Enjoying New Freedom, and Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania

Earlier in the week, I thought about a possible destination for Saturday, and I followed through with it. I took a scenic drive up to New Freedom, Pennsylvania. The drive was beautiful. I passed by some cows and some horses, which were so close that I would have been able to pet them if I was walking next to the road. I took the long way, so there were some parts of the trip where there was only 1 1/2 lanes, so I was fortunate that I was the only one on the road. There were also some spots of gorgeous scenery.

There was one part of the drive where the road was winding quite a bit, but then there was a curve to the right and it was the perfect visual spot. The road opened up a bit and there was a slight valley and then a low mountain full of trees. Seeing those trees along my sightline made my eyes happy. I was fortunate enough to drive through some small towns and very out of the way places.

My first destination was New Freedom, PA. I planned on going to the New Freedom Rail Trail Cafe. The last time I was there was about 2 1/2 years ago, when I was looking for houses (ended up getting one in Maryland, but there were some in Southern Pennsylvania that almost won me over). When I arrived at the cafe, there was a lot of hubbub going on. The town was setting up for their Fall Fest. I got there too early to stick around and see it, but I did go to the cafe.

I had wanted to get the Boxcar Tourist, but they had a special menu for Fall Fest, so I had to improvise. I’ve had the Boxcar Tourist before, and it was really good. It’s sausage gravy on biscuits with a fried egg. I ended up getting a pumpkin spice muffin and a hazelnut/chocolate coffee drink. The muffin was good. It was a bit heavier due to the pumpkin and had a slight spice flavor. I enjoyed it, but would have liked a little more nutmeg or cinnamon in there. The coffee drink was really good. I know I’ve been getting the pumpkin drinks everywhere, but I had a Nutella type coffee drink on my mind, so that’s what I went with. I ended up heading out after I was done, since I didn’t want to wait another hour or so for the Fall Fest to start. It looked like it was going to be pretty fun, though, just based on all the setup they were doing.

My next destination was The Markets at Shrewsbury. This is another Amish Farmer’s Market that is only open Thursday through Saturday, which is why this was on my agenda for today. This Farmer’s Market is huge. It looks bigger than the one in Annapolis. Although there are some similarities with the products, there are some distinct differences. I did enjoy visiting and plan on coming back again. I bought some items at the bakery, and will go back for more when the weather is cooler and the food that needs to stay cool will make the 1 hour drive back home.

I know that this picture isn’t clear, but I’m okay with that. It’s a huge building and I couldn’t capture everything at once. But I like how the sun is shining on top and the rays are coming down over the building.

These are some pictures from inside the building. The first one is just to show how deep this market goes. The other two are pictures I took at the bakery. I was tempted to buy some donuts, but was already full from the pumpkin muffin and had some other desserts in mind for purchase. There are a lot of vendors to choose from, which is why I plan on visiting again. Now, onto the bakery treats.

This first one is called Angel Food Flips. My pictures don’t do it justice, but it definitely tastes better than it looks. You’ve got the nice texture and consistency of the Angel Food cake in a taco shape, with what I believe is a whoopee pie filling on the inside and then drizzled with chocolate. This was something I haven’t seen before, so it was definitely worth the trip.

Next up is a Homemade Butter Cake. I’ve had Butter Cakes before, and they can be hit or miss. I’m not just saying this because they don’t have chocolate in them. 🙂 This Butter Cake was fantastic. The bottom layer was cooked perfectly and the top layer was a little gooey, but not so sticky that you couldn’t enjoy the bite. There was also a slight brown butter taste to it, which helped make it a more well rounded taste. Sweet, but not too sweet.

The last thing I got was a Chocolate Coffee Cake. They had several options for coffee cake, but I wanted to try this one. Sometimes a chocolate coffee cake can be too dry, especially on the chocolate layer. And when you have a huge amount of crumb topping like this one had, there is a tendency for the crumb to dry things out. This was not the case with this treat. The chocolate cake layer was moist. The crumb layer was nice and crisp on top, but it maintained it’s moisture underneath. I was able to bite through the entire coffee cake, instead of having to crunch through the top and have a crumb disintegration issue. Hopefully, you’ll understand what I’m trying to convey.

Today involved a lot of eating, but I’m okay with that. It was good food, good scenery, and good people. And as an added bonus for me, when I was driving up in the morning, “Always” by Atlantic Starr was playing. It’s been a while since I heard that song, so I was quite happy to sing along to it. And since it was a 1 1/2 lane road and I was the only one on it, it’s better that there was no one around to hear or see me while I was enjoying the music and enjoying the ride.

There are days when I get to just drive around, and I really enjoy them. I get to see places and scenery that not everyone else has a chance to see. I get to eat things and try things that others might not be able to experience. So I appreciate and enjoy these opportunities while I still have them. Stay positive!

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