Roadtrip to Gettysburg Pennsylvania: Fun For People of All Ages

Now that spring is here, we are all going crazy to get out of the house. A roadtrip can help clear the winter cobwebs out of your head. Pack a bag, jump in the car, and head out for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It’s only about a hundred miles from Washington, D.C. but it is a beautiful rural area with lots of farms and great scenery along the way. 

There is a lot to do in the Gettysburg area. There is the whole battlefield tour and the monuments surrounding them, but there is so much more to the area. Here are some suggestions for making your trip a great one.

Hacienda Shiloh

One unique place you have to visit while in Gettysburg is Hacienda Shiloh. Hacienda Shiloh is a garlic and herb farm in rural Pennsylvania. They grow over twenty varieties of from Russia, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland. After you admire the plants & taste the garlic, head back to the small gift shop & discover a huge selection of custom-blended teas, sea salts, herb blends, rubs, peppercorns and chili’s. Hacienda Shiloh is located at 327 Knox Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Call ahead at (877) 789-0664 to make sure they are open.

The Land of Little Horses

The Land of Little Horses is an amazing place! Whether you are two or ninety two, you will love the show they put on with the tiny horses, dogs, and other animals. In addition to performances, there is a petting zoo , a gift shop, and a café. The Land of Little Horses is located at 125 Glenwood Drive,
Gettysburg, PA 17325. The telephone number is 717-334-7259.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

If you are on the hunt for fresh fruits and vegetables the rural farms in the Gettysburg area provide many treats at roadside stands, beginning in early spring with strawberries. As the seasons progresses you’ll find raspberries, blueberries, apricots, and more. Just drive down most any side road to find a farm stand.

The Dobbin House Tavern

Before the weekend is over, you need to have a dinner or lunch at the Dobbin House Tavern. It is located in a colonial house that was built in 1776. The servers and staff dress in colonial attire, making the experience a really unique travel back in time. The Dobbin House Tavern also has bed and breakfast rooms, so you can stay in one of the oldest buildings in Gettysburg! 89 Steinwehr Avenue (Business Route 15 South), Gettysburg, PA 17325 Phone:(717)334-2100 Fax: (717)334-6905 for reservations and information.

Chicken With Salsa and Rice

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This dinner is so quick, easy, inexpensive and good–all the best reasons in the world to try it. I’m telling ya, it does not get any better than this.

Chicken with Salsa and Rice:

6 pieces of chicken, skin removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 jar of your favorite salsa
1 jar of water
1 cup of uncooked rice

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown them in the olive oil. Pour in the jar of salsa, the water, and the rice. Stir to distribute the rice in the pan. Cover and simmer until the rice is done, about 22 minutes.

I made this tonight with an Apple Salsa from a farm market in Pennsylvania. Side dishes were black beans and pear salad. How simple is that?

The Wheels Are Rolling Tomorrow

The wheels will be rolling tomorrow morning on our travel trailer. We finished our commitment to our job at Granite Hill Camping Resort yesterday. There were times when it seemed like this day would never come. It has been a long, long season.

We spent most of today getting ready to go. We are taking a good bit of Pennsylvania with us, literally. Jim got two cases of Yuengling beer. I got three huge bags of Utz Tortilla Chips, they are the best! I also went back to Hacienda Shiloh and got some garlic and some of that good Autumn Rub that they sell there, and some other things. A trip to the Rose Garden Natural Foods store to stock up on buckwheat flour, rice flour, and rice pastas since I don’t know when I will find another source. What else? Hmmm…

I have a half dozen pints of green beans, some frozen cooked turnip greens,three bags of cooked mashed pumpkin, a gallon bag of chopped sweet red italian peppers, and some apple sausage in the freezer. Some acorn squashes, and a few apples, all came from Harbaugh’s Farm. There is a large jar of sweet pickled cauliflower, two jars of apple salsa, a jar of cherry butter, and several small packages of dried cranberries, dried pineapple, and roasted pumpkin seeds from the farm market across the road from the campground. It will take us a long time to clear Pennsylvania out of the pantry.

I would say that if any of you gets a chance to visit or workamp in the Gettysburg area, it will be a real treat. It is a rural area, with lots of agriculture, so there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, with farm stands down almost every road during the summer and fall. We have certainly enjoyed our stay here.

But, as the song says, I can’t wait to get on the road again…

Fall In Pennsylvania

By now you all probably think that all Jim and I do is drive around on our day off. Well, you could be right! Last week we were out for our drive, as usual, looking for a farm stand to buy some veggies for dinner. But, Karen, it is mid-October, you may be thinking. Yes, but the harvest goes on until the first frost, which has not happened yet, so I knew there would still be some goodies out there for the finding.

We drove down Jack’s Mountain Road, out of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, and when we got to Pennsylvania 16, we turned right towards Waynesboro. A couple miles down 16 we saw this sign:
So, we decided to follow the arrow, and boy are we glad we did. We turned onto Sunshine Trail, and it took us to the next sign, pointing to Harbaugh’s Farm on Harbaugh Road, in Harbaugh Valley. Charlie Harbaugh was working at the produce stand on his farm when we arrived. He told us the farm has been in his family for “generations”.

The veggtables for sale were a little bit old, because they had been picked on Saturday morning and we were there on Wednesday afternoon. We bought a peck of sweet red Italian peppers. There were about 20 or so peppers in the basket for only $4.00.

We got a head of broccoli, a huge bag of green beans, a butternut squash, a small pumpkin, some apples, a large onion for making some onion rings, and some turnips. I asked Charlie if he had any turnip greens, and he said they usually cut them off and throw them out because nobody around there eats them. But, he said, if you want some you are welcome to go out to the field and pull some yourself! I was overjoyed, because being a girl from the south, I grew up eating turnip greens and can not imagine anyone just throwing them out! He even gave us a bag to put them in.

Off we went down to the field, and guess what else we found there? We wound up picking another big bag of green beans, a fresh head of broccoli, and one of cauliflower, in addition to the huge bag of turnip greens to go with my turnips.

(Here I am with my treasure of turnip greens)

I felt like I had hit the vegetable jackpot. When all was said and done, I got all that stuff for $13.00. I put four pints of green beans and a gallon of chopped Italian peppers in the freezer. I cooked the turnip greens and put half of them in the freezer, too. We still have some green beans to be cooked in the refrigerator. I am thinking about going over there again this week to get some more green beans and broccoli because my little freezer is not full yet.

Here is one more picture for you from this trip, a barn right at the edge of the road.

Oh Say Can You See…

(click on the pictures to see them larger)

When we got up this morning we had two items on our plan for the day. We had to go to Hagerstown for Jim’s lab appointment at the VA Clinic, to test his TSH level; and I had to go to the bank. You would think that going to the bank would be a simple thing, but Bank of America, my bank of choice, does not have any branches in Pennsylvania. There is also not a branch in Hagerstown, Maryland, a town with a total urban population of more than 120,000 people. Hell, they have a VA Clinic but no Bank of America.

So, after Jim was done at the VA, we took a leisurely drive over to Thurmont, MD, where they do have a Bank of America, even though the population is less than 6,000. We took Maryland 64 north to 77, which goes east over Catoctin Mountain. The bank, in downtown Thurmont, was in one of those old bank buildings that you often see in downtowns around the country that have been converted to beauty shops or thrift stores, but this one was still serving as a bank. And it was beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of it.

Then, after I got my banking business accomplished, we looked at our map of Maryland to find a route home that we have not taken before, just to see what we could see. And right there on the map, right off of Maryland 77, were the words, “Keysville, The birthplace of Francis Scott Key.” Off we went to find the home of that famous American.

On our way, we passed through a tiny town called Detour, Maryland. It was just a blink, but who could resist taking a detour through Detour?

(looking back to see Detour)

And so, we drove on. We found the little place called Keysville, but there was no sign, no placard, no monument, no nothing. I felt a little let down that even though the great state of Maryland was proud enough of Mr. Key to put a little blurb about Keysville being his place of birth on their map, that they were not proud enough to put at least a little marker to show us where he took his first breath, in preparation of singing that great national anthem. You know, the one that starts out “Oh say can you see?” Apparently not his birthplace…

However, if you ever get to this area, it is worth the drive because it is so scenic. The pictures I have here don’t really show how beautiful it is.

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesean Recipe

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Another week, another day off, and Jim and I were driving through the countryside again looking for scenic wonderment. I am here to tell you we found it, just a few miles down the road in Maryland. Before we came up here to work, we never knew Pennsylvania and Maryland could be so beautiful. Everywhere you go around here your eyes are rewarded with beautiful sights, and today was no exception.
The first place we went was to a little restaurant on Hwy 16 in Fairfield, Pennsylvania called Our Place Cafe. They have not been open long. Today was the second time we ate there, but we both had the same thing that we had the last time. Jim got a cheesesteak sandwich and I got Crab Fries. Crab Fries are french fried potatoes with crab meat, bacon, and cheeses on top. They serve it with a yummy scrummy sauce that has Old Bay seasoning and horseradish in it. OMG! I am going to be making these at home sometime soon!

After we left there, we took the first left turn off of Hwy 16, just because we had never been down that road. It turned out to be a dead end road, but here is a picture I took along that road:
After we got back to the main hwy, we took another left turn where there was a sign pointing to a roadside market. The market we found at the direction of that sign was fabulous. The farmer guy was out in the front watering a trailer loaded with fall mums for sale:Inside the market we found so many choices it was hard to choose, but we wound up buying eggplant, green beans, two ears of silver king corn, a tiny little cantaloupe that was about the size of a large softball, but it smelled soooo good.Back at home, I made eggplant parmesean, steamed green beans, and fresh corn on the cobb in the microwave. I cut up the little cantaloupe, and that was dinner.

Here is the recipe I used for the Eggplant Parm:

2 medium eggplants
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup of your favorite gluten free flour (I like Tom Sawyer or Gluten Free Pantry)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1/2 a 26 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Classico Sweet Tomato Basil)
1 1/2 cups shredded mixed italian cheese

Peel the eggplants and slice 3/4 inch thick. Salt generously and let set for about 20 minutes, then rinse well. Put the egg and milk into a bowl and mix well. Put the flours, salt and pepper into another bowl and mix well. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture, coating well. Fry in olive oil in a skillet until browned. Place the fried eggplant slices in a casserole dish in one layer. Pour the spaghetti sauce over, then sprinkle the cheese over. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

This is sooo good served with steamed green beans and corn on the cob. It is gluten free. If you are allergic to eggs, you can leave them out and just use the milk. Sorry, we were too hungry to take pictures of it before we ate it all up!