"What do Amish courting couples do around Christmas?" I asked my Amish born friend once, and then contemplated the answer for a long time.
"They make taffy."
"They make taffy?" I repeated.
"For a couples' get together."
It took a lot of research for this to sink in to my thick skull, but what I found out was both charming and historical.
Years ago here in rural Missouri, a young gal would invite her beau over to help make taffy in the winter when there were less outdoor chores and the weather kept them inside most of the time. But it wasn't all socializing. Making taffy is hard work, as I found out.
First you cook it on the stove, then you let it cool until you can handle it. That's when the fun begins. The couple might sit by the fire in chairs facing each other, and with buttery fingers the young man would grab hold of the taffy in his gal's hands and pull it toward him, stretching it out to incorporate air into the sticky mass, then hand it back to her in a constant rocking motion. It took ten minutes or more before the taffy would begin to get stiffer and be ready to cut. Meanwhile they'd gaze into each others eyes and visit.
The old timers around here will tell you it was a popular practice in these hills years ago, and I think it's really special that the Amish still do it. I love it when the Amish culture of today intersects with my own rural Missouri heritage.
This week I published a mini-collection of three short stories that revolve around one such taffy pulling "frolic" in Swan Creek just before Christmas. Check out Amish Neighbors Book 3 on Amazon Kindle for only $0.99 and free on Kindle Unlimited.
See all of the Amish Neighbors series here.
Have you ever made taffy? Leave a comment and tell us about it. (Especially if it was with your beau.) ;)