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Food a staple of Amish auction
Times photo: Brian Gray Baked goods such as jams, pies, cookies and bread were in popular demand Saturday at the Amish auction north of Brodhead. People from as far away as Madison and Illinois came to buy homemade treats they cant find at their local grocery store.
MONROE - If you bake it, they will come.

People from Janesville, Evansville, Madison, Illinois and places closer came to the Amish auction Saturday to eat, buy a few things and eat a little more.

The auction featured all types of Amish, hand-made furniture, quilts, bicycles, and other items.

People gathered around the tent to buy quality products or hand-made quilts unlike anything they could find at a retail store.

The most popular site, however, may have been the food tent.

Everything to make a person's mouth water was on sale.

There were pies of all kinds - pumpkin, apple, raspberry, pecan and raisin; peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies; bread and raspberry, strawberry and blueberry jam.

In addition there was home-made ice cream.

"The pies taste better because they're homemade," Nan Turner, Evansville, laughed.

Turner said she especially likes the black raspberry pies.

"This is one of the few places you can get them," she said.

Dawn Oas, Janesville, agreed with Turner's assessment of the pies.

"They're wonderful," she said as she and her husband, Dale, picked up a couple to take home.

Mary Miller, who helped sell the pies Saturday, said planning for each auction begins shortly after the auction ends. Everybody in the Amish community bakes something for the auction.

"Everybody brings whatever they want," she said.

Some years they run out of certain pies, she added. It's rare there are any leftovers to take home.

"They're the most popular," she said.

Along with the ice cream.

The Amish use an old-fashioned method, using actual horse power, to run the equipment that makes the ice cream. It takes about a half hour to make 5 gallons of ice cream. Over the course of the day they expected to sell about 70 gallons.

The lines began to form early as the first 5-gallon container of ice cream was brought to the food tent. People who had already bought their single slice of pie waited to have a scoop of fresh ice cream placed on top. Others bought ice cream in cups. Some bought one scoop and found themselves waiting in line for a second. Other people wisely bought two scoops to save time.

Throughout the day people continued to come up to the food tent to buy something.

The food tent steadily became more popular as dinner-time drew closer.

People started to talk about the food at the Amish auction two weeks ago, one man laughed.

And by the way, the cookies were delicious.