by David Cecelski
I was driving through the little Amish community between Hamptonville and Yadkinville, on the Yadkin-Iredell County Line, when I found the Korner Kitchen Restaurant. When I drove by, a very Amish-looking fellow on a tractor was ordering his lunch at the restaurant’s take-out window, something I don’t see every day. I also noticed a hitching post with a little sign that indicated it was reserved for horse and buggies, which I also thought was a little different.
Hay fields and pastureland surrounded the little café and I decided that I’d never find a more tranquil spot to eat lunch. The waitresses and cooks turned out to be enchanting, too, happy to tell me about the local farm country and the Amish settlement, and the food was good country cooking. I had the chicken and dumplings, which is the special every other Saturday—it rotates with chicken casserole.
The proprietor, Deanna McLelland Gaither, is a local farmwoman and her sister, Dawn McLelland Pettit, is the head cook. The restaurant serves a lot of short-order biscuits and sandwiches made with everything from pimiento cheese to livermush. But every morning before first light, Dawn also comes in and makes several dishes from scratch.
She makes a fresh soup (vegetable beef yesterday) and the chicken and dumplings, stew beef, meatloaf and other daily specials. She also makes the desserts—carrot cake, chocolate cake, cherry yum-yum, and more. You couldn’t find nicer people or prettier country to enjoy a meal.
SHILOH GENERAL STORE
While I was at the Kountry Kitchen, my waitress told me about a little Amish store, the Shiloh General Store, in Hamptonville. From the Korner Kitchen, she said, just take Buck Shoal Road a few miles west and turn left by the beautiful Methodist church at Windsor’s Crossroads. The store is 2 miles down that road on the right.
At the Shiloh General Store, they had a good assortment of bulk goods, children’s toys, and candies, many of them produced by Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They also had a nice bakery and an assortment ofYadkin County wines, preserves, and other local products.
I got a handful of fresh donuts and a bag of cornmeal that was ground at Linney’s Mill, which is maybe 5 miles west. I had actually driven to the mill earlier in the day looking for cornmeal and grits, but the mill office closes at noon on Saturdays and I arrived a little late—so I was especially glad to find at least the company’s cornmeal at the Shiloh General Store.
The beauty of the countryside was worth the trip to Linney’s Milll anyway. It’s farm country, mostly small beef farms, and up against theBrushy Mountains on Rocky Creek, in Alexander County. A mill was originally built on that site in 1790. The Linney family has been milling corn there using water wheel-powered grinding stones since 1937.
If, unlike me, you show up when the mill store is open, you can get cornmeal, yellow and white grits, seafood breader, and pancake mix. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 8 AM to 12 noon and 1 PM to 5 PM, and 8 AM to noon on Saturdays. There’s also a nice campground and an inviting-looking swim hole by the mill.