Eating OutKentuckyReviewsRoad TripsTravel

A photo essay of Kentucky complete with horse and buggy

horse and buggy casey county ky

We have made several trips to Kentucky over the years to visit friends.  It’s a beautiful place throughout the year, but the fall is especially breathtaking.  Especially on those narrow windy roads when you’d be completely content to get lost and enjoy the silence.

leaves changing color

The town we visit is Liberty, in Casey County.  It has two, no, three stoplights, I think.  The locals say it’s “just like Mayberry”.

house in sunlight



tree swing

One of the highlights of the town of Liberty is Staat’s Bakery.  A small family-owned and run establishment, Staat’s is big on heart and quality.

staats bakery

coffee and tea 50 cents

Our favorites are their dutch round bread and shortbread cookies.  They specialize in dutch pastries, including crisp and delicious stroopwafles.

dutch pastries and sweets at staats bakery

Owners Catherine and Blaine Staat are as sweet as their sweets.

staats bakery owners

Staat’s carries local flour from Weisenberger Mills, which it also uses in their various baked goods.  Catherine was so enthusiastic about the long-standing mill that we made time to visit it when we went to Lexington.

staats bakery local flours

Weisenberger Mill is located on South Elkhorn Creek in Southern Scott County, Kentucky.  According to their website, “the creek has provided the water to power the mill’s twin turbines since the 1800’s. Six generations of Weisenbergers have operated the mill at the present location since 1865.”

weinsenberger mills waterfall

weinsenberger mills

weinsenberger mills loading dock

If you head south from Liberty into the South Fork Road area, you’ll be delighted by a beautiful and quaint community of Amish and Mennonite families, who run a number of businesses in the area.  Two we frequent when we’re in town are Laverne’s Country Store and Sunny Valley (formerly Nolt’s). Both offer a wide variety of locally grown produce and locally made jams and jellies, along with many other things.  Come in the fall and you can also pick up gorgeous mums and incredible fresh apples by the bushel.

fresh produce sign

horse and buggy casey county ky

yellow tomatoes

sunny valley foods amish store casey county

apple season

2014-11-10 13.55.21 amish bonnets

2014-11-10 13.56.41 jams and jellies

2014-11-10 13.56.06 dandelion jelly

2014-11-10 13.55.51 hoppin frog jam

2014-11-10 13.56.21 apple butter

2014-11-10 13.56.00 traffic jam

It’s fun to find the really strange pickled items.

2014-11-10 14.09.59 sweet watermelon rind

2014-11-10 13.57.48 pickled jalapeno eggs

Back at our friend’s house, a cup of tea by the fireplace is serenity.

tea cup by the fireplace

At our friend’s house outside town, random wild produce grows at different times of the year, such as these wild green onions. We’ve also seen pokeweed (a green that tastes like spinach) and wild chamomile grows in their driveway.

wild onions liberty ky

Another spot we’ve recently come to love is Blue Bird Cafe in Stanford, about 20 minutes northeast of Liberty. One of Central Kentucky’s premier farm-to-table restaurants, it was a real gem for Houstonians far from home that are used to being spoiled by a plethora of top notch eateries to choose from.  In addition to having really great food and being vegan-friendly, this is where I was introduced to Elmwood Teas.  And, you know how much I love tea.  The Kentucky Blend black tea was like a good strong English Breakfast.  We have since visited Elmwood Teas in Danville and tried many of their teas.  Elmwood deserves it’s own post in the near future.

blue bird cafe stanford ky

blue bird elmwood teas stanford ky

architecture blue bird stanford ky

artwork blue bird stanford ky

old house in stanford ky

old building casey county ky

Kentucky is a place we never tire of visiting, mainly because of the good friends we have there.  But, the surrounding area is a delightful supplement to fine association.

sunset liberty ky

Abi Cowell
Abi Cowell is a pasta-slinging food and travel blogger with a cup of tea in one hand and her phone in the other. She believes that making even small changes in what you eat can improve your health and quality of life. Her family of four travel for fun and purpose, homeschooling on the road and love sharing their fun adventures and tips for family travel with you.


  1. Looks gorgeous there! I like the hustle and bustle of city life but I do enjoy a solice of peace and quiet…sometimes I dream of what it’d be like to live in such a place (then I get scared). My favorite place to visit is California. I have so many fond memories of visiting family (and some crazy drama ones too, lol). I never really fully appreciated it though until I returned as an adult. I guess like with everything else, maturity brings appreciation.

    1. I’m the same way – it’s so nice to escape to a place of calmness and quiet for a week or so. California is a beautiful place! I haven’t been in a long, long time, but what I remember about it is all good.

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! We love going to Kentucky and I’m glad I got to share a little of that with everybody. Probably much like you enjoy your trips to Maine!

  2. Hey I live in the ‘amish’ community of South fork,liberty and I’m not Amish though I get asked that alot, I mean Amish girls do not wear pants and shorts, hello. I love living here but it’s not like Mayberry. Everyone here works very hard.

    1. Hi there, I’m sorry if I offended you with my reference to Mayberry. I meant no harm in any way. It reminds me of Mayberry in that the people are all very friendly and Liberty and Casey County has so many wonderful things to do and see. Our friends who live there work very hard indeed and I have no doubt you do as well.

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