Sticky Bun Recipe and More…

Welcome to my new blog!

Two days after the premiering of the PBS documentary, "The Amish: Shunned," I am looking out my window at the slanted afternoon sunlight shining on the white buildings across the street, I am taking a deep breath. I must have been stressed leading up to the launching of my book on Monday, followed by the film showing on Tuesday. I have a cold now, and it's making me slow down. I'm hoping to get better quickly because I have my first book talk coming up on Sunday, at the Sunderland Public Library. That's at 2 PM.

I've heard from lots of people who liked (in some cases, loved) the documentary. Many people have remarked about the beautiful cinematography, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Some of the scenes were actually breathtaking for me. As I thought would be the case, people are struck by Anna's story. The ending still evokes tears for me, and I've seen it at least a dozen times.

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My favorite photo of Anna. She looks so happy.

I've heard from various people who wanted the sticky bun recipe, after seeing Anna and me making them. You're in luck! In the back of my new book, Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman's Ties to Two Worlds, there is the recipe for sticky buns. I included the recipe in the book before I knew they would be featured in the film. After Anna left, I was asked for the recipe from people here in the Pioneer Valley, so I also published it on my website

Back to the film. I found all the stories moving, but Naomi's story especially moves me. I really relate to her, because I think she and I had similar reasons for leaving. And I love her spirit. I am so proud to be on the Amish Descendant Scholarship Fund (ADSFund) with her and her cousin, Emma Miller.

Now there is an untold story. Emma conceived of the idea of the ADSFund on the day of her own graduation at San Diego University. She describes how on the day of her graduation, she was so proud and happy, and then she looked out over the auditorium and saw her friends with their family members. She said, "My family didn't even know I was graduating." The toughest moment came when students were asked to thank their parents for their support. All Emma could do was stand there and cry. She looked out over the audience, and found her friends were crying right along with her. Emma decided, that very day, that she would find a way to help others who've left the Amish to acquire an education. You can read more about that here. As I've said before, former Amish people who strive for an education have their very own Malala…. and her cousin, Naomi. I hope the ADSFund will be able to help all those Amish descendants who need it for earning their college degree. If you would like to donate, you can visit our website. Your support is very much appreciated. 

If you missed seeing the documentary "The Amish: Shunned" on television, you can still see it on the American Experience website

I just discovered that there were numerous comments I didn't know about. I just approved a whole bunch of them. I need to have my website guru set up an email prompt, so I know when I get comments. 

That brings me to the question of who designed my blog and website. His name is Jason Woofenden, and he is very good. You can find a link to his own website at the very bottom of each page of my blog and website. 

It seems several of you have read my book. I appreciate all your kind words about it and my part in the film. It really validates that my calling to write and tell my story is what I am meant to be doing at this time in my life. Stories bind us. And they help us find our place in the world. It is very gratifying to discover the ways in which people relate. Thank you for sharing those with me.  

Who will be the first to leave a review of Bonnet Strings on Amazon? I eagerly await the reviews as they come in.

I am at that place of feeling like I cannot keep up with all my social media obligations. And so I've decided to limit my Facebook activities to my Author Saloma Miller Furlong page (there is a link to the right of this page that will take you there). If you haven't already, I hope you will "like" my page, which will allow you to receive updates. But I won't give up my blog. I enjoy interacting with all of you too much to give it up. And besides, I heard you when you asked me not to give it up.

If anyone has questions about my part in the film "The Amish: Shunned," or about my book, Bonnet Strings, I am open to answering them. 

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22 thoughts on “Sticky Bun Recipe and More…”

  1. I’m glad my family wasn’t the only one drooling over your sticky buns when watching the documentary!

    Could your Web Guru also provide an RSS link for your new blog? My reader (Feedly) doesn’t recognize it and I love getting the updates whenever they come in.

    1. Lol, Melanie, you apparently were not the only ones drooling.

      Yes, my web guru has added an RSS link. He also plans to add a “subscribe by email” link, which should be coming shortly.

      Thanks for your loyal readership.

  2. I haven’t watched the new documentary yet, but am looking forward to seeing it this weekend. Most of the reviews for it seem to be very positive. I would like to second the request for an RSS link. :)

    1. Debbie, I hope you were able to enjoy the film. It is available until March 4, streaming it from the website.

      Yes, most reviews have been very positive.

      RSS link provided. Please let me know if you have any trouble with it.

  3. I am very glad you’re not giving up your blog, thank you!! I really enjoyed the PBS documentary – I thought it did a much better job of representing the Amish in a respectful way than most of those reality shows currently on television. I also enjoyed seeing Anna with you in your beautiful home (she was so sweet); how hard it must have been to say goodbye to her. I’m going to try the Sticky Bun recipe tomorrow!! Thank you again for all you do! :)

    1. Karin, thank you for your kind words. I really glad you enjoyed the documentary. There is hardly a comparison between this doc and the reality shows. Callie Wiser, the producer of “Shunned” was so respectful of everyone and brought out the best in all of us. How were the sticky buns?

  4. Oh well, my comment on the 6th must be out in space somewhere.
    I viewed “The Amish: Shunned” via the internet and thoroughly enjoyed it. This may sound strange but I found the program uplifting. Seeing each individual push forward in spite of the many arduous obstacles in their paths was truly amazing. It just goes to show the tenacious spirit in so many people. Even those that go back into the Amish fold having tasted freedom.
    I was beyond surprised when I saw the Amish family that did not shun their daughter who left. I didn’t know this existed. I didn’t know it was possible though I’d always hoped it was.
    On a different note, I am enjoying your book to the enth degree. You really had pluck! And focus. I’m barely into your return home. Like water and oil you were with the Amish community. And me oh my, David was gaga over you. Such a beautiful young lady you were.
    So, here’s my question: Does David call you Saloma now or Linda? Did he ever express betrayal that you gave a false name?
    I was very surprised that David came to visit you when you went back home and that you two were together alone. Is this done these days? Also, I was surprised that you got mail from David and no one kept it from you. Is this the norm?

    1. I “discovered” my comments that hadn’t been moderated several days later. Sorry about that. My website person is working on getting my email notifications working.

      I’m glad you found the film uplifting. Yes, I suppose it’s ingrained in our upbringing to not give up, even when struggling. Ironically that works in our favor, for those who decide to leave.

      Naomi came from one of the more liberal Amish communities, plus she was never a member of the church, so that is why she is not being shunned.

      Water and oil describes how I could not fit myself into the Amish community, even with the second try.

      I am very fortunate that David had such a clear sense of what our relationship meant to him. He calls me Saloma now. He never felt betrayed by the name change. If anything, he mourns that time I was “Linda” because when I returned to Vermont again, we could never really go back to what we had during those seven weeks we’d been dating, when our love was still young and sort of innocent in a way.

      The fact that David and I were together alone when he came to visit was not the norm. I was surprised we were allowed that. And it varies from one community to another as to whether letters are intercepted. Anna is not allowed to correspond with us. They often tried talking me out of corresponding, but they didn’t actually prevent me from receiving and sending letters.

      Thank you, as always, for your comments and questions.

  5. Hello All,

    Thank you for your comments. I am still trying to tweak a few things on my blog, including a “reply” button in the comment section. Also, I will be asking my web guru to install an RSS feed, as per several of your suggestions. I did something of the sort, but I don’t think it’s right.

    Thank you for all your kind words.

    Saloma

  6. Hi Saloma,
    Just wanted for let you know that I had signed up and had full intentions of going to Sunderland Public Library to meet you; however, due to a cold, I will be unable to make it. Hopefully, I will be able to see you in Andover, MA at Stevens Memorial Library.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the PBS documentary and I am half way thru Bonnet Strings which I wish would never end – what a genuine story about Amish life!!
    Hope to meet you in March.

    1. Morinne, you might like to know that I’ve booked a talk at Smith College that will be open to the public. The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life is holding the talk in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel on Prospect Street. That’s on March 10 at 7 PM. I’d love to see you there.

      I, too, am still trying to get well from a cold. It seems like there’s lots going around. I hope you feel better soon.

  7. I saw the first installment of “Shunned” last night. I was very moved by your story, as well as those of the others. Anna’s struggles with having left the Amish community and seeking to go back came across powerfully. Thank you for your part in her life! I myself would like to help in any way I can – perhaps through correspondence – with those leaving the Amish but needing someone to talk with. I do not have an Amish background myself. I’m on the west coast, but had an opportunity to visit the Lancaster PA area last fall. That visit had a strong impact on me. Thank you again, Saloma!

    1. Thank you, Jeff, for your kind words. Yes, Anna’s story is a powerful one. I think of her every day and hope she is happy with the life she chose.

      Bless you for wanting to help young people who leave. You just may get that chance some day.

  8. I’m catching up after a week of vacation and therefore missed the PBS show. However, I am eager to watch it online. I loved Bonnet Strings and hope you will be feeling well enough to enjoy a wonderful book talk.

    I love sticky buns. Haven’t made them in ages. Next time I need something special for guests, I know where to find a great recipe!

    1. Hi Shirley, and welcome home! I hope you had a wonderful time escaping the cold. I’m getting weary of this winter… I keep having to remind myself that all winters do end and it makes Spring all the more glorious and fair.

      Let me know how you like the sticky buns if you make them.

  9. I watched both shows today as I was home with a cold. All of it was so well done.
    My maternal grandparents lived in Ohio. We would go visit every summer from our home
    In Southern California. My grandfather had a company that made buggies and sulkies for Harness Races.
    I so remember going with him to visit families in Plain City.
    A few times he had taken buggies to Plain City.

    The sticky buns brought back those childhood memories of going with him to visit Plain City.
    I could almost smell them baking!

    I so hope you will bring your speaking engagements to Tulsa, Oklahoma. My husband was transferred here in 1977 and
    It is a wonderful place to raise a family. What a wonderful story you have to share.

    1. Jeanie, thank you for sharing memories of your childhood in Ohio. Yes, sticky buns have a memorable smell. We often awoke to the smell of sticky buns baking when Anna was living here. If we make it to Tulsa, it would be great to meet you.

  10. Saloma, after I watched the show I quickly bought your books. They were eye opening to say the least. I did not really understand what you meant when you said in your blog that your family was dysfunctional.

    I never thought of the Amish as a cult but I saw similarities. Telling people they can not leave the Amish or they will burn in Hell and shunning people who do not conform is a powerful form of control. A closed society and poor education makes it even more difficult for people to leave.

    You did a great job on the PBS show conveying your thoughts in an intelligent, warm and touching manner. I admire your strength and guts.
    I am glad you escaped the Amish mill stone.

    Thank so much for sharing your story.

  11. Saloma,
    Years ago, you made fresh fruit pies in the summer for the Shelburne Supermarket (Peaches & assorted berries). They were heaven on earth! Would it be possible for you to share that recipe? My whole family would be eternally grateful! Thank you.

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