As we made our way from Easton westward through Pennsylvania, we "just happened" to drive through Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania.
This was for one particular reason. We wanted to have lunch at the Stouch Tavern. If you are anywhere in south central Pennsylvania, we highly recommend it. We went particularly because it brought back fabulous memories of when Judy and I were engaged, and we had a celebratory meal there.
For many years, the Stouch Tavern was run by the Crumrines, who have now entered the Church Triumphant. Their daughter is the executive manager to this day. On that occasion 31 years ago when Judy and I were last there, we enjoyed their Chocolate Fudge Pie. We enjoyed it so much, that Judy asked Mr. Crumrine if he would share the recipe, which he did, with the proviso that she never share it with anyone else. He had developed it for the Hotel Hershey, we are told. Then and there, he wrote it out for her on a paper napkin, which Judy has treasured ever since.
Did they have the Chocolate Fudge Pie on the menu on our return visit? Did they ever! We confess that we dove right in, and while we intended to photograph it as it was placed on our table, we forgot and so what we have instead is a photo of the slice of pie, half gone!
Judy has never divulged the recipe... But I bet if you ask her very nicely, she will let you have a taste the next time she makes it.
Oh, we have other memories of the Stouch Tavern, stretching back to our friend Ernie Shaffer's cousins, Henry and Lenore Aul. They first introduced our family to the Stouch Tavern, when they became our friends when they joined my home congregation, Highland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There were a number of "jaunts" from Lancaster to Womelsdorf over the years, and in one of those, Henry presented a drawing of the tavern to the Crumrines. It is on the front cover of their menu to this day. Henry drew it from this back view of the tavern, which is very quaint indeed:
Henry, who was a noted landscape architect, also did a watercolor of the same view for me, which has been in every church office in my ministry. I include it here, and as you can see, not much has changed since Henry painted it:
Such happy memories... And we made a new one as we drove across Pennsylvania last week!