The Legend of the Whoopie Pie!

The Whoopie Pie is an increasingly more popular favorite in the bakery and snacking world. It essentially boils down to being a baked product that one can refer to as a cookie, pie or cake. The product consists of two round mound-shaped pieces of (most frequently) chocolate soft cake (though increasingly gingerbread, pumpkin red velvet, &tc.) that sandwiches a sweet, creamy filling or icing.

Whoopie Pies

The origins of the treat are confused, or, are at the very least muddied with many regions laying claim. The treat is considered a New England classic and/or a Pennsylvania Amish tradition, they have spread in their ingestion to pints all across the country. The whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine. Maine also created the world’s largest whoopie pie (South Portland, Maine) weighing at 1,062 pounds!. Annual whoopie pie festivals are held all over the nation, throughout New England and in the Amishlands of Central Pennsylvania.

Four states lay claim to being the originator of the whoopie pie (Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire). The Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau notes that the whoopie pie recipe comes from the area’s Amish and Pennsylvania German culture, peoples who have not left a detailed record of where and when, thus difficulty in tracing an exact date. Bakeries in Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania all have been selling the treat since the 1920s.

Maine’s obsession with whoopie pies has gone so far as the Maine State Legislature considering to name the whoopie pie the official state pie in their Legislative branch in 2011. The proposal received bipartisan support. L.D. 71, officially known as An Act to Designate the Whoopie Pie as the State Dessert, basically stated that the whoopie pie is the official state dessert. Controversy swirled around this effort as the Maine Legislature eventually decided to declare the whoopie pie the official state treat, and chose blueberry pie (made with wild Maine blueberries) as the official state dessert.

We here at Hilsher’s General Store offer the whoopie pie and many other baked items—all made from scratch in our own kitchen—like, shoofly pie, seasonal pies, cookies, snack cakes and so much more. We also have hand dipped Hershey’s ice cream.
For more information on our bakery in Snyder County and what we have for sale, call us at 570-374-1550 or contact us.

For the Butcher in Need of Supplies

You like to hunt. You don’t want just anybody handling your deer or your turkey. Not only do you do your own gutting, hair removal, even tanning—but you butcher your meat. You make your own jerky, you make your meat cuts, you make your burger.

Or, you may be are local farmer, who sells meat products. Maybe your equipment is out dated, in need of parts, or just replacement altogether. The hassle that comes with factory ordered equipment is not necessary, you can simply swing on over to Hilsher’s General Store and pick-up the butcher supplies that meets your needs.

Hilsher’s carries meat machinery made by the Chop-Rite Two company, makers of meat processing equipment of all sorts. Whether you want to make hamburger or your own sausage, Chop-Rite Two products have you covered. Not only that, they come in commercial grade level so you know your meat will be processed at a highly-efficient level. They even carry scales, grinder plates to fit any meat grinder, sharpeners for knives and grinder plates.

Regardless of your needs, Hilsher’s General Store will get you set with the butcher supplies you need. Enjoy a trip through the types of meat grinder equipment and supplies we offer below:

Manual

Butchering in an area sans electricity? Conduct some research prior to committing to a manual meat grinder. They all vary in terms of what type of metal they are made out of, other factors.

Standalone

A great selection for those who grind meat on the regular. A solid investment, these electric meat grinders boast the ability to use many different grinder plate options. You can experiment more with the type of meat you grind.

Attachments

Dependent upon the type of grinder you purchase, the type of meat you intend to grind, the type of meat you want to make (like sausage) and how often you intend to use it. As mentioned, a standalone (electric) grinder has more grinder plate options than a manual grinder. Keep that in mind as you are deciding on which of these butcher supplies to buy.

Would you like more information on butcher supplies near Selinsgrove? Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or you can Contact Us.

Get Ready for Trout Season in Selinsgrove

Temperatures have far exceeded our annual average throughout March 2016, creating an early spring thaw on the Susquehanna River, its tributaries and lesser bodies—winter ices long shed. With our spring thaw more than underway, it is time to start thinking Trout Season in Central PA!

Trout season gets underway April 16th in Snyder County and trout stocks have been under way since early March. Trout stocking efforts in Snyder County through the end of April are as follows:

Completed Trout Stocks:

March 1, 2016: West Branch Mahantango Creek (Brown, Rainbow), North Branch Mahantango Creek (Brown Rainbow).

March 21, 2016: Middle Creek (Brown, Rainbow), North Branch Middle Creek (Brown, Rainbow), South Branch Middle Creek (Brown, Rainbow).

April 2, 2016: Middle Creek (Brown, Rainbow).

Pending Trout Stocks:

April 14, 2016: Kern Run (Rainbow), Swift Run (Brook, Rainbow).

April 27, 2016: North Branch Middle Creek (Brown, Rainbow), Swift Run (Brook, Rainbow).

Trout require their own level of angling equipment. Selinsgrove residents, replenish or replace your fishing supplies at Hilsher’s General Store—trout rods, combo rods, fly rods and lures. Get ready for fishing all types with hip waders, tackle and bait for local fishing and sundry items, non-specific rods and reels, equipment and supply.

If your angling falls within the Susquehanna, a small stream or a farm pond, Hilsher’s General Stone located in nearby Port Trevorton can handle all of your fishing supply needs. Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or Contact Us.

How to Prevent Clogged Drains

One of the biggest plumbing hassles is a clogged drain. It seems like a problem that should be simple to fix, but sometimes you have to call in a professional plumber for help! We thought we’d share a few tips on how to avoid a clogged drain to begin with and a few tips on what you can do if you find out you’re dealing with a clog. Come to our hardware store in Snyder County to find all you need to deal with this plumbing problem and more.

Prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Make sure you do a few things to help prevent your drain from clogging in the first place. For example, to keep your kitchen sink from getting clogged, make sure you dispose of all grease and fat in a glass jar and then throw it away. Do not pour grease or fat down into your kitchen sink, even if you have a garbage disposal running. The same goes for coffee grinds, aluminum foil, egg shells and other items like that. They do not belong in your sink; throw them in the trash.

After you use your sink, make sure you run hot water down the drain for a bit. This will help keep any oils moving down and through your pipes, instead of building up inside of them. If your kitchen drain starts to smell, you can throw a cup of baking soda into it and then rinse it through with some hot water. The baking soda is a good cleaning agent, and it will also help get rid of those bad smells.

If you have a clog

If you discover that you have a clog in a drain, there are a few things you can do before you call a plumber. You can use a plunger to try to suction out the clog, or you can pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain and then add a half cup of baking soda. Let that sit for a few minutes and then add a cup of vinegar and a cup of very hot water on top of that. Cover it with a drain plug and let it sit for a few minutes. Then remove the plug and pour another pot of boiling water down to drain to to flush it all through.

Would you like to visit our hardware store in Snyder County? Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15, 7 miles south of Selinsgrove or you can Contact Us.

A History of Wooden Toys

wooden toys central pa hilsher's general storeFor centuries, toys have been an important part of a child’s life. Archaeologists have found wooden toys dating back to ancient Greece and the Roman Empire! Toys like these are fun to play with, and they can be educational too. Wooden toys in Central PA are quite popular, so we thought we would take the time to discuss a history of these toys and why they continue to be so popular.

Most of the wooden toys made during ancient times were hand-carved. But by the 18th century, German toy makers were making them in large enough quantities to sell to the general public. There were traveling salesmen who would sell them to families, and they would also take orders for custom toys or toys for special occasions. During this time, some of the most popular wooden toys were animals and life-like doll babies.

Thanks to advances in technology, as the years progressed, toy makers were able to make more elaborate toys. Doll houses, toy soldiers, wooden trains and similar toys were gaining popularity, and this is right around the time when Jack in the Boxes were becoming popular too thanks to their bright and vivid colors.

After World War 2, new materials were being used to make toys (such as plastic) and wooden toys decreased in popularity since plastic toys could be mass produced and were usually a bit cheaper for families and others to purchase. The production of wooden toys started to decline as a result.

Nowadays, while wooden toys still are not as popular as their plastic counterparts, you can still find them in most stores, like Hilsher’s General Store. Wood is generally a more durable material than plastic, so wooden toys tend to last longer. Not only that, they are a classic! Wooden doll houses and train tracks are fun for kids of just about any age to play with, and wood can be painted just about any color you can think of.

Wooden toys are beautiful because of their simplicity. They encourage kids to use their imaginations and wooden puzzles are great for developing problem-solving skills and motor skills. They make a great gift for just about any child in your life!

If you would like to browse through our selection of wooden toys in Central PA, call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or you can Contact Us.

Types of Meat Grinders

butcher supplies williamsport hilsher's general storeIf you are in the market for butcher supplies near Williamsport, you should definitely come to Hilsher’s General Store to find all you need for your butchering. We carry several different brands and butchering products, so we thought we would take the time to go over the main types of meat grinders and how they work.

Manual Meat Grinders

If you will be butchering or working in an area without electricity, or if you are only going to be grinding meat on occasion, then you should look into a manual meat grinder. Just keep in mind that you should do a bit of research first before you decide on which one to buy since they all tend to vary in terms of what type of metal they are made out of and other factors.

Standalone Meat Grinders

This type of meat grinder is an excellent choice for those who grind meat on a regular basis. These types of butcher supplies are a really good investment. They are electric, so they will require electricity to use. But the other perk of standalone meat grinders is you have more grinder plate options, so you can experiment more with the type of meat you grind. You can make sausage and meats like that.

Meat Grinder Attachments

The type of meat grinder attachments that you buy will depend on the type of grinder your purchase, the type of meat you intend to grind, the type of meat you want to make (for example, sausage) and how often you intend to use it. As mentioned, a standalone (electric) grinder has more grinder plate options than a manual grinder. Keep that in mind as you are deciding on which of these butcher supplies to buy.

Other Considerations

You might have a budget in mind when you visit us to buy butcher supplies, and we will keep that in mind if we are helping you decide on what to purchase. There are plenty of factors that go into your budget, so try to determine how much butchering you intend to do and then go from there. If butchering is something you do often, then it might make sense for you to spend a little more money than someone who only does it on occasion.

Would you like more information on butcher supplies near Williamsport? Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or you can Contact Us.

Picking the Right Work Boots

hilsher's general store port trevorton work bootsYou might think that one pair of work boots is just as good as another, but there are actually a few good guidelines to consider when choosing the right pair of boots. We sell work boots in Port Trevorton, so we have a few suggestions for you the next time you’re in the market for a new pair.

No matter where you work or what tasks you need work boots for, proper foot gear is essential to your safety and well-being. After all, your feet are what carry you around, so if anything happens to them, your mobility may be limited and then you can’t get your work done.

For example, if you work in construction, then you probably want work boots that have a steel toe. Steel toe work boots are great for areas that include heavy equipment or building materials. Steel toe work boots are also a good choice for those who work outdoors since steel tends to conduct heat better than some other materials out there, which could help keep your feet warm on a cold day.

What kind of weather conditions do you usually deal with when doing your work? If you work in areas that are prone to getting muddy when it rains, then you probably want to consider work boots that are made out of rubber and are waterproof. You might even want rubber boots that are insulated for when the weather turns cold.

Take a look at the soles of the work boots too. If you work at a construction site, you definitely want soles that will not be easily punctured by an errant nail or another sharp object. You also want to be sure that the sole has a good grip on the bottom so you don’t accidentally slip and fall.

Coming in and trying on work boots is another important step to getting the right kind of boot. You want to make sure they are comfortable to wear and that your feet and toes are not uncomfortable. You also want to be sure the work boots do not fit too tightly or too loosely since both of these can cause problems with the way you walk and move around. We carry some of the most popular brands of work boots on the market today like Caterpillar, Red Wing, Wolverine and more.

Are you interested in browsing our selection of work boots in Port Trevorton? Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or you can Contact Us.

New Items at Hilsher’s: Just in Time for Fall!

With the upcoming holiday season, we know many of our customers are going to start their Christmas shopping early. We just got many new items in stock, so we wanted to take the time to highlight some of our newest and most exciting arrivals.

Under Armour

We are proud to announce that we now carry Under Armour. Founded in 1996, this brand of high performance sports clothing is a great way to stay cool while hunting or enjoying your favorite sport. We carry Under Armour gear specifically for those who enjoy hunting and fishing. So whether you need a new jacket for yourself or a loved one for hunting season, come by to take a look at all we have in stock. We carry Under Armour clothing for both men and women.

under armour port trevorton pa

under armour port trevorton paApplesauce and Other Apple Goodies

While a bulk of the canning season is over, it’s still not too late to pick some apples and make some tasty treats out of these! We carry Ball jars, apple peelers and other items that make making applesauce easy and delicious. Come by and browse through all of the tools, jars and other devices we have that will help you make applesauce, apple butter and more.

food strainer port trevorton pa hilsher's

apple peeler port trevorton pa hilsher's ball jars port trevorton pa hilsher's

And in the meantime, you can sample some of our delightful homemade apple dumplings made fresh daily by our bakery.

apple dumplings port trevorton pa hilsher's

Fall-themed Decorations

Now that it’s fall, it’s time to start decorating for Thanksgiving and all of the other upcoming fall and winter holidays. Pumpkins and anything that tastes or smells like pumpkins are incredibly popular this time of year. So of course we have plenty of fall- and pumpkin-themed decorations for your home.

From door mats to cute pumpkin figurines and everything in between, these home decorations make a great gift for yourself or a loved one.

fall decorations 3 fall decorations 2 fall decorations 1 door mats

Decorative Pictures

Finally, what better gift to give a loved one than a lovely new picture for their walls? We carry a wide selection of pictures and other home décor, so it will be easy for you to find the perfect gift for a special person in your life.

pictures

Are you interested in browsing through our store and seeing all that we have in stock? Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or Contact Us.

Whoopie for Whoopie Pies!

Depending on who you ask, whoopie pies originated here in Central PA or somewhere in New England. But no matter where they came from, whoopie pies are one of the most popular sweet treats we sell at our general store in Central PA. Here are a few fun facts we’ve uncovered about these delicious desserts. And if you want to try some of the best whoopie pies in this area, visit our general store!

  • Depending on where you live, whoopie pies go by several different names including “black moon,” “gob,” “bob” or “BFO.”
  • Some people consider whoopie pies a cake, while others consider it a pie or a cookie.
  • The whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine, and the world’s largest whoopie pie was made in South Portland, Maine, in 2011. It weighed in at a whopping 1,062 pounds!
  • Three states in particular claim to be the birthplace of the whoopie pie: Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maine.
  • In Pennsylvania, the whoopie pie has roots in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture. The recipe for it has been handed down from generation to generation.
  • It is said that the name stems from when Amish women would pack these desserts in their husband’s lunches. When the husbands would open them and see the treat, they would yell, “Whoopie!”
  • Our general store sells several different varieties of these pies on a daily basis, and there is a whoopie pie out there for everyone, no matter what your preference. You can find them with peanut butter, pumpkin, gingerbread or chocolate icing, and there are probably even more flavors out there than those!
  • The popularity of whoopie pies continues to grow. You can find variations of them all over the country now: from large supermarkets to smaller bakeries and general stores like ours.
  • No matter where these delicious baked goods came from, we at Hilsher’s General Store think that they are one of the best sweet treats out there, especially the ones that are served up fresh in our bakery.

We hope you learned a few new things about whoopie pies! And if you want to buy some, visit our general store.

Are you interested in visiting our general store in Central PA to try some of our tasty whoopie pies? Call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or Contact Us.

Four Reasons to Shop at a Local General Store

There are plenty of great reasons to shop at a local general store near Harrisburg. And in this day and age, supporting local businesses is more important than ever. Here are a few reasons you should shop at a general store like Hilsher’s the next time you’re in the market for just about anything you could possibly want or need.

Instant Gratification

If you buy something online instead of from a general store or another local business, you have to wait for the order to get processed and fulfilled. Then you have to wait for the post office or a private delivery service to ship it to your home. When you shop at a general store, you get the item you want exactly when you want it. You don’t have to wait around!

Look Before You Buy

Buying from a general store like ours means you can look at the item you want before you buy it. This is especially great when you are buying items like clothing or shoes. You can make sure the item is exactly what you want and that it’s made out of the material you want. There can be variations in color that you might not have expected too, so seeing these items in person can help you decide on the best purchase.

No Additional Charges

When you buy online, you usually have to pay extra to have it shipped to you. And sometimes the vendor will charge you extra for additional services or to have it express shipped. You can avoid charges like these by shopping at our general store, and that will save you money in the long run.

Returns and Exchanges are Easier

Buying from a general store means if something is wrong with the product or if you changed your mind, returning or exchanging the item is as easy as bringing it to our store and speaking to one of our staff members. When you buy online, sometimes returns and exchanges can get complicated. You have to ship the old item back and wait for a new one to come in. And that is after reaching out to the company you bought it from in order to figure out how to return that item! Buying at a local general store makes this task a lot easier.

For more information on our general store near Harrisburg, call Hilsher’s General Store at 570-374-1550, visit us on Routes 11/15 seven miles south of Selinsgrove or Contact Us.