V and I had a lovely drive to Kalona this afternoon. Of course, first we had to stop at Menard's since it's on the way. We frequently have 'hot dates' to the home improvement store- we're regulars there! Then on to the drive- the weather was lovely and the sun warm as we traveled through the rolling countryside.
First we stopped at Stringtown. I LOVE the Stringtown Grocery! I didn't really need anything but we picked up some candied ginger slices, dried cranberries, dried apricots, peanutbutter chips, butterscotch chips and a few other items, including dehydrated lemon juice. I like having the lemon juice powder around in case I need some lemon juice and don't have any lemons.
While there, we checked in the cold room freezer for the grassfed beef. One of the real reasons we went to Kalona today is that V had misplaced the address of the Amish farmer where we get our beef- but we knew that he sells some at Stringtown (being Amish, he obviously isn't in the phone book and doesn't have a web page- we usually have corresponded through the mail). Sadly, the packaging didn't include his address and the girl who checked out our order didn't know the address, but, better than the address, she gave us directions to his house which was only about a mile and a half down the road. So, we drove down the road to his house. He was out in the yard, hitching up a horse to a buggy, getting ready to leave. But, he gladly chatted with us and we placed our order. He won't have any beef available until May but that is just fine. That will give us time to finish the odds and ends we've still got left in the depths of the freezer. We're getting down to the 'interesting' cuts.
After meeting with Mr H, we stopped at the cheese factory (Twin County Dairy). While there, we picked up some cheese curds (an obligation if you go there!), some of their own aged white cheddar (Mmmm!!), a little bit of blue cheese for J17 and I (no one else here will eat it) and, lastly, and most important to V, a couple of pounds of Weaver's Lebanon Bologna from Pennsylvania. V was raised on the stuff. He and the children refer to it as 'the food of the Gods" and we're lucky that they have it fairly regularly at the cheese house. It's probably a good thing that we don't get to Kalona that often or everyone would have to be buying larger sized clothing, LOL!!
I did find out something interesting while we were at the cheese factory. Evidently, most of the cheese curds they produce are purchased by Kraft. Hmm, I didn't know that. I'm trying to remember the number the lady said. I think she said they produce 2300 lbs of cheese curds a day. Yowza! THAT'S A LOTTA CHEESE!!