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!!
Sounds like you hit some really interesting places today. I envy those of you who live near Amish settlements. I'm with V in that a remember good bologna from my childhood. Haven't had any in ever so long. You can keep your blue cheese. Have never been able to develop a taste for it. But cheese curds . . . mmmmm, good. (Good thing I just finished eating dinner before reading this!)ReplyDelete
Lebanon Bologna really is quite yummy- I got hooked on it when we lived out east. I do like blue cheese- in small quantities. I probably wouldn't have gotten any but they had samples and it was REALLY tasty- if you like blue cheese, that is.Delete
Dehydrated lemon juice, never heard of that! Great idea!ReplyDelete
I hadn't seen it until last year. It has come in quite handy. I put some into my powdered sugar when I made frosting once. Oh, heavenly!!Delete
Never heard of powdered lemon juice but I'm intrigued! We are spoiled in that my parents live in "The Cheese Curd Capital of the World" as the sign says at the town entrance LOL! The annual Cheese Curd Festival is across the street from their house at the fairgrounds so it's nice when we can make our trip coincide with that :)ReplyDelete
There is just something wonderful about cheese curds. Especially when they squeak.Delete
How I wish I could find cheese curds. Well, maybe not. But I am with you on the blue cheese-lovin'. What a great outing you had! The Stringtown Grocery sounds like a place that would be mighty dangerous for me. In a good way, of course!ReplyDelete
Stringtown is one of those places where we go several times a year. Nowhere else around here can you get rolled oatmeal in sizes up to 25 lbs. We also stock up on dried beans there as well. But, we're doing pretty good on all that stuff at the moment so we got goodies instead.Delete
Oh, your trip sounds lije so much fun! I never heard of powdered lemon juice but now want some....and cheese curds! Anything cheese gets a thumbs up here. Glad you enjoyed yourslf.ReplyDelete
The dehydrated lemon juice was new for me last year as well but now I'm hooked.Delete
How is it I've grown up here and never heard of stringtown? I think I might be taking a trip out there soon! BTW do you have any other contacts for buying meat shares? I'd love to do this this year!ReplyDelete
You've never been to Stringtown!?? Oh my! Go toward Kalona- take a left at the cheese factory- it's the white building on the left. You will LOVE it!!Delete
As for meat shares- we have worked through Mr H. He does beef and I believe pork. I know a couple of vendors that I've met through the Farmer's market (Lois P in Mt Vernon does pork and lamb). I'd say check the Local Harvest Website to see what you can find. We just kind of stumbled upon our farmer and I love supporting an Amish farmer doing pastured beef.
Sounds like a plan - I think I'm going to need to plan a trip soon!Delete