Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, November 12 - Going Grocery Shopping

Hey, nothing to write home about, huh? Well this was a treat.

Casey County has a large Amish/Mennonite community. It's new, begun about 1975 when Amish and Mennonites from Pennsylvania were looking for inexpensive farmland. They found it in the Green River Valley. Aside -- the Green River IS green. The water flows over all kinds of limestone deposits, and west of here, it forms the "Cave Region" of Kentucky as it flows underground for dozens of miles through Mammoth Cave and dozens of others. Anyway, it's green because the limestone promotes algae growth -- you put lime on your lawn to green it up -- same idea.

Back to the main story.

The IGA store in Liberty has great prices on, and quality of, meat, so we headed there first. Looking for the "Reduced for quick sale" we picked up loads of hamburg and pork and a couple of roasts. We need to do this at least once a month on a Monday morning -- the regular prices are comparable to Wal-Mart and Krogers (lots like Shaw's back home in Maine), but the quality of the meat is SO much better.

The pork we bought is destined to become home-made sausage. We bought a meat grinder for the Kitchen Aid mixer, and we're anxious to try it out. One of the roasts we cut up for stew beef or possibly hamburging -- we'll decide later.

Anyway, leaving Liberty, we drove south on US-127 to the Amish-Mennonite area of the county. We turned east on KY-501 in the settlement of "Phil" -- the settlement of "Teddy" is just down the road apiece. Not too far from Chicken Bristle! Gotta love the place names here.

Our first destination was Burkholder Seeds. Unfortunately, it wasn't open, but we'll go back -- calling first to be sure.

Then we drove up Chestnut Level Rd and South Fork Ridge Road past the Galilean Children's Home and Christian Academy. Sandy Tucker and her husband had hosted thousands of children from all over the world, whose mothers were in prison, or otherwise unable to care for the children. Sandy was a legend around here until she died last fall. They also operate the Bread of Life Cafe -- which is where we get our whole-wheat bread ($1.75 for a huge loaf). If we had turned on the cell phone and gotten ANY reception, we would have noticed the time was an hour earlier -- the nearest cell towers to southern Casey County are in the Central Time Zone!

Anyway, our next stop was Nolt's Bulk Foods -- what a gold mine this place is! We'll NEVER get cheese anywhere else again! Butter Havarti, $3.50 a pound (Kroger has it for $7); onion cheese, also $3.50 a pound, along with probably 15-18 other varieties ranging from Swiss and mozarella to cheddars. Barry also bought a bag of Empire apples -- good for pies, we understand! And I splurged and got a nutmeg grater. Life is good! They had cooking items, heavy aluminum cooking sheets, steel teapots, other utensils, spices in bulk, just wonderful stuff, and at reasonable prices to boot! The place is two miles off a side road off a side road off the main road. Yet we had a hard time getting through the place because of all the people shopping there!

We then backtracked to Lavern's, where we bought two squashes, a Waltham butternut, and a blue hubbard. Not much else of interest there, but the squash prices were VERY reasonable. If we had a root cellar here, we might have bought another 20 pounds -- I LOVE squash!

We did pass two horse-drawn buggies. I don't know if the drivers were Amish or Mennonite -- the men did NOT have beards, which is the rule for Old Order Amish -- but are our Amish Old or New Order? It's quite a treat though, seeing the buggies holding up the Fords and Chevies on the road!

We were looking for "Mike's Smoke House", a place I had come across back in October when I was out photographing gravestones with Rochelle and Linda, but we didn't find it. We MUST at some point though -- smoked sausages and other meats, locally produced! Sounds great.

There are other Amish-Mennonite stores we need to find. Need a buggy repaired? Harnesses for your horse? Kerosene lamps? QUILTS and QUILTING SUPPLIES (are you reading, Shirley?) Running low on sorghum, or want to learn how to make your own cheese? It's all here!

We got home, and decided to process the squash, so we took the meat cleaver, some newspapers, and went out on the back deck. It was 67 degrees, and we were wearing T-shirts while hacking and slashing at the squash. Today it feels like a nice early September day in Maine. Of course, the other day, we were 5 degrees COLDER than Waterville, and temps here commonly will vary 40 degrees from 7AM to 5PM. Later this afternoon, we'll probably take some time out to just sit and vegetate on the front porch, watching the Butchertown rush-hour traffic (approx. 5 vehicles per hour).

OK, gotta go, the squash should be done -- at least the first bowl -- two more to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment