Friday, October 30, 2009

not a recipe, but where I've been and what I've cooked

I was out of town last week and this week have been a little busy with knitting. Last week we went on vacation to Pennsylvania and headed to Amish country with a side trip on the way home to Cape May, NJ. Then this week I have two knitting nights.

We were in Lancaster County, PA around Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse. The area was very touristy along the main roads, but back in the farms they were very tidy and generally quite pretty. One of the Amish men took us on a carriage tour, he'd changed to this after farming because it was easier work than farming. Apparently the farms are dairy farms mainly these days. They grow corn and alfalfa for feeding the cattle and apples that are sold and eaten (also for cider). The cider apple pulp is also fed to cattle. They also have horses and mules for local travel and working the fields.

I have to say I'm not particularly fond of all Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish based) cooking. I had sauerkraut and pork one night that was acceptable, but seemed more of a way that would be using leftovers of a pork roast at home than a restaurant menu item. I was also surprised that the New England whoopie pie had made it as a pastry item the Amish bakers had taken to. I guess it's a good single serving cake.

In Cape May I stopped and ate seafood. Of course! I couldn't go without a good seafood meal there. I also bought finnan haddie to fix at home. I do like smoked fish.

In addition to finnan haddie, I've made beef stew the way I like to with red wine, onions, mushrooms, and carrots, and flavored with garlic and thyme, Bernard Clayton's rich white bread out of his Bread book, baked apples with the apples bought in Amish country, and steak. Yeah, we're a red meat house pretty often. The hubby's from Colorado and used to beef. Oh, yes, and one night I did a ham steak with roasted sweet potato spears. The sweet potatoes came out really nice and roasty toasty and were so good!

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