Most humans find food interesting; how else to survive? Our family, which
this week is together for the first time since the Christmas before last, finds
interest in how foods are made, where they come from and so on. Thus after we
inspected fortifications at Valley Forge and passed by the edged weapons museum
in Intercourse, PA— those who saw the sign as we drove through town assured me
it was closed for the duration—we headed towards an Amish goat farm...as one
does. There we bought cheese. In the “shop” ( the quotation marks indicate it
was DIY... on the honor system) there was a handwritten note indicating that
lamb could be had at such and such an address. So having selected and paid for
cheeses thence we hied ourselves, and found at the next address Bernese
Mountain puppies, and a very pleasant woman with two small daughters and a
thick accent. Also a manner of speaking that reminded me of exchanges with
country folk when I was a kid. There was a world view evident in every plain
statement. After we chatted about the puppies, she directed us to freezers
where meats were kept, and towards the basket full of cash where you made
At another stand we were sold a dozen eggs for two dollars. It passed through
my head to somehow overpay, but I came up with no cunning plan. Theirs was not
the honor system; a young woman totted up our choices and took what we owed.
When we returned to J’s house we’d experienced exactly the opposite of
Washington’s cold winter, a day of tremendous heat and humidity. The cheese,
meat and veg haul was safe in the cooler but we ourselves needed cooling before
eating seemed even a likelihood.
The right time arrived though as all time does. Aged Muenster with apricot and
strawberries. Goat Comté with crackers. A small weisswurst with some mustard.
Light eating but exactly what hit the spot. And then we cracked open the opaque
container of chèvre...fresh goat cheese.
Covered in green mold.
On Sunday we’ll be re-enacting Emmanuel Leutze’s imagined version of Washington
crossing the Delaware. The gap between what Washington did and what the
painting depicts is not small.
A little known fact, however, is the true cause of Washington stealing across
in the middle of the night to attack while the Germans were hungover from a
Christmas celebration. Washington had heard good things about Hessian
Handkäse, hand-made cheese from where the Germanic troops originated.
No. I made that up.
It is true though that the BBC currently has a piece on how Americans are being
advised not to kiss chickens. This is not what we chicken gods call useful.
Rule one of being a god: don’t kiss the minions.
Sent from my
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