I just thought I’d share a few of my favorite items from the blogosphere this past week.
First, this is a really good, thought-provoking post about “Amish butter.”
Last summer I was able to enjoy a few pats of homemade butter given to me by Miriam Miller, an Amish woman in Fredonia, Pennsylvnia. The butter was remarkably creamy and I was struck by its bright yellow hue. After I took it home, the butter also turned rancid much faster than the store-bought preservative-laden butters. That’s not a negative comment, well it is for me..shame on me for not using it up faster, because the fresh pats were delicious! Anyway, I have seen “Amish butter” sold in stores. It’s sold in sort of a “log.” Buyer beware on most “Amish” dairy products because the reality is that most Amish people don’t have home-based diary operations designed to sell to the masses. The butter I got from Miriam Miller was given to me in tiny, individually wrapped pats. Miriam made the butter herself on a small-scale for home consumption. Those pats were the real deal and not for sale. But log butter in a store? Chances are the only thing “Amish” about them is that perhaps the manufacturer buys milk from a coop that includes some Amish dairy farmers. ”Amish cheese” is the same way. Commercial cheesemaking is a very complicated endeavor, an Amish farmer can’t just whip up some Cheddar to sell at a roadside stand, romantic as that sounds. There are only two genuinely “Amish cheese” operations that I am aware of: the Salemville Cheese Company in Wisconsin. They make blue cheese only and I’ve toured the operation myself. It’s Amish through and through right down to the buggies parked in the parking lot. And the Farm Country Cheese House in Lakeview, Michigan qualifies as Amish-made in my estimation. Any other cheese claiming to be “Amish” probably as a tenuous connection at best. But back to that Amish Butter…The God’s Natural Organic Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season blog (GNOWFLGINS for short…whew, that is a mouthful) did an excellent “expose” of sorts of “Amish butter”. Very well-done piece which basically buttresses my assertions about buyer beware for Amish dairy. Check out their blog here. What do you think? Is the “Amish butter” misleading?
On more familiar turf, my favorite blog “Little House Living”, has a great homemade “pig in a blanket” recipe today. Check the recipe out here. Everyone loves pigs-in-a-blanket, but Merissa adds her own cheesy twist to them!
Lastly, there is an amazing slideshow of Old Order Mennonite life in Bolivia. We’ve talked a lot about the Mexican Mennonite colonies, but there are groups of plain Mennonites in South America. Jordi Ruiz Cirera is a South American photographer who has captured some incredible scenes that give respectful insight into their way of life. I’d love to visit there sometime. Check this out. Excellent work by Jordi!