14 hours ago
Monday, January 5, 2009
This weekend we visited friends who live on apple/peach/pear orchards in Germantown, Columbia County, upstate New York, about 100 miles north of New York City. A totally rural farming area, except for the little town of Hudson, where art galleries and antiques shops abound.
There are a lot of cottage industry food businesses, local farms that sell raw milk and handmade cheeses, terrific butchers that sell organic meats and chickens and all local New York State produce is used at all the interesting little restaurants.
We stopped at a working farm called Pleroma Farms and bought fresh eggs and farm raised chickens (to roast this week!) and met the owner, Ana, a Dutch woman who has owned the farm since 1986.
What I thought so amazing was that you pay with the honor system. There is a price list and you help yourself to what you want in the refrigerated case, then write your name and what you are taking on a sales slip type of pad, and leave the cash in a cigar box!!! I guess this is why people live up here.
We stopped at a great little market called Otto's in the postage size downtown shops (5 shops in total) of Germantown.
We bought excellent cookies & rum balls homemade by Otto, pickles from Rhinebeck, NY, handmade by a girl named "Spacey Tracey" (I was instantly interested, since some people still call me "Spacey Stacey"), and sampled some really delicious cheese spread called Pimento Cheese Spread, also made "in house".
At first I was leery. Pimento Cheese Spread? I was told it is a Southern thing. The sign in front of the samples said "this sounds weird, but it's good!"
It was really delicious and I am no cheese log type of gal.
I tried to recreate Otto's delicious spread, and after googling and finding many different variations, this was as close as I could get and it was terrific!
Pimento Cheese Spread: (adapted from Otto's Market by me!)
some shredded muenster cheese (most recipes used sharp white cheddar)
some chopped pimentos from a jar
lots of dill weed
small amount of chopped red onion
very little mayo to bind
dash of tabasco sauce
This was great served on a crusty baguette or just with plain Carr's crackers.
Notice the beautiful apple trees (in winter mode) in the background.