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Eating Pennsylvania

January 1, 2015

In years past, New Years Day has found the Fussies heading up through the Leatherstocking Region of NY to get back home from rural Pennsylvania. After our year in Princeton, we’re still out of our rhythms.

There is so much pork and sauerkraut at the farm, and that makes me happy. It’s a combination that I only get out here, but man do I love fermented cabbage with swine.

Later today, my father-in-law is going to cook a bone in standing rib roast that he picked up from a local butcher. Little Miss Fussy is going to celebrate her birthday yet again (but this time with cousins). I’m thinking there may be some more kielbasa squeezed into the day somehow. Maybe for second breakfast. Elevensies at the latest.

Actually one of the things I’m most excited about doesn’t even have to do with food. Bedford now has a pinball museum, where all the machines are not only playable, but free with the cost of entry. Man, I love pinball.

But the food is exciting too. It may even be a bit daunting. I mean, we’re only here for a few more days.

Naturally, there will be pancakes. My father-in-law still makes the best ones I’ve ever had. The secret is butter. It calls for an absolutely irresponsible amount of the stuff. This year in addition to the breakfast sausage from the local butcher, there’s also scrapple. It’s a marvelous breakfast side with a crappy name. I once heard a waiter in Berkeley call it “pork polenta” which I think makes it sound much more appealing to the uninitiated.

We scrapple lovers would eat it even if you called it crapple.

My mother-in-law also bought enough pierogies to feed an army. Second only to my love of fat is my love of carbs. Mashed potatoes wrapped in flour and fried in butter with diced onions? Oh yeah. I know the onions almost make it seem like a health food adding a vegetable component to the dish, but really, their role is just to help season the butter.

On top of all that there is ground beef and hot dogs from the butcher. Some sliced roasted pork loin, platters of deviled eggs, and a basement full of wine.

Future posts may be a ilttle incomprehensible because we’re going to be drinking through a bunch of old bottles of pinot noir, zinfandel and cabernet. It’s likely that a few of the wines have gone past their peak, but it will be interesting to drink them still and taste what’s left of them.

There’s also a case of beer on the porch, a couple bottles of single malt, and that bottle of Ten 66 pommeau I brought from New York.

Even with all of this food around the farm, Mrs. Fussy and I went out on a date last night. The local tavern serves burgers made from bison that was grown just down the road. I’ve driven by the bison ranch, and those are mighty creatures. Bison never look happy, per se. They generally look stern. But they had lots of land to roam, and I enjoyed mine a lot.

One bonus of the tavern is all the regional beers they have on tap. Mrs. Fussy was able to get a Railbender Scottish Ale from Erie. I had the O’Reilly’s Irish Stout, made by Sly Fox. With dessert we split a Tröegs Mad Elf, which went surprisingly well with the house made cranberry tart.

The funny thing is that locals in this part of the world don’t typically eat so local. My father-in-law got a chuckle from the menu and said that the tavern was going after all the tourists who come to the Bedford Springs Resort.

This area used to be a big deal way back in the days before air conditioning.

And on the way home, we swung into a convenience store to pick up some hamburger rolls. There was a display case of donuts. Now, you might think that I’ve had far too many donuts recently. It’s true, I have. In fact, I was as surprised as anyone that they looked even remotely appealing. But the glazed was gorgeous, and I had a feeling Young Master Fussy would flip for the peanut butter and chocolate slathered one.

Turns out they were bad. I mean, worse than Dunkin’ Donuts bad. I didn’t even know that was possible. But I’m glad to have tried them. You never know how something will taste until you put it in your mouth and try it without prejudice.

Even scrapple.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2015 1:42 pm

    Pinball museum sounds fun!! Enjoy.

  2. Kate permalink
    January 3, 2015 9:31 am

    I’m going to have to find a reason to visit Bedford now! Back in the 80’s I had a full size pinball game in my living room. When I had to make a long distance move, I found a group home for teenagers willing to take it. Hopefully they had as much fun with it as I did.

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