The Things That Make Me Smile

I’m so excited.  I found a “buying club,” and I picked up my first order today.

What’s a buying club, you may be asking.  I know, a month ago, I’d have asked too.

Buying clubs are popping up everywhere, basically to fulfill the demand for farm fresh, traditional meat and dairy products.  Since it’s inconvenient and sometimes down right impossible for people living in urban and suburban areas to access farm fresh products, the products are coming to us!

I found my buying club on FarmFreshPhilly.org.  Several farmers in the Lancaster area have combined forces to provide our buying club with fresh organic beef, pork, poultry, dairy and other miscellaneous products including but not limited to ketchup (made with locally grown tomatoes and no preservatives), raw honey, maple syrup, fermented veggies, and breads.

We place our orders via email, and once a week the delivery truck takes the food from the farm to various drop-off locations throughout the suburbs.  We drive to the closest drop-off location and pick up our order and bring it home.  Cool, huh??

Today I brought home a half gallon of raw milk, a pound of natural Jersey butter, local raw honey, whole milk cottage cheese, and a chicken and some chicken breasts from pastured chickens.

I also got a quart of lard from a pastured pig (I can not WAIT to try my pie crust recipe with it!!) as well as a pork shoulder roast, chipped ham, and scrapple made with no nitrates or preservatives.

What’s scrapple?  I thought you’d never ask.  Scrapple is a Pennsylvania Dutch delight that takes scraps of pig meat left over from butchering (to avoid waste) and combines them with cornmeal, flour, and spices to make a delightful breakfast treat that is generally served with eggs as a substitution for bacon or sausage.

Ordinarily, the idea of a food product made from the craps of a butchered pig would skeeve me out, but the scrapple from my buying club is made with only meat, corn meal, wheat flour, seasoning (and no nitrates, thankyouverymuch.)  I’m not even gonna THINK about which parts of the pig the “meat” may be harvested from.  Some things are better left a mystery.

Tonight I already have a new batch of no-knead homemade bread rising, the grains soaking with which to make a breakfast cake when we get up in the morning, and plans to make homemade granola and granola bars later tonight.  So far I’m having fun with our back-to-traditional-foods eating habits.  I’m sure it will eventually get old and I’ll mellow out, but for now I’m still going strong.

Have you made any changes to your diet and food habits recently?  Which are the most rewarding?  What’s the biggest challenge?  Do you think I’ve lost my marbles?  Wait, don’t answer that.