November 13, 2010

A Trip to Amana and Kalona

Jeffrey and I took Friday off work and took a trip to Kalona and Amana.  This picture is from Stringtown Grocery, which is located at 2208 540th Street SW just outside Kalona.  Isn't the buggy neat?  I like how you can see both worlds meeting in this photo- one side of the parking lot is for cars, and the other has a hitching post for the horse and buggy rigs.  The first thing you notice when you enter is a strange hissing sound.  That's the gaslights.  Since the store is Amish owned, there isn't any electricity.  There is a small cooler area for meats and produce, which I assume uses propane for power.

Jeffrey found some pasta and several bean mixes to try, and I picked up several colors of sugar for Christmas cookies.  The bulk herbs and spices are very affordable, and are packaged in baggies and small clear plastic containers.  The store evidently buys in bulk, and repackages in smaller, family-friendly sizes- very economical. 

We also got some jam that was so good I wished we'd bought about 10 jars- it was Country Harvest blackberry jam, made in Bloomfield, Iowa.  Something to definitely pick up on our next trip!

We also visited the Cheese Factory next door.  They had all kinds of unusual Christmas candy and goodies.  We got some cheese curds, and they were so fresh, they squeaked!  In case you plan to visit, know that neither of these two shops take credit or debit cards.  Cash or checks are cheerfully accepted, though, so no worries there.

We love to visit Amana, and this time we were on a cookiecutter-finding mission.  We were looking for a maple leaf, holly, a moose (for chocolate moose cookies, of course!), and a small star.  We found all these and a few more.  I was also looking for edible glitter and sanding sugars, and we hit the jackpot there, too. Here's what we brought back home:

It was just a great day! 


  1. Anonymous11:57 PM CST

    I am just wondering why on earth you expect us to take you seriously when you are clearly using Cooks Illustrated fb page to SPAM your way on to the radar.

  2. Hm, let's see... we've mentioned on the CI (and Cook's Country) Facebook pages that we cook (among other things) a lot of the recipes from those magazines and other ATK products, we've posted pictures of some of what we make - just as do a lot of the people who post there - and we mention on or posts there that we discuss our experience with the recipes and have more pictures here on our blog.

    Seems relevant to me, so I guess you and we have different definitions of spam, Anonymous person.

    BTW, we hadn't even visited the Facebook sites in question - and didn't even have a Facebook account - until someone involved with the Cook's Country page Twittered about our featuring one of their recipes. That Twitter led us to the Facebook pages in question, and also led a bunch of new viewers here to our blog, which we appreciate.

    Should anyone associated with CI or CC feel we're spamming, we'll gladly stop posting pics there and/or mentioning our blog. Unless and until that happens, though, we're not going to be too concerned with whether or not someone Anonymous takes us seriously. We're plenty busy cooking and posting.

    But, hey, thanks for commenting!