So last night, Tim finally got his belated requested Father's Day dinner. Burgers on the grill. It's not a fancy meal by any stretch of the imagination, but it's what he wanted. And sometimes, even with something as simple as this, it's about the details. If you start out with good quality product, you end up serving good quality product.
Which is how we found ourselves Saturday amoungst the massive and sometimes maddening crowds at our local and wonderful Farm Market, Detweillers. I've written about Detweillers before, but in case you missed that one, it's a small local, oh I guess "chain" is the correct term. They source their foods locally and try to never buy outside a fifty mile radius which nowadays is less than an hour away. They have the most beautiful produce I've ever seen, smelled or tasted. They also have an impressive butcher shop, seafood section, dairy and my favourite part, the bakery. It's an Amish bakery by the way, so no preservatives. Bliss with calories :)
Everytime we go to Detweillers on a Saturday (they close Sundays) we know before we walk into the door that it's going to be a madhouse. Even off-season it's packed. But it's totally worthwhile. It takes a lot of patience and a little bit of pushiness (if you don't you will just stand by the door for eternity) and the ability of a cat of slink through small spaces, squeezing between people and that tiny space between shopping cart and food display. I've gotten very good at it. Practice practice practice!
The plan was to restock the freezer with meat. Really, that was all we planned to buy. So we skirted the beautiful produce sections and headed straight to the back. We were on the lookout for ground beef for hamburgers and whatever else Tim found that he liked the looks of. I was kind of along for the ride. Their meats are gorgeous. Again locally sourced and Tim swears (and our friend Paul will back him up on this) that the steaks we buy at Detweillers are better than any we've had at fancy arsed steak houses! Selections made, we worked our way to the checkout via the bakery because, well hey, it's a bakery. Actually it's not just A bakery, it's kind of THE bakery.
I spied some hamburger rolls and considered it. My original plan was to go back to my local grocery store, Publix for those. I had noticed recently, (on a day when I didn't need them) that they now occasionally have brioche hot dog and hamburger buns now! Woohoo!~ Brioche any kind of bun is always a wonderful thing. However, Publix doesn't always have them. I was kind of banking on the hope that Saturday, when I was shopping for the Father's Day cookout, they would. Tim and I discussed it for a minute or two and decided to give the Amish bakery hamburger buns a shot. A Bird in the Hand kind of thought. Or well, rather, Buns in the hand. Wait a minute. That sounds rude. Sorry.
As we stood in line, meats and hamburger buns loaded in our little cart, my eyes fell on a brand of chips I'd never heard of. Good's Potato Chips. Hmm. Interesting. I asked Tim. No, he had never heard of them either. While we waited I was planning the cookout menu. In my head I was making macaroni and/or potato salads to go with the burgers. Baked Beans of course - Bush's to be specific and thought the meal would be complete. But, chips go with burgers too right? Let's be brave and try these Good's Chips and see if they are, in fact, any good.
So we felt as if we were set to go. We had specially sourced really good quality ground beef, those super nice Amish made in house hamburger buns with whatever sides I ended up making, the baked beans of course and the mysterious Good's Chips. If the chips aren't, in fact, good, there would be plenty of other food to fill in the gap.
You are dying to know aren't you?
The chips were good. The chips were incredibly good! As it turns out these are the most appropriately named product EVER. So light, just the right amount of salt, crispy, thin, flavourful and not greasy at all. Oh My Goodness!
We could easily have finished off the entire bag. BUT we did not. And I promise you, that took discipline! Wow! I was so impressed that I looked them up.
They are made in Adamstown Pennsylvannia which is in Lancaster County. Some of you may know this as the Dutch Pennsylvannia area, home to many Amish and Mennonite famers and their amazing products. AHA! The old fashioned look of the packaging should have tipped me off there.
I also learned that the company started in 1886 (!!!) and, while they now have machines to peel and slice the potatoes, they still make their products the way they did 133 years ago, in small batches, with lard. Yes, that's right, I said lard. Everyone else has moved on to other kind of frying oils, some of which have names I cannot hope to pronounce. Good's uses lard. Sometimes the old ways really are the best ways!
I checked out their website. Detwillers had two choices for Good's Chips. Original in the blue bag and Kettle Cooked in a red bag. Obviously, we arbitrarily chose the blue bag. Next time, we will check out the red one. I'm not absolutely certain what the difference is between regular potato chips and kettle cooked ones. I guess I will find out.
On the website it appears that they have branched out to pretzels, cheese curls and BBQ flavoured chips. Wow! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that while it's very cool of them to make a nice variety, i'm betting that their best sellers are still the original old fashioned amazing wonderfully fabulous blue bag chips.
And to think that if I hadn't been in a what the heck, let's try it sort of mood instead of my usual, well let's stick to what we know, cautious self, we never would have found our new favourite potato chip! Sometimes you have to take a chance ;) What's life without a little risk now and again eh?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.