- Heisler’s Cloverleaf Dairy, Tamaqua, PA
- The Nesting Box Market and Creamery, Kempton, PA
- C & C Creamery, Philadelphia, PA
- Petrucci’s Ice Cream and Water Ice, King of Prussia, PA
- Chester Springs Creamery, Chester Springs, PA
- Pine View Dairy, Lancaster, PA
Friday, August 14, 2020
Finally! A Hampton Inn in PA that served protein for breakfast! The pre-packaged scrambled eggs with cheese and red bell peppers did not taste prepackaged. I know serving protein is a lot of extra work for hotels, and I really appreciated it. I may or may not have not been able to say no to a package of Pillsbury Mini Cinnis to eat with my hot tea.
Walking outside the hotel, I saw my second praying mantis of the summer. This one was brown. Gregg spotted a green one on our house last week. I can’t remember how many years it has been since I’ve seen a praying mantis. They are such cool insects!
We were off on an ice cream tasting day, hoping to visit the two creameries that were closed on our PA Ice Cream Trail vacation last month, plus visit others. One shop was added this morning when a friend gave us a suggestion on Facebook. Another is in the Philadelphia area and the friend who told us about it also told us about her favorite cheesesteak restaurant close by. That sounded like a great combo to us.
Heading south, Google directed us to the PA Turnpike. Road construction left two narrow lanes for cars and many simi-trucks to share. My anxiety began rising for the first time in a long time. It was such a relief when we finally exited and began driving on beautiful, windy country roads again. The memory of our Holland boat-bike trip came flooding back. After a wonderful bike cruise, we were riding public transportation and longing to be back on a bike. Once we rented bikes again, it just felt right. In the same way, it just felt right to be back on small roads again, actually seeing and experiencing the communities we drove through.
The interstate drive made me appreciate the winding, up and down roller coaster, two lane roads and the views they provide. Some roads were lined with tall corn fields on either side. Others roads wound through forest trees reaching across the road to touch each other and create a beautiful canopy for us to drive through. We passed Christmas tree farms. And we passed many cemeteries, some small, some large, some established long ago. Church steeples were as plentiful as farm silos. It was surprising to see how many churches had large bells mounted on the lawn in front of their buildings; our guess is that the bells were once housed in a bell tower above the church.
When we were driving along a mountain ridge, we could look down into the valley below. And when driving in the valley, we could see the mountains above. On sunny days, the clouds’ shadows create dark splotches on the mountain greens. On cloudier days, like this morning, the sun peeking through creates light splotches on the dark mountain greens. Fields create a beautiful patchwork design, the corn fields next to soybean fields, next to hay fields, next to animal fields. We saw farmers cutting hay, farmers tetting hay (turning it over to dry,) and bales of hay in the fields, some round, some rectangular, some wrapped and prepared to provide for the animals this winter. Some farmers were men, some were women, some were Amish, some were Mennonite.
We drive through towns with many old Victorian homes, some run down, others refurbished. We passed huge homes and ramshackle cottages and everything in between. Homes with fieldstone, clapboard, siding, brick. Homes with vegetable gardens, flower gardens, manicured lawns or those not tended to, and yards used for storage. Each home has a current story. Each home has a history of stories. If walls could talk.
The clouds on this trip have been stunning, often presenting themselves as carefree wisps of white on a crisp blue sky. Today I saw a turkey-buzzard in the random shapes floating in the sky. It reminded me of cloud-watching as a child. Funny how it was hard for others to see the same thing.
As we enjoy the sights, we have been listening to an audiobook, The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. It is in her Inspector Gamache series of who-done-it mystery stories based outside of Montreal, Canada.
After riding for two hours, we came to our first creamery, Heisler’s Cloverleaf Dairy. It is a large, old, concrete block building with a huge parking lot and other things to do including putt-putt golf. I ate Coconut Almond Fudge. Gregg had Banana ice cream with CMP – chocolate, marshmallow, peanuts. The banana ice cream tasted like banana peanut candy. We ate in our car and both ice creams began melting quickly. I plan to relisten to the frozen desserts webinar to be reminded of whether the emulsifiers or the stabilizers (or lack thereof) caused that quality.
Stop #2 was The Nesting Box Market and Creamery. This is one we stopped at on our last trip and found it was closed. I got Keylime Pie and Gregg ate Banana Ripple. Once again, the banana ice cream tasted like peanut shaped banana candy. We are so curious as to the reason for this flavor. Craving something salty, too, we bought Ranch Dill pretzel pieces. And I could not pass up the fresh cheese curds!
Stop #3a was Dalessandro’s Steaks. We split a huge cheesesteak with cheese, sauteed onions, banana peppers, green peppers, and spaghetti sauce. The meat was ground rather than sliced. It was quite tasty and quite filling. If we ordered it again, we’d order it the same plus extra cheese. This has clearly been a neighborhood staple for years. The customers walked up to a window to order, then she told us it would be about a 20 minute wait. So we stood on the sidewalk until our name was called to get into the pick-up line where we paid and received our treasure. They have a few picnic tables outside but we ate ours in the car. There is a cheesesteak restaurant across the street. I didn’t see any customers. Thanks to Rachel’s housemate for the tip!
Stop #3b was also Rachel’s housemate, Kristen’s suggestion – C & C Creamery. Because of Covid, they are only taking phone orders. We had parked a few blocks away and walked, so we called in our order and waited outside to receive it. Gregg ordered Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup and I ordered Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. It was tasty! I liked how it melted around the edges of the bowl as I ate, a thick milkshake consistency.
Stop #4 was Petrucci’s Ice Cream and Water Ice. They had a large animal area with goats and geese. Also fields with horses. There were barns, possibly with cows. I ate Tiramisu and Gregg ate Pumpkin Pie. He likes my recipe better.
Stop #5 was Chester Springs Creamery. This was another creamery that was closed the last time we stopped by. I was about ice creamed out so I ate a few bites of Gregg’s black raspberry ice cream. It was a refreshing flavor. This farm also has goats for people to see, as well as vegetables for sale. We bought six huge bell peppers for $2. Stuffed pepper soup is in our future! Lest you worry that I didn’t have much to eat, I finished off the cheese curds as we rode.
Stop #6 was in Lancaster County – Pine View Dairy. Again, I’d had my fill of ice cream so I shared some of Gregg’s Triple Dark Chocolate milkshake. It was delicious! Chocolate ice cream with large chocolate chunks and brownie pieces. This farm allows you to look into their milking area. They also have calf pens to walk by.
We are headed back to Markleysburg tomorrow but would like to go to Costco, so we decided to get a hotel in Lancaster and go shopping tomorrow morning. Then we plan to head home through Cumberland for another creamery that one of my HopeWriter readers told me about. We also hope to get Chambersburg peaches. Ngihty night!