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What's in a Name? Scrapple and Sweetbreads, Defined

Phew! A lot of activity going on over here. You may have noticed Sweetbreads has been on a mini-vacation from the blog as she prepares for our wedding this weekend (Sunday!). We've also had a change in plans to absorb, and on top of all that it looks like the economy might take another dive. Yikes. So with all that turmoil going on around us, we thought it might be a good time to give a little clarity on why we're using pseudonyms (for the time being).

Images from Accidental Hedonist, Midlife Magazine, domesticesq, and chomposaurus.wordpress

As great as it would be if our actual names were Scrapple and Sweetbreads, alas it’s not the truth. Someday soon we'll write freely under our own names, but for now we're choosing to write under pseudonyms. No, we’re not running from the law. No, we’re not impostors operating some sort of farm-blog experiment. The simple fact is that we have to take into account our day-to-day lives. We don’t want our work on Little Seed to interfere with our day-jobs until we’ve made a clean break with our past. One thing that’s absolutely essential to both of us is our integrity and our focus on doing what’s right. I have a demanding day-job and feel a deep responsibility to to give my work 100% of my focus while I’m in the office. Yes, like anyone with a dream, I sometimes wander off in my mind and jot down little notes here and there, but I don’t specifically dedicate time to Little Seed while I’m “on the clock”. Sweetbreads similarly needs to separate work from dream. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't dedicate our free time to pursuing our dreams, thus our efforts to start our farm education and get our website up and running.

We both feel the responsibility to our employers and do not want to publicly rub our dreams in their faces. Luckily, I have a great relationship with my boss and have expressed that in a year or two I'd like to start my own business and he's ok with that. It's all about openness and respect and it works both ways. 

So that’s the rationale for using pseudonyms, but why did we choose Scrapple and Sweetbreads? For one, coming up with the names is tough! We spent at least a few days bandying about different ideas. The ultimate conclusion was a result of me flipping through Mettler’s book “Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game” and coming across two words that seemed to fit us each very well. We also like the idea that they’re both food products from animals that we’ll be producing.

Sweetbreads fits her personality and makes me smile. Sweetbreads is most commonly used in reference to the pancreas of an animal, although it can be in reference to a whole host of other body parts. The first time we had sweetbreads they were calf pancreas’ and they were fried in little balls. I usually don’t argue with the taste of fried foods and these little suckers were tasty! Apparently, fried is the most common way to eat sweetbreads, however, they can be sautéed, braised, poached, grilled, and even roasted. One day you’ll find an Eating the Offal post about our sweetbreads experiments, it’s only a matter of time.

Scrapple worked for me because I'm a scrappy guy and I like stuff that usually goes to waste or that no one else wants. In reality, scrapple is pork scraps combined with cornmeal and/or flour and some spices. It frequently comes from the unused portions of pig meat after butchering. The pork scraps are shaped into a loaf (similar to meatloaf) and then pan-fried in slices. The ‘delicacy’ of scrapple is best known as a rural American food in the mid-atlantic region of the US. Interestingly, scrapple is considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. The first time I ever tasted scrapple was at a run-down diner in rural New Jersey. I can’t say it was the best dish I’ve eaten, but it wasn’t bad either. Sweetbreads, on the hand, has never had the luxury of consuming a fine piece of scrapple. In the near future we hope to make our own version and the recipe will posted.

So that’s some of the story behind it all. I personally can't wait to get rid of them so I can stop writing our real names in all the posts by accident and then having to go back through and change them!