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boone

Gethsemane, Ky.-Circa 1905

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bobbyc

because girls are not allowed,

They made an exception for a Queen once, Being I suppose Queen Maria of Romania, she is the only Queen to have visited the area. They marked every place her feet touched and after her visit all of that was dug or chiseled out and placed outside of the walls.

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boone

Good Grief tongue.gif

The sign (by the Commonwealth of Kentucky) reads as follows...Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani. Founded 1848 of the order of Trappist-Cistercians. Founded 1098 in France. Noted for Prayer, Labor and Silence.

They depend on no one but themselves. They live off the land. They are famous for their Fruit Cakes, Cheese, and fudge. I remember several years ago, The Wall Street Journal did a story on their Fruit Cake. There business exploded...They had to shut down the web site, it literally put them on the map.

I sent Jim some Monk's Cheese for Christmas one year. Jim said, the package was puffed when it arrived at his home. It's really stinky stuff...but everybody tells me it's the best cheese in the world...Gotta say...ain't nuthin' that smells like stinky feet going in my mouth grin.gif...

Right across from the Abbey there is a beautiful lake. A lot of area folks would go swimming there. It was better than the river...no cows shocked.gifblush.gifgrin.gif Many, many, many times we would go swimming in, Monks Lake, along with half of "southern Nelson County"....

My (now) brother in law Steve, drove all of us there in his old Ford. While we were swimming, my brother Victor was playing inside Steve's Ford...Well...you guessed it...He started that old thing right up and drove it right into the lake blush.gifgrin.gifblush.gif...We are lucky nobody was killed. Anyway, the monks posted "no trespassing" signs after that incident. Those signs didn't do a bit of good...So...to make a long story short, they donated the money to have a swimming pool built, at the city park in New Haven grin.gif

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

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cowdery

When I lived in Kentucky I used to give the cheese and fruit cakes as gifts. Both were very good. I never found the cheese 'stinky.' It was sort of like Edam. I liked it, but haven't had it for years. The fruit cakes too were much better than most. One nice gift item was a half fruit cake packed with a half round of cheese. They were the same size. All in all an outstanding Kentucky product, up there with country ham and, of course, bourbon whiskey.

Oh, did I mention their fruit cake and fudge contain bourbon? Here's the link.

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Bill_Hilly

I like the cheese as well. However, I heard that there was a bad batch of the cheese made at some point in the past year. People complained of "exploding cheese". Whatever this process was, it may account for the puffed or stinky effect that Bettye Jo mentions. Truly, though, I think it's the exception to the rule with their fine products. And as Chuck points out, you can't go wrong with their bourbon-laced products.

I know that visitors are both a blessing and a dilemma for Gethsemani. As Trappists, they chose a life of silence and prayer. However, due to "Merton mania", they have constant tourists. Following St. Benedict's Rule, they are supposed to hold hospitality as a high virtue. The walled off areas help them to keep the lifestyle they've committed to and keep some privacy and solitude (imagine having guests in your house 365 days a year!). This retreat house is a good idea for them. It will allow them to put forward a more welcoming face than a "do not enter" sign.

Before, visitors often did not know where to go and ended up at the retreat house. Many people, religious or not, come to experience some true silence and get away from the noisy world. I think funneling the "tourist" to the Welcome Center is another way of protecting a sense of quiet for people coming there for solitude.

I think you'll find women very welcomed at Gethsemani now. Things have changed from the old days (pre-60's reforms) when they were rarely allowed permission to speak to each other in the community and mainly communicated with their own system of sign language when something important needed said.

I've had a chance to talk with some of the monks and some are quite gregarious. I got to spend a week there recently, and they were very hospitable. If you plan to spend time there, plan ahead, because the guest house gets full up quickly. Another good option is to stay with the nearby Sisters of Loretto, who are very friendly and their guesthouse doesn't fill as fast as Gethsemani's.

Mark

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boone

Whatever this process was, it may account for the puffed or stinky effect that Bettye Jo mentions.

I am going to set this straight...Inside the package of cheese there is a small brochure. It clearly states, "if the bag is puffy, the cheese may be rinsed, dried and placed in a container or food wrap for refrigeration before use". This is normal...If, you were familiar, with this "world famous cheese" you would have known that. I have been "around" Monks Cheese my entire life. It smells...In my opinion, it stinks, smells like stinky feet...I buy Monks products very, very often. I send it around "this country" as a special gift from me...Duhhhhhh...When I send the cheese ,I always warn them it "stinks"...but it's the "best cheese in the world"...There it is...in black and white...plain as day...My Opinion...not (your) account...

When I read this, I thought...maybe it's me...Soooo...I did a little survey...I live in the most concentrated area of folks who consume Monks Cheese. I made a point to ask each and every employee (80+ people) who works the night shift at Heaven Hill Distillieries, "What does Monk's Cheese smell like"?...Every single response was...It stinks...I said, Ok, but what does it smell like?...The majority answer was, stinky socks, shoes or feet.

Everyone asked me why I was asking such a question. I told them about this thread. I "would" post what the majority of them said ...but I will leave that up to your imagination.

I talked to the Mayor of New Haven, Tessie Cecil. We relived, the story about the Monks donating the money for the swimming pool and about the stinky cheese. She invited me to lunch with the Abbot of Gethsemani, Father Damien Thompson (in a couple of weeks). She told me to interview him. I just laughed, and said that they would thow me out smilielol.gifsmilielol.gif

Hmmmmmmmm...just might go with her to talk to him...First thing, I will tell him...That cheese sure "STINKS" grin.gifsmilielol.gif cause it does...

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

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Bill_Hilly

Alright, alright, it's stinky! I'll say it. But, Vive la "stinky"! I like it. It has character.

The batch I made reference to was one that I guess was out of the ordinary in that it was bursting it's packaging.

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boone

grin.gifgrin.gif Good nuff grin.gifgrin.gif

I know it's good cheese cause all of my family and friends love it...My husband (Pat) in particular loves it the most. It's his favorite food grin.gif At Christmas, I always buy him the "biggest box" of cheese they offer...At night, when we go to sleep, I can "still smell" the cheese on him. He (extra) washes his hands and teeth but the smell is still there...Geezzzzzzzz...what a price to pay for cheese grin.gifgrin.gif

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

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Bill_Hilly

Bettye Jo, do you like the bourbon fudge? I'm sure you've tried it.

Words of advice to others who haven't had the bourbon fudge- follow the directions. Directions? For fudge, you may ask? Actually, it's important.

Step 1: In the box, the monks wisely tell you to cut the fudge cold. This is pretty obvious. It keeps the knife from getting bogged down in a gooey mess.

Step 2: They next tell you to let it get to room temp to eat it. Sounds simple, but after you open the box, smell the bourbon and see the fudge, you'll want to eat it immediately (as I did the first time). DON'T EAT THE FUDGE...crazy.gif YET! Wait until it warms up as they suggest. You'll taste the buttery flavor of the fudge which mingles with the bourbon better. yum.gif When cold, the flavors don't blend as well.

Has anyone found the same thing? If you're going to do it, do it right.

Mark

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boone

grin.gif The brochure grin.gif...

grin.gifgrin.gif Bettye Jo grin.gifgrin.gif

post-20-14489811483487_thumb.jpg

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Bill_Hilly

Thanks, Bettye Jo,

Truly words to live by!

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ratcheer

Well, bleu / roquefort cheese stinks, too. But, it sure is good.

Tim

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