Archive for the ‘Iowa’ Category

THIS is What You Do With Beef

Aug 20

Art imitating life imitating food is a recipe for the yums!  Many of you out there may remember the episode (and eventual story line) on the sitcom Roseanne when Jackie returned from her adventures as a trucker with a great food idea: Loosemeats sandwiches*.  Hilarious!  And, as it turns out, true. 

At the Tastee Inn & Out in Sioux City, Iowa, these little gems are served up instead of burgers.  It’s not a manwich, it’s not a sloppy joe.  It’s just steamy seasoned beefy goodness on a bun with a pickle and some mustard.  As those wacky kids say today: it’s Gourmet!

*Loosemeats is always written in plural. ie: One burger is “A Loosemeats”

Everyday is Like Sundae

Aug 19

Along with everything else that I have mentioned, the Iowa State Fair is notable for a very special item that touched the lives of many Hamiltonians – as brought to them by Rob and his vision.  That item is the introduction of the Hot Beef Sundae.

Fluffy mashed potatoes lining a bowl, layered with shredded slow roasted beef, covered in gravy sauce, cheddar cheese, and a cherry tomato on top.  Festival food Heaven in a Bowl.  This concoction was the brain-child of the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters, the body of beef(?) responsible for promoting the consumption of beef in Iowa (to compliment the corn, clearly).  

Rob and I replicated this recipe and brought it to the good people of Hamilton at the World famo(u)s Festival of Friends two years ago.  Coming here to taste the original, to see how ours compared to the One That Started It All was thrilling and a bit humbling.  Here I am, standing in front of its place of birth, ready to admit defeat at the hands of our beefy masters.

Ours was better.  Far better.  Sorry, Iowa.  What happens in the cornfield  may stay there, but the rest of us will take the beef and make it better.

H.S.T. (Hog Sales Tax) on that?

Aug 19

I had never seen a livestock auction before. I know that’s hard to believe, as I usually spend my days around farms looking for animals to buy. Imagine my pure delight when I happened upon one at the afore-and-oft-mentioned Iowa State Fair!

Confused pigs and cows roaming around in pens, some on leashes, reflecting the sentiment I was feeling in their glazed, vapid eyes.  Small beds rested in the pens so that the farmer who had travelled from another part of the state could sleep beside his animal.  It was like first year students wandering around residence during frosh week, but with the benefit of getting to buy the one you fancy.

And I did fancy myself one of the pigs.  I named it Snorty.  Alas, poor Snorty, I knew him not.  He or she had other plans, and I never saw him/her again.  At least I still have this video to remind me always of the pig who touched my heart. 

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Golden Calf

Aug 18

There’s so much more to the Iowa State Fair than food on a stick.  One of the featured attractions is a cow, carved out of butter.  People line up to see it.  There was nothing like this at the Festival of Friends back home.  That’s why we travel: to learn.

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Food on a Stick

Aug 18

The destination: The Iowa State Fair.  The Objective: Fun.  The Mission: Accomplished! 

Held annually in Des Moines, the Iowa State Fair dates back to 1854.  One wonders what kind of things there were to put on a stick and deep fry over 150 years ago.  With over 200 food vendors, it’s hard to image how they could come up with new and innovative ways to put food on a stick.  But they do.

There was deep-fried pineapple on a stick shrimp on a stick, chicken on a stick, rice crispy squares on a stick, salad on a stick, hard-boiled egg on a stick, and bologna on a stick.  The bologna, as it happens, also comes on a bun.  Sometimes, a stick just isn’t enough.

Iowa: An Introduction

Aug 17

I had no real expectations about Iowa.  I was right.  Oh, there’s corn.  Oh so much corn!  One might even say a field of dreams of corn.

Apart from all the corn, everything seems so bland.  There is a definite lack of character, though through no fault of the good people of the state.  Every second person is wearing some shirt of support.  One’s of note:  “Iowa: The California of the Midwest.”  “What happens in the cornfield stays in the cornfield.”  And, my personal favo(u)rite: “Boobies make me smile.”  It may not exactly be about Iowa, but it’s still pretty corny.

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