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Day 29 - Birmingham, Alabama

The folks down there must have heard we were coming because after landing in Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Bernard Kincaid greeted me and Ziggy when we got off the plane. The cameras were flashing, people were clapping and as the Mayor walked us through the airport, he said, " Welcome to our fair state. Alabama was the 22nd state in the USA and it became a state on December 14, 1819. Birmingham, Alabama is located in the heart of the Southeastern United States and is a progressive center for medical research, banking, music, technology, art, engineering and higher education!

Ziggy meowed, "Big deal! What cha got to eat around here."

Fortunately, the Mayor didn't understand cat. He asked me what Ziggy said and I told him she said, "How nice. I had no idea. What food is Alabama known for?"

He replied, "Well, you have to try our Alabama-Style Shrimp caught fresh from the Gulf everyday! I'll have someone drive you down to Restaurant La Strada. They will make it up for you special. I think I'll go with you. I'm hungry too!"

So off we went but not before Ziggy put her Alabama hat on. For those of you wondering, it is a shrimp hat. Ain't she a pistol?

OK, I know some of you can't eat shrimp. But maybe your family and friends can and besides, it's a great addition to your cookbook! You can even do this on the Bar-Bie! Here's the recipe.

Alabama-Style Shrimp Bake
Serves 3 to 4

1 cup Butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup Lemon juice
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tb Salt
1 tb Coarsely ground pepper
1 ts Dried rosemary
1/8 ts Ground red pepper
1 tb Hot sauce
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 lb Unpeeled large or jumbo shrimp
2 Lemons, thinly sliced
1 md Onion, thinly sliced
Fresh rosemary sprigs

Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Rinse shrimp with cold water; drain well.

Layer shrimp, lemon slices, and onion slices in an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Pour butter mixture over shrimp.

Bake uncovered, at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Alabama Shrimp was my cousin,
He was short, stout, and beer he'd drink a dozen,
But when it came time for dinners,
He showed he was no beginner,
He ate like a pig with no manners.

_______________________________

We sat with the Mayor and we talked about what it meant to him to be American.

He said, "Well, we have had our problems in the south. Especially with Katrina and other natural disasters. But the people here pull together and help each other out. That's what America is all about. We may have our differences and we may have our different beliefs but when it comes right down to it, and in the crunch of life, we're all one family. Only in America!"

He was kind enough to give us a lift to the airport cause we're in Springfield, Illinois tomorrow. We're meeting up with some subscribers and gonna have a good time. See ya in Springfield.

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