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Day 22 - Des Moines, Iowa

Ziggy and I took a nice ride through the country side of the northern part of the Mid-West. It was great! She didn't sleep, or even ask me to pull over to get refried beans. Not that I would have pulled over anyway.

We passed many cornfields on the way to Des Moines. They were breath taking and to see America in all it's homeland beauty.

A we crossed the border into Iowa, I told Ziggy, "Iowa was the 29th state in the USA and it became a state on December 28, 1846. Iowa's major industries are corn, soybeans, hogs, and pigs."

Ziggy said she wanted to meet a pig. I told her to look in the mirror. Instead, she reached in her bag and pulled out her Iowa hat and put it on.

Before we pulled into Des Moines, we pulled off the road and met a farmer walking. His name was Jasper Gianino and he was selling corn along the side of the road.

We pulled over and bought some. But most importantly, spoke with him for awhile. He said he was born in Naples, Italy and had come to the United States back in the '50's. I had to ask him why he didn't migrate to the bigger cities like many Italians did and he said he tried to stay there but there was plenty of room in the country. That's where he wanted to go and live.

I asked him what it meant to him to be American and he said, "You work hard here and you are rewarded. You plant a seed, and it grows. I have always made a good living here. I love to be American. My family loves it here and we are also proud of our heritage too."

We bought a bunch of corn and pulled into Des Moines about 3pm. We met up with Martha and she told us we had to have some Iowa Corn Casserole. Sounded good to us.

Simple to make for a main meal, or a side. This is the ticket to good down home cookin'. Here's the recipe.

Iowa Corn Casserole
Serves 4 to 6

1 lb Bacon, diced
2 cup Bread crumbs
1/4 cup Minced onion
2 cans Cream style corn (16.5 oz. ea.)

Preparation: In a skillet, fry the bacon until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Pour 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the bacon drippings over bread crumbs; set aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of remaining drippings; saute onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in corn and bacon. Spoon into a 1 quart baking dish; sprinkle with crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

Corn on a cob,
Shuckin ain't my job.
To eat this casserole
Get your own bowl.


Before we left, Ziggy made friends with Buster the pig. They did exchange e-mail addys too!

See ya in Austin, Texas!


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