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Day 17 - Topeka, Kansas

It was a long flight. Ziggy slept on my lap the whole way. A lady who lives in Topeka just happened to be sitting next to me. She got on the plane in St. Louis when we to stop there.

It was funny because I didn't know she was from Topeka when we first started talking. I told her what we were doing and that we were headed Topeka. I said, "Kansas was the 34th state in the USA and it became a state on January 29, 1861."

She said "My name is Georgia Fraupenberger and I am from Topeka. I'm also a retired school teacher."

I replied, "Wow. That's great! What can you tell me about Kansas?"

She said, "On December 5, 1854, nine men made the wintry trek from the tent city of Lawrence to a small log cabin on the banks of the Kansas River. Huddled in the cold before a smoky fire, this group of men founded a town which was to play a major role in the "Bleeding Kansas" territory and later become the new state's capital. The site was not an accidental one. The Pappan brothers had been operating a ferry there for several years, catering to the wagon trains heading westward to California. Topeka was becoming an early day crossroads. It would eventually develop into a railroad and highway transportation center. One of the grandsons of these pioneer ferry operators, Charles Curtis, grew up to become vice-president of the United States, the only vice-president to be of Native American descent."

Ziggy woke up when she heard Kansas and reached into her bag for her hat.

I asked her how how she felt about being an American. She said, "Well, first of all, I taught 7th and 8th grades for 50 years. We always started the day with the Pledge of Allegiance. When a few nuts out there wanted to remove the words "Under God", I knew it was time for me to retire. This country was founded on certain principles. I am proud to be an American and proud of how this country was formed under those principles."

As we were leaving, she told us to be sure that we tried this dish Kansas is known for and that was Kansas City Steaks. Sounded good to me and Ziggy. We were both hungry. So we called up one of our subscribers, Natha to meet us for dinner.

Grill this steak up and serve it to your friends and family and they will be in for a big surprise. Here's the recipe.

Kansas Sizzling Summer Steaks
Serves 4

Marinade Time: 6 to 8 hours or overnight

2 lb. high-quality beef top round steak, cut 1-1/2 inches thick


1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. minced green onions
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 to 8 hours or overnight; turn occasionally.

Remove steak from marinade; discard used marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 25-28 minutes to 140 degrees for medium rare doneness; turn occasionally. Transfer to carving board. Let stand 5 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise 5 degrees to reach 145 degrees for medium rare.)

Carve steak crosswise into thin slices. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Put it on da grill,
Turn it and cook it,
And cook it til it's well.
Then slice it and eat it,
And eat til the ring of your bell.


Natha was a lot of fun but we had to get going. We're gonna get a good nights sleep tonight before we head up to Salem, Oregon. We are going to a bunch of places up there and it promises to be a good time. See ya in Salem!


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