Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Is a Return to the Heartland Ever Heart-Healthy?

Had a lovely visit to Fitzgerald’s “Middle West,” with a visit to Iowa to see my parents. Not only did we tour the University of Iowa's Hawkeye Sports Hall of Fame, an antique automotive museum (where we saw a car with wooden axles and wheels!), taste wine at an Iowa winery (yes, they exist; yes, there were some nice selections), but we also managed to squeeze in a few meals. Some highlights:

--beloved Pagliai's Pizza, now mysteriously renamed A & A Pagliai’s, which makes it hard to find in the phone book

--a German farm-family feast at the Ronneburg Restaurant in the Amana Colonies. Best pickled beets ever! Amazing strawberry-rhubarb pie!

--a pork tenderloin as big as my face at Joensy’s in Solon, Iowa…literally, this thing was ten inches across. If you don’t know what a pork tenderloin is (you poor creature), go here immediately—Joensy’s is about halfway down, “tenderloin #6”…you’ll know it when you see it. It’s gigantic!

--homemade rhubarb-cream pie made by my fabulous high school friend who, with her husband, has also made FROM SCRATCH a turducken (once). If you don’t know what a turducken is, you can read more here; basically, it’s a deboned turkey stuffed with a deboned duck stuffed with a deboned chicken…with layers of stuffing between each! Yes, she and her husband made this FROM SCRATCH! No wonder I always happily and immediately accept any invitation to dinner at their house.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.