Fried Iowa on a Stick

Today I woke up at 5:45am so I could drive to Des Moines and drop off Brad Pitt for a business gig. I joined him for moral support. And because the Iowa State Fair and Des Moines Restaurant Week overlap this weekend. Given the early wake up call, 3 hour road trip and having walked around what feels like a gazillion miles at the fair, I’m too pooped to go into a lot of detail of the day’s events thus far. Which is a shame because when we stopped for gas and food at the Missouri/Iowa border, Brad Pitt told me there was a booger wall in the men’s bathroom. Without a photo for evidence, I don’t know that I fully believe him, but he insisted it was there. By the urinals. I guess guys don’t wipe boogers on the wall, they flick them. Which I totally don’t understand I’m just glad he assured me that he did not add to the wall. (Because he was afraid at some point someone would check the bathroom for DNA and come across his booger.)

Even better than a booger wall, though … there is a town called Cumming right before you get to Des Moines. I can’t even begin to tell you the conversations that town name sparked in our car. We came up with all sorts of creative tag lines for the town, should they ever decide to hire us for marketing and PR. But, like I said, I’m too wiped out to get into a lot of details on the hysterics of the morning. Instead I will share with you my experiences at the State Fair. And then I’m going to take a nap so I can go explore a little bit more this evening.

First I ate a bacon wrapped BBQ rib on a stick. Then I went into an agriculture building and saw a bunch of cows, newborn calves (less then 24 hours old), hogs and the tiniest, cutest baby piglets. Baby piglets is probably redundant but I’m saying it anyway. The baby piglets were so stinkin’ cute. And they were all latched on to their moms sucking away. I sent a picture to a friend who is not a fan of breastfeeding and she said “See! Breastfeeding is for animals! That’s why they have 18 nipples and we only have 2!” Good point. I also saw baby ostriches, a bunch of prize winning vegetables and the infamous butter cow. It was cool. But you aren’t allowed to get up close to it, you can only view it through the window. Which sucked because I couldn’t even get a good snapshot because of the glare. Same with the butter shaped Abraham Lincoln.* Plus the old folks behind me were getting impatient as I tried contorting my body into odd angles to get a better shot. In fact, I found a lot of people were shocked by my extroverted behavior and ability to sit down at their picnic table with my food or drink and strike up conversation. Or maybe they were all just rude. But I didn’t make any friends. That never happens. Hopefully tonight is more successful.

Back to the fair. After seeing all the animals I found an Iowa Craft Beer tent. Now we are talking! I sampled three different IPAs. Yum. And then I ate a hard boiled egg on a stick. It wasn’t anything special. Just an egg. On a stick. But I like hard boiled eggs so I was happy. Oh, yeah, and it was free! Then I found a tent that served my hometown beer: Boulevard! Wahoo! Someone in Iowa knows whats up. I wrapped up my fair experience with a “Fried Pickle Dawg” … it was seriously awesome. Take a dill pickle, wrap it in pastrami and shove in some cream cheese (I went with spicy) and fry it. Dig in.

I watched mutton bustin’ (which was hilarious) and then headed back to the hotel. Like I said, I am pooped. But all in all, its already been a successful trip. Looking forward to what happens next. Besides the nap I’m going to take in T-minus three … two … one …

*I’m not too worried about not seeing the butter cow up really close. My mom swears she can carve a cow out of butter so I told her to do it. If she masters the task I will certainly post a photo for all to see.

4 thoughts on “Fried Iowa on a Stick

  1. You told me it didn’t have to be a cow. You said any animal was ok. Don’t go changing the rules on me.

    And Dad agrees with me; that “rib” is not a rib.

    Have fun tonight!!

  2. I seriously laughed so hard that you noticed the little town of Cumming, IA. Fun fact – that is where I am from (more specifically, the King family roots are in Cumming). My dad and his seven siblings grew up on the family farm there, and I have spent more than enough time in my life there. If you are still in IA, stop off at one of the two exits (not sure which one is the closest), but there is a bar there called the Cumming Tap. You can pick up t shirts, undies, other classy items that say “I love Cumming”. I have the t shirt. Also, Pope John Paul 2 went there on his early 80’s US tour. I might consider being a tour guide for the town (its actually more of an Irish settlement than town, one more fun fact). 🙂
    Don’t forget to go to Raygun.

    • Amy– how could anyone miss a town called Cumming?!? I mean its priceless. I would love to get an I Love Cumming shirt. It would be fantastic for family get togethers. It’s even better knowing you have roots there!!


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