Corn. Without going into an entire rant about knowing where your food comes from, and how it was grown, let me just give you a word of advice: know where your food comes from, who grew it and support local farmers. Living in the Midwest has opened my eyes to several things that aren’t common, or even legal for that matter back home. We research the farms where we buy produce, we ask questions and we do our best to buy from farms that only sell what they grow and don’t import to appease the masses. We recently just found a gem just 4 miles away from us… who knew? They even grow their own apples, so saucing season here I come!
Asparagus is a vegetable that you either love or you hate. I hated it for the longest time until I went to Las Vegas and had cream of asparagus soup from the Grande Lux in the Venetian, Las Vegas. At first I was a bit skeptical but then I couldn’t stop eating it (not even joking, 3 nights in a row!). I would like to say it’s all in how you cook it and if the seasonings are on the mark and other grown-up things like that, but I can’t. Quite frankly my trick was to cut the bottom half off and enjoy the tender top parts of the asparagus. It is what it is, and the hubs will sometimes eat it too if he grills it for me.
On another note, I am not a fan of yogurt to eat it out of a bowl, but man is that stuff good to cook with or make decadent sauces healthy again. It’s even better when you make a sauce with plain Greek yogurt, lemon and dill, much like some people do for salmon. This is super quick and easy, and you don’t need to discard the asparagus bottoms because you can keep them for that decedent cream of asparagus soup. I’m telling you that stuff is wicked delicious!
While I miss quite a few things about New England, one of the things I love about the Midwest is that we are surrounded by water. There is literally a body of water every which direction you look which means you can kayak a different lake every weekend for a year and more. When we first moved to Wisconsin, we were closest to Lake Geneva, which boasts 5,262 acres and is 135 feet deep at its deepest spot. To sum it up, Lake Geneva is huge and a ton of fun if you have a large boat or know someone with a boat. However, it’ s not necessarily the best lake for a kayaker, or at least a country girl kayaker that is used to glass-like water and silence. So for the fiarst few years, I rarely took the Kayak out on the water in fear of being capsized and eaten alive by the giant walleye fish and apparently plate-size bluegills that the locals talk about.
Soda was reserved for the stomach flu and special occasions like your birthday in our house while we were growing up. I’m glad for this now, but, man, was I ever jealous of the soda-drinking households! The only soda we had in the house was ginger ale for stomach bugs and for the occasional ‘cranberry spritz’ drink concocted of… you guessed it, cranberry juice and a splash of ginger ale. I don’t have the stomach for soda; it’s far too sweet for me, but if I do go for a soda, it is ginger ale. News flash! Ginger ale is NOT served where I am located in the Midwest! What!? That means, no Crown and Ginger at the bowling alley, no Shirley Temple’s and I can’t even stop at a convenience store and get a small bottle and most recently, the huge gas station that even plays music, doesn’t carry ANY ginger ale. Sigh. I bet this is easily made with a Soda Stream as well, but I don't have one of those, so we will make it happen one way or another!
It still sometimes catches me off-guard when I hear something here in the Midwest that I would never hear back home in New England. I’m sure my incisive use of ‘wicked’ throws many people off, but we are outnumbered out here. WE are the people with the accent, and until I moved out here I had never been told I had an accent. Weird!
The first time we were definitely thrown off was with the word ‘bag’. The cashier in the store asked us if we would like a bag but pronounced it B-aa-ge, as in ‘anxious’ instead of ‘apple’. We stood there in silence looking at each other like, what did she just call me?