From Moline, I continued my journey westward, into Iowa. While all states in the Midwest are major corn producers, Iowa is number one. With no sprawling mega-metropolis, like Chicago and all the connected cities and suburbs (almost unbroken, from Gary, IN, to Milwaukee, WI), and no geographic interruptions, like the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, Iowa is pretty much farms from border to border. Sure, there are cities, but there’s nothing like the uninterrupted urban sweep on the shores of Lake Michigan. On the whole, it’s largely rural—so lots of corn. (Lots of pigs, too—they’re also number one for those.) So, writing a book on corn, I of course had to go to Iowa.
Arriving in late afternoon left little time for work, so I settled into my hotel room and then called an acquaintance in town who knew I’d be visiting. Jean had sent me some info about the area and said she might have some contacts for me. She showed up with a few more brochures plus the name of a place for dinner—an Ecuadorian restaurant named Mi Patria. I’ve been to Ecuador, so I looked forward to checking this place out. As it turned out, it was excellent. We ordered the Mi Patria platter, which included roasted chicken, grilled marinated steak, pulled pork (possibly the best item on the plate), friend plantains, an interesting dish of pozole (hominy) and fava beans, rice with a fried egg, and stewed beans. Lots of excellent food for a reasonable price, and plenty of leftovers for Jean to take home.
Back at the hotel, I went through information for onward travels. However, I needed to make it early night. I was feeling a bit unwell and hoped a good night’s sleep would fix that.
And tomorrow, the Living History Farms.