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My Great American Road Trip – Missouri, Montana

August 21, 2020

I’ve not been to either Missouri or Montana. I’m sure they’re both wonderful, but I’m only longing to visit one of them. Spoiler alert – it’s not Missouri.

I don’t know a lot about Missouri. Mark Twain is from Missouri, but in my mind he’s from Connecticut (he’s from both places). Also from Missouri – Dick van Dyke, Jon Hamm (<3), Maya Angelou, and Harry Truman. And of course, Kansas City is in Missouri, not Kansas (talking to you Donald Trump) and they won the Superbowl – maybe the last one we’ll ever have.

Food wise, though – there’s not a ton that’s all that interesting. There’s something called Gooey Butter Cake, that I so wanted to make, but I didn’t want the hit to my self-esteem that eating that would deliver, there’s a St Louis style pizza, which I think just means pizza cut in squares not triangles, and the most delicious burnt ends, but that seemed like a series undertaking – you need a brisket first and then you take the ends to the edge (yum, but nope). And then there’s what I’m told is a staple in St Louis bars – the kind where you might have been watching the Superbowl. Fried Ravioli.

Fried ravioli is very easy to make. You start with prepared ravioli – I used spinach and cheese – and you batter and fry it, and voila. I’m very good at battering and frying through this project. There are a lot of fried options out there. I used an egg with a couple tablespoons of milk for the first dip and a mix of breadcrumbs and Italian spice for the second dip.

Fry them up in veggie oil for a minute or so on each side and serve them with marinara dipping sauce.

I made these for lunch and snacked on them all day! If you think that fried mozzarella needs more carbs or regular ravioli needs more fat, these are for you. I loved them and I can see how they would be perfect bar food. I did not eat for the rest of the day.

A couple days of digesting later, I headed to Montana. I also know nothing about Montana, but what I do know is that is has lots of things I like – natural beautiful, national parks, and big sky.

My cousin’s daughter Nelle is getting married in Montana next spring, so I know that Montana is on my list to visit soon and I can’t wait. When my sister got married, this cousin’s son was the charming ring bearer and my cousin made me promise that when I got married Nelle could be my flower girl. Well – we all know how that turned out, and now it is Nelle’s turn and I couldn’t be happier for her. I am also available to be your flower girl, Nelle.

I think I’ll be eating a lot of steak when I get there, and there’s something called Beans and Sheepherders that I’m kind of into, but the one thing that kept coming up was huckleberries. There are a lot of huckleberries in Montana. I tried to find them in south Florida without a lot of luck, but what I could find were blueberries!

Now I know purist will tell you that huckleberries are not blueberries, but they are close and they are delicious. And nothing is better than huckleberry blueberry pancakes.

I’ve never made pancakes form scratch before (love you Bisquick), but I mixed together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, a couple eggs and some buttermilk. In the pan you top with a few of the berries – this is very important, DO NOT stir in the berries they will break and you’ll lose that fab pop in you mouth sensation (and taste).

Pancakes should be topped with real maple syrup heated up with a little butter.

With the fabulously light and fluffy pancakes for dinner (we’ve broken up Bisquick), I have now completed 26 states.

At this halfway point, I am taking a break for a week of salads. I’ll see you around Labor Day to tackle Nebraska and the second half of our country!

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