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2/27/2008 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

Last week I left you salivating after describing our February 13 meal at the HuHot Mongolian Grill in Omaha, Neb.

February 14 I got up bright and early and high-tailed it to the new Hy-Vee grocery store on Maple St. I walked over to the deli and ordered a reuben sandwich, which is thinly sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. The waitress gave me a funny look when I ordered that for breakfast, but she was a trooper and went ahead with it. I skipped the cheese and dressing and ordered mustard instead. The sandwich was grilled in some type of machine and a few minutes later it came out hot. I took it to the restaurant portion of the store and sat down to eat. I noticed people were staring at me and my corned beef sandwich breakfast.

The waitress came over closer to see just what it was I was eating.

She said, "The weather’s sure cold today, about three degrees." I replied that this would be considered a heat wave back home in North Dakota. I’m sure she thinks corned beef sandwiches are normal breakfast fare in the frozen north.

Cost was $4.98 for the sandwich and 99c for coffee. Tax was 33c for a total of $6.30. The senior discount is only offered on Wednesdays. Doggone!

For lunch I had some baloney and mixed fruit at the home of my brother, Jim and Sue Peterson. They live near Waterloo, Neb. on a man-made lake. They have a wonderful location on the lake, but it doesn’t do them much good at this time of year. Jim said temperatures in the Omaha area are usually about 20 degrees warmer than temperatures in North Dakota.

Since it was our 30th anniversary, I took my sweetie pie to several second hand stores beginning at 24th St. and Q. This is a Spanish speaking area and while my honey was getting her new anniversary wardrobe, I listened to the conversation of the clerk at the till and one of her customers. Both spoke excellent English, one without any accent. I can only assume they spoke excellent Spanish as well.

They’d talk for a while in English and then one would answer in Spanish and then both would speak Spanish for a while and then switch back to English. It was fairly interesting how the conversation switched languages.

All I bought for myself on the trip were three used CD’s of classical music for $1 each. Hollys came home with a whole new wardrobe. Oh, yes, as an anniversary present I also bought her a new floor mop, complete with additional sponge to replace the original when she wears that out.

If you think I could get away with that, you better think again. I also had to get her a piece of exercise equipment she wanted to replace her Nordic Track. Even though I had help loading and unloading it, I almost got a hernia both times.

For our 30th anniversary supper Jim and Sue took us to Jack Binion’s Steak House in the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is just east of the Missouri River separating Nebraska from Iowa. This is probably the fanciest and most expensive restaurant I’ve ever witnessed. The meal for the four of us came to just under $300. Jim covered the tab with a complimentary ticket he got from the casino. I wonder how much he lost to get a comp like that?

Anyway, I ordered the deep fried butterflied jumbo shrimp at $26. To go with it I had a salad for $6 and hash brown potatoes for $6. I don’t know what possessed me to order deep fried shrimp. It’s really a crime to deep fry and ruin perfectly good shrimp. The salad was excellent. The hash browns were presented on a separate plate. The pile of hash browns was enough to feed four adults and a couple children. I didn’t touch the hash browns because I was pretty full from wolfing down the appetizers.

Jim ordered appetizers of grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto (Italian type ham) for $8, jumbo lump crab cake ($15) and shrimp scampi ($15). All three were absolutely wonderful.

The waitress brought doggie plates for us to take home all the leftovers and included a couple pieces of cake as take-home fare.

What decadence! I could use more of it.

Our final full day in Omaha, February 15, I had a Sausage McMuffin with Egg for breakfast and for noon lunch sausage and fruit. We made the decision to eat at Jim and Sue’s that evening because taking some of his young grandchildren to a restaurant was an undertaking beyond anyone’s patience. So we settled on salad, shrimp, prime rib, hash browns (from the night before), homemade baked beans and fruit for supper. The younger children preferred Jack’s pizza. There were 13 of us related by blood or marriage at the meal. Doggie plates were taken to three of the husbands who were working.

I got a 14 lb. ribeye at Sam’s Club, along with the shrimp and the makings for the homemade baked beans. Everybody thought the meat and baked beans were really good. Since I’m running out of room I’ll try to remember to give you that recipe next week.

All in all, it was a super vacation and I can hardly wait for my five days off next year.

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