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Last night I had dinner in the town square of Seward. In conjunction with the farmers’ market that happens every Wednesday, hamburgers and sodas are offered at a modest price. To be clear, it’s not as amazing as Pop-N-Dog, but it is a cheap night out.

I went with my dad, Beth, Tara, and Tim. We spread a blanket on the grass and enjoyed having some cheap eats.

The cooking is done in the parking lot of Cattle National Bank. Ha! Isn’t that a great name for a bank?

It was kinda hot.

Beth got some cookies at the farmers’ market that had colored sugar on them. Tim fully endorsed their tastiness.

The blue went well with his shirt.

Water, Part Two

I’ve tried a few experiments on the distilled water I’m drinking. Thinking that it’s a lack of minerals that is causing the flat taste of my water, I’ve tried a few additions to add minerals back in: a penny, some dirt, a rock, and some epsom salt. I also tried adding some dill seeds to see if a flavoring would make up for the lack of minerals.

The result: none of the waters taste any different to me, except for the dill. Now I think I might try adding some other substances. Perhaps some Gatorade powder, or a crushed vitamin tablet. I also may try a flavor extract like lemon or vanilla. During the Home and Garden Tour in my neighborhood, someone served me water with cucumber slices in it. It was delicious. But I would have to do that on a glass-by-glass basis, so that might be too much work.

My experiments will continue…

Top row: penny, dirt, epsom salt.  Bottom row: dill seeds, rock.

Raleigh Ringers

We went to Lincoln to see the Raleigh Ringers last night. They are a community bell group from Raleigh, North Carolina. They are arguably the best handbell group in the world. Their concert last night was amazing! They played incredible original handbell pieces, as well as arrangements of classical favorites. They’re also known for their arrangement of classic rock favorites, some of which they played last night. It was really fun to watch their technique, but it was their showmanship that was truly entertaining.

Check out the HUGE bells!

What kept catching my eye, though, was the striking familiarity of two of the ringers. The players kept shuffling between songs, and when these two finally stood next to each other, I finally understood: They were doubles for Lloyd and Lauren. Look at the bearded man and the woman next to him. Aren’t they dead ringers for the Sommerers?

See what I mean?

Water, Water Everywhere

I get indigestion every time I come to Seward. I’ve been studying the problem to discover the source of my stomach problems, and haven’t come to any solid conclusions.

As I talked the problem over with Beth, she suggested that my problem might be the water. In the past, Seward water had such high nitrate levels it was ruled to be unsafe for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and small children. After a multi-million dollar treatment plant, Seward water is “safe” now. But Beth says when she drinks it, she has indigestion followed by other unpleasant symptoms. Guessing that my digestion problems might stem from a similar source, I’m switching to distilled water for the duration of my stay.

If this doesn’t stop the indigestion, I’ll have to address other variables. My problem now is the extremely flat taste of distilled water. It needs something to give it a little flavor. Salt? Dirt? I’ll need to conduct a series of taste tests to determine the best additive.

What to add?

Eating Blood Again

Yesterday after church I went with Denis to a buffet. It was hosted by a caterer in the area that wanted to get more exposure by having people taste their stuff. The catering company is owned and run by Filipinos, and the food they serve is Filipino as well. A classmate of Denis’ from his anesthesia program is related to the caterers, so she invited him to come.

The dinner was at a Catholic church nearby. After finding the correct door to go in, we got right to the food. The line started with pancit, which is stir-fried noodles. I really like these, so I knew that would be fine. Then came some small lumipa (the Filipino version of egg rolls). Next was a pot of black soup. The server said, “Want some chocolate soup?” I smiled and said, “I know what that is.” It was blood soup. I took some anyway, because I felt a little conspicuous as the only non-Filipino there. There were some little rolls on the table next to the blood soup. Farther down the line was another soup, and a bowl of something that was presented like a salad. I took some of everything.

Here is what it looked like. After the picture, I’ll tell you what it tasted like.

A beautiful spread of food. I was so hungry!

The salad-looking thing at 10 o’clock in the picture was a bowl of tofu and pork skin. The tofu was okay. The pork skin was one of the strangest textures of food I have had in my entire life. Denis kept joking with me that it was pig ear. I’m still not sure if he was serious or not, because it really did feel like chewing on an ear (or at least what I imagine it would be like to chew on an ear.)

The soup at the top of the picture was a creamy rice and chicken soup. It rocked! I ate ALL of that.

The blood soup wasn’t that bad. The liquid part sort of tasted like gravy, but with a liver flavor to it. The chunks in the soup were big ol’ cubes of fat. After eating one and feeling kind of queazy, I didn’t try another. I did eat all the liquid though.

The pancit was good. If you’re ever at a Filipino restaurant and don’t know what to get, go for pancit. It’s always safe. 🙂 The lumpia (egg rolls) were also good, as was the little roll (which I don’t remember the name of). Dessert was also really good. It was sticky rice (very sweet and brown-sugary) with fresh mango slices and ice cream.

I was absolutely stuffed at the end of things. And pretty proud of myself for eating all that strange food.

But I don’t think I like eating ears. Next time, I’ll say I’m allergic.

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