US Invasion: Family Values

The one thing that stood out in Kansas City was family. Wherever we roamed, we did it together and had a blast. This was not the usual self-exiled adventure, making notes and snapping photos. It was engaging and entertaining, what follows is a breakdown of some of those good-time vibes…..

1. If you’ve read about pizza swirls before on this site, then look out for the next version here. Fortunately I married into this dish, but unfortunately for you I can’t share it. But Google pizza bread and you should be able to find something. If the site you found quotes areas like Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia as places of origin, then you are on the right track.


We ate ours while having lunch with nieces and nephews in their school cafeteria; eating off plastic plates and drinking bottled water mixed with pink lemonade powder. I felt like a big kid, and not the big goofy uncle that I am. The pizza bread, crammed with pepperoni and mozzarella, was sliced for easy eating – finger food for fast feeding.

The racket in there was deafening. Now and again the headmaster would tell the kids to quiet down with the help of microphone. Shielded from the chaos by a curtain we sat at family tables with other parents having lunch with their children.

2. The coming of fall, an agenda in comfort, cosiness and the preparation for winter. In Weston, Missouri we shared in the bountiful harvest. Here it takes its form in apple dumplings with ice cream: spiral cut apples wrapped in a light layering of pastry before being baked. Eaten on bales of hay as the afternoon sun dapples you with warmth.

In this autumnal weather sometimes you are either too hot or too cold. A glass of cool fresh pressed apple cider sets you on the right path if you are too hot, and if you are cold then you can have that cider served soothingly warm. The men of the town make apple butter in a large pot, on an open log fire. The wood burning smoke and heat given off sweeps the festival into an intoxicating blend of fun and festivities.

Walking down through the alley of food stands, you pass the proud bellow of kettle corn makers, and go through the searing sweet smoke of Italian sausages being done on the grill.  Dessert treats of candy floss and funnel cakes; savoury snacks of frito pies, corn dogs, hotdogs and hamburgers run the full gamut of festival snacks. With so much on offer it’s sometimes a case of the eyes being bigger than the stomach. Especially for this little girl(picture below).

” The dust kicks up, swirls round festival goers, then settles back down, ready to be kicked up again in next falls leaf rustling breeze.”

3.  What city nowadays doesn’t have an assortment of food trucks? Kansas City is no different, and we circled the mobile food vendors until zeroing in on what we wanted. The choice looked meager, and I don’t know what I was expecting: avant garde, post-modern, dismantled and re-surfaced comfort food, but it was staple stuff; Mexican, BBQ, Carney style and some other fried offerings. Although I did find this pork bun(pictured above) from a Hawaiian truck that hit my pretentious food gut. The kids ate corn dogs and fried chicken. They seemed happy and that made the scene feel all right.

The essence of a food writer captured by a 9 year old.

4. “Fruity Pebble Treats”


Move over rice crispy treats, these guys from Bedrock are muscling in. I have seen the future of the rice crispy snack – fruity pebbles is the way to go. The citrus tasting blast(flavourings) gives it an edge on the o.g., and the multicoloured nature of this delicacy dazzles your senses.

5. This is to the box of doughnuts bought with love and hunger. And to the wonderful person that ate my cruller. I’ll always have the photo.

6. Finally this to the last meal we had in Kansas City. At Niecies,  I ate fried chicken and waffles – well seasoned chicken, the bite ratio was spot on. The crust came crumbling off, revealing juicey poultry below. The lesson learned at this point in the trip, is that sweet and savoury can be reached in more intensive ways than just messing with the seasoning in a dish.  It’s showing no fear, laying the mantra down in bold decisions. So, sweet like the waffles dripping in butter and maple syrup, and savoury in the pairing of it with the chicken. Similar to the cinnamon bun and chicken served at Stroud’s; it’s a blunt statement, but it works, and an overt operation is just as good as covert cooking.

“This one goes out to all my family in Kansas City. Love you guys”G.N.

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One Comment on “US Invasion: Family Values”

  1. October 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Any great recipes that you can share? Love the photos!

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