As somewhat regular watchers of the “American Pickers” TV show on The History Channel, Hubby Bryan and I felt compelled to stop by the town of LeClaire, Iowa, on a recent foray down the Mississippi to the Quad Cities. LeClaire — located just north of the Quads — is a historic river town that is home base for the “Pickers” and their Antique Archaeology enterprise. Mike and Frank scour the country searching out for treasures and bring them back to Iowa to sell and their adventures are chronicled on the show.
Although we had been warned that we would not see Mike or Frank or their much-tattooed assistant Danielle, we still hoped to catch a glimpse. But all we saw was a lot of other tourists and piles of “Picker” souvenirs dominating the buildings that appear much bigger on TV. (It’s my belief they actually now film on a soundstage at some other venue.)
We were much more charmed by the shops and establishments along LeClaire’s main drag, including a new brewpub, Green Tree Brewing, open for only two weeks at the time of our visit. We also enjoyed the time we spent in downtown Davenport, as well as a side trip down to Muscatine, which we learned is the Pearl Button Capital of the World, the fasteners fashioned from clam shells harvested from the river.
All in all, it was a delightful road trip, made even more enjoyable by mostly warm and sunny weather.
My sister Margaret and her husband, Don, recently took their own road trip from their home in Denver to the Western Slope of Colorado. The purpose of their trip was to attend the Palisade Peach Festival, which features peach cuisine demonstrations, a peach recipe contest and peach-eating contests. In all their peachy samplings, their favorite was a hot beverage, made with peach wine. Since it’s supposed to be a bit warm here today for a hot toddy, I’m including one of the other recipes Margaret dutifully sent along for my perusal — a refreshing summer smoothie.
Hot Peach Cobbler in a Mug
1 bottle peach wine
4 to 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Add wine to a non-aluminum pan. Add all the other ingredients and heat. Do not boil.Serve warm.
Double Peach Smoothie
1 cup peeled, sliced peaches
1 cup peach juice or nectar, chilled
½ cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
3 ice cubes
In blender, combine peaches, juice, yogurt and ice and blend until mixture is smooth and frothy. Makes 2 servings.