We decided to ride the leg from Perry to Des Moines last Tuesday. This is a beautiful way to see rural Iowa. This was a peach pocket pie stop in the midst of a soybean field.
Some of towns we rode through were so congested with riders, we actually got off and walked. RAGBRAI is no race, it is a circus on wheels with free watermelon stands, turkey legs, pancakes & pies, and beers and drinks.
Van Meter proved to be one of the more lively stops with their Raccoon Juice – a vodka infused lemonade drink. We were encouraged to try this invention by a local police officer who said it was the winner of a city-wide contest.
Waiting in lines is an unfortunate part of RAGBRAI, but true to all Iowa events, the people were polite, friendly, and interesting to converse with.
The leg for Tuesday, ended at Valley Junction – a quaint little strip in West Des Moines full of antique shops, cafes, and art galleries.
It’s also zucchini time! My mother’s garden is exploding with these huge bad boys and so of course she is (unloading is more like it, via one of the best comics ever) giving them away to us. As is always the case, this is only a fraction of the haul.
Rather than turn to the tried and true zucchini bread, we decided to try a few new things this year. First up, oven baked zucchini chips. These are super easy, especially if you use your handy dandy mandoline.
Oven-Baked Zucchini Chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice 3 medium zucchini into 1/8″ slices.
2. Toss slices in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and desired seasonings.
3. Lay slices on parchment lined baking sheets in a single layer. Bake 30 minutes, flip to other side, bake 30 more minutes. Add or remove time as needed, depending on thickness of slices. Watch for over browning. Serve immediately.