I'm not sure that the 3i show is a Wife Pleazzer, like the sign declared. (Stay tuned for more on the Wife Pleazzer, what every farm wife needs for Mother's Day.)
For the uninitiated, the 3i show stands for Implements, Industry and Irrigation. This year's version was the the Great Bend Airport's Expo Complex. Every other year, it's at Garden City.
The 3i show is for farmers like the Mall of America is for hardcore shoppers. For as far as the eye can see, implements stretch from one end of the expo center to the other. You like green on your farm? There's plenty to choose from. If you, like Fritzemeier Farms, have a hankering for red paint, that's covered, too. So is orange, blue and yellow. The sale items range from nuts and bolts to the gargantuan tractors and combines.
This is as close as Randy will get to a brand new tractor. Just FYI: the price tag on this beauty is $285,000.
Randy worked in the Kansas Wheat booth most of the afternoon, so I was left to wander the grounds on my own. I got my health checked at the Walgreen's/AARP traveling van. I sampled marinated, grilled beef at an extension-sponsored demonstration.
I looked for interesting shapes and shadows among the acres of farm equipment.
I had a handsome young man rub Hawaiian aloe vera lotion into my chapped farm wife hands. No, I did not spend $30 on a tiny jar of cream which could be used "on my face, hands, cracked heels and acne." Acne, really!? I could have spent more than $100 on the show special. How many bottles of WalMart lotion could I buy for that? It would keep me in lotion for the rest of my life.
And I people watched.
This brought back memories. At one 3i show long ago, we were in search of a big-wheeled trike like this one - with red paint instead of green, of course. This dad had a whole family of bike riders wheeling their way through the 3i show.
Golf carts were the approved mode of transportation for the 3i show. Pedestrians, beware! I couldn't believe how many younger, seemingly able-bodied people were in golf carts. Since I didn't do my walking at home, I used the 3i show as new scenery for my daily walk.
This man and wife were my heroes of the day. This is who I want to grow up to be in 25 years or so. They were making their way on foot, no golf cart for them, by golly. And they were holding hands. That's a Wife Pleazzer, all right.
But back to the real Wife Pleazzer, as advertised. The retired Herington farmer responsible for the sign at the top of the post had invented a devise that was supposed to make it easier for farm wives to hop out of the pickup and get the pasture gate opened and closed.
Sounds like a Mother's Day gift to me, guys!
The end of a farmer's perfect date? It's a FREE dinner at the implement dealership.
Just in case you're in charge of dinner on Mother's Day, here's my favorite marinade from the beef sampling at the 3i show.
Balsamic Grilled Steak2/3 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup all-fruit preserves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Steaks (flat iron steaks or other)
Prepare the marinade by processing the vinaigrette and fruit preserves in a blender or food processor. Place the steaks in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over steaks and turn to coat. Seal bag and marinate steaks in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (but not longer than 24.)
Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove steaks from marinade. Discard marinade. Grill steaks 10 to 14 minutes for medium rare to medium, turning occasionally. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer (145 degrees for medium rare and 165 for medium). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow steaks to rest after removing from the grill to allow juices to redistribute into the meat.