This summer took us to Kansas where they’re very kind to strangers from the east. Despite the drought, the record-high temps, and suffering corn fields, their Kansas hospitality was paramount to any discomforts. They say hospitality is a quality attributed to residents of the southern region of the United States that is somewhat based on the principle of sharing resources, even when resources are limited. Kansas showed plenty of “southern hospitality” — Midwestern style. Years ago immigrants turned prairie into farmland. Today, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, producing high yields of wheat, sorghum and sunflowers. (More on my sunflower field search later.)
We arrived in Abilene, the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and checked into the Abilene Bed and Breakfast Inn, the historic home of C.L. Brown, a telephony entrepreneur who left a lasting legacy on Abilene. Brown must have been a character because in addition to the mansion, he built three Spanish-style homes around his property for his mistresses (yes, plural). The homes today are privately owned.
What’s that aroma?
For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know my mantra about feeding the travelers. We walked into the mansion and our host, “Doc,” anticipating our arrival, perfectly timed the cookies to be baked, waiting, and warm. What a welcome! I asked Doc if he would share the recipe for this blog. He replied with a laugh, “Ma’am, there is not any recipe, I just throw everything in.” The cookies were a scrumptious conglomeration of what I guess to be dough, nuts, butterscotch, cinnamon, oatmeal, coconut? Whatever, they screamed “Welcome.”
It’s so nice to go to an unfamiliar place and find that familiar hospitality.