My good friend Leah has wanted for years to go to the Bean Soup Festival in McClure. That Leah. Seems that years and years ago, a mutual friend, Bob S., told her that the soup at this festival is the best bean soup he ever tasted. Please note that his initials are BS.
Good ol' Bob is now in an Alzheimer's unit in a nursing home, but never mind. Back in the day, he was a well-respected school principal. Better respected by Leah and my husband Niks than by me. I always figured that a man who had been married three times had some issues with taste, if you know what I mean.
Anyway this festival is to hell and gone and out in the middle of nowhere. I still can't explain where the heck it is. On the way there, we saw this:
Can you read what it says? It reads, "Deer Hide Drop Bin." You know you are in the deep country when there are deer hide drop bins.
Anyhoo, you also know that if a tiny town has had a Bean Soup Festival for 118 years that bean soup is going to be the very best bean soup in the entire known world. I mean, it's not a SOUP festival, it's a BEAN soup festival. They know how to make bean soup.
One might think that, in fact, they make more than one type of bean soup. Like that. But no. They make ONE bean soup. So, must be absolutely perfect bean soup.
You guys. Such fools. Like Leah, Niks and me.
The bean soup at the McClure Bean Soup festival is the absolute WORST bean soup any of us had ever eaten. Or not eaten as in the case of Leah and me. Niks will eat anything apparently. The three of us searched diligently and never found one bean in the three bowls of soup that we had between us. No ham either.
At the pulled-pork sandwich stand where Leah and I went to buy something, anything, to get the taste of the bean soup out of our mouths, the women there told us that yes, indeed, the bean soup is the worst in the world, year after year. The cooks don't use many beans and they cook them until they disappear. They don't use any ham or ham stock or a ham bone. They use hamburg meat and suet. SUET! I'm going to be sick!
They have a queen at this little festival. We saw her in person. She's young, so she still has a few teeth. Leah and I thought we might count the total teeth at the festival to amuse ourselves, but finally decided we might as well count heads. 'Bout the same thing. The runner-up to the queen was prettier than the queen, so I guess the contest was fixed. But it is hard to pick the best between three young ladies. Some might call the runner-up, "next to last." I'm glad they don't do that.
Here's a picture of Niks and me to prove that we were there! At the BEAN SOUP FESTIVAL. We can check that off our bucket list.