Cantril, Bonapart, Bentonsport...

Click on photo to see these beautiful tomatoes up close
We visited Cantril, Iowa this week with Don and Bonnie; primarily to go to the Dutchman’s.  We were in search of canning lids; they were $41 for 348 regular lids and $42 for 288 wide-mouth lids in the big tubes – we each bought some – they seem to be some of the only gold-type lids available anymore.  I also purchased a Nordic Ware pie pan and square cake pan with high-domed plastic lids at Bonnie’s urging – she uses the 2 pie pans she has as pie carriers and covers in the fridge – they don’t take up much room and are high enough to cover high meringue.  Of course, we bought some bulk supplies too, baking powder for only 86¢ for 7 ounces and salt for 19¢ a pound, for example.  
We also bought beautiful, vine-ripened tomatoes – granted, they were $1.99 a pound but we don’t have our own yet because of our cold, wet June.  We saw the greenhouse along the road there; I’ve don’t think I’ve ever seen plants with that many tomatoes on them!  The Amish family also had extensive market gardens.  I also talked Bonnie into buying a Rada tomato knife – I bought one last year and it’s the best I’ve ever used…beautifully sharp and made in Iowa and less than $5!
Center; Bonaparte Retreat, L; inside restaurant,
 Morel man, around Bonaparte Iowa on the Des Moines River
We moseyed along through Van Buren county to Bonaparte…we were too late for lunch at the “Bonaparte Retreat” restaurant, where the food is delicious and not expensive; but we did visit the Ol’ Mill Antique shop…chock full of great items on 2 floors.  Bonaparte is a National Historic Riverfront District on the Des Moines River and fun to visit.  The restaurant is a “destination” around here.
The trip home through Bentonsport and Keosauqua, both with historic districts, and through the countryside, with ditches filled with day lilies and Amish homes and farms along the way, made a great ending to a nice day shared with family.

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