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Hotdish and Jello

If you grew up in Minnesota, chances are you grew up eating hotdish and jello. They were the staples of our Lutheran Church basement luncheons. To this day, I’ve never understood the jello/carrot mold, but I do love a good hotdish. I recently started thinking about the origins of hotdish. I know, way too much time on my hands.

According to Howard Mohr, author of How to Talk Minnesotan, “A traditional main course, hotdish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at family reunions and church suppers.”  The history of the hotdish goes back to when “budget-minded farm wives needed to feed their own families, as well as congregations in the basements of the first Minnesota churches.

It’s been years since I’ve been to a Lutheran Church basement luncheon, but if I remember correctly, there were about 20 different types of hotdish, almost as many kinds of Jello, and a delicious array of bars. Best smorgasbord in town.

Do you have a favorite hotdish? Share the recipe!

 

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