[FHCx132] National Eat What You Want Day

Don’t you make me repeat it!


AK, here. Today is a special food holiday in the sense that it’s the first time in 132 days that our beloved challenge has not mandated anything particular for us to eat/drink. We’ve gotten used to the challenge making our decisions for us, and the freedom was scary! So, naturally, we frantically searched for some other inspiration to tell us what to eat.

May 11th, let’s see… start of the Mexican-American War of 1846, apparently. A culinary duel between tacos and cheeseburgers? Sounds elaborate. Better not.

Hey, turns out today is also the 158th Anniversary of Minnesota’s admission into the Union! Maybe we should eat a distinctly Minnesotan food! Wild rice? Meh. Lutefisk? Hard meh. What else is there…


Some of you might be thinking something along the lines of “Hot dish? What, did they take it out of the dishwasher while it was still in dry mode?” No no, dear chap. Hot dish is a Minnesotan casserole thingy, often made with tater tots. So Minnesotan that, for a few years, our airport had a restaurant centered around it (RIP). It’s kind of in the same class as funeral potatoes. Here’s some lady talking about it on Youtube:

Long ago, before I knew it would be useful, I found this amusing book at a thrift store:

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Being that this was my first hot dish experience, both in the cooking and eating of them, SP and I thought it best to keep it classic and go with a basic/entry-level hot dish.

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Instead of using the 1/2 cup minced equivalent of one small onion, we used half of a giant onion. There was probably more onion than meat and that is okay.

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Ground beef into the mix. Gotta get it all broken up while ya brown it. As a Hamburger Helper enthusiast, I had this part down pat. 

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Onionmeat goes into the casserole dish, followed by your frozen and hopefully listeria-free vegetable of choice. We went with corn.

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Cream of mushroom soup and milk join the party!

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Lots of people just kind of chuck the tater tots in there, but we laid them gingerly like little potato bricks.

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Bake it for an hour, et voila!

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Goopy meaty Upper Midwestern fare, fit for any Sven or Helga.

It was pretty good. Hearty, classic. Lowbrow? You be the judge.

Tomorrow is Nutty Fudge Day.


[FHCx91] National Oranges and Lemons Day/National Tater Day/National Clams on the Half Shell Day

Rang the bells…


It’s not like citrus is special right now. I’m not even sure if the holiday actually has to do with the fruits, so much as it does the English Nursery Rhyme. Public executions, child sacrifice, Henry VIII’s many wives… Right? So much sense being made here. Well since we are referencing bells, we took our business to a new local joint, from the makers of one of our favorites (Butcher and the Boar), called 4 Bells!

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For Oranges and Lemons, SP‘s favorite cocktail, the Sidecar. Cognac, Grand Marnier, and Lemon Juice.

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Heroes on a half shell, clam power!

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AK got the Fried Chicken Cobb Salad. Mmmmm.

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SP ordered the Whole Fried Snapper, and made it through less than half of it. It was so good. Asian-y chili glaze and black beans and ughhhh so good.

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Oh hey it’s tater day!

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For dessert: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. Thankfully it wasn’t that boozey, but it tasted like a Cinnamon Roll had a baby with Pecan Pie. Amazing. Would order again.

Who would have thought that one restaurant could have all 3 of the holidays, and thematically be appropriate as well?? Thanks, 4 Bells! We had an awesome time.

Tomorrow is National Sourdough Day.