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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • JOSHUA'S COLUMN — The turmoil of tator tot hotdish

  • On Wednesday afternoon I rode up to the Twin Cities on a fan bus to watch and photograph the girls basketball team; I had risen earlier than usual, so I had lunch around 10:30 a.m.....
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  • On Wednesday afternoon I rode up to the Twin Cities on a fan bus to watch and photograph the girls basketball team. I had risen earlier than usual, so I had lunch around 10:30 a.m. I took along extra money so I could grab a wildly overexpensive brat or something once I got to the arena. By the time the bus left Redwood at 2:30 p.m., my stomach was already feeling pangs. I sank into my seat on the touring bus, prepared to settle into my usual passenger pose of staring into space and letting my mind wander during the two hour ride to Mariucci Arena. Seated just close enough that I could overhear them, several local ladies exchanged recipes, planning dinners they wanted to make their families soon. The discussion that stuck in my head was the hour and 15 minutes or so (or so it seemed to me) they compared notes about tator tot hotdish. I had no idea there were so many variations on tator tot hotdish recipes. “Hey, that sounds good. I could really go for some tator tot hotdish right about now,” I kept saying to myself. Now as it happens, I have a pretty good tator tot hotdish recipe of my own, one I’m quite happy with. (Note: my recipe doesn’t involve corn. There isn’t one single tator tot hotdish recipe mentioned in the Bible that mentions adding corn anywhere. Look it up yourself if you don’t believe me.) Soon I was pondering what delicious variations I could add to my own recipe based on the conversation going on in the seats ahead of me. After a few minutes of watching the landscape slide by, my stomach grumbled. “Shut up, stomach,” I said. And still the conversation about tator tot hotdish continued ahead of me. By the time we got to the Twin Cities, I was starving for tator tot hotdish. My empty stomach was acid-etched from the distant memory of lunch so many hours ago. I wanted to shout at the ladies, “Shut up! Shut up! A pox on your tator tot hotdish discussion! Man, I could really go for some tator tot hotdish right now!” The wildly overexpensive brat I had as soon as I entered the arena was a poor substitute for what I was really hankering for at that point. When you look over the basketball photos on page 14, I’m sure it’s probably pretty obvious they were taken by someone who had tator tot hotdish on the mind. On the bus ride home my mind worked away something like this: “So, we’re going to get back to Redwood around 10 p.m. (Giggle, giggle.) So if I start making it around 10:15, it should be ready by about 1 a.m. (Giggle, giggle.) By then, everyone should be asleep, and then it’s mine, all mine! Oh, wait! What if we don’t have any Krispy Krowns!? Would hash browns work as a substitute? Crushed potato chips? Noooooooooo!” In real life, when the bus arrived back at the RVHS parking lot I was so exhausted and demoralized I just went home, ate a burrito, and went to bed. But the next time I make tator tot hotdish (which will be well before this issue of the Gazette hit your web, you betcha), I’ll have a few new things to try.

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