Jell-O Trophies
If you tire of the clutter, recycle trophies from years past by leaving them on the hostess' front porch.

Hoedown song sheets

Ohio Avenue

Updated February 6, 2011
Posted Dec. 18, 2004

Hotdish Hoedown 2005

Hoedown marks 15th year with 150 guests,
7 cases of beer, crafts, documentary

2 in jell-o glasses Jell-O in all its forms lets us see the world in a new way. This conceptual paradigm colors our world with tactile shading that lends itself to an unprecedented post-solstice optimism.

"The 2005 Hotdish Hoedown," a film Will Karlin-Kamin made before was prevalent.

Neighbors, former and current co-workers, former fellow board members and other friends gathered for the 15th Hotdish Hoedown on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005. With enough seats to accommodate the nearly 150 guests (including those busily gluing popsicle sticks together in the basement), the leisurely evening drews guests ranging from several months old to more than 70 years old.

A number of high school students entered the Jell-O Contest in high numbers, several of them spending the day at Walker's house preparing their submissions. Others filmed much of the evening -- stay tuned for news of a screening.

carp jerky in a jar

This year featured the Special Emissary from Minnesota, Jane, who came bearing the singular gift of Carp Jerky, which, as far as the hostess knows, did not appear in a dish to pass.

Other innovations included a bumper stickers, separate dessert table, which Sandy recommended, and light over the food table. This feature meant electricity was available to keep food warm for those bringing a nesco or crock pot. Told of this opportunity before the Hoedown, longtime guest Terese, who planned to make corned beef hash for 2005, said, "Hot food at the Hoedown? That would be something."

Regardless of food temperature, cold beer proved popular. Guests consumed seven cases, topped off with at least six 1.5-liter bottles of wine (the hostess has a hazy memory of Kathy T. showing her a brown paper bag and saying something about bringing extra wine …).

A Morsel for the Mind
Food imaginatively prepared and eaten in good company warms the being with something more than mere intake of calories.

— From "Here's What's Cooking
in Your Royal Neighbors'
of America Kitchen!"

Links related to Jell-O

PDF of paper invitation

Invitees who forgot to show up or send notice of their absence, or who are otherwise confused, should get in touch with the hostess know to ensure they stay on the guest list.

Excitement was high during Hoedown Week, especially on the east side. Ritt, an Ohio Avenue resident, said he was riding the bus home from campus and heard two women talking. They hadn't seen each other for a while, he discerned.

"How've you been?" one asked. They exchanged pleasantries.

"Are you going to the Hotdish Hoedown this weekend?" one asked the other.

"You bet," her companion replied.

"What are you going to make?"

"I have no idea."

Ritt reports he did not turn and offer recipe ideas. He didn't want to put them in a position of having to talk with him. He also doesn't remember which bus he was on.

People were busy this fall, cleaning out closets, basements and fireplace mantles. Jell-O trophies kept appearing on the hostess' front porch. However, some people pack up their trophies and take them along when they move, which is quite all right

Guests are reminded to put their bumperstickers on their vehicles, especially if their cars, trucks, scooters and SUVs already sport adhesive labels. What better complement to those Kerry-Edwards stickers? More stickers are available for folks who've attended a Hoedown -- even if your kids wore stickers home from the party.

Parents SHOULD NOT traumatize their children by insisting they have to return their trophies. Rather, wait until -- or if -- the symbol's importance naturally wanes. Then leave it on the front porch. If the child takes the trophy off to college or their first apartment, so much the better. (Such folks should keep their address current with the hostess to ensure they receive invitations.)

The Ladies Aid again lent their crafts skills to the Jell-O trophies. They provided assistance and creative inspiration to the hostess, who nearly over indulged in multitasking by making a double-batch of wild rice soup to feed the gals and their familial auxiliary. Her thumb, injured while wildly slicing onions, is healing nicely.

Guests brought donations, especially Spam, for the Atwood Community Center's food pantry. The center's staff writes, "Thanks for the SPAM! (it's a the one time Spam is a good thing. The pantry appreciates it."