Two happy boys in red.
Oh, could it be time for the Hotdish Hoedown? When will the trophies be given out? Will there be tuna noodle hotdish? Will someone share the recipe for that fabulous 1950s spinach hotdish? Who brought the Sara Lee? And how 'bout that turkey?
Hand serving turkey. Photo by TA.

Hotdish Hoedown 2006

The Celebration

Along the great northern route, the pilgrim traveled.

She passed over mountains, along lakes, across rivers, through the woods and fields in search of the two temples of processed foods.

Paying homage at the Jell-O Gallery and the Spam Museum, she returned to the four lakes with the knowledge the gods are pleased with her community's offerings.

And in the darkest days of winter, the pilgrim called upon the people to bring their offerings of food and light. They came from around the city and the state, bearing hotdish to eat, Jell-O to display and provender to fill the food pantry.

A few arrived early with their offerings and found no pilgrim in evidence to grant entry. They pounded at the locked gates until the child tenders answered. One guest from the land of Mount Horeb took over as doorkeeper. Others set their 28-pound roast turkey on the altar and prepared their gift. The aroma filled the hall. The pilgrim arrived -- before the festival was to begin -- surprised to find a dozen supplicants already partaking of libations and claiming their seats.

Other guests filled the community's center hall and its basement to drink toasts, eat, sing and glue sticks together. The supplicants lined the hall to filled their plates with hotdish, meats, vegetables in sauce, savories and sweets. The Jell-O artisans displayed their wares and lobbied for their offerings as guests cast their votes. The ballot magi measured the crowd's wishes and trophies were given to all -- with the 3-footer saved for the next year in an effort to promote parity.

All too soon the sated guests departed the hall to return to their homes, leaving the pilgrim content to extend her 17-year sojourn in the Land East of the Ten Thousand Lakes.

The Jell-O Contest

Hotdish Hoedown guest entered nearly 20 Jell-O's in the 2006 contest and took home fabulous trophies. Hoedown guests select winners through a secret ballot overseen by trained observers.

Categories for 2006 were:

  • Best thing about kindergarten
  • Best response (or lack thereof) to a natural or political disaster
  • Best special effects, including performance art, use of color
  • Best tale told, including fairy tales, books, movies, original works
  • Best pun

At right: Trophies given to winners of the Jell-O Contest at the Hotdish Hoedown.

Fabulous trophies that can be won at the Jell-O Contest at the Hotdish 

Forget to pick up your bumper sticker? Contact the hostess.

Show your Hoedown pride.

And as for San Francisco, they may have architectural renderings in Jell-O, but they ain't got nothin' on our hotdish. Despite that, see the New York Times for Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006, "In Memory of 1906, a City Shakes Like a Bowl Full of Jell-O" about artist Liz Hickok's work.

Car with Hotdish Hoedown sticker parked in front of Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy, New York.
In upstate New York, the pilgrim spends some time at the Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy, New York, in May 2005. Three months later, the pilgrim stops at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, after visiting her homeland in August 2005.
Car with Hotdish Hoedown sticker parked in front of Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.

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 Jan. 22, 2007
Posted Jan. 8, 2006

Lost items Jell-Os in 2006 People fill the hall Maternal influences People behind the Jell-Os