This should be a treat. Last Saturday night my housemate (raised in Kansas, but groomed around the country) asked for “something Midwestern” for dinner. Being from Nebraska myself, we didn’t need to iron out what that statement meant before shopping. [If you like to make the Midwest the butt of jokes, please kindly skip the next paragraph.]
And if you’re in the mood for a little venting, please allow me… Let me take just a moment to stand up for an entire group of people who are continually lampooned and categorically brushed off by coastal America. Please, Just Shut Up. It’s fascinating to me that my friends here in California (along with other transplanted Midwesterners, don’t think I’ve forgotten you) will make disparaging comments about people who grow up in the middle of our country. While they are talking to me. Hello. I’m right here. We’re friends, you like me, we hold a lot of the same beliefs, AND I’m from the same people you are critiquing. Think about that please, before you make some under-supported statement about how “all people from the Midwest are obese, ignorant, religious zealots”. Please. And the soapbox is now empty if anyone else would care to take a stand.
And now for the show… I opted for two dishes that I consider ‘staples’ of the Midwest repertoire; Iceberg Lettuce Salad followed by Pork Chops with Green Beans, Carrots, and Mashed Potatoes
This was a fun meal for us to eat. At the table we salivated remembering great meals we enjoyed growing up, and less than great foods leaving lasting impressions. Food traditions run deeply, and they are powerfully evocative. I remember eating meals very much like this while growing up in Nebraska. I have to thank my parents here for making meals a family event (until school activities took everyone their own way). Try to remember some of your strongest food memories, and the emotions attached to them. Share them with me and each other. It will be a sensory stroll down memory lane for sure.
Be well, and eat good food –