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Recipe for a Lutheran Hotdish

A Lutheran Hotdish is comprised of some combination of the following four main ingredients.

  1. A meat that is already cooked such as ground beef, boiled chicken cut into bite size pieces, or canned tuna.
  2. A cream of something soup - although this does not include your more exotic varieties such as cream of asparagus. Stick with cream of mushroom, cream of chicken or cream of celery.
  3. Vegetables, one or more but not too many so as to show off. Peas, potatoes, corn, carrots, onions, celery are all sensible vegetables and are acceptable. 
  4. Starch in the form of noodles, macaroni, rice, potato chips or corn flakes.

The process of making a Lutheran Hotdish is intentionally simple so as not to draw attention to the cook as if she or he were something special.

  1. Put all the ingredients in a roaster or a pot and mix them together. Thus the term dish as opposed to dishes. Be generous with the salt so people don't have to add it themselves and feel badly for not liking it the way it was served.
  2. Heat the dish. Thus the term "hot" which some Lutheran immigrants to the Southern States mistakenly take to mean spicy. A respectable Lutheran Hotdish does not cavort with chili peppers.
  3. Humbly serve the Lutheran Hotdish making apologies for it as you do. Some appropriate apologies might include the following:

It was better last time.
The peas are a little too hard - or -The peas are too mushy.
It's all I had time to do.
It could use more salt.
At least it smells good.

And remember that Lutheran food, like Lutheran theology depends wholly on the grace of God so if someone compliments you just say, It was nothing, really.