OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer According to Wikipedia, a “hotdish” is a dish that typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with a canned soup that must …
By Brian G. Schommer
According to Wikipedia, a “hotdish” is a dish that typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with a canned soup that must be served hot or warm. Hotdishes originated in the Upper Midwest, so note, the definition was probably only necessary for transplants and those who still think a hotdish and casserole are the same. This week, “Outdoor Adventures” will be a bit of a hotdish with a little of this and some of that all mixed in for the final product. The chef hopes that you enjoy.
First, a quick question for area duck hunters. Are you getting your decoys cleaned up, making sure the old shotgun is oiled up and ready to go (do not forget to make sure that plug is in)? In Minnesota, we are only a few weeks away from the official opener on Saturday, September 25. If you took part in the early teal season, how was it? If your kids are taking part in the youth hunt this weekend (September 11-12), good luck. Duck opener signals the start of “MMH” for many folks who enjoy going hunting in these parts. “MMH” is “making memories hunting” and some of the best memories have nothing to do with the amount of game that was bagged, although getting skunked is not a good base for stories either.
Never fear Wisconsin readers, I have not forgotten about you. Your early teal season is now over, and your early goose goes until September 15. The Youth Hunt in Wisconsin is September 18-19 and then in the true form of Cheeseland, instead of keeping things consistent and easy to understand, your DNR has posted three different openers and zones. Go to www.dnr.wisconsin.gov and look up waterfowl for more details. If you hunt the North Zone, your opener is September 25. If you hunt the South and/or Open Water Zones, you must wait until October. That is enough for duck hunting, and I guess, provides the “meat” in this literary hotdish.
Sweet corn, Farmer’s Market fresh produce and gardening season is almost over which for a many of you becomes canning season. This was my first effort at “raised garden planter” gardening and for the most part, it went well. A tip for those contemplating this type of activity, do NOT over plant. Follow the directions on the seed packages for distance between plants. I did not do this and while the harvest was bountiful, the size of the various vegetables was stunted. Tomatillos can be real nutrient suckers, so plant them in a bucket by themselves. Tomatoes are probably better in their own space as well. These are two things that I also was able to learn this year, by error, of course. Either way, if you are looking for some outdoor adventures to the local Farmers Market at the Westview Mall parking lot in Hastings, it runs every Saturday from 8:30am until 1pm through November 20. There is a little vegetable and while not frozen, fresh is always a little better for you and a lot better tasting.
While you might not put apples in your hotdish, apple season is here and ripening quickly (yes, I did just do that). A quick Google search of “Hastings MN Apple Orchards” will provide several area places where you can get anything from Zestar to McIntosh, Fireside to Honey Crisp, Regent to First Kiss. That last one is an apple, so if you are looking for it to be literal, you may have to bring your sweetie to the orchard. Many of the area orchards have additional activities including corn mazes, hayrides and much more so your outdoor adventures can be turned into memories that last a lifetime… especially if they include your first kiss.
So much to do with Fall being right around the corner. The official “First Day of Fall” is September 22 so, if you are a summer person, you do not have much longer until Fall takes over. One idea, if you are lover of live music (country in specific) and have not gotten your tickets, the Hastings Area Rotary Club is hosting the 5th Rivertown Live; A Concert for a Cause, on Saturday, September 11 from 3pm until 11pm featuring two stages, six acts (including Sara Evans, Gabby Barrett, and Chris Kroeze), food trucks, beer tents and more. As it is the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, there will be a ceremonial fly-over by military planes and other tributes by various artists. Additional information and tickets are available at www.rivertownlive.com. Make 9/11/21 an all day “Outdoor Adventure” by starting things off at the Hastings Firefighters Booya at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church, then head down to the river for Rivertown Live. Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.