The Washington Times - August 27, 2008, 05:38PM


August 26, 2008




ST. PAUL, MINN - You know you’re in Minnesota when you first move into town and your new neighbors show up at your door with “Hotdish”. “Hotdish” is a baked casserole, popular in Midwestern places like Minnesota. Take a lot of meat like ground beef, canned veggies like green beans and a starch like rice or noodles or tater tots (I hear the kids love those tater tots!) Mix it all together with some canned soup maybe cream of mushroom, and bake it! 


You know you’re in Minnesota when you ask the locals about their favorite bars and they list deserts….lemon bars, brownies… okie doke!


You know when you’re in Minnesota when they serve you “pop”…uh to places outside the Midwest it’s “soda” like a Pepsi or Coke. 


You know you’re in Minnesota when you hear someone say “Uff Da!”

Well I learned the meaning from a local, but I wanted to look it up, and this is what I found on the Wikipedia website: Uff da (can also be spelled uff-da, uffda, uff-dah, oofda, ufda, oofta or ufta) is an exclamation of Norwegian origin that is relatively common in the Upper Midwestern states of the U.S. It roughly means “drats,” “oops!” or “ouch!”, especially if the “ouch!” is an empathetic one. “Uff da” is often used in the Upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay. 


My co-worker Joe Eddins and I are sitting in a Japanese restaurant at the corner of Wabasha and W. Seventh Streets in downtown St. Paul called Fujiya (locally pronounced Foo-Jai-Yah.) So now we’re having a great lunch watching on the t.v., the demise of the famed monster of Japanese horror film lore Rodan, a flying thing which resembles a terradactyl, as it gets destroyed by an army and their missiles, and our server comes over to see how everything is going with lunch, “How’s everything tasting?” she says in that Minnesota accent (pronounced Mi-ne-soh-tah) Ok the accent thing, they don’t think that they have an accent, but they do. However this is not the movie “Fargo”, so don’t go around faking their accent, they know it when they hear it. The vowels are thick and drawn out but it is very sweet and wholesome, and even though you are not from around these parts, they make you feel right at home with their smiles…oh, you betcha!



Rod Lamkey Jr.

Staff Photographer

The Washington Times