Perhaps it’s fitting that a hodgepodge of H words has had my little imagination hog-tied for today’s H entry in the blog challenge.
I’m sure that by now it’s quite apparent I’m only a faux foodie, so it won’t come as a shock if I confess that Hamburger Helper was the first idea that lassoed me. Aside from the appealing alliteration (yes, it’s a sickness with me) I don’t shy away from the place it’s had in the life of my family. I know; I know…even as I type this, a zillion healthy food bloggers are ready to unleash their hounds upon me. I appreciate that. I also appreciate the convenient and budget-friendly solution that the product provides. If you’ve never been in one of those situations, I’m happy for you. Many people are, however, as I was reminded a few months back when I helped put together food boxes for Kitchen on the Street, a faith-based, non-profit organization that is fighting hunger in my state and others. Just as I’m thankful that my family can afford to eat a little healthier these days, I’m thankful for the hope that these groups are providing – Hamburger Helper and all.
If my Hamburger Helper days represent days of tight budgets and hectic schedules, the Hungarian restaurant, Novak’s in Albany, Oregon represents a hopeful adventurous time of discovering new places and new foods and the people who lovingly labor over them. This was one of the gems my husband discovered when a job relocation took us to the Pacific Northwest. The schnitzel, pearl noodles, and red cabbage (and everything else I ever ate from their menu) are heavenly, but this place is great for two other hot H words – hospitality and history. If you never make it to Novak’s, I hope you have something comparable closeby. Everybody needs a hearty helping of hospitality and history every now and then.