What do you call a hotdish in Georgia? Apparently, a casserole.

Vivette Kannegiesser learned this when her daughter's neighbor in Georgia told her that hotdishes are called casseroles in Georgia.

Never mind Georgia, the stuff that fills a 9 x 13 baking pan or an oval crock pot in Minnesota is hotdish.

Kannegiesser and dozens of other diners in Morris ate from a selection of hotdishes in the annual Raising Up Stevens County Kinship hotdish contest on Monday, Jan. 28, at Faith Lutheran Church.

The splendor of a a 9 x 13 baking pan filled with hamburger, or chicken, some rice or noodles, maybe a can of cream of celery soup was on display Judges and the diners selected a judge's winner and a people's choice winner in the contest. Vicki Dosdall won the judge's choice while Sue Erdahl and Kongsvinger Church shared the people's choice award.

Carl Moser's choice was No. 7. "It was just good. I don't know much about the ingredients. All I know is whether I liked them or not," Moser said. "No. 3 was good too. That would be second place for me."

If ever a night was suited for a hotdish, this may have been it. The high on Monday, Jan. 28, was 3 degrees and the low was -22. The cold weather didn't deter diners or hotdish bakers. Diners could eat samples from at least 12 hotdishes.

"There were a lot of good choices," Jean DeGier said.

"I liked No. 7," Vernette Kannegiesser said. "I didn't even read what it was."

"Mine was No. 12," Marlys Charles said.

The makers of the hotdishes were baking for what appeared to be crowd with hotdish experience.

It may depend on the research and the source, but some claim hotdish is the unofficial Minnesota state dish. Hotdish is widely known to be a staple at church meals, potlucks and even family reunions.

With a hotdish, "You can put your leftovers and stuff together to make the meal. You can add vegetables, potatoes and meat together," Charles said.

Mixing main ingredients instead of keeping them seperate for a main meal, "It's easier for the cook," DeGeier said. "You can put it in a crock pot."

The three women each have a favorite hotdish.

"I have a french fry hot dish that my family likes," DeGeier said.

"I like lasagna," Kannegiesser said.

"I like tater tot hotdish," Charles said.

Ben Moser said his mom Norene's hamburger, rice and tomato hotdish is one of his favorites.

"She does a good job of putting the hotdish together," Ben Moser said.

Making hotdish was a kind of family tradition, Kelly Smith said. "I grew up cooking," Smith said.

She and her mom would make hotdish recipes from each of Smith's grandmothers.

"We'd use a cream of something (soup)," Smith said. The creamed soup could be mushroom, celery or another ingredient, she said.

A hotdish may often include Lipton's onion soup mix, Smith said.

No matter the ingredients all hotdishes have one thing in common-- Don't call them casseroles, even if that's the term used in Georgia.

Kannegeiser said her daughter's neighbor wasn't sure what a hotdish was until it was explained. ". (One day her daughter's ) neighbor asked me what was I was going to make for dinner. I told her hotdish. She said that sounds interesting. She didn't know what it was," Kannegiesser said.

When Kannegiesser explained what a hotdish was, the neighbor said "We call them casseroles."

But, that's in Georgia.