Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hamline Dining Hall's State Fair Ham Loaf

Church-sponsored dining halls have long been a familiar sight at the fair, and are part of the yearly tradition for many. The fair's oldest operating church dining hall is Hamline United Methodist Church, which has had a presence at the fair since 1897. Yes, you read that correctly -- since 1897. That means they've had lots of time to finesse their recipes and work out all the kinks, and have fine-tuned their offerings to fair-time perfection. While nothing can fully replace the total package experience of enjoying a meal served up by volunteers at the fair itself, there's no reason to limit your dining hall experience to a measly 12 days of the year. If you can't wait another 11 days to enjoy it in person at the fairgrounds, here's the recipe for their famous "State Fair Ham Loaf." Don't forget to wash it down with your own cup of bottomless coffee!

Hamline Church Dining Hall's State Fair Ham Loaf
1 1/2 lbs ground ham
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 cups dry bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cups vinegar
1/4 cup prepared mustard

Combine all ingredients except sauce. Pack mixture into a 9x5x3 inch pan. Combine sauce ingredients and spoon half  of sauce over loaf. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Pour a little sauce over ham loaf when serving if you wish.

SOURCE: Hamline UCM's website, as published in the Hamline Cookbook

To learn more about Hamline Church or its dining hall, or to learn more about Hamline volunteer activities, check out their website.

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