NORTH DAKOTA - Pie #34 of 50 - Jane from North Dakota received by Stephani Stilwell & Brandon Springer

State Fruit: Chokecherry 

I have never been to North Dakota.
North Dakota is named for the Sioux people. The Sioux call themselves Dakota which means allies or friends.
North Dakota is the 19th largest state and is the geographic center of the North American Continent with a stone marker in Rugby,ND. It is home to the sprawling Great Plains which are the northern part of Badlands national park. Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota has more shoreline than California’s Pacific Coast. This beautiful land is home to some beautiful flora and fauna. It is filled with more sunflowers than any other state and its state tree is the American Elm grows to an epic 120ft or more! It is also home to the elusive rare white buffalo, the Dakota miracle which can be seen at the National Buffalo Museum.
For North Dakota I made a tater tot hot dish pie. Filled with ground beef, mixed veggies, Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and topped with tater tots! Hot dishes are not a type of food THEY ARE THE FOOD! The invention of this mid western fave was in an effort to turn any left overs in the fridge into a single baking dish meal served hot. Tater tots became the staple topping in 1953 when the were invented and not one has looked back.

This pie is dedicated to Jane from North Dakota. I met Jane in a Lyft Share in LA when I was there for my sisters wedding in 2017. 
Jane now lives in Louisville, CO where she runs a pie contest in her free time where she boasted 60 kinds of pies are on display! Once during her time in 4H she won a blue ribbon at the North Dakota state fair for her blueberry muffins.
Of course when we chatted in our long drive to our destinations I asked her what her favorite kind of pie was. She said “Sour Cream Raisin” which is a South Dakota staple which her Grandmother originally from Germany would make. So I guess y’all know what’s coming for South Dakota!
My roommates Steph, Bran and doggo Jake received the pie. We are a funny bunch on Ocean Ave. Full of laughs and our weekly sushi order to sliver rice. We all enjoyed the pie while watching another Marvel movie. We’ve been burning through them in an effort to catch up to the premiere of Avengers End Game. Living with them is the best! Steph is the only other person i know that has watched Top Chef as much/ as many times all the way through as I have AND we met cause I started this project! Bran & Jake are two yellow roses of Texas that have blessed New York with their lovely selves. 
This pie also goes out to a couple “Hot Tots” I know Matt McInerney (Massachusetts pie recipient) & Mark Johnson (Nevada pie recipient). The three of us have had the most extensive and in-depth conversations about the food that has reached its full potential, the tater tot.
Till I come to visit North Dakota! You will always be my great white buffalo! Legendary!