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Porketta and Predictions // B1G 2022, Minnesota Potluck Preview #4

Can Minnesota FINALLY do something right?

NCAA Football: Iowa at Minnesota
Ever gracious in defeat, that Peejus.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Have you enjoyed Minnesota Week?

No? Me neither.

Sorry that it’s Hate Friday and...well...there’s no hate? I dunno. I think most Iowans are too fond of Minnesota to actually write a Hate piece—it’s where they’re going to move for the jobs/quality of life/nopolitics soon enough, anyway. Maybe a wisconsinite will sober up long enough to write one. I won’t hold my breath.

Minnesotans and Misspelled Food—A Timeless Combo

When the Scandinavians in the ore mines of the Iron Range went on strike in the early 1900s, it was next-immigrants-up for the corporations of the Mesabi, looking to the next batch of folks to exploit.

One of those groups was the Italians, who brought with them the delicious porketta (porchetta):


A Boston butt with fennel, garlic, and Italian seasonings, porketta’s often served in a shaved sandwich style, though I enjoy it more as a sliced pork tenderloin style (you can see a whole tour of porketta and pasty-making here).

It’s a different approach to meat from the Italians of the Twin Cities, what with their pseudo-offensive “hot dagos”, but one that conjures up some of that cultural endurance of locations like Fraboni’s in Hibbing (the first picture up above). Fraboni’s grows their fennel on-site, and it’s not uncommon to visit someone on the Range and be treated to a porketta to snack on as an appetizer or, perhaps more realistically, as a whole meal.

So, writers:

1. Porketta’s out of the Crock-Pot, time to eat! Wouldja?

2. Give your thoughts on the Italians of Minnesota – have their porkettas and hot dagos convinced you to head up to Fraboni’s on the Iron Range or down to Yarusso Bros. on the East Side of Saint Paul?

3. Anything that you grow on your premises and use in your cooking?

Kind of…: So porketta is pretty much porchetta but with a Minnesota misspelling? I’m a midwesterner who has lived in the Philly area for 10+ years at this point, and I’m at a point where I can almost understand Eastern condescension.

Kidding. Roast pork is fucking awesome. Do it how you like. I would have eaten the hell out of porchetta/porketta. Regularly. Honestly one of my favorite meals. Call me simpe, but what more do you need.

Currently I grow a few things, but just as a hobby. Cucumbers, peppers, a tomato plant, a few herbs (legal ones). Have an eggplant actually doing well this year.

misdreavus79: If I’m ever up in Minnesota, I will definitely try some of the suggestions brought up in this here potluck week. As per homegrown ingredients, there were onions and some herbs going for a time but the lack of space made continuous growing of vegetables tough, so we stopped doing that last year. Shucks!

MNW: A few years back now I was doing research up on the Iron Range and stayed at a “rustic” cabin of some family friends on Lake Vermillion (no potable water, bathroom was an outhouse, shower was in the sauna). One night they brought me over to a neighbor’s, and there on the table in the living room was a porketta, cut into slices. I must’ve eaten half the damn thing—perhaps a faux pas. But it was damn good. I don’t think I pooped for a couple days after, though.

I’m not the gardener of the household—my wife grows tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, basil, and mint; the only thing I grow is an avocado tree—but I am the cook and bartender. We’ve got mojitos year-round, and she loves BLTs, so those are obvious (though I do make a good salsa).

The best thing I’ve whipped up out of the backyard products is a lemon parsley marinade for chicken with fresh-from-the-garden parsley, though if anyone has any particularly good recipes, I’m all ears.

BRT: Of course I’d tried porketta, though that spelling makes me rage-y. It sounds great. Seasoned pork is a go-to for me–it freezes well so you can buy it on sale, it’s easy to prepare, and you can get like a week of meals out of it. Perfect!

I have a small yard, so I only have modest raised bed. I have a zucchini plant that is, as always, running the show (here’s a delicious recipe for chocolate zucchini bread that tastes more like cake than bread). I have a couple of kinds of tomatoes that seem to be doing well. And I have some pickling cucumbers and bell peppers that are having a bit more of a struggle this year (mostly space-related).

I also go hard on the flowers–I don’t love yardwork, and I feel like if there are flowers, it gives the impression that you’re trying harder than you are. Zinnias are always my favorite, as they’re pretty idiot-proof, and a super-happy flower that makes great bouquets. Oh! And I have a milkweed patch behind my garage for the monarchs.



This poll is closed

  • 83%
    (71 votes)
  • 5%
    No thanks.
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    Only if you spell it differently.
    (9 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now

The Football: Predicting the Gophers’ Record

Do you think this is a built-in excuse for the Gophers in 2022?

Road trips to Penn State and Michigan State are not inviting, and closing the season with runner-runner rivalry games looks like a potent cocktail for a collapse to end the year. So, writers:

1. How do the Gophers finish in 2022? Show your work.

2. What will be P.J. Fleck’s “Year Zero”-style excuse as a result of your prediction?

3. How many more failures against Iowa will the Gophers’ coxswain be permitted?

4. If you could schedule any one “revenge”/”fuck you” game a la New Mexico State and JERREH! at Minnesota to open the year, what would it be?

BoilerUp89: 1st in West. Lose in Indy by a lot. 9-3 (7-2). Now I know they shouldn’t lose any of those non con games, but they lost to BGSU last year. So pick one. Split Sparty/Nittany Kittens. And lose to … Iowa. But since Iowa will lose to Purdue, Michigan and OSU, Gophers go to the party.

When Minnesota finds a way to somehow lose this gift wrapped division (probably to Northwestern or some garbage like that), PJ will just get back in his boat and continue to try to find the Northwest passage.

Kind of…7-5/4-5. They’ll be better than their record, but I think almost most teams in the West will be as good or better than last year, and every Gopher road game is tough (or, in the case of Illinois, funky and psychologically challenging). They’ll lost both road crossovers and will lose to either Nebraska or Illinois and one home game (either Purdue or Iowa). And I 100% guarantee Wisconsin will beat Minnesota in the season finale. 100%. Guaranteed. Clip and save. Throw it in my face if I’m wrong. [As if anybody takes OTE predictions seriously…]

As far as excuses, I’ve read that he thinks the experts are underrating the Gopher line (which was hit hard by graduation), so the excuse will be OL injuries that slow the offense, since admitting he overrated the OL ain’t happening.

Another loss to Iowa will make that a story since it will be at home in, likely, a game with division title implications.

Gary Andersen isn’t currently a head coach (stunning development that), but I would love to make him helm UMass or UConn and bring them to Madison, so the Badgers could win 59-0.

misdreavus79: As usual, the breakdown:

Assuming Colorado is no better than they were last season, that’s a quick 3-0 in nonconference play, but since Bowling Green happened, you can’t be too sure. Then you have Illinois, Rutgers, Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue, and Penn State as games where they might have a good shot, but it’s unlikely they win all of them.

The Gophers have had success under Fleck against Wisconsin, but they’re going to have to beat Iowa at some point, and, if they’re looking for a division title, they’re going to have to beat both of them most likely. So, put it all together, and they can go as high as 10-2, and as low as 7-5. Let’s give them two of the tossup games and say they go 9-3.

As per a “revenge” style game for Penn State, well, our previous coach is an offensive coordinator for Alabama right now, so I want no part of that. The one before him is dead, so, you know… which leaves me with Virginia, who still owes us a home game from our home and home series back in 2012. Pay the fuck up!

MNW: One thing I just want to note—I love that our SEO machine still auto-tags UConn Blog, a very good blog by very nice people but lol imagine having to talk about UConn football. Yikes.

Northwestern doesn’t really have coordinators bolt for better jobs as of right now (though, Jim O’Neil, feel free to give it a shot at any point)—one asshole I’d like to see the ‘Cats play and beat, though, is Sonny Dykes (now at TCU). He was a real douche when Northwestern won at Cal in 2012. That, or someone get David Cutcliffe out of retirement because I am so goddamn sick of losing to Duke.

The Gophers should be 5-1 at the turn, but back-to-back road games at Illinois and Penn State take their toll, and after handling Rutgers at home there are a pair of losses lurking in the back half of that schedule.

Which are they? Oh look at the time, I have to go. 9-3 (6-3), no West title.

BRT: I mean, I think there are eight wins on here. 3-0 to start (not sure who the Bulldog is, don’t care enough to look it up, and am going to assume it’s a cupcake), a push with Purdue, a win against Illinois, and then another run of 3-0 with Rutgers, Nebraska, Northwestern. This is actually a great schedule for Peej, as the likely successes are nicely sprinkled throughout the season so as to keep up morale on the ship.

Peej’s excuse will be that because he now looks like a new coach, he should be considered a new coach. Year Zero with these eyelids, suckers!

I don’t know if they have to beat Iowa. Is Minnesota really going to fire a charismatic, popular coach who is winning 7-9 games a year even if he doesn’t beat Iowa?

Hmmm… revenge. This assumes that Nebraska is in a position to extract revenge, which is not something I’ve seen proof of as yet. The most embarrassing season-beginning game of late was Illinois last year, and so I guess we’ll get to see that rematch soon enough.