South Dakota is Tater Nation. We love our spuds and a recent survey by  Gurney's Seed & Nursey Co of nearly 5,000 foodies proved it. The potato is king in the Rushmore state but shares the most popular stage with asparagus. We like them both.

Courtesy Gurney Seeds

Before we continue this love affair with vegetables, South Dakotans turn their back on celery. It ranked as the most-hated vegetable. There really is nothing fun about celery, but I'm not a Guinea pig either.

Here are a few ways to rock the potatoes and asparagus with tried and true recipes for both:

My kids love the cheesy potatoes. Before I learned to make them we could only find cheesy potatoes when attending funerals. Realizing it's pretty sad to anticipate a funeral to enjoy this comfort food, we decided to learn how. It's remarkably easy:

  • Thaw cubed hash browns
  • In a bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, salt, shredded cheddar cheese, melted butter and pour into a 9x13 greased baking dish and add to the hash browns.
  • Mix bread crumbs or corn flakes in a bowl with melted butter and give it a good stir and pour it over your potatoes.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

For asparagus let's go with the saute method - our personal favorite:

  • Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet to a nice medium-high heat.
  • Drizzle asparagus spears with olive oil and add salt and coarse ground pepper.
  • Add asparagus to the pan and cover for about 3 minutes until they are bright green and crisp.
  • Remove the lid and crank up that heat to high. Let's sear them, babies, for another 3 minutes while moving them around with a wooden spoon or tongs.

Now that we've got a couple of great ways to prepare our favorite vegetables, now is a great time to get the winter indoor gardening kits ready to go. Kids love to play in the dirt. Let them! Plant those seeds giving them love, water, and light until it's time to move them to the outdoor gardens.

Look, if you don't like prepping for springtime fun and taking advantage of the indoor days, you'll probably end up on the Capitol steps with homemade knit mittens looking like an old curmudgeon. Too soon?

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