It’s not something the Census asks about.
And I am not aware of any independent surveys.
But here’s the thing. I fear Spokane is losing its status as a four-star casserole city.
So I ask you. If fewer Inland Northwest dinner-makers are practicing the casserole arts, would it be fair to say that the Lilac City is losing a bit of its soul?
OK, I can’t prove that casserole cooking is in sharp decline here. But I suspect it is, and here are my theories.
1. Lingering belief that ingredients have to be heart-stopping.
2. People charged with fixing dinner are still disillusioned about discovering Dorothy Dean was not a real person.
3. Generational thing. Nobody under 40 says “That’s how I casseroll.”
4. Society’s gradual loss of respect for once-sacred leftovers.
5. Many think they don’t have time to prepare one.
6. If it can’t be microwaved in less than five minutes, forget it.
7. Belief that gathering ingredients for a casserole would add half an hour to your grocery shopping.
8. Assumption that making a “hot dish” implies you are behind the times.
9. Kids, who no longer do what parents tell them, won’t eat anything but boxed macaroni and cheese.
10. Last time you called your grandmother to ask about a recipe, the conversation turned into an argument about whether day care is socialism.
11. Healthy casseroles – those using less than several pounds of cheese and four sticks of butter – don’t taste as good as the ones you had in the previous century.
12. Anti-casserole Seattle influence.
13. You are afraid casseroles make a political statement that doesn’t reflect your views.
14. You did not grow up in an episode of “Leave it to Beaver” and casseroles don’t have happy, nostalgic associations for you.
15. You live alone and the idea of making a casserole for yourself is not appealing.
16. All the casseroles you know how to make are named for people who are no longer living and sometimes thinking about that makes you blue.
17. Heats up the kitchen.
18. In your home, dinner-planning starts 10 minutes before dinner eating.
Today’s Slice question: Who in the Inland Northwest has made the most casseroles over the years?