Star Tribune: Duluth cookbook queen Beatrice Ojakangas whips up 'Homemade' memoir
It was the early ’70s and I was seated at Somebody’s House restaurant in Duluth, up the road from the University of Minnesota.
Should I splurge on a burger? At 85 cents to $1.50 each, it would make a dent in my meager college finances.
One look at the menu — 36 burgers — and I didn’t need convincing. These were exotic for the time, open-face sandwiches with whimsical names and wild descriptions.
There was the Duluth Blizzardburger, “The hamburger sheltered beneath a ‘drift’ of sour cream as only Duluth would, or could, have it; the garnish, of course, is a kosher pickle and a Scandinavian style pickled beet. Var sa got!”
And there was the HHH burger (that would be named after Minnesota’s Hubert Horatio Humphrey, vice president of the nation from 1965-69). The Cannibalburger (which was not to be confused with the Toplessburger): “Be daring! The hamburger just singed on the grill — really it’s raw!”
Also on the menu: the Beatlesburger (with a wig of coleslaw), the Russianburger (served with caviar) and more sandwiches than I could afford to try.
Not until decades later did I discover that the creative mind — and dry sense of humor — behind this venture was none other than Beatrice Ojakangas, the prolific cookbook author from Duluth, with her Finnish heritage and baking prowess.
She was ahead of her time. Way ahead.