Meat and potatoes make a meal


Mike Aspacher is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.
For like-minded eaters out there, this Steak House Au Gratin Potatoes recipe will be a winner.
The Bowling Green councilman got the recipe off the AllRecipes website, and tweaked it by adding cubed
ham. The creaminess comes from the heavy cream and milk, and the taste of the garlic is noticeable. It
is filling, and Aspacher said when he makes it, it becomes the meal.
“I really don’t consider myself a cook,” he said, giving all the credit in the family to his wife Toni
and mother Sandy.
“I’ve picked stuff up from them over the years, just helping them, but up until recently I haven’t cooked
a lot.”
Aspacher is, however, a very active griller in the summer and recently got a smoker.
He used to throw things together – like Hamburger Helper or spaghetti – when Toni was still working.
“My culinary skills are not well developed,” Aspacher said, “but I enjoy being in the kitchen.”
He cooks comfort food – casseroles, pasta and Crock-Pot dishes.
His mom would make scalloped potatoes and toss in leftover ham when he was a kid. When Aspacher saw this
recipe, it sparked his memory.
He comes from a meat-and-potatoes family, and said he does not have a great affinity for vegetables.
At Aspacher gets more comfortable in the kitchen, he hopes to branch out and try more.
For a guy who doesn’t cook a lot, he often finds himself doing the grocery shopping.
“I don’t know why,” Aspacher said with a laugh.
He grew up on North Prospect Street, next to Ridge School. At the end of his fifth-grade year, he had
been elected president of student council — perhaps a sign of things to cover.
The family moved across town and out of the Ridge boundaries. His grandparents bought the old house, so
he was allowed to go to school at Ridge for sixth grade, often having lunch with his grandma.
He is a 1979 Bowling Green High School graduate and “is as much of a townie as you will ever find.”
He is a five-term city council member, currently president, and is running for mayor this fall.
A plumber/pipefitter by trade, he retired in April 2018 from Local 50 working as a project manager for
Dunbar Mechanical.
He now spends a lot of time doing yard work and getting involved with city events.
“That’s been really educational. My work schedule didn’t allow that before.”
He is a member of Kiwanis and is a Friendly Visitor with the Wood County Committee on Aging.
“I have something to do every day,” Aspacher said.
He follows the same work routine, getting up at 4:30 every morning to meet his dad for coffee. They have
been doing that for more than 30 years.
He and Toni have two sons, Patrick and Alex, and a granddaughter.

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