If my math is correct, it's been about 3 years since I was last home for Schmeckfest. This annual Festival of Schmecking (Schmeck = Taste) has been going on for 53 years and this year my amazingly talented brother directed the featured musical, The Wizard of Oz. I couldn't miss it.
For those of you who haven't been, Schmeckfest is a two weekend event that features an amazing array of ethnic Mennonite foods that is really a mishmash of Swiss, German, Russian and Jewish traditions. Local folks showcase their talents, making sausage, cheese pockets, peppernuts, fruit pockets, and new years cookies; they make rope and willow baskets and caned chairs and spin yarn - literally and figuratively. They feed 1,000 people per night and most stay for the show afterword. This volunteer effort is community at its best, and I am proud to say it happens in my home town.
I braved the 6-7 hour trip to Chicago by myself (with the kiddos) to pick up one of my dearest friends, Timothy. This is the only picture I got of him the whole weekend and it's fitting that he's following/chasing Miller, since he quickly became Miller's favorite person.Timothy was a Godsend this trip and his humor and gentle nature was a great compliment to the long drive across Wisconsin, Minnesota and into South Dakota. Plus, I got to spend time with a dear friend who now lives much too far away.
Once we arrived, things pretty much went like this.
I brought a cooler specifically to bring home Schmeckfest sausage and the good, squeeky Dimock Colby cheese I can only get in Freeman, so when I grew tired of standing in the slow moving line I headed to the museum feeling a little sad. On Sunday, Uncle John informed me that his brother announced in church that they would be selling Schmeckfest Sausage on the honor system.
So Timothy and I trudged over and into the unlocked maintenance shed to find this:
The sign says, "Help yourself to bags on lower shelf. Payment in box below." Only in Freeman.
Such a great trip home that I hardly have the words. Yes, es schmeckt gut.