Thursday, April 5, 2012


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.


carrie saxl said...

What a nice trip home :) I love the pictures of Sophie and Ella with their switched shoes and Miller shoveling food into his mouth!

AnnaMarie said...

Those are my favorites, too. Right after I took this picture he tried it with an entire Zwiebach on his fork. Emphasis on tried.

Sometime, you, Charlie, and the little miss (and Chris if he wants) will have to meet us there. What fun that would be!

beinmyOWNself said...

Great pics! Schmeckfest sounds fun, as does a road trip with Timothy and the little 'uns.

Love the honor system, that's what turned me on to my favorite new small venue, the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, FL. There's an honor box when you buy ice, and I just love that! It sends a message of trust and honor out into the world, and it almost never fails, yet you rarely see an honor box, even for gumballs these days!
I miss you banana!

beinmyOWNself said...

PS What sort of cheese is squeaky? I've heard of squeaky cheese curds, but still haven't experienced them.