The Village…

The Mennonite Heritage Village helps preserve the history of the Russian Mennonites.


The outdoor village takes you back to 1874 when the first Mennonites arrived in Manitoba. Over twenty historic buildings, including Mennonite homes, schools, churches, and small businesses line the village street. You can absorb the history as you walk through the village and the buildings.

This is a replica of the turn of the century General Store.


The original Klass Reimer general store was the first in the village of Steinbach back in 1884.


Lichtenau Church was built in 1930 by Mennonites who emigrated from Russia in the 1920’s.



We had an appointment at the Livery Barn Restaurant for lunch so I’ll stop here for a bit before we continue our village tour. This is Betty and her daughter Allison.


All of us chose to order the Bestje Dit enn Daut. Sample of a little this and that. All of this plus it came with a slice of rhubarb plautz. A very traditional Mennonite sampling.


Marg decided we could all sample the Cinnamon roll, too. Yummy!



Mennonites used windmills to grind grains and drain marshes throughout their history in Europe and Russia. The first windmill in Steinbach was built in 1877 by Abraham S. Friesen. A replica was built at the museum in 1972 but was destroyed by fire in 2000. Now Canada’s only operational windmill, reconstructed in 2001, is an exact replica of the 1877 windmill of Steinbach and sits in this village.


We didn’t have enough time to walk into all the buildings but I was interested in seeing the inside of one of the school buildings. This school was built in the village of Blumenhof, near Altona, in 1885.


Dear’s mother taught in a one room school house and I can imagine it was not unlike this one.



Lunch boxes or I suppose they should be called Lunch cans!


The teacher could live right in the school in an adjoining room. I think I would have preferred to have quarters elsewhere.


Old Colony Worship House


The house and barn connection and dwelling layout of this home can be traced back to Prussia/Poland, where the Mennonites settled from the 1500’s onward.







This is a Semlin which was made of sod, soil, grass and wood. These were the materials used in the first homes bulit by Mennonite immigrants in 1874. Although very crude, these sod buildings provided the shelter necessary for survival on the Manitoba plains.  The house above and below this Semlin was a vast improvement built with oak logs and larger rooms. IMGP0216


Hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Mennonite Heritage Village. Putting something together on this scale must have taken lots of hard work and volunteer hours. From what I’ve seen and experienced, Mennonites aren’t afraid of hard work. Volunteers put in hours to mow the lawns on this 40 acre site, too. It really is a great destination to visit if you travel in this area.

I have one more post to wrap up our time in Manitoba.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Ht: Mennonite Heritage Village Brochure

At the Villages

During our short time in Winnipeg and Steinbach we had book signings in 3 different Ten Thousand Villages. Each one of the stores served food that the staff prepared from our cookbook. If you aren’t familiar with Ten Thousand Villages here is a short description of who they are.


A Fair Trade Retailer We create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.


You might want to have something to eat before you scroll through this post. Just thought I’d give you fair warning..






At two of the stores we ended up right next to the jewelery. I ended up coming home with 4 pieces of jewelery. That was good marketing for sure.


Have you shopped in a Ten Thousand Villages store? This was the store in Steinbach. Our last 2 signings of our days in Manitoba were at 2 different Ten Thousand Villages in Winnipeg.


This time we were right across from the jewelery instead of sitting in front of the jewelery. At this store we met many people who had connections to some of our own girls. This was TTV Henderson.


Judy was able to meet up with family for breakfast who dropped her off for our signing.


This little guy was my favorite fan for sure. He was so interested in getting one of our books and being able to enjoy some of the recipes. He never left our table even when his sister next to him found toys to play with in the store. He was more interested in making sure he got a book from us.IMGP0327-001

He watched each of us intently to make sure we signed the book just right. It was so much fun to talk to him.

Our next signing would be at the larger Ten Thousand Villages in Winnipeg but before we headed there we were invited to lunch at Margaret’s home who is Charlotte’s cousin. She was working at the store the whole time we were signing and left just minutes before we did but still had a wonderful table and food ready for us at her home nearby.




We had a wonderful time at Margaret’s table, thank you so much! This was the first time that I had Obst Moos (a cold fruit soup) and it was delicious. Margaret said she followed Charlotte’s recipe in our first cookbook. From here we went to our last signing in Winnipeg (TTV Plaza Dr.) where more dishes from our cookbook were served.



Genevieve made my Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup and it was delicious. I wish I would have thought to take a photo of sweet Genevieve next to the soup. By this time my head was spinning from all the fun! I still have a couple more adventures to document from the Mennonite Girls trip to Manitoba.

In the meantime my Dear is back from France and we spent a nice Father’s Day at church and brunch and then enjoying some relaxation as each of our kids called to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. We’ll celebrate next weekend with our kids who are near. On Saturday to help the hours go by before Dear came home my sister Lana and I went on a Secret Garden Tour in a neighboring city. We had a great time and I’ll be sharing about that soon, too. Hope you had a nice weekend. Spring is coming to an end. What are your plans for the last week of Spring?

A Prairie Favorite…

…McNally Robinson Bookstore!


I was so impressed with this store and all they have to offer.


The store had our spot all ready for us and the staff was ready to take care of anything we needed during our 2 hour signing.IMGP0163


This was our first signing in Winnipeg and we were so happy to meet so many wonderful people. It was fun to be seated by the Canadian Biography section of the bookstore.



What fun to meet the Wreathmaker, Millie and her husband. I’ve visited Millie’s blog so it was great to meet her in person.


This is the young man, John Toews, who took such good care of us while we signed books at the store!


We had a little competition with the evening book talk on 300 Years of Beer. I got a kick out of our book sharing the feature case with the Beer book.


The big thrill of the evening is when we realized that Prairie Ink Restaurant located in the bookstore was serving 3 dishes from our cookbook for the evening that we were there! Lovella’s Maple Glazed Salmon and Prawns, Charlotte’s Vegetarian Black Bean Taco Salad, and Kathy’s Chicken sliders with Pineapple Salsa!


They gave us a taste of the pineapple salsa. Delicious!


They served Charlotte’s Vegetarian Black Bean Taco Salad in a tortilla bowl.


When we were done with our signings we sat down in the restaurant to have dinner. I ordered Kathy’s Chicken Sliders with Pineapple Salsa.


Oh my I was so excited I took a bite before I took a photo but Kathy was right next to me and she was staging her slider so nicely I took a photo of her’s!


A huge thank you to McNally Robinson and Prairie Ink Restaurant for giving a special welcome to our book and our recipes!

My Dear is coming home on Saturday and I’m excited. We are postponing Father’s Day celebrations to let him recuperate from his international travel. What are your plans for the weekend and Father’s Day?

Traveling ThroughTime Zones…


I’m a bit dizzy headed and hope to have some clear thoughts soon to share about all the wonderful people we met and places we saw while in Winnipeg and Steinbach. We arrived from Winnipeg back to Abbotsford late on Saturday night and after a quick sleep at Judy’s I drove home to Seattle. I pulled into my garage at 6:30 a.m.


A doctored up shot of the sunrise from I-5 this morning. After a full nights sleep tonight I’ll be catching up with what I’ve missed while traveling cyber free.

From the Farm…

…to the Farm Market!

We so enjoy the relationship the Mennonite Girls Can Cook have with Charlotte at Lepp Farm Market. Many of our girls were raised on farms and now live off their farms. We are always treated well at Lepp and Sunday was another great day here. Our day started with a very good and challenging message from Lovella and Anneliese’s pastor on being sacrificially generous. After the service we all headed to Lepp Farm Market to enjoy brunch before our book signings began.

Lots of  delicious options plus ingredients to choose from for the chef to make your own personal omelette.

The weather was gorgeous and Charlotte had tables set beautifully for our outdoor brunch.

While having brunch I looked up and spotted Josh and Laura walking up to the market. I was busting at the seams with joy to see their faces and to know they trekked all the way from Seattle to bless me with their presence. It was so much fun to introduce them to all the girls and the husbands. Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart.

Our Josh is a real “people person”, can you tell? I’m glad Marg captured these moments! Thank You Marg! Josh and Laura joined the men and Amy on a grand tour of Lepp Farm Market while the girls got busy signing books.

After the farm market tour Josh and Laura picked up their books that were all signed and headed back across the line.

Then we had a another special visitor arrive!

Marg’s 101 year old Father in law arrived to see what we were up to.

I think he is quite pleased with his daughter in law.

We all decided we should take a photo with our oldest supporters that came to Lepp Market. Along with Marg’s Father in law and Helen, Bev’s dad who is 90 drove over for the event, too. What a blessing!

Another sweet moment from the weekend that made me tear up was when Marg’s grandsons came to Wink’s with their personal cookbooks in hand.

They had marked their favorite recipes in the book and wanted us authors to sign on the page where their favorites were pictured.

It seems little Silas really likes my Blintz recipe and requests them at Oma and Opa’s house. For the record Marg and Silas call them crepes. Don’t tell my Russian friends! This little guy made my day!! Thank you to Judy for capturing these moments!

Another guy that’s going to make my day shortly is Dear. He’s on his way home from the airport right now. It’s been a long 5 days without seeing him. Blessings on your day!

FFF ~ Hello October!

October is taking off with a whirlwind of activity around here. We have so much to be thankful for. The last 7 days have been full to the brim. Here are some favorites from that time. I’m joining with Susanne at Living to tell the Story with Friday’s Fave Five.

1. On Saturday I hit the road early for 2 book signings with the Mennonite Girls. Our first stop was in Washington very close to the Canadian border and the 2nd signing was in Vancouver, B.C. It was a great day with 6 of the other girls. We had time to chat and we met old friends and new friends. I logged in a little over 200 miles on my car that day.

2. On Sunday Josh and Laura came over for a casual meal and we had a good time of catching up.

3. On Monday Katie and I met with her wedding planner and got a lot of details sorted out. I snapped the photo of Katie in front of the post office mailing off the wedding invitations. Even though the wedding is far off 75% or more of our guests are from out of state so we want to give people time to plan their trip.

4. Tuesday night Josh and Laura picked me up for the Sounders Soccer game playing for the U.S. Cup. It was an epic night and we were so happy to win for the 3rd year in a row.

5. We’re beginning to feel more and more connected at our new church. We thank God for bringing us to this place at this time.

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving so I want to wish all my Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving. I’ve decided to make a non turkey Thanksgiving dinner tonight. We’re having a spiral cut honey baked ham, scalloped potatoes, an asparagus casserole (more details to follow) and rolls. I’m nixing the dessert this time around. There’s enough cream in the potatoes to count as dessert! OH CANADA! Be Thankful! We’re thankful for our friendly neighbors to the North!

I hate to be a broken record….but if you don’t see a comment from me on your Fave Five it means blogger won’t let me comment.