Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Two delicious Minnesota food events & that Wisconsin barn October 12, 2012

Diners dish up at last year’s fall dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church, North Morristown.

IN RECENT YEARS I’VE become an enthusiastic church dinner foodie.

And this Sunday, October 14, my favorite of all church dinners will be served at Trinity Lutheran Church, North Morristown, in western Rice County.

Let me tell you, these parishioners can cook. You’ll get real homecooked food from potatoes that have been peeled and mashed to garden grown squash to fresh-baked bread to ham that’s not pressed.

This is the meal you’ll get at Trinity Lutheran Church, North Morristown’s, fall dinner and more. Delicious.

The full menu includes turkey, ham, potatoes and gravy, dressing, squash, corn, cranberries, bread and cake. If you pile all of that onto your plate, you won’t need another meal on Sunday.

And, get this: This generous fall dinner will cost you only $10 (ages 13 and older), $5 for 6-12-year-olds and free for those five and under.

Serving is from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Be prepared to wait upstairs in the sanctuary for tables to empty in the church basement.

You might want to attend the 9:30 a.m. church service so you can be among the first in line.

Participants in last year’s Chili Contest dish up chili at a business along Central Avenue during the Fall Festival.

ANOTHER AREA FOOD EVENT actually happens a day earlier during the Fall Festival in downtown Faribault from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday. In addition to an 11 a.m. costume parade, pumpkin painting and other activities for the kids, a Chili Contest is part of the celebration.

You can eat your way down historic Central Avenue sampling about 30 chilis between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. I’d advise arriving earlier rather than later as in the past some competitors have run out of chili. I believe the cost is $3, a real deal considering you will have your fill of chili.

Be sure to vote for your favorite because the winning chili will be featured every Friday from October through February at Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza.

Seriously, people, two days of no cooking and eating great homecooked food on the cheap works for me.

FINALLY…REMEMBER that Wisconsin barn I featured here earlier this week? You know the one with the message “#12 is #1G.” I wanted you to guess if the barn was painted green, gold or red.

Well, dear readers, here is the true barn color:

Yes, the barn is red.

I know some of you are perhaps disappointed that the barn is not Green Bay Packers green or gold.

But, I must tell you that, while shopping at Festival Foods in Appleton, Wisconsin, last Saturday, my husband and I found green and gold brat and hamburger buns on a special Green Bay Packers food display.

I could have kicked myself for not bringing my camera into the grocery store. Randy photographed the buns with his cell phone. So if we ever figure out how to get that photo onto my computer, I will show you those green and gold buns.

I am not making this up.


MY APOLOGIES, READERS, for the over-sized images here. But I’ve tried to reduce them without success; apparently some technical issues going on here with WordPress.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


15 Responses to “Two delicious Minnesota food events & that Wisconsin barn”

  1. Jackie Says:

    Yum yum, that food looks amazing! I have yet to make my presence at one of these feeds. Mom & Dad hit up about 4 each fall, they usually rant and rave about the good food. The answer to the color of the barn was just too easy….shoulda stuck with my gut feeling 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, Jackie, you have to attend a church dinner. The key is homemade food. We attended one several weeks ago for the first time that was a HUGE disappointment with “fake” mashed potatoes, pressed ham and “boughten” pies. I do not attend a church dinner to eat that kind of food. I want good down-home cooking. I’m sure your parents can tell you which is the best. It’s just a really fun experience and you meet so many wonderful people in church basements.

  2. htrax107 Says:

    An unusual barn Audrey. I like the color because barns should be red I think. But did you notice that the cupolas have different dates on them? One says 1895 and the other says 1906 I believe. So was the barn started in 1895 and completed in 1906? Or is there some other reason for the discrepancy in the dates?
    One corner is patched with cement blocks, but look at all the hard work that went into building that foundation originally. Those large rocks needed to be brought in from the surrounding fields on stoneboats, hoisted into the hand-mixed cement, squared for the windows. All backbreaking work. And I am always amazed at how square the corners are on these old barns. The boulders they chose for the corners seemed to be picked just for that purpose. The workmanship of these long-ago builders always shows up in these barns. This one was built nearly 120 years ago and, from looking at the photo, I would say it stands as true and straight as the day it was built. I wonder if that is a silo standing next to it on the back side? If it is, then it is unusual too. There is probably a driveway on the backside too for moving hay into the loft of the barn. From the angle of the roof, it looks like a bank barn (a barn built into the side of a hill) but there does not appear to be a hill next to it unless there is one built up for the driveway into the loft.
    I wonder, too, how many cows were milked in this barn? What kind of cows? Holsteins? Gurnseys? Jerseys? Brown Swiss? A mix of different breeds? Maybe some old breeds, such as Dexter? Oh, how I would love to snoop trough the barn a 100 years ago.
    Next time that you go by the barn, take a couple photos of the backside to ease my curiosity, please. P.S.I like the owner already for his support of #12. (Who is #12?)

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Harriet, thanks for noticing all those details I overlooked on that barn due to my fascination with the Green Bay Packers’ message. The #12 refers to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so my husband told me.

      This barn most definitely is a well-kept one. We were driving past on a four-lane highway so I was lucky to get these photos. If you check back a few days, you will see another angle of the barn which shows more of the silo.

      You ask some really good questions about this barn, which is not along our typical route to Appleton, Wisconsin, but one we took due to road construction.

  3. Just love that barn!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      It is a beautiful barn. I hope you took the time to read the comments from Harriet. She is really observant and noticed lots of details I had not considered.

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    That food looks amazing!! Not all church dinners are so much so, as you pointed out. Autumn weekends are one long buffet line!!!!! Hehe!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, so many choices of church dinners and other fundraising meals.

      P.S.: I will eventually get to writing about the Highland Cafe. So much backlogged blog material.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        Sometimes “backlog” is ok for those times when leaving home is not in the game plan!!!!! Like today–thunderstorm in progress so staying indoors is the goal!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        So good to hear that a thunderstorm is in progress as I know how much you need rain, as do we and the entire country. In our drive from Faribault to Wisconsin last week, we saw lots of dry creek beds and low rivers and even low water levels in Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        So very sad to see those low levels and the Mississippi is the lowest I have ever seen and has produced some major issues for the barge traffic!!!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        I suppose, living near the Mississippi, you are quite cognizant of the impact low water levels have on river travel. Again, something I would not have thought of, not living there. Rain is now falling in Faribault, too.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        Am so happy to hear you are getting some of this moisture. Looks like it’s mostly south and east of us now. More this afternoon. Off to do some more cleaning in the sewing room in prep for my new machine/table coming on Tuesday! Yay!

  5. vanesa Says:

    Hi there! I have to ask, is this barn in New London, Wisconsin???

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