It's not just the food. It's not just about standing in line, it's about standing in line with your people that you know. You visit, you meet friends and neighbours you haven't seen for a while, of all generations.
—Shirley Campbell, fall supper organizer
The season of the fall supper is once again upon us in Manitoba.
It's a chance to dig in to a home-cooked feast including locally-grown garden vegetables and loads of freshly baked pies. It's also about spending time with family and friends and taking a drive down a country road.
SCENE canvassed some fall supper hosts around Manitoba to compile these tips to help you enjoy a fall supper to the fullest:
Fall suppers continue every weekend in communities around Manitoba until mid-November.
Argyle is expecting 700 people to the table (Travel Manitoba)
"Visit with your neighbours!
"It's a social time," says Shirley Campbell of Argyle, MB. "It's fun. It's not just the food. It's not just about standing in line, it's about standing in line with your people that you know. You visit, you meet friends and neighbours you haven't seen for a while, of all
generations. If you're new to the area, you're still bound to meet
people that you've met briefly before and it's a great meet-and-greet
Campbell and her friend will spend every weekend making the rounds to fall suppers in the area, supporting other communities.
Argyle, a town of "60, if you count the dogs," is expecting 700 people to the fall supper on Sept. 22. On the buffet table will be hot turkey with all the trimmings, ham and turnips.
"And the desserts are awesome," Campbell adds, laughing.
Pumpkin pie is always a favourite (Travel Manitoba)
"Come early so you're not disappointed.
Jonie Johnson says Gimli's fall supper fed 670 hungry people last year. As they only sell tickets at the door, lineups can be long.
"So bring an umbrella or toque, too," she suggests.
This year's fall supper is scheduled for Sept. 22, with turkey and all the fixings, followed by apple, pumpkin, berry, raisin and lemon pies. 70 volunteers are making it all happen.
Magnificent fall leaves (Travel Manitoba)
"Take a drive in the beautiful countryside.
It goes without saying that Manitoba in the autumn is awesome. And it doesn't get much better than the Pembina Valley. Lois Crease is helping to organize the fall supper in La Rivière for Sept. 22.
"The Pembina Valley is so beautiful with the coloured leaves," she says. "It's an excellent day for a drive in the country."
"Brush up on your Ukrainian.
Patricia Penner serves up coleslaw in Gardenton (Amanda Bente)
"That's the best way to get the most out of it," says Amanda Bente of Gardenton, which is 45 minutes south of Steinbach.
Many fall suppers prepare food that is very regional or very connected to the people of the community. Gardenton's fall supper is catering to its Ukrainian population with perogies, cabbage rolls, beet leaf buns (served with cream, garlic and onion sauce), fried chicken and meatballs.
"Help keep our doors open.
Fall suppers are also important fundraisers and many communities rely on these annual events to repair buildings or improve services.
St. Abroise is known for its berries (Travel Manitoba)
"The donations are really great because St. Ambroise has only the church left since the flood," says Leona Flamand. The small Métis community near Portage la Prairie on Highway 430 is slowly rebuilding.
Their fall supper on Sunday includes turkey, ham, meat pies and pickled beets.
"St. Ambroise is so popular for all the berries," says Flamand, "so we'll have lots of home-made pies by the ladies around here."Fall suppers continue every weekend in communities around Manitoba until mid-November.
Related:Winnipeg restaurants grow their own ingredients