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Cabin Fever Supper: Grace Lutheran to host annual event on Saturday

Set this year for Saturday, March 2, Grace Lutheran Church's annual Cabin Fever Supper usually draws big crowds of hungry guests, who are left smiling and satisfied. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
Cabin Fever Supper organizer Ruby Kiihn (at left) says about 35 volunteers of all ages — "men, women and kids too" – are involved in preparations for the annual event, which takes place this Saturday, March 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the church's fellowship hall. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
Rich and gooey desserts — 'the kind you can't eat with your fingers,' says Ruby Kiihn — are a big part of Grace Lutheran Church's Cabin Fever Supper, set for this Saturday, March 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. (Submitted photo)3 / 3

It's been a long, cold, snowy winter here in Detroit Lakes, where more often than not, local residents have chosen to spend their weekends tucked safely into their nice, warm homes, unwilling to venture out into the subzero temperatures, piles of snow and icy roads.

This means that, as March approaches, many are beginning to experience a condition commonly referred to as 'cabin fever': Irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter months.

About 12 years ago, the ladies of Grace Lutheran Church came up with a way to help combat the winter weather blues — a Cabin Fever Supper. This year's supper, set for Saturday, March 2, will include meatballs and gravy, mashed potatoes, lefse, corn, coleslaw, bread, pickles and beverages, as well as a variety of delicious, fluffy desserts — "the kind you can't pick up with your fingers," says organizer Ruby Kiihn. "You'll have to eat them with a fork."

Most of the food will be made fresh that morning, she added. "There's an awful lot of preparation that goes into it beforehand," Kiihn said. "But it's fun. I enjoy organizing things."

Kiihn noted that the church has been hosting a similar church supper since the 1970s, though it wasn't called the Cabin Fever Supper until 2007. The name change came about when the original fall supper was moved to February, due to the fact that the church was just finishing up construction of its new addition. The name stuck, and they've been holding it right around the same time ever since — despite an occasional run-in with the unpredictability of winter in Minnesota.

"One of the first times we had it, there was a blizzard," Kiihn recalled. "The radio station was advising no travel, but I called them and said we're going to have our supper anyway; the food's already prepared. We got 300 people that year. They came from Pelican Rapids, from Hawley... we didn't expect anywhere near that many."

Hopefully, conditions will be a little more hospitable this year, she added. The March 2 supper will be served in the church's fellowship hall from 4 to 7 p.m. Takeout orders are also available for pickup during the event.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-10, and free for all youngsters age 3 and under, and may be purchased at the church office in advance, or at the door on Saturday. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call 218-847-4568 or stop in at the church office during regular office hours (8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday).

Proceeds from the supper — which is one of the church's biggest fundraising events of the year — go to support a number of local charities and nonprofit organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes, Becker County Food Pantry, Hospice of the Red River Valley, Lakes Crisis & Resource Center, and the Becker County Caregiver Support Team.

"Come out of hibernation and indulge in some good food and fellowship with good friends," Kiihn said.

Also coming up

St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon will host a 'Lutheran Ladies Hot dish Luncheon' on Sunday, March 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meal will include a large variety of hot dishes, salads and desserts. Admission is a free will offering. The church is located at 19747 County Highway 6 near Audubon.

A spaghetti supper to benefit the family of Carlos Diaz will be held on Friday, March 8 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Hawley, starting with a 4 p.m. prayer service and followed by the dinner, bake sale, silent auction and raffle from 5 to 8 p.m. Diaz, who lives in Hawley with his wife and two children, is suffering from end stage renal disease and the medical bills have been steadily mounting during his two-year fight to stabilize his failing kidney functions.

The Detroit Lakes Knights of Columbus, Council 3166, will host a Friday night fish fry on three different nights during the Lenten season: March 8, March 22 and April 5. Serving will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Holy Rosary Parish Center, 1043 Lake Ave. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students under age 12.

St. Andrew's Catholic Church of Hawley will host a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including assorted salads and desserts, on Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12; all children age 5 and under can eat for free. A portion of the proceeds from the dinner will go to support local charities.

First Lutheran Church of Detroit Lakes will be hosting a potato dumpling dinner in the church dining room from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. The menu will feature potato dumplings or a baked potato, ham, coleslaw, rolls and dessert. Proceeds will benefit the church's ongoing kitchen and dining room renovations.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454