A pre-Mother’s Day romp through the Xavier Food Fair

On the weekend before Mother’s Day I found myself once again trotting to keep up with my mom.

Just north of 70, my mom moves with the energy and determination of a bob cat.

Our mission last Sunday involved the Xavier International Food Fair, a fundraiser hosted for the last 40 years by my alma mater ACES/Xavier High School.

A genuine gulley washer greeted us as we pulled up outside the school and my mom hopped out of the car. By the time I parked and fought my way through the torrential rain, Mom had disappeared into the crowd.

I squished my way toward the ethnic booths until eventually I spotted her, two giant bags of chocolate cookies held aloft.

“I bought you cookies,” she shouted. “Let’s go!”

We hustled over to the Frozen Tundra booth where my mom snapped up a frozen Jackie Dungar Lasagna. The beauty of the Frozen Jackie Dungar Lasagna is that for 40 years they have been handmade by one Jackie Dungar.

Likewise, the Matt Reynebeau Chocolate Chip Cookies are hand made by Matt Reynebeau, who is also Xavier’s principal.

These are hot items and they always sell out. Comfortable in my role as Sherpa Laura, I carried the two bags of cookies and the frozen lasagna as we made our way to one last important stop, the Dutch Booth.

“I need a doughnut and a cup of coffee,” she said over her shoulder as she muscled her way through the crowd.

Having secured our final treat, we sat triumphant and surveyed the crowd. Some people spend all day idling through the many booths and exhibits Xavier’s Food Fair has to offer.

My mom and I spent less than an hour.

But we’ve been savoring those chocolate chip cookies all week. And when my mom pops that Jackie Dungar Lasagna in the oven, I expect to be invited over to share.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you. I hope you get to spend some time with the people you love. Molly and I are extra excited this year because we get to celebrate with both of her Grandmas.

Hug your mom this weekend. You’re lucky to have her.

My mom, her chocolate chip cookies, and the chef, Xavier principal Matt Reynebeau.
Jackie Dungar has been making lasagna for the Xavier Food Fair since it began. Her generosity has kept her young.
If you’ve never been to the Xavier Food Fair, come to Appleton the first Sunday in May and give it a whirl.
That’s me working the Xavier food fair as a freshman at Xavier in 1979.
She’s a shorty but she travels well. My mom has been all over the world. Here she is with Vinnie, Molly and me in Cusco, Peru, elevation 12,000 feet.


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