November 2013

The November issue of Lake Minnetonka Magazine features a holiday gift guide for the very special people in your life. We also profile local children's author Phyllis Alsdurf, whose new book It's Milking Time teaches youngsters about life on a farm. We've also put together a guide to holiday entertaining that's sure to wow your guests when they come for dinner. You'll also learn about etiquette lessons, Hammer Residences' 90-year record of success in helping people with disabilities, and a selection of holiday treats from Wuollet Bakery. Pick up a copy today!

The annual James J. Hill Days in Wayzata pumped it up this year with a lakeside carnival, outdoor fitness activities, concerts and the World Paddle Sports Championships. All photos by Fred Miller.


For the past 60 years, the Minnesota International Center (MIC) has been bringing the world to Minnesota and Minnesota to the world by promoting international understanding and engagement for our community.


While on a stroll with her husband along the Dakota Trail last autumn, Jeni Zimmer stopped along the beaten path to capture an often unseen angle of Gale Woods Farm.


Order the turkey; make sure it’s organic, local and free-range. Find a new stuffing recipe that incorporates organic and local wild rice. Stop by the farmers’ market to pick up some local, organic squash. Find out where to get an organic, local pie.

Minnetonka Turkey Trot

For the past three years, community members and others have gathered on America’s hungriest holiday to support the Minnetonka High School track and field and cross country teams at the Tonka Turkey Trot.


Food and wine needn’t get all the attention during holiday meals. This season, bless your guests by layering your table with simple or luxurious accoutrements that will make your dinner party shine. Not sure where to start? No problem.


In the busyness of the holiday season, you may have forgotten your once-best social-media friend, Pinterest. Luckily, this year’s gift guide features all the presents fit to pin — without the hassle of having to find a wireless connection.


A pride and joy of Minnetrista, Gale Woods Farm is known by fans as an educational hotspot that offers crafting classes, and this holiday season is no exception.

Phyllis Alsdurf

It’s rare in 2013 to find someone who spent any time on a farm as a child. It’s rarer still to find someone who spent their entire childhood on a farm.


The historic grand hotels of the late 1800s evoke regality, respect and awe. Images of men in tails and women in ball gowns float to mind when we reminisce about the good old days.

Paula Wilhelm

Have you ever heard the expression “mind your p’s and q’s”? There are lots of theories about its origin, but some experts think it’s simply short for “please” (p) and “thank you” (k-you).

Wuollet Bakery

Piles of ornately decorated sugar cookies, lavish cakes, tins of homemade brittle—these are the things that holiday celebrations are made of. Whether you’re throwing an extravagant holiday bash or need the perfect hostess gift, nothing rings in the season like a fantastically festive dessert.

Hammer Residences

Mike Anderson loves getting paychecks. He feels a sense of accomplishment and, of course, relishes having a little extra cash. Anderson decided to retire in 1997, after putting in years of hard work on the job.


It’s tempting to assume that the Minnetonka General Store Café is opportunistically jumping onto the “farm to table” bandwagon, but in fact, owner Gail Bollis and family helped build that wagon in the first place.


One winter’s day, a group of moms started downhill skiing together. Forty-three years later, Ski-Away alpine school offers weekly lessons to more than 100 students, with more than 25 certified instructors.


Adam Hegg originally did not have plans for a career shift. Content in his teaching position at the FAIR school in Crystal and downtown Minneapolis  since 2001, applying for the position of Wayzata High School musical director seemed unnecessary.


Each holiday season, Excelsior celebrates the state’s heritage, hosting Christkindlsmarkt, a Christmas celebration that incorporates German customs.


As we enter another Minnesota winter, local libraries and bookstores offer numerous story-time gatherings to provide an escape and prevent the little ones from going stir-crazy. Visit for more information.


Imagine not being able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. For some elderly and disabled Lake Minnetonka residents, a turkey-less holiday is a very real possibility.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Birch’s Restaurant and Bar in Long Lake has a blast concocting yummy seasonal drinks as the owner, manager and servers share creative input. Staunch supporters of local ingredients, they love Minnesota-made Prairie Organic vodka.


Known for showcasing local talent, the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and the Burwell House get into the holiday spirit this November by transforming their displays.


Lovers of dogs and a well-turned phrase: Prepare to be charmed. A collection of essays and letters, E.B. White on Dogs will put a smile on your face. Steeped in the privileged literary world of a young New Yorker writer, E.B.

Rachel Slavik of WCCO-TV

What was your favorite part of growing up in Mound?
It’s a small community, so it was really great knowing everyone in my grade at school. You feel like you know everyone from kindergarten through senior year.