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Kauffman Museum to host book party for 'On the Zwieback Trail'

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The author of a new history of Russian Mennonites, aimed at readers of all ages, will be on the Bethel College campus at Kauffman Museum to sign her book during the Christmas holidays.

Thursday, Dec. 29, the museum will host an open house from 6:30-8 p.m. for Lisa Weaver, author of On the Zwieback Trail. The event is free and open to the public. At 7 p.m., Weaver will share the story of how this recently released 72-page alphabet book came to be.

The book covers Russian Mennonite history from “A is for Anabaptist” to “Z is for zwieback.” In a book review, Kansas author Katie Funk Wiebe invited readers to join “a voyage of discovery down the alphabet trail to celebrate the history, culture and service of this branch of Anabaptist believers. From the early 1500s to the present, it’s all there for young and old to enjoy.”

A collage of artifacts, historical narratives, photographs, recipes and personal anecdotes illustrates each letter of the alphabet. Artifacts from the Kauffman Museum collections were specially photographed for the book project.

“Collaborating with the author and designers was truly inspiring,” said Rachel Pannabecker, Kauffman Museum director, “because they appreciated how objects help tell stories and preserve memories.”

On the Zwieback Trail includes recipes for Russian Mennonite specialties, including instructions for making peppernuts and rollkuchen from Weaver’s mother-in-law, Edna Krueger Dyck of North Newton. Zwieback samples will be available at the book-signing.

Weaver, who is from Wisconsin, wrote On the Zwieback Trail and worked on the project with designers and illustrators Julie Kaufmann and Judith Rempel Smucker. The publisher is CMU Press of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Copies of On the Zwieback Trail are available for purchase at the Kauffman Museum store. During the book-signing, the store will be offering a special 20 percent discount on all cookbooks in stock (not including On the Zwieback Trail).

Kauffman Museum hours during the remainder of December and the holidays are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday, Dec. 18. The museum is closed Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the current special exhibit, “…the eyes of a stranger: Indian images and experiences by Cookie Wiebe,” as well as the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.

For more about the book party for On the Zwieback Trail, contact Rachel Pannabecker at the museum, located at 27th and Main in North Newton, at 316-283-1612.

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