Trip to Minneapolis – August 4 to 9, 2009.

A Family Vacation

It was time to go back to Minneapolis and visit my husband’s family. He grew up in Bloomington, MN and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law still live there along with many nephews and nieces. All other siblings are scattered around the country.

My mother-in-law is 92 and in good shape. She has so much experience and wisdom that I love to talk to her! My father-in-law, Howard Wong (deceased) had a Chinese restaurant in Bloomington from 1966 to 1986 with his name. Every time the family gets together we enjoy the stories of the restaurant, the things kids use to do when they were little, how my father-in-law use to be, the Wong way for everything, etc. All very normal in any family. But because we live away from all relatives and do not visit them often, I enjoyed every minute and so did my kids.

We had an opportunity to visit many places in the Twin Cities as well: we celebrated mass at The Cathedral in St. Paul, walked The Mall of America (of course) and visited The American Swedish Institute.  I knew I missed the Bohus exhibition that was there last Spring, but I had to visit it! It is located in the former residence of Swan and Christina Turnblad. The French-Chateauesque style mansion was finished in 1908 and donated to city in 1929. It’s a 33-room mansion with a incredible amount of wood carving (African Mahogany), sculpted ceilings and eleven Swedish porcelain stoves.
And the best for last: on my quest to teach American my way of knitting, I was invited to teach a workshop on the Portuguese Style of Knitting at “The Yarnery”, a lovely yarn shop in St. Paul. I had a very good time with all 26 students that attended my class. Many were inquisitive and quick in learning the new method! Hopefully I have converted another group!


11 thoughts on “Trip to Minneapolis – August 4 to 9, 2009.

  1. Hello Andrea: I want your DVD. Please I want to know how I can buy it. Thank you for your attentions. Regards, Rosita


  2. Dear Andrea,

    Sorry this isn’t about knitting. I am also sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I currently live in Wisconsin, but grew up in Mankato, Minnesota, and visited my grandparents in Minneapolis on a regular basis. We would always go out as a family, and eat at Howard Wong’s on a regular basis as well. It was my favorite Chinese restaurant. I always ordered Howard’s version of “Pressed Duck” – it was always fantastic! And, by the way, I was only 8 years old, or younger, at the time, so you know it had to be good to get a kid to love it!

    Does anyone in your family have the recipe? I have told my wife about Howard Wong’s for years, and his Pressed Duck. It would be great to be able to taste that great dish again.

    Take care, and God Bless. Thanks.

    Scott Saiki


  3. Dear Andrea, my father, Charles Miner, was reliving some of his fondest Minnesota memories this evening and mentioned your father-in-law and their friendship, he was sad to hear of his passing. He has several wonderful stories.


    Catherine Miner


    • Dear Catherine,

      It was only on my father-in-law’s funeral I realized how much he had touched so many lives. I would love to hear your father’s stories some day. Hope to see you personally one of these days.



  4. I’m not sure if my comment went through, so I’ll try it again. We are relatives! My father was Roy Oeder, related to Mrs Wong (cousins?). I was reminiscing about our family’s wonderful meals at Howard Wong’s restaurant with my significant other, found this by googling. Lost track of you all, but thought it would be fun to reconnect. Would love to hear from you. Lynn Oeder Miller


  5. Hi,
    Sorry, another message that isn’t about knitting. I never met your father-in-law, but I remember my parents talking about him, and I remember as a kid seeing his restaurant in Bloomington from the highway–it had a dragon breathing fire! Unfortunately, my parents did not eat out much and I don’t recall eating at the restaurant. I believe that the dragon is now at Minnesota State in Moorhead. We lived in Minnesota for only a year, having moved there from South Dakota. I believe Mr Wong was a member of my family’s parish (Sacred Heart) in Aberdeen, before he moved to Minneapolis. I have some recipes from a Sacred Heart cookbook, that includes a few from Howard Wong. In fact, I made one last night!: “Chef Howard Wong’s Pheasant Capital Lounge Special” (with chicken rather than pheasant). The recipe is an adaptation authored by Pat Donahue Heckathorn but I believe it is authentic. There’s another pheasant recipe in the book that is authored by him. I’d love to have more of his recipes!


    • Hi Tom,
      I am so glad you contacted me and it is about my father-in-law and the restaurant! I will tell my husband about it and try to dig some recipes for you. My husband always prepare Beef and BokChoi that Howard prepared! Salmon and eggs and so many more that I know. I will be teaching in MN in November, so maybe we could meet. More details will be on my website or in this blog. I will also talk to my sister-in-law, 14 years older than my husband, as she remembers a lot. What are your parent’s names?


      • Thanks! I’d be happy to send the recipes I have too! I don’t live in Minnesota. I’m in St. Louis, Missouri, so it’s unlikely that I will see you. My parents were Timothy and Bernadine (Artz) Bailey. They both passed way some time ago. If your husband or your sister-in-law are acquainted with Aberdeen, they may know the Artz name. My grandparents (Ralph and Frances Artz) had a camera store and photofinishing plant downtown.



  6. HI Tom,

    I am certain they will remember your parents and the shop. My husband left Aberdeen at age 12, but Donna, as I said, was older. She married Al Baker and they had a restaurant with his name in Edina, MN for many years. After I talk to them, I will get in touch with you again.


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