I don’t usually make it to the Wednesday farmers’ market on the square (though I rarely miss a Saturday market), but yesterday I took advantage of the beautiful afternoon to bike up to the capitol square during my lunch break. There were many plants, hanging baskets, and potted flowers; but also cheese curds, baked goods, salsa, beef sticks and jerky, maple syrup and butter, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, honey, tortillas, and spicy cheese bread. And asapragus. The asparagus vendor seemed particularly busy. The crowd was different than on Saturdays—obviously more of a professional crowd on lunch break from work at and around the capitol. The Wednesday market is held each week (though Nov. 6) on the 200 Block of Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. It’s a great mid-day treat!
Category: Madtown Lovin’
One of the things I love most about living near a college campus is the abundance of free lectures, films, concerts, etc. There’s always something to do and new ideas to explore. In the past several weeks, we’ve attended lectures on topics as diverse as Kim Bostwick’s “Evolution Revealed: How to evolve a seductive musical instrument from feathers,” to a presentation by highly acclaimed civil rights layer, advocate and New York Times best-selling author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African American males in the supposed age of colorblindness.
Last night we braved the cold and walked to Union South to see Frank Warren speak as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. Frank Warren is the founder of PostSecret, a community mail art project that encourages people from around the world to anonymously mail very personal and creatively decorated postcards to give voice to a close-guarded secret. Since 2005, Frank has collected more than a half-million postcards, which he displays on his blog.
Frank’s presentation was entertaining and interesting. He talked about how he started the project (handing out postcards to strangers on the streets of DC) and how giving voice to a secret can break down walls in your life and empower and inspire both you and those who receive it—and just the idea that life can be tough, but we’re all in it together. He shared his favorite post cards, as well as those that were banned from being included in his books by his publisher. He also talked about his efforts to increase awareness and conversation around suicide prevention, a cause near and dear to his heart. Finally, Frank offered audience members a chance to step up to the mic and let go of their own secrets. It was very emotional, but the audience rallied around each person courageous enough to step up and bare their soul.
Today’s Slow Food UW Cafe lunch featured a carnival theme. And there’s nothing I love more than a menu crafted around a theme. I couldn’t help myself from I trying everything on the menu, except the chili cheese dog. My picks included an over-sized soft pretzel with house mustard and beer cheese sauce ($4), a savory funnel cake ($1), fried pickles and onion rings ($1), a root veggie kabob ($1), and for dessert, chocolate custard with caramel corn topping ($1). All were delicious. The savory funnel cake with wild rice and roasted bell peppers was particularly interesting (although slightly disconcerting in appearance). And I loved the dessert’s contrast in textures —smooth chocolate pudding punctuated by crunchy popcorn coated in a hardened sweet, caramel sauce, finished with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Thankfully, the food was unlike any other I’ve enjoyed at a carnival.
My picks from today’s Slow Food UW Cafe lunch menu included: The sweet potato patty with pesto and mozzarella on homemade beet bread; Winter root vegetables with cous cous and gruyere cheese; Carrot Soup with seasoned chickpeas and a tahini sauce; and Chocolate bread pudding for dessert. All were delicious! I also enjoyed catching up with my friend Julie, who occasionally drives in from off-campus to meet me for Slow Food Cafe lunches.
Saturday morning greeted us with a rare sunny winter day we couldn’t wait to enjoy outdoors. “Do you want to go biking or skiing on the lake?” Larry suggested. Although I’ll admit I have a small fear of falling through the ice, I figured it’s gotta be pretty rock solid at this point in the winter. I replied that I was game for either.
But after a few minutes, an even better idea occurred to me. “What if we go biking, skiing, AND running on Lake Monona?” Larry’s face lit up immediately. “Like a winter challenge?” he asked excitedly. And that’s how it all started.
We set off for the Olin Park boat launch with our skies, bikes and running shoes in tow. Although the six inches of snow on the lake made all of the activities difficult, we completed them in some fashion, thus accomplishing our first winter challenge.
This week’s Slow Food UW Cafe lunch was perfect for yesterday’s snowy and blustery day. My picks included: Pork, White Bean and Pepper Chili; Bacon Corn Bread; Spinach, Roasted Capers, Sesame Seed and Sprouts Salad; and Mexican Chocolate Cake Balls.
My picks from this week’s menu included: Cabbage Wraps with Chicken, Rice, House-Grown Sprouts, Carrots, Radishes with Spicy Peanut Sauce; Spicy Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry; Rice and Chicken Porridge Soup; and Honey, Cinnamon Cream Cheese Wontons. Everything was delicious…except the soup, which tasted like burnt corn husks. It was inedible. But I loved the cabbage wrap and vegetable stir-fry. I met two friends from CX for lunch today – Claire and Kate. It was great to catch up. I’ve been experiencing serious withdrawal not being able to see my CX friends every weekend!