I Heart Madison

I love Madison, Wisconsin! 

First of all, my dear friend and blogger, Kate, lives there. When I was first invited to come to Madison for the Book Festival, I imagined I would be bedding down at the local Motel 8. Luckily, Kate moved last month from Juneau to a charming apartment on the isthmus. And, she’s found work doing gardening. I spent one day with her deadheading, harvesting apples and kale, eating grapes, and weeding said grapes. We found lots of mushrooms while working. 

Second of all, Madison is a really cool town. Lots of cafes and bars. We had great food–crepes and coffee downtown, cheese from Fromagination, and foraged apples (Wisconsin apples are as good as those from Washington State). 

Third of all, the wonderful Lee of Pamplemousse Preserves. She came to my reading, introduced herself, and thrust jars of preserves into my hands. Oh my god, the tomato jam with nigella seeds is unbelievably good! We ended up spending time at her new cafe, Ironworks Cafe at the John Goodman Center, which is a neat new community center in Madison. Holy god, the fresh English muffins. Yummers. 

Finally, my reading at A Room of One’s One, was really fun. Packed room, lots of laughter, great intro from Robert Pierce of Growing Power Madison, Michelle Widgen, and an enthusiastic, food-obsessed audience. It was the first time an audience member asked me specific details about the meat curing process. And how lucky they are in Madison: the chilly temps are perfect for hanging meat at home. 

On my trip back to the airport, the cab driver told me he was reading Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year. So he could compare Defoe’s experience with the Plague versus today’s Swine flu epidemic. Not your typical town….

P.S. I also traveled to Chicago and Milwaukee, mostly to meet farmers and see urban farms. As I tour around, I’ll be showing slides of stuff I saw at these particular farms.

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3 Comments

Filed under book tour, bookstore event

3 responses to “I Heart Madison

  1. Mike

    Tahnks for visiting us up here. I’m glad you had time to enjoy Fromagination. I’m also pleased to have made a good impression of our town with a meat curing question, although my farm purchase fell through and I’ll have to wait another month or so for uncured pork jowls.

    The taxi experience is genuinely Madison. We pretty much have the most highly educated cab drivers in the world. Many of the Union Cab drivers have PhD’s but chose not to stay in academia.

  2. Kay

    I *just* discovered and am halfway through your book. I’m SO disappointed that I missed you (I live just outside of Milwaukee)!

  3. Your book is fabulous … the story is inspiring. I want to explore adding chickens and other non-pig critters to my backyard garden.

    Your words have helped motivate me to work a bit harder at exploring food security issues in our community. If you’re heading up into North Dakota let us know and we’ll try to arrange for an event here in Brandon Manitoba at a local bookstore or somewhere …

    Thanks for taking the time to put your journey to paper!

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