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Pretty Eggs from a Friend

June 13, 2013

pretty eggs ala waisman

Eat for Equity-Madison presents…

November 15, 2012

Our November 2012 Eat for Equity-Madison event is going to be incredible.  Hope you’ll be able to join us!

Parker Palmer on Autumn

October 24, 2012

Have you heard of Parker Palmer?

I saw him speak at last year’s Badger Bioneer conference.  His work is insightful and beautiful.  Our reflection piece in class on Saturday was his short essay on autumn.  It’s been resonating with me ever since, and I hope that maybe it will with you too.

Autumn, by Parker Palmer:

Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline: the days grow shorter, the light is suffused, and summer’s abundance decays toward winter’s death. Faced with this inevitable winter, what does nature do in autumn? She scatters the seeds that will bring new growth in the spring – and she scatters them with amazing abandon.
In my own experience of autumn, I am rarely aware that seeds are being planted. Instead, my mind is on the fact that the green growth of summer is browning and beginning to die. My delight in the autumn colors is always tinged with melancholy, a sense of impending loss that is only heightened by the beauty all around. I am drawn down by the prospect of death more than I am lifted by the hope of new life.
But as I explore autumn’s paradox of dying and seeding, I feel the power of metaphor. In the autumnal events of my own experience, I am easily fixated on surface appearances – on the decline of meaning, the decay of relationships, the death of a work. And yet, if I look more deeply, I may see the myriad possibilities being planted to bear fruit in some season yet to come.

In retrospect, I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time – how the job I lost helped me find work I needed to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know. On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.
This hopeful notion that living is hidden within dying is surely enhanced by the visual glories of autumn. What artist would ever have painted a season of dying with such a vivid palette if nature had not done it first? Does death possess a beauty that we – who fear death, who find it ugly and obscene – cannot see? How shall we understand autumn’s testimony that death and elegance go hand in hand?
For me, the words that come closest to answering those questions are the words of Thomas Merton: “There is in all visible things…a hidden wholeness.” In the visible world of nature, a great truth is concealed in plain sight: diminishment and beauty, darkness and light, death and life are not opposites. They are held together in the paradox of the “hidden wholeness.”
In a paradox, opposites do not negate each other – they cohere in mysterious unity at the heart of reality. Deeper still, they need each other for health, as my body needs to breathe in as well as breathe out. But in a culture that prefers the ease of either-or thinking to the complexities of paradox, we have a hard time holding opposites together. We want light without darkness, the glories of spring and summer without the demands of autumn and winter, and the Faustian bargains we make fail to sustain our lives.
When we so fear the dark that we demand light around the clock, there can be only one result: artificial light that is glaring and graceless and, beyond its borders, a darkness that grows ever more terrifying as we try to hold it off. Split off from each other, neither darkness nor light is fit for human habitation. But if we allow the paradox of darkness and light to be, the two will conspire to bring wholeness and health to every living thing.
Autumn constantly reminds me that my daily dyings are necessary precursors to new life. If I try to “make” a life that defies the diminishments of autumn, the life I end up with will be artificial, at best, and utterly colorless as well. But when I yield to the endless interplay of living and dying, dying and living, the life I am given will be real and colorful, fruitful and whole.



Getting Back in the Swing of Things

October 21, 2012

Hello there.
This blog has been sorely neglected over the busy (BUSY) summer season.

Now I’m back. Life is full of new, exciting things.  The air is tinged with the nostalgia that fall always brings.  I’m in love with the bounty of the end of the season, celebrating the glut of color and flavors before winter sets in.

My friend Lisa asked me to accompany her to the Farmers Market this past weekend as she purchased ingredients for the Chef in the Classroom program.  How could I say no on such a perfect morning?

Hope you enjoy the images.



Come One, Come All: Eat for Equity Madison Dinner next week!

June 4, 2012



Poetry Pause: Ingratitude

April 10, 2012


by Carl Dennis

Spring, I remembered you all these months.
I spoke of the green yard under the snow
To my slumped visitors.
I sobered the giddy neighbors.
“You may think you’re still happy,”
I cautioned, “but recall the tea roses,
The lost leaves of the dogwood tree.”

But now you have fallen upon us, Spring,
Without warning,
So much greener than I remembered.
Friends I kept from forgetting
Laugh at me as they run outside
For falling so short in your praise.

“Ingratitude” by Carl Dennis, from New and Selected Poems 1974-2004. © Penguin Books, 2004.


Brunch & Lunch

March 11, 2012

Brunching and lunching around town.

Tex Tubbs




Madison Sourdough Company







Mermaid Cafe





Monty’s Blue Plate



Daisy Cupcakery and Cafe


No Coast Kitchen, February 2012

March 4, 2012

Have you ever paused, looked around and suddenly realized that you having a truly excellent experience?  That’s how I have felt at both No Coast Kitchen dinners. There’s a magical combination of really good people, exceptional food and je ne sais quoi that fills each NCK event with a particular glow. On February 13, 2012 the No Coast Kitchen crew threw an aphrodisiac themed meal in honor of valentine’s day. It was out of this world. Great people, incredible food, tasty (and strong) drinks.  Here are some images and descriptions from the night.

Truffle Truffle: winterspice to increase circulation, basil + maca for stamina, energy & circulation.

Watercress Fennel & Leek Soup with Cucumber Mignonette

Roasted Garlic, Basil Chutney stuffed Figs, Asparagus Spears and Sourdough Bread (by Chris Janik)

Ancho & Potato Masitas with Mole and Avocado

Rustic Salad with lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, local root vegetables & tarragon vinaigrette

Chocolate Ganache, candied almonds, coconut rosemary ice cream, honey rosemary glaze.

Interested in attending the March No Coast Kitchen event?  Email me and I’ll get you connected.  The dinner will be on 12 March, 2012 from 6:30-10:30pm.  Since the house was totally packed last time, reservations are strongly encouraged!  So, leave a comment or send an email.  Trust me- it’s going to be awesome.



Inspiration from Ira Glass

February 28, 2012


Thanks to David Shiyang Liu for making this video.

A Few Nibbles from the Past Couple of Weeks

February 26, 2012

Hi everyone,

I apologize for being a bit absent lately.   February is always my worst month, when the urge to hibernate deep in my head and bed is nearly impossible to overcome.  Creativity is not easy to come by.  Thankfully I have wonderful people in my life who keep me inspired, even during this final stretch of winter.  I had the privilege of lunching and brunching with Anda Marie and Holly the Healthy Everythingtarian over the past couple of weeks, as well as roommate Erin time at The Victory.  I’ve been taking more pictures of my food again, including the delicious purple potatoes I had last week (still holding strong from my summer CSA)- more on that come Tuesday.  Tomorrow I’ll share some images from the February No Coast Kitchen dinner (which was AMAZING).  March is just around the corner, and the sunshine has been plentiful.  I feel the change in the air, and maybe, just maybe, this sleepy late winter fog will break soon. Maybe even tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s to local deliciousness!

Bountiful lunch at Los Gemelos.

Food loving photographers = cameras at every meal.

Book recommendations from Anda.

Kickapoo Coffee at Bradbury’s.

Holly, cute in stripes.

Bradbury’s crepe

Scrambled eggs, fresh mozzarella cheese and ramp pesto.

Nutella muffin

The Victory

Victory coffee.

(Belated) birthday thank you cards.

Gluten free, dairy free, completely delicious cupcake. At The Victory.

A little morning rainbow.

Have you eaten anything delicious lately?



P.S. I almost forgot!  I wrote another article for the Willy Street Co-op’s Reader, published this month.  Check it out: When a Food is Not Your Friend: Food Allergies, Intolerances and Sensitivities.