Sunday, June 03, 2007

At the market

Cathedral Square

It's the season again, finally, for buying vegetables from the people who grow them. The East Town Market, in Cathedral Square park smack dab in the middle of downtown Milwaukee, is my favorite local Saturday a.m. destination in fair weather. It boasts not only stalls offering produce and other good things, but also live jazz and a playground for the amusement of youngsters.

Red Corkscrew Climber Playground Thingy

It's still way too early for any of the crops that really excite a cook. We can still dream of sugarsnaps, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, squash, melons, berries, even cauliflower and carrots and turnips. But in early June the best we're going to get is radishes, onions, and greens. That's good enough for now, though, after a long winter of nothing but storage crops and imports from Cali and Latin America. These folks from Willoway Farm (their sign says "est. 2007"--is that not awesome?) were offering juicy, spicy radishes, and several varieties of greens.

The Farmers

One was this mizuna, which looks prickly, and which I photographed but didn't take home. We did have their mesclun, which included some rather sassy arugula.


And there are always fresh cheese curds at a farmers market in Wisconsin. They're worth the trip all by themselves, and are best if you can wait to eat them until the chill is gone, which no one can do. Then they really squeak between your teeth as they yield their salty, fresh, cheesy flavor.

fresh cheese curd

It is, as ever, my pleasure to live in the dairy state.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wanna be my friend?

If the posting here is too infrequent for you, come check out my twitter, the latest craze in internet communication. I'm updating it all the time, and it even has Important Information about my preparation and ingestion of food. Like just now, I told twitter that I'm making spaghetti and meatballs. You know you want it.

After getting your feet wet with twitter, you will want to check out twittervision, which tracks new tweets (those would be posts to twitter) across the globe. Ease your twittering using Firefox add-ons to post from the search box or from the address bar of your browser, or from a sidebar. If you use a Mac, download twitterific, a fantastic little widget that sits on your desktop.

And as for the meatballs: 1 lb. ground chuck, a microplaned shallot, an egg, about two or three tbs matzo meal, pinches of oregano + thyme + and basil, and salt and pepper. Mix 'em up, brown 'em well, simmer in red sauce for at least half an hour, and serve with spaghetti. Don't let Mario Batali tell you not to eat meatballs with your spaghetti because that's not now how the Italians do it. This is America, baby! We eat meatballs with spaghetti here, and we gotta own it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No War But Class War


The sausages that race at Miller Park during Milwaukee Brewers games showed up on campus today. There was a sausage sale on during the lunch hour and I guess they were there to hawk the meat, though mainly they just seemed to be posing for pictures. I first noticed them horsing around through the window of the library-café Grind, where I was sitting reading a book. Everyone I saw who caught a glimpse of them instantly began to smile.

The top photo is the Polish, hot dog, and bratwurst, left to right. The Italian was there too, but chorizo must have flown south for the winter. Maybe he's at spring training.


Meanwhile, a few hundred yards away, the anarchists were selling their books at half price at a table in the Union.

No War But Class War

I don't know what the Jolly Roger has to do with their cause, but it sure makes them seem badass.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Racing Cheeses

Racing Cheeses

You know about the sausage race during Milwaukee Brewers games. But did you know that between periods of Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) games, there is a race held in which Merk's cheese spread tubs on skates speed around the Bradley Center ice? If I'm not mistaken, the flavors are original cheddar, cheddar beer, port wine, and Swiss almond. Port wine won the race on Friday night, the Admirals beat the Hamilton (Ontario) Bulldogs 3-2 in a shootout. After the game, REO Speedwagon played an assortment of forgettable songs from their new album and all their 1980s hits, too. As I have said here before, it is my pleasure to live in the Dairy State.


More pictures at my Flickr.

(Also, "I Can't Fight This Feeling" may be the worst. video. ever.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

He lives!

Previously I asked, Does W. G. Sinclair, a reviewer on, exist? The very same Sinclair, alias The Duke of Prunes, has left a comment on that post boasting of his existence and linking to his website.

Now that Amazon reviewers can be tracked using RSS feeds, a whole genre of mock reviews has sprung up. I mention some of these satirists in the Sinclair post. Another is the prolific, absurdist Mister Quickly. MQ has this to say about Joanna Newsome's recent album Ys:
My friend Roger Custom recommended this album to me. I was suspicious, because upon his recommendation I also picked up an obscure album called "Sword Cutting Through Meat" ,the debut by the artist Sword Cutting Through Meat. I can't think of how to describe its content except referring you to the album title. Some time later, Roger Custom played me Sword Cutting Through Meat's sophomore album, "Babies Crying", which is only marginally better than his debut. The third release, "Stepping on Salmon" is an improvement that while sometimes having soothing tactile noises, on the whole is too slippery and falls short of its sporadic promise.

So when Roger Custom recommended this album I felt he no longer had any credibility. Trying to sell me on Ys, he described it as the aural equivalent of barely pubescent girls flying giant swans in heart shaped squad formation across Henri Rousseau landscapes. I listened to it and agreed with him on this, but I'm more a Théodore Rousseau fan which is why I've given Ys 3 stars.
As for me, I have been blogging elsewhere about matters on which I am more expert than ice cream and SPAM. The new blog is called Zigzigger and I hope to see you there. I am not killing off Haverchuk but I don't know that I will have more than the occasional word or two to say here for the foreseeable future. Maybe in summertime, when the farmers markets are back and I feel like making ice cream, I'll be a more regular public foodster.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The year in media errors and corrections. The winner in the recipe category:
A correction in this column Thursday about a June 14 Taste section recipe for French coconut pie incorrectly suggested that the recipe called for a pint of vodka.
Some of the non-food ones are even better. via

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals"

There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture. The ironic part is, it's a "health food," one of our most popular.
The culprit? Soybeans. Beware! via