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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Fair
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Madison eats agenda: Moo de Grass, Taste of Madison, and LaborFest

The coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.

Tuesday, September 1

Learn the basics of safe home canning in Preserving the Flavors of Summer, a popular class at the Willy Street Co-op. Taught by Charles Dykman, the lesson includes information on water bath canning and other procedures for preserving fruits, vegetables, salsas, and meats, as well as a "lab" in which students will can a quart of tomatoes. Willy Street Co-op, 1221 Williamson St., 5:30-8:30 p.m., $5 for members and $20 for non-members. Call 251-0884 for more info.

Join University of Wisconsin Extension specialist Bob Tomesh for a Fruit Walk in Verona, and learn more about the cultivation of grapes, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apples, and lesser-known treats. UW West Madison Agricultural Research Station, 8502 Mineral Point Rd., Verona, 6 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, September 2

UW-Madison Scandinavian Studies doctoral student Carrie Roy will detail the curious wonder of a culture that mixes lye with fish in her talk, "Lutefisk Traditions in the Upper Midwest" at the next meeting of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, or CHEW. A specialist in Medieval Iceland, material culture, and folklore, Roy will also screen her documentary Where the Sacred Meets the Quivering Profane: Exploring the Public and Private Spheres of Lutefisk. Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., 7:15 p.m., free. Call 241-1574 for more information.

Thursday, September 3

Laurie Zimmerman will be hosting an Apple & Honey Tasting in anticipation of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday, with both natural sweets of the locally-grown and -produced variety. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 5-7 p.m., free.

Friday, September 4

Take aim and fling handfuls of farmyard feces at the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival in Prairie du Sac. No, this does not sound appetizing but this "Moo de Grass" is the35th annual celebration of the creature responsible for the state's most famous edible product. Along with the titular competition, this two-day party features a parade, a fun run, live music, kids entertainment, and a food court with eats provided by community groups from throughout the area. Just be sure to wash those hands. Marion Park, Prairie du Sac, 5-11:30 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Call 608-643-4317 for more info.

Saturday, September 5

Make sure to bring a ravenous appetite to the Taste of Madison, easily the largest food-related event of the year in the city. The traditional end-of-summer culinary carnival attracts an estimated 150,000 people downtown for two days to sample more than 200 dishes offered by 60-odd restaurants and caterers from around the region. Amidst the ubiquitous festival fare offered by local and chain participants alike, the collective menu boasts numerous delicious gems, many of which are highlighted in the "Best of Taste" awards bestowed across 14 categories. Along with the eats, patrons of the Taste can also find multiple stages of live music performed by several dozen local and national artists, 20 beverage stands, a broadcast of the Wisconsin football home opener, and excellent people-watching opportunities. The Taste is also a fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy of Dane County, which has been the festival's charity of record since its founding nearly three decades ago. Capitol Square, 2 p.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday. Call 276-9797 for more information.

Sunday, September 6

Free-thinkers and skeptics of all stripes are invited to partake in the Humanist Union Family Picnic, put on by Non-Believers of Greater Madison. Bring a dish to share, along with beverages and utensils. Marlborough Park on the southwest side, or in the case of rain, the Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society, 2010 Whenona Dr., noon-3 p.m., free. Call 273-8775 for more info.

Monday, September 7

Celebrate the value of hard work and solidarity at LaborFest, the annual Labor Day celebration thrown by the South Central Federation of Labor. The party includes live music, kids' activities, info tables, and a bounty of summertime eats, including hot dogs, Italian sausages, corn on the cob, Louisiana-style rice and beans, and plenty of soda and beer. Please bring a non-food household item (such as soap, toothpaste, detergent, or paper products) for donation through a local food pantry to help the unemployed and underemployed works struggling in this tough economy. Madison Labor Temple, 1602 South Park St., noon-5:30 p.m., free.

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