The coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Wednesday, October 7
Madison's local food happy hour, Ferment!, kicks in for the fall with the topic "Forgotten & Unique Fruits" with presenters from Quince & Apple speaking on "Heirloom Fruits" and from Carandale Farm on "Aronia, Sea Berry and other Less Familiar (but still fantastic) Fruits." Ferment! is "a place for Madison and Dane County's farmers, activists, cooks, government and university staff, students, food connoisseurs and others who care about sustainable agriculture and local food issues to come together." Orpheum Theater's Grand Lobby, 5:30-7:30 p.m., free.
Foodies looking to extend the evening can just make it to the monthly CHEW meeting. Ayako Yoshimura will discuss "John Bull Gave Us 'Rice Covered with Spice-Flavored Sauce': How Curry Made it Big in Japan." She is a native of Japan who earned her B.A. in the U.S. and her M.A. in Canada, and is currently pursuing a special committee PhD in Folklore at the UWMadison. Goodman Community Center, Bolz Room A, 149 Waubesa St., 7:15 p.m., free.
Or choose the west side for the special talk "Death by Food" by journalist and rancher Bill Kurtis. He examines the development of the food industry and its impact on the American diet, specifically the increased use of corn as cattlefeed. First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, 7 p.m., $5 suggested donation.
Actual free cake is being served (not discussed) in celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the west side Tex Tubb's. Also: $2 tacos and $2 Lone Stars and Coronas. Happy birthday! Tex Tubb's Taco Palace West, 2701 University Ave., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Thursday, October 8
Novella Carpenter and Michelle Wildgen make a joint appearance (although they actually have nothing to do with each other) as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Carpenter's charming Farm City covers her adventures starting a farm in the empty lot next door to her apartment in downtown Oakland. Madison writer Michelle Wildgen's forthcoming novel concerns the lives of three members of a food co-op. A Room of One's Own, 307 W. Johnson St., 5:30 p.m., free.
Harvest goodies, Willy Street Co-op soup and spicy fare from David's Jamaican food will be on the table at the "Talking about Food, Land & Community" discussion and garden tour. Troy Gardens, 500 Troy Dr., 5:30 p.m., free.
Friday, October 9
Harriet Brown and Joan Fischer make a joint presentation at this Wisconsin Book Festival session about Brown's new collection of essays, Feed Me: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Body Image & Weight. A joyful eating exercise is planned. Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., 5:30 p.m., free.
Diwali, the "Festival of the Lights," will be celebrated by Association of Indians in America - Madison today, and includes dinner, a dance, and fireworks. Oregon High School Performing Arts Center, 456 N. Perry Pkwy., 4:15-10:30 p.m., tickets $18 in advance with limited $25 tickets available the day of the event. Call 608-845-9644 for more info.
Sunday, October 11
Indulge in organic vegan flapjacks at the Madison Hours Pancake Breakfast. Available plain or with nuts and/or fruits, plus oven-roasted potatoes, organic fair trade coffee, and O.J. Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., 8:30-11 a.m., $8.50.
For the next meal, head over to the annual Italian-American Women's Club pasta dinner, a fundraiser with pasta, homemade traditional tomato sauce and meatballs, bread, salad, coffee, milk, soft drinks, and a variety of desserts, too. St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1905 W. Beltline Hwy., 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., $7.
Wrapping up local food-related talks at the Wisconsin Book Fest will be a joint session with Isthmus columnist Terese Allen and the Free River Press' Robert Wolf, discussing their books The Flavor of Wisconsin and Eating in Place. Promenade Hall, Overture Center, 201 State St., 2-3:30 p.m., free.
Monday, October 12
The Homegrown and Healthy cooking class with Chef Sabi will spotlight various local growrs who participate in the Eastside Farmers' Market. Tonight's producer will be Blue Skies Berry Farm. Willy Street Co-op, 1221 Williamson St. $15.00 for members and $25.00 for others. Call 251-6776 for more info.