This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Wednesday, May 19
The Southwest Community Farmers' Market returns for the season this afternoon at its home in a Orchard Ridge neighborhood parking lot. The market was launched last year in an effort to provide fresh fruits and veggies to the southwest side while working to "enhance neighbor relations." There are typically 10 to 15 vendors offering a variety of farm-fresh items every week. Seasonal produce available from May and into June includes asparagus, baby carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, herbs, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, rhubarb, strawberries, zucchini, and more. New items this year include cheese (including curds), baked goods, and reusable market bags. Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, 1501 Gilbert Rd., 3-7 p.m. Call 358-5834 or visit Facebook for more info.
Thursday, May 20
Madison's CW is launching its first annual of charity cookout for education both today on behalf of its C What's Possible Through Education program. A hamburger or brat and a drink can be purchased for $2, with all proceeds going to support K-12 educational initiatives around the city. The event will also feature music and face painting, and every attendee will receive a complimentary water bottle. Machinery Row Bicycles, 601 Williamson St., 10:45 a.m.-2 p.m. Another series of cookouts will be held on Saturday, May 22 at MyMenu locations at 1 Dempsey Rd. in Madison, 6309 McKee Rd. in Fitchburg, and 2687 Windsor St. in Sun Prairie, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 270-5705 for more info.
The Center for Patient Partnerships at UW-Madison invites supporters to have a "toe-tapping good time" at its If the Shoe Fits fundraiser this evening. Patrons can partake in "Tap Your Toes Tapas" and wines by Botham Wineyards while viewing one-of-a-kind shoe creations created by artists from around the country, which will be sold in a live auction. Proceeds will got to benefit the organization's educational and advocacy work on behalf of people living with serious illnesses. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St., 5:30-8:30 p.m., $45 advance and $50 door. Call 265-6267 for more info.
Friday, May 21
Celebrate Irish heritage and the onset of summer this weekend at Fitchburg Days in McKee Farms Park. The fun at the festival includes a carnival, fireworks, a children's tent, the "Amazing Rainforest Experience" live animal exhibit, kiting demonstrations, a volleyball tournament, a police auction, live music and dancing, and a food tent to keep revelers fueled through the weekend. McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg, 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday, noon-midnight on Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday, $5 cover for entertainment stages. Call 279-0464 for more info.
Saturday, May 22
Nuestro Mundo Community School is holding its first annual fiesta fundraiser today in support of its mission to provide bilingual education opportunities in Madison. Activities at the benefit include games, face painting, a raffle, and food. Lake Edge United Church of Christ, 4200 Buckeye Rd.. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., free. Call 262-227-1506 for more info.
Chef Huma Siddiqui of White Jasmine will be in Verona this morning to present a Taste of Pakistani Cooking, a free version of her popular series of culinary classes held regularly around Madison. The chef will demonstrate and serve authentic recipes from Pakistan in this program, and will later sign copies of her book Jasmine in Her Hair. Registration is required. Verona Library, 500 Silent St., 10 a.m., free. Call 845-7180 to register and for more info.
Fromaginatinon is playing host today to Master Cheesemaker Joe Widmer of Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa. Visitors to the shop on Capitol Square will be able to sample Colby and Aged Brick, both among the rare few authentic versions of these famously Wisconsin-born cheeses. Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m., free. Call 255-2430 for more info.
The Madison Canning Brigade, a "community for exchanging home preserves, sharing equipment, and teaching others the glory of canning," is putting on a workshop this morning titled "How to Use a Pressure Cooker." Attendees will receive a basic tutorial on using a pressure cooker for canning without causing any "major explosions." Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham St., 10 a.m., free. Call 442-1645 to RSVP and for more info.
The Scandinavian-American Club of Madison is holding its annual spring picnic potluck this afternoon. Organizers will bring grills, drinks, and Scandinavian games and music. Participants are asked bring food to grill and a side dish to share. Fireman's Park, at the corner of Winnequah Rd. and Progressive Ave., Monona, noon-4 p.m. Call 206-5010 for more info.
The Kennedy Heights Community Center is holding its annual Spring Flingblock party this afternoon. The celebration includes children's games and youth performances, hula hooping, pie eating, Hmong egg rolls, and more. Kennedy Heights Community Center, 199 Kennedy Heights, noon-3 p.m., free. Call 244-0767 for more info.
Sunday, May 23
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse is holding a fundraiser today, donating 10% of its sales today to the East Timor Action Network and its work organizing the Madison-Ainaro Sister City Alliance. A snack at the Willy Street shop will provide fuel for participants in the accompanying Tour de Timor, a benefit bicycle ride around Lake Monona. Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 1101 Williamson St., all day. Call 259-1301 for more info.
Summer festival season continues to bloom this weekend at the 13th annual WORT Block Party, held next to the radio station in the heart of the Bassett neighborhood in central Madison. The fun includes a live music stage featuring a day full of performances by six local bands, children's activities, arts and crafts vendors, and a raffle. Additionally, many of the city's food carts will be serving an international feast of handheld eats. Even better, WORT is once again working with the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild to present the eighth annual "No Crap on Tap" beer garden, featuring tasty libations made by some of the region's finest microbreweries. 600 block of W. Doty St., 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. Call 256-2001 for more info.
UW Extension horticulturalist Brian Emerson is teaching a class this afternoon at America's Best Flowers about the basics of vegetable gardening, with a focus on growing tomatoes. America's Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Rd.. Cottage Grove, 1 p.m.. free. Call 222-2269 for more info.
Liliana's is offering its introductory cooking class this afternoon, with students learning hands-on skills at multiples stations in a commercial kitchen. This class covers four general areas: an introduction, with a focus on knife skills and maintenance, local and organic sourcing, and health and safety basics; Garde Manger, which details how to make an emulsified vinaigrette and a Caesar salad; Sauté, which will address the method for pan searing fish with emulsified butter, vegetable preparation and presentation, and pre-seasoning meat; and, Entrementier, a how-to on making tomato roses, orange flowers, birds of paradise, and melon carvings. Liliana's Restaurant, 2951 Triverton Pike, Fitchburg, 3-5 p.m., $100 individuals and $150 couples. Call 442-4444 for more info.