This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Friday, September 16
Free coffee and baked goods are the draw at Middleton's Largest Coffee Break, the eighth annual edition of this early autumn workplace recess. Starbucks provides the coffee, networking is encouraged, as is a $1 donation to benefit restaurants and retailers, but everybody will be able to partake in baked goods and live music. Starbucks, 8310 Greenway Blvd., Middleton, 9-11 a.m., $1 donation. Call 824-9111 for more info.
Saturday, September 17
Since the days of Lammas tide, the incoming harvest has sparked seasonal celebrations. The Food for Thought Festival is one contemporary version. Organized by the festival offers an organic garden exhibit, chile roasting, mini-hoophouse building workshop, and small farm animal petting area. A workshop on apples will include a tasting and instructions on how to make your own cider press. Susan Troller, author of Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks, will speak on raising chickens and how to choose good eggs. The Local Foods Chef Showdown will feature Steven Buchholz of Crema Cafe, David McKercher of Mermaid Cafe, and Peter Robertson of R.P.'s Pasta making a dish on the spot using surprise ingredients from the Capitol Square and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Call 310-7836 for more info.
Every so often, while driving down the country roads, you'll spy a hand-lettered sign that says "Sorghum for sale" and then an arrow pointing down a gravel driveway. But no one has ever followed one of those arrows! Don't you think it's time that changed? Check out Sorghum Fest, in Fall River -- that's just a little northwest of Columbus, so it's not too far to go. It's easier than driving all over creation looking for one of those signs. The festival schedule includes an "all u can eat" pancake breakfast, a sorghum cook-off, food vendors, bingo, a raffle, live music, and more. Oktoberfest celebration at the Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., noon-8 p.m. Call 255-4674 for more info.
The Willy Street Fair marks the effective end of summer in Madison, a final opportunity for outdoor revelry before the official onset of autumn. This 34th annual Heritage Fest takes place at one of Dane County's nicest parks, festival, learn about preserving produce, pressing apple cider, making sausage, churning butter and keeping bees. Take home a strawberry and/or a garlic plant. If you just want to eat, sweet corn "steamed using an antique Case tractor," pie, cookies and apple cider are on the menu. Live music, dancing, a scavenger hunt, old-time games, antique farm living demonstrations, guided prairie walks, and horse drawn wagon rides round out the day's activities. Schumacher Farm Park, 5682 Hwy. 19, Waunakee, 1-4 p.m., donations requested. Call 849-8449 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, September 13
Pasta Basics class, with instructor Jennifer Jones demonstrating how to prepare different pasta and sauce recipes. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-7:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Thursday, September 15
AppleFest, an annual neighborhood festival and fundraiser for the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Dr., 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $2 and kids under 12 free. Call 243-5252 for more info.
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Cooking for the Eat Local Challenge class, with instructor Chef Angela Trentadue and "fellow locavores" demonstrating how to prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts while using ingredients sourced within 150 miles of Madison. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Six Spices with Neeta Saluja cooking class, with the chef preparing a menu of cabbage salad, lemon rice, and tandoori chicken. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Friday, September 16
McFarland Family Festival, an annual three-day community McFarland High School, 5101 Farwell Ave., 5-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. See Facebook, and call 669-3280 for more info.
St. Ann Fall Festival, an annual parish festival and fundraiser for Saint Ann Parish, 323 N. Van Buren St., Stoughton, 7-9 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Sunday. Call 873-7633 for more info.
Screening of The Strange Disappearance of the Bees, a 2011 documentary by Mark Daniels about "mass deaths of bees have recently swept all over the world." Ashman Library, 733 N. High Point Rd., 7 p.m., free. Call 824-1780 for more info.
Saturday, September 17
Hill & Valley Antique Auto & Americana Show, the 28th annual gathering hosted by the Fighting Bob Fest, the tenth annual Chautauqua-style progressive political Alliant Energy Center - Coliseum, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $20 donation requested. Call 256-1003 for more info.
Monroe Street Festival, an annual neighborhood Driftless Area Art Festival, an annual two-day regional arts Beauford T. Anderson Park, Hwy. 131 and Cty. Rd. C, Soldiers Grove, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Call 866-452-7967 for more info.
Wine & Harvest Festival, an annual autumn culinary festival, featuring a grape stomp with 25th Anniversary Open House for gathering featuring a visit by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a "Hunger Action Tour" with children's activities, and more. Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, 2802 Dairy Dr., 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free. Call 216-7205 for more info.
The Bountiful Harvest: Fast & Healthy cooking class, with Barbara Wright demonstrating how to create healthy and nutritious dishes of different cuisines. Monona Library, 1000 Nichols Rd., 1 p.m. Call 222-6127 for more info.
Pipers in the Prairie, the ninth annual fall festival and fundraiser for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 300 Femrite Dr., Monona, 4:30-8 p.m., $75 adults with $25 ages 5-17. Call 216-9373 for more info.
Sunday, September 18
Steer Roast & Bazaar, a fundraiser for senior programs in Milton, featuring a meal of spit-roasted beef, sweet corn, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw, dinner rolls, and desserts, along with vendors and raffles. Savory Sunday, with volunteers need to prepare and serve a fresh, hot meal for the hungry. Lutheran Campus Center, 325 N. Mills St., 11 a.m. Call 233-6967 for more info.
Festival Viva Mexico, an annual community celebration marking the 201st anniversary of Mexican independence, featuring food vendors, a car rally, exhibits, Latino folk dance performances, live music, children's activities, and more. Union Sports Club, 115 Braun Rd., Oregon, 10 a.m.-end. Call 441-3763 for more info.
Monday, September 19
Save the date
Thursday, September 29
Silver Eve, the 25th anniversary benefit dinner for Alliant Energy Center - Exhibition Hall, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, 5:30 p.m., $75. Please RSVP by September 15, and call 255-1549 x.106 for more info.
Sunday, October 16
Butler Farm Dinner, with Chef Derek Rowe preparing a six-course menu using ingredients sourced from Butler Farms in Whitehall, including lambs and hogs, and varieties of their artisanal sheep's milk cheeses, including Brebis, Feta, aged Tomme, Templemore, Clonboo, Bandit, Ricotta and Mascarpone. Harvest, 21 N. Pinckney St., 6 p.m., $65. Call 255-6075 for more info.