This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Tuesday, May 10
There has never been any need to launch a "Keep Willy Weird" campaign in Madison. The shopping heart of the near east side has its indie cred intact, and the restaurants have never been finer. Sample many of them at the annual Taste of Willy Street. This annual fundraiser features dumplings from Umami Restaurant, breads from Batch Bakehouse, curry from Lao Lang Xang, pizza from La Rocca and Roman Candle, calzones from Natures Bakery, nachos from the Brass Ring (which isn't on Willy, but who's splitting hairs?), pad thai from Bahn-Thai, Mediterranean platters from Weary Traveler. and red bean stir fry from Jamerica. Beer will be sold by Star Liquor. Proceeds go to . You don't even have to go on under-construction Willy Street to get there. It's a win-win. Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., seatings at 5:30 and 7 p.m., $15 adults and $7 kids or $12 and $6 advance. Call 215-534-3844 for more info.
Thursday, May 12
Food pantry drives have up 'til now largely consisted of bags of canned goods and boxes of oatmeal you leave on your porch for the Scouts or mail carriers to pick up on Saturday morning. No more. Canstruction Madison pits architects, engineers and students against each other to build the most fantastic structure out of donated foods. It's sculpture, it's edible art, it's defying a food drive to be boring, all in support of the Keva Sports Center, 8312 Forsythia St., Middleton, 5-7:30 p.m., free with donations of canned food encouraged. Call 836-7338 for more info.
Friday, May 13
So if you've lived around here for a while you've probably tasted krumkake, a Norwegian waffle cookie. But have you ever had a lutefisk bratwurst? Hmm, we didn't think so. Syttende Mai, or May 17, is Norway's Independence Day. It's an annual celebration in Stoughton, and organizers will be amping the Norwegian food coverage this year. The celebration runs all weekend, and so does the feasting, with the menu (PDF) boasting some two dozen food stands and several sit-down meals. The festival also features an arts & crafts fair, quilt show, rosemaling exhibits, dance performances, live music, and more. Morel Mushroom Festival in Muscoda. The centerpiece of this three-day festival is a feast of fried morels, served as long as they are available at "Mushroom Headquarters." It also caps off an 11-day morel marketplace taking advantage of the season's pickings. Other events include a mushroom contest, a steak feed and pancake breakfast, provisions from the locally-based , more food stands, a carnival, parade, an art fair, flea market, softball and horseshoe tournaments, 5k runs/walks, antique and modern farm tractor pulls, a poker crawl, dancing, live music, fireworks, and more. Help Stamp Out Hunger campaign organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers. This annual Rooftop Farmers, a weekly session for kids to explore gardening, composting, and cooking. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 3 p.m., free with $7 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Six Spices with Neeta Saluja cooking class, with the chef preparing a menu of garbanzo beans with tamaraind chole, puri, halwa, and salad. Willy Street Co-op East,1221 Williamson St., 6-8:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Wednesday, May 11
Thursday, May 12
Middleton Farmers' Market, commencing for the 2011 growing season in the parking lot off T.G.I. Friday's off Deming Way. Greenway Station, Greenway Blvd. off the Beltline, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 872-2152 for more info.
Help Your Vegetable Garden Produce Like a Vegetable Farm class, with instructors Megan Cain and Claire Strader of Madison FarmWorks at Troy Community Farm covering intermediate and advanced gardening skills, including design and layout, planting schedules, crop rotation, cover cropping, and succession planting. 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, May 13
Saturday, May 14
Cambridge Heritage Day, a history festival commemorating the Civil War sesquicentennial with a re-enactment and period band, along with Victorian dance, an outdoor market, food booths, and a pancake breakfast. Veterans Park, Main St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., no cover. Call 608-423-4379 for more info.
Solar Oven Cooking Demonstration, a class for kids to "learn how to use the power of the sun to cook delicious and nutritious food." Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 2 p.m., free with $7 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Make Some Noise for a Quiet Cancer, a fundraiser for ovarian cancer awareness and the work of the Celebration of Leadership, the annual awards ceremony for the Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St., 5 p.m., $65 and $25 for middle/high school students. Call 661-4141 for more info.
Sunday, May 15
REAP snack prep, with volunteers needed to prepare and package fresh, healthy, and locally-grown treats for kids at 14 elementary schools around Madison. Urban Assault Ride, an annual bike scavenger hunt and obstacle course around Madison, with games, contests, and Olin Park, 1156 Olin-Turville Ct., 9 a.m., $30-60 per person. Register at the Brass Ring from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on May 14, and call 303-408-0747 for more info.
Asian seafood cooking class, with instructor Paul Tseng preparing a menu of pan-seared salmon with mango relish, steamed whole fish, sweet and sour fish, and seafood fried rice. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 12-2 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Vegan cream pies cooking class, with instructors Kristie Chijimatsu and Cara Mosely preparing three types of pies with different crusts and fillings. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Save the date
Saturday, June 4
Burgers & Brew, the fourth annual fundraiser feast for Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton, 4-7:30 p.m., $30 or $25 advance, with special early entry tickets for REAP members. Call 310-7836 for more info.