Flavors of Madison

Central among the many joys of this birthday of 2011 was this beautiful home-made cookbook that Justin, along with the help of two of my favorite Madison ladies, compiled from the recipes of my Wisconsin nearest and dearest:

The whole cookbook was a joy to behold, and left me crying  (literally) from pleasure and emotion and the recognition that I'm one lucky lady.  Happy sigh.

The recipes included in this collection run the gamut from savory to sweet, and include recipes for some of the delicious dishes from my birthday surprise potluck: roasted beet salad, MaPa tofu, carrot halva!

I can't wait to try them all.

One idea Justin and I came up with is to try to recreate many of these dishes over the course of the next year, documenting them and sharing the photos and stories with the friends who served as the inspiration. Which ones should we start with first?!

In addition to the delicious food that was part of this cookbook's bounty, parts of it were also rife with humor, of the deep belly laugh sort.

HL and SP put together this amazing little dialogue, that imagines their son and my and Justin's daughter ten years in the future.  It captures our caricature-ish nature perfectly--my obsession over not wasting anything and not using disposable products; Justin's weird interest in Rebecca Black's Friday, and more. Read the whole thing here, if you'd like.

And our old roommate DC also perfectly captured a crucial part of our past relationship with his recipe for "Bloody Meat Morning Surprise." Click on the photo to zoom in and read the whole thing--though it may be funnier if you know how much of this is based on real things that actually happened (though perhaps not all at once).

Such pleasure in creativity!  Enormous thanks to everyone who contributed, and stay tuned for our versions of your dishes...