Future Programs

CHEW programs include presentations by speakers, lively discussions, foodie quiz contests, and delicious demonstrations. Past speakers, through their research, have brought us such eclectic topics as the history of the birthday cake, the origins of Door County fish boils, the saga of corn, Native American fish foodways, food pyramid debates, and traditional Serbian cookery.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – “What’s Not to Love about the Love Apple? Celebrating Quince from Root to Table,” presented by Erin Schneider

Join us as we sample and glean insights into the botanical and culinary history of a unique fruit: quince. Farmer, educator and fruit lover Erin Schneider will explore the lore and culinary traditions of the original “ancient golden love apple.” She’ll relate how quince can be grown and integrated into a food forest design for your backyard, and share take-home resources and recipes for growing and eating quince. This special workshop will include quince samples and stories, and quince preserves and other products will be available for purchase.

Erin Schneider co-owns and stewards Hilltop Community Farm, a diversified CSA  farm and orchard in La Valle, Wisconsin, where she specializes in agroforestry and unique varieties of Midwest fruits. Erin also supports farmer to farmer education and learning at her farm and around the world through her work with the World Farmer Organization Women’s Committee and the Farmer to Farmer Program.  For the past 16 years Erin has developed, managed, researched and taught sustainable agriculture and conservation programs that further innovation and capacity for farmers and communities to thrive in the world, one fruit or nutlet at a time.


Wednesday, November 4 – “Homemade for Sale:  The Return of Cottage Foods,” presented by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko

There was a time when most of our food economy rooted in local transactions: neighbors selling to each other directly from their home. Thanks to a current national movement behind “cottage food” legislation (including state laws that allow specific, non-hazardous foods to be made in home kitchens and sold to the public), “homemade” on the package means exactly what it reads.  Join authors Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko to learn about this renaissance of small-scale, food artisan business start-ups. They’ll outline opportunities under Wisconsin’s current cottage food law that covers high-acid, canned products produced in home kitchens, and explore the grassroots efforts to expand this to baked goods and other items under a proposed “Cookie Bill.”  John and Lisa will share sample pickles, relish, sauerkraut and other products straight from their home kitchen at Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and Farm, located outside Monroe, WI. Their products and books will also be available for purchase.

As pioneers in the cottage food industry, Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko are the co-authors of Homemade for Sale: How to Set Up and Market a Food Business From Your Home Kitchen  (homemadeforsale.com), the first authoritative book on launching a food business from your home kitchen.  Both write and speak nationally about the cottage industry movement while championing for the passage of a “Cookie Bill” in Wisconsin.  The  husband-and-wife duo operate a cottage food enterprise at their award-winning Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and farm (innserendipity.com), turning organic produce into pickles, shrub, sauerkraut and pickled pumpkin.  Together, they have also co-authored Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance.  A distinguished Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, Lisa Kivirist initiated and directs the Rural Women’s Project of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, an award-winning program providing resources and networking for women farmers and food-based entrepreneurs.


Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 – “Moulded Egg in Gargoyle Sauce, Pin Money Pickles, and Baby Chicken Cinderella: Looking at Menus in the Collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society,” presented by Julia Wong

Most Wisconsinites know that the State Historical Society houses a North American history collection as well as a vast photography archive, but the Library-Archives Division’s holdings also encompass ephemera, including hundreds of menus. Menus document what culinary history enthusiasts have known all along:  that food, as Peter Kim (director of the Museum of Food and Drink) has noted, “is connected to everything.” For tonight’s program, Julia Wong will discuss the Society’s online menu gallery and highlight some of the menus in the collections. Among her favorites: the wedding dinner menu of Jacob Black and Belle Mandelbaum (1887), a banquet menu in honor of “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1885), dinner menus from the Six O’Clock Club–a Madison men’s social club (1899-1910s), and menus from Madison’s restaurant culture (1970s-2015).

Julia Wong has worked at the Wisconsin Historical Society since 2007. In addition to creating a few online image galleries, she processes collections in the Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Collection and archives websites for the WHS Web Archives. She graduated with an M.A. (2009) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies. She comes from a restaurant family and has also been an independent bookseller.


Please join us 7:15 pm at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI.


Coming to the CHEW meeting?  Why not bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Goodman Center food pantry!  The Center is giving out food as fast as it can take it in and the need has never been greater. Items needed: tuna, beans, shelf-stable milk, juice, canned fruits & vegetables, macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, cereal, infant formula, baby food, diapers, soup (not tomato), rice, can openers. Financial donations also welcome.