By Jen Ede
The year is slowly drawing to a close, and now, it’s time to rest. We, along with our Wisconsin growers, producers and artisans, have reaped the harvests of what we’ve sown, and the darkness and cold have forced us to slow down. We’re looking forward to taking stock of the months behind us and celebrating what we’ve achieved together to further the impact of buying local on our community. Please notice that in this issue, we’re talking about much more than just what fills our bellies—but about extending the local sourcing to the items we use to cook, that we surround ourselves with, to enhance our daily lives.
I love living my life according to the rhythm of the seasons—as much as is possible to do amid crazy scheduling, jobs, friends and family obligations. The holidays make the mad rush that much more intense, but in them comes opportunities to eat and do things that I’ve been looking forward to all year long. I braise, stew and roast like crazy, leaving the baking to the ones who have the patience (and measuring skills). In this issue, we offer recipes for both kinds of cook—odes to the anything-but-ordinary onion, along with memories of cuccidati, fig-filled Italian Christmas cookies. We also have three rum drinks for your wintery libation needs. Or, sit back and sip one of Wisconsin’s barrel-aged beers. Choose your own culinary adventure.
We’re ushering in the Chinese year of the Fire Rooster in January, so in that spirit, I wish you wakefulness and warmth in 2017.
Nothing embodies the season more than direct interactions with nature. Drinks and foods get heavier and more comforting, fuel not only for the day-to-day digging our cars out of the snow, but for the cold-weather activities that make winter in Wisconsin not only bearable, but dare I suggest—something to look forward to? I actively keep the winter doldrums at bay by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking through the heavy Wisconsin snow. Find a list of places, as well as a recipe for Wisconsin maple energy bites, to keep you powering through the powder. Looking for something low-key but still lovely? Walk about Cedarburg, guided by one of the locals.
The quiet and stillness provides the perfect backdrop to set intentions for how you close this year and open the year ahead. We were privileged to attend a Chinese New Year celebration, and invite you to learn more about cultural dishes associated with this holiday and what they symbolize for the coming year. We’re ushering in the year of the Fire Rooster in January, so in that spirit, I wish you wakefulness and warmth in 2017.