Thursday, July 1, 2010

We're Eating and Drinking Our Way from Pastiche's France to Sarah Marx Feldner's Japan with my Sister and her Australian Friend

Every time I look at my Google Analytics, I am pleased to note that I seem to have a few regular readers in Australia. In fact, one of my more regular readers lives in the Brisbane area. I always sort of wondered who that was until my sister Merrill revealed to me that it's Denise, one of her oldest friends.

For the last few years, they have been meeting up in the United States during an annual conference. And this year when they were deciding where to go, her friend suggested they visit Milwaukee to see the bookstore.

Really? But I need to schedule another carpet cleaning. It looked so good, and in the past month, we must have had a half dozen coffees spill. And we still can't figure out how to change these floor tiles.

We're going to Pastiche tonight, that wonderful new restaurant in Bay View. Casoulet! Duck breast with chorizo! Locally raised trout amandine! (Merrill is a pesco-vegetarian). And yes, we remembered to make reservations.

Well, of course we had to make sure we had an interesting event during their stay, but they did't make it easy, being that it's the July 4th weekend. On Saturday we're hosting Joseph Caldwell (July 3rd, 2 PM), author of The Pig Did It and The Pig Comes to Dinner, but they are doing Chicago on Saturday.

I hoped for them to stay for Robert K. Elder's Last Words of the Executed, an oral history of capital punishment (Thursday, July 8th, 7 PM), but alas, they had to leave. Elder, who did some time in Milwaukee, is now a journalism professor at Northwestern. It's going to be a great event, and we'll have more info in our next email newsletter.

Finally we had just the right event! It's for Sarah Marx Feldner, the author of the beautiful A Cook's Journey to Japan: Fish Tales and Rice Paddies, 100 Homestyle Recipes from Japanese Kitchens. It's filled with soups, salads, hot pots, noodle dishes, and even desserts.

We're co-hosting the event with Rishi Tea, who will be offering samples of Japanese tea. In addition, each purchase or signed copy of A Cook's Journey to Japan receives a take-home sample of Japanese green tea, courtesy of Rishi Tea.

Fun, huh? My only concern is that she's looking for exotic Americana, but for Australians, Japan is relatively pedestrian.

Want to read more about Feldner's book? Here's a piece from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here's Rishi Tea's blog on harvesting tea in Kagoshima, and an interview with Mr. Nishi-san.

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