Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Small Dishes

November 2009

Not Home for the Holidays


Not Home for the Holidays

Songs and movies extol it—being with the family at Thanksgiving.  But exactly whose family—yours or his? And in whose home—where? Going home for the holidays is not always possible for whatever reason.  Since these annual observances take on ritualistic significance, depression can ensue.  Concentrate on what you won’t miss. Uncle Fred complaining about the mashed potatoes being cold.  The Jell-O salad with carrots and pineapple your mom always makes ‘just for you’—that you never liked! Your sister-in-law asking (again), “Haven’t you put on a little weight?” There is something to be said for a holiday without drama, dirty dishes and leftover turkey prepared more ways than Paula Dean has recipes....

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Pumpkin Pie


Pumpkin Pie

I guess I like Thanksgiving so much because more than any other holiday the focus is on food. The traditional dinner of turkey with stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie has become iconic.  It’s hard to think of any of them without thinking of Thanksgiving. I have not always been a fan of pumpkin pie. Most likely that’s because it was one of my mother’s favorites. For whatever reason, I tended to dislike whatever she liked and visa versa. Since we were brought up in the South, she would always make candied sweet potatoes and cornbread dressing (baked outside of the turkey). When we moved to Wisconsin, I embraced mashed potatoes and gravy. For me, bread stuffing is the only reason to roast a turkey.  It took me a lot longer to...

Posted at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

Off the Square/On the Tart


Off the Square/On the Tart

Downtown Madison will enjoy three new restaurants.  Just opened is The Haze, a new venture by the team of Justin and Cory Carlisle, Daniel Almquist and Shinji Muramoto.  It replaces Kushi Muramoto at 106 King Street.  The Haze specializes in global barbecue.  The menu is divided into two columns with ribs, pork, beef brisket, sausage and chicken prepared a choice of two ways—Asian- or American-style.  There’s a long list of carefully constructed sides, traditional and seasonal—much better than you’d get at your average BBQ joint!  Many of the ingredients are local and their smoker was custom made in Cross Plains. Service is do-it-yourself with seating at wooden tables or the counter.  The Haze is open for lunch and dinner or...

Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

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