Friday, August 8, 2008

A Midge More Madison....

In response to the positive comments about yesterday's post regarding "Beautiful Madison, Jewel of Wisconsin".I thought I'd post a few more pictures.and observations. (By the way: if any of this is information you've seen before, calk it up to my forgetfulness caused by my Advancing Age - that's a down side of it all.) This is "Wisconsin" or "Lady Wisconsin", the gold-clad figure at the top of the State Capitol. She's pointing FORWARD (conveniently the State Motto). Coincidence? I think NOT!

She's holding an orb in her left hand, but her coolest feature is that she has a wreath on her head made of ears of corn, and on the TOP of her head -- a BADGER! What's that you say? It looks like a ferret? IT IS TO LAUGH! Although....I will admit, the animal who posed for the sculptor does seem to have been rather longer, and leaner, than your average pudgy little waddler.

'Member I said this time of year there are flowers at the Farmers' Market? Ayup! Earlier in the season there are lots of pots with seedlings of every sort of flower, vegetable and herb you can imagine. A common sight is folks with bags or baskets filled with produce, ornamented by a few tall stalks of gladiola waving at they walk along. I always think a bulging canvas bag with flowers emerging from one side and a tall thin baguette out of the other looks so Franche , darling, don't you?

I know I mentioned the sun shining through the bottles of honey -- well, I forgot I had a picture of it. Now, I like honey almost as much as I like maple syrup, and fondly remember the snowy-white honey taffy I used to get at the Minnesota State Fair, which filled the head with the fragrance of it even as the sweetness melted on the tongue. When I was a kid and went through my Greek Summer (poor mommy!) I begged and begged for "honey-glazed fowl"; being a sensible Midwestern wife-n-mother, Mom never indulged me. I have, however, since being in control of my own kitchen, made honey-glazed fowl, and have to say it's as delicious as I had thought it would be. (The addition of a little cinnamon and nutmeg enhance the whole thing, might I add.)

LESSON: did you know that things submerged in honey are in a sterile and airless environment? The ancient Egyptians used to submerge their dead in vats of honey until they could get around to dealing with them, as least the rich ones destined for mummification. Furthermore, peanut-butter-honey sammiches are very nice (some folks add bananas, but that's overkill).

I was very glad to hear that I'd brought back warm memories of good ol' Madison....Hyacinth enjoyed living here, Nora was one of many lucky brides married at the Memorial Union. Lee - hope your cold resolves in time for you to visit; it may rain a bit Saturday but Sunday is forecast to be beautiful!

One last bit of excitement from the Farmers' Market Saturday: we found a street artist working, whom Mr Dearling had seen before. (Seems there are a few guys who do this, but it was new to me, I can tell you!)

(That's me in the long dress.) He might have been a tagger in an earlier, wilder life, but his method involves slapping down a piece of paper, and with lightning speed, spraying various colors onto it with his spray paint. By deftly using shields over some parts and dabbing at other parts with shiny crumpled magazine pages, he creates a landscape; he pulls out a little pallet knife and scrapes a bit off here, swipes some off there...the end result is often a sci-fi seascape or landscape.

Mr Dearling commissioned us a painting! The artist asked what my favorite colors were ("Autumnal", I said - "russets and golds, browns and yellows". I added "Forests".) Five minutes later, for REAL, he handed us the painting: dawn over a waterfall with graceful trees bending over the water on each side. Because it was still damp we took it up to our office at the Museum, and when I go up there again I'll take a picture of it to show you. Stunning! A-MAY-zing! Not to mention, very cool indeed.

Yarn Dork: to make the "Indian Candy" from maple syrup, all you need is 100% pure maple syrup; e-mail me and I'll send more detailed instructions. Address in the "about me" bit up top.


Alwen said...

I'll be walking around all day thinking of Lady Wisconsin with a badger on her head!

Thanks for that image!

MollyBeees said...

My Mum and I saw that painter on State Street last year. We stood riveted for almost an hour because we just couldn't believe what we were seeing! Good thing he closed up shop and took a bread or we'd still be standing there. Can't wait to see a photo of your painting!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. I love those street guys too. I get mesmerized watching them. Thanks for the maply syrup info...I'm off to e-mail you.