Good events in both Stevens Point (where we spoke to a small and active group at Emy J’s Garage, a coffee house performance space) and Wausau, where we appeared at Janke Book Store, the oldest bookstore in the State of Wisconsin.
In Stevens Point, we did some song and dance about our journey and our book, but what really capture people’s attention — perhaps not surprisingly — were the cheeses. Blue cheese with Wisconsin Natural Acres honey has been a big hit of the tour. And our friend and event organizer, Eric Olson, was kind enough to bring along some samples of us his own, including a cave aged cheese that was powerful yet charming.
We were lucky enough to have Larry Steckbauer, a master cheesemaker from Sartori Foods, join us in Wausau. (He’s pictured, above.) Larry makes some of our favorite cheeses, including SarVecchio (to which Becca is practically addicted) and Bellavitano (which I’ve been known to cook with whenever given the opportunity.) Raspberry Bellavitano, made with New Glarus raspberry beer and new to both of us, was a real revelation. Flavored cheeses can easily go wrong with too strong or too sweet a flavored note, but here the raspberry is a gentle whisper at the end of a rich and clean-tasting cheese. Wonderfully done.
When we set up at Janke, there weren’t too many people in attendance, and it looked like it might be a short and/or sparsely attended event. But then, lo and behold, more and more folks showed up, dropped by, sampled cheese, and bought books. We ended up selling out the store’s supply, and having a terrific time in the process at an event that felt more like a cocktail party (minus cocktails, and featuring cheese) than a presentation or signing.
Now we’ve got a few days to relax before we do the bulk of our tour, including a public radio appearance, four appearances in Madison, a trip down to Chicago, and other exciting events. Whew.