If someone would have told me five years ago I would be living in Madison, working the full-time job I am now and blogging about food in my spare time, I probably would have laughed in my obnoxious, slightly manly way and said, “That’s funny. But seriously, what am I really doing?”
Life has a tendency to do that.
Doesn’t the Woody Allen saying go something like, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him all about your plans?” I mean, when was the last time you envisioned the next five years of your life only to have found things go exactly as you had planned five years later?
The world works in mysterious and wonderful ways. I firmly believe that. Things happen for very specific reasons, even if you can’t quite see the clarity of the situation as it whirls around your head like one of those pesky buzzing flies taunting you to swat them.
If I wasn’t living in Madison, I wouldn’t have had the chance to eat at Graze.
Madison’s fantastically talented Chef Tory Miller opened this chic gastropub several months ago, which focuses on locally-made, organically-grown and grass-fed food.
The point is to graze throughout your meal – trying a variety of small plates and simply enjoying the experience of eating delicious food with friends, family or a loved one.
I’m more of a food hoarder myself, but I thought this “graze” concept was worth a try.
Naturally, grazing (or really, any sort of good eating) should start with a locally-made beer.
This one was Moon Man by New Glarus.
Before I proceed, I should tell you that if it wasn’t for a very special blogger guest of mine, I may not have gone to Graze at all Monday night. The stars would have never aligned, that beer would never have been ordered and a half basket of cheese curds lovingly fried in a vodka batter would not have been eaten.
It would have been a travesty.
Thanks be to Danielle.
And Wisconsin Cheese.
If I hadn’t started working as an administrative assistant at an accounting firm in Minnesota, where I was bored one day and happened upon Kath’s blog, I probably never would have even started my own blog. That means I definitely would have never met Danielle or even perhaps been interested in dining at Graze.
My foodie soul would have never been nurtured, and I may have never ventured off to try a Beet Salad with pepitas, goat cheese and a honey-balsamic vinaigrette…
…or a Warm Farro Salad with brussel sprouts, sweet potato and a curry vinaigrette.
Heck, without blogging, I would have no idea what farro is.
If it hadn’t been for a two-year relationship full of struggles and hardship, I may have never had the inner strength to take care of myself. To get healthy. To treat my body right. To treat myself right.
Without the crappy relationship, administrative assistant job, food blogging + blog friends, moving to Madison and truly being on my own, I don’t know if I would have gotten to the point of realizing dessert is an essential part of a healthy life.
Specifically, peach + raspberry crisp with vanilla ice cream.
You can swoon. It was by far the best course of the whole dinner.
Really, there are no mistakes in life. One thing leads to the next which leads to the next…kind of like grazing, I suppose. You can be a cow in a field of alfalfa who wants to move into a field of clover really, really badly. You can try to lead the herd to said field of clover as much as you want, but when your cow friends all start gravitating to the big hay pile by the barn, hay it is.
I may plan to be married to a stunning Argentinean tango dancer, living in Buenos Aires and becoming a writer in five years. But things change.
When I find myself married to a Wisconsin-born farm boy, living in the middle of Nowhere and whittling canes for the local Amish community, please remind me of this.