‘Taste Off’ finale set for Oct. 16


Journal Staff Writer

MUNISING — The Two Books, Two Communities program, a partnership between Northern Michigan University and the Marquette and Alger County communities, will host its Battle of the Recipe Box Taste Off Finale at 11 a.m. Oct. 16, at the Munising School Public Library.

A total of 71 favorite recipes, and reasons they are special, were submitted to the contest by the public. Voting was held online, with the top five winners to be announced at the Taste Off event.

People may view the submitted recipes, memories and stories at nmu.edu/onebook/twobooks or the Munising School Public Library site msplonline.org/battle-of-the-recipe-box.

The 2021 Two Books, Two Communities program features “Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie,” a collection of essays on food edited by Peggy Wolff, and 2021 Michigan Notable Book Award Winner “Teacher/Pizza Guy,” a collection of poems by Jeff Kass.

The program hosts a number of author events and related programming.

A virtual panel discussion comprising three authors from “Fried Walleye” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday via Zoom. Access the link at nmu.edu/onebook/twobooks or the Peter White Public Library site at pwpl.info/events.

According to NMU, “Fried Walleye” was named the Foreword Book of the Year 2013 Gold winner for anthologies and finalist for essays. The awards are for the best of independent presses, judged by librarians and booksellers.

The book is a collection of food essays featuring 30 Midwestern writers. Authors Bonnie Jo Campbell, Anne Dimock and Peggy Wolff during the event will speak at the Wednesday event.

In addition to editing, Wolff wrote the book’s introduction and a chapter on “The Door County Fish Boil.” Wolff’s feature articles on farmers and outdoor markets, chefs, foodstuffs and Jewish holiday food rituals have appeared throughout the past 17 years in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

She also has written features on art, photography, design and ultra-sports for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Chicago Magazine, ArtNews, The Week, Outdoor Photographer and more.

Campbell is the author of “Once Upon a River,” a national bestseller, and other novels. Dimock is a playwright and the author of “Humble Pie.”

In a meditation on comfort food, Elizabeth Berg recalls her aunt’s meatloaf in the book. Stuart Dybek takes readers on a school field trip to a slaughtering house, while Peter Sagal grapples with the ethics of paté. Parsing Cincinnati five-way chili, Robert Olmstead digresses into questions of Aztec culture.

Harry Mark Petrakis reflects on owning a South Side Chicago lunchroom, while Campbell nurses a sweet tooth through a fudge recipe.

Regarding “Teacher/Pizza Guy,” the Two Books, Two Communities website describes the book in part, “The journey as an Ann Arbor high school teacher and delivery driver was draining, at times daunting, at times satisfying, but always surprising.”

Kass teaches 10th-grade English and creative writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor. He is the founder of the Literary Arts Program at Ann Arbor’s teen center, The Neutral Zone, where he was program director for 20 years.

He is also the author of the award-winning short story collection “Knuckleheads,” the poetry collection “My Beautiful Hook-Nosed Beauty Queen Strut Wave” and the thriller “Takedown.”

Copies of the books are available for purchase at the NMU bookstore, Snowbound Books, Falling Rock Books and Cafe in Munising and other bookstores in Marquette County.

Download the free Libby or Overdrive app from Google Play, the App Store or Microsoft to access a free eBook version, if you have a library card.

Learn more about the books and events at nmu.edu/onebook/.

Christe Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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