Prohibition is over! For 13 years, from 1920 to 1933, the United States forbade the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcoholic beverages. And Detroiters reacted to the ban the same way they had to similar legislative bans in the 19th century: They cheerfully flouted it. Detroit newspaper editor Malcolm Bingay once wrote of Detroit in the 1920s, "It was absolutely impossible to get a drink in Detroit unless you walked at least 10 feet and told the busy bartender what you wanted in a voice loud enough for him to hear you above the uproar." This week, a bunch of contemporary Detroiters are gathering to thumb their noses at the "Noble Experiment." The gathering is called Celebrate Repeal Day, marking 78 years since Congress ratified the repeal of the much-despised 18th Amendment. Doors open at 3 p.m., and a ceremonial cask-tapping at 5:30 p.m. kicks off the festivities, followed by entertaining talks by former Detroit Free Press columnist and Detroit Almanac co-editor Bill McGraw, and Hidden History of Detroit author Amy Elliott Bragg. Expect music from the D-Town Get Down Brass Band; period dress encouraged. It all happens Monday, Dec. 5, at the Sugar House, 2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit. For more information, see repealdaydetroit.com.
Holiday spirits Speaking of a time when liquor came over from Canada, don't forget the local whiskey from just across the river. Give the gift of Canadian Club. The distillery's attractively bottled Classic 12 can be had for about $22 at better outlets, and Canadian Club's 6 Year for about $14. The perfect last-minute gift for the whiskey-lover in your life.
State titles Even Applebee's is getting on the Michigan craft brew bandwagon. Seven metro area Applebee's will now feature Michigan craft beers, including Roseville, Utica, Westland, Auburn Hills, Warren, Harper Woods and Madison Heights. Expect Bell's Oberon and Best Brown Ale, Frankenmuth American Blonde, Dunkel Lager and Hefeweizen Ale, Michigan Brewing Company's Mackinac Pale Ale, Celis White and Celis Raspberry, and Saugatuck Brewing Company's Oval Beach Blonde Ale. For more information, see applebees.com.
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Chronicle Books, $40
If the thought of curling up next to a crackling fire reading a book about food is appealing, Ruhlman's Twenty (Chronicle Books, $40) is a good choice. Michael Ruhlman's latest is a serious study of the 20 techniques that will guide you through any recipe. Included are chapters on eggs, sauces, soups and braising. The first chapter may be the most significant, applying "mis en place," the assembly of the tools and ingredients used in a recipe to a mental process: organizing the procedures in your mind, thinking about the methods and the flavors, and the final product. Color photos lead you step by step through several of the recipes.
the works You needn't go out in the cold to enjoy hot Belgian waffles for breakfast. With this good looking Krups waffle maker, you can put them on the table in minutes. A light signals you when to pour in the batter, and, in four minutes, your steaming fresh waffles are ready to eat. (We've made the batter the night before to avoid looking for the ingredients while we'd rather be just drinking coffee.) A little grated orange peel is a tasty touch. The non-stick interior makes removal of the waffles and subsequent cleanup a breeze. Pick one up at Macy's for $50.