Organics, organized Door to Door Organics, a home delivery service of locally grown produce based in Livonia, has been appealing to locavores this summer, delivering throughout metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint and Lansing. They've recently developed a special Web tool to aid online shoppers. The "Door to Door Organics Kitchen" allows customers to "shop by recipe" and have the ingredients delivered straight to their doorsteps. Plan your meals, shop with a click, and have the recipe at your fingertips when you cook — saving time, eating fresher and reducing food waste. The online kitchen allows users to refine their recipe searches by dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or even vegan. For more information see michigan.doortodoororganics.com.
Speaking of food In an event sponsored by the Detroit Food Policy Council, food activist and author Dr. Raj Patel will give a free public talk on "food sovereignty." Author of Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World's Food System, Patel's work on sustainability, food, and economics has been translated into over a dozen languages, and regularly contributes to the BBC, NPR, CBC, and the Guardian. Patel is to speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 1, at the Virgil Carr Cultural Arts Center, 311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; for more info, see detroitfoodpolicycouncil.net. To RSVP or for more information call 313-833-0396 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts, beats and sips The good people at Robert Mondavi Wines will touch down in Royal Oak for the weekend of revelry, complete with an exhibit illustrating the wine making process, a tasting pavilion and, naturally, complimentary tastings. It will be centrally located at the Our Credit Union Parking Lot (Washington Street between Lincoln and Seventh streets) in Downtown Royal Oak. Drop noon-8 p.m. Sept. 2-5.
Food fight! Well, not a food fight in the cafeteria sense, but a "duel" if you will, between chefs. A half-dozen of Ann Arbor's most respected chefs will accept a challenge: Create a dish based on a pairing of two wines and a cheese from around the world. Who wins? You be the judge. Really: As part of the strolling taste-off, your vote will count. Proceeds will benefit Avalon Housing, Inc., a Washtenaw County nonprofit developing and managing low-income rental housing. The wine tasting and dueling chef challenge, "Perfect Pairings, will take place 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Vinology, 110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841; vinowinebars.net; reservations required; $25 per person plus tax and tip.
More than meat It has been a lovely summer, and we've bellied up to the barbecue quite a lot. But, with harvest time comes the reminder that September is "Fruits and Veggies Month." Don't forget to get an extra helping of something a little more healthful, especially when it's in season and good and plenty.
Know of any upcoming food or drink events? Let us know! Send an e-mail to mjackman@metrotimes or call 313-202-8043.
food/thought Skip cooking school. James Peterson's books are the easy way to learn to cook — or to improve your skills and your repertoire if you already cook. Glance at one of the recipes in Kitchen Simple: Essential Recipes for Everyday Cooking (Ten Speed Press, $30) and you'll find a short list of ingredients and only a few tasks to guide you to the completion of the dish. The recipes can be prepared in an hour or less, many suggesting alternative ingredients or variation on the standards.
bottoms up The sour and salty condiment chanh muoi is also known as Vietnamese pickled lime. We discovered it browsing the menu at Pho Viet in Warren, where it is served as a beverage and translated to "pickled soda." A bit of chanh muoi containing both rind and flesh is cut, placed in a glass, and crushed slightly to release its juices. Sugar and ice are added and then it is served with a can of club soda for a sparkling and refreshing drink. (We figure it would also make a nice addition to a Bloody Mary.)
the works Reheating frozen, fried, breaded foods often results in clumps of soggy, occasionally unidentifiable grub. We've found a solution. The Crossini Nonstick French Fry Baking Sheet eliminates the need for additional oil to crispen the food. The thermal base retains the heat, and the perforations allow it to circulate around the food, cooking it evenly without turning each piece. French fries, fish sticks, chicken and vegetables are a breeze. Although we haven't tried, it should do a good job reheating pizza for a crunchy crust. It's oven-safe to 500 degrees.