Sustainable foodways Fans of soup, rejoice. There's one more choice in town, with the introduction of Farm to Ladle, a "soup cooperative and catering company." They're aiming high, going for seasonality, saying, "If it's growing in the ground today, you will see it in our stock pots tomorrow." They declare that their ingredients will be sourced locally, from Michigan farmers using sustainable practices. (They're so fussy about their foods' origins, their menu boards list the ingredients and the farms they came from!) Clearly, they want to ensure their soup isn't just good for you, but for all of us. One up-front caveat we appreciated — and one other locavore-oriented businesses may do well to imitate — was that sometimes the seasons just aren't in your favor. (That's right: Sometimes there's a poor harvest. And some stuff, like a tomato, grows well only in summer. It's nature's way.) But, after noting that, Farm to Ladle gets upbeat, hoping for more variety and options "as new urban farms and year-round hoop-houses emerge from the Michigan growing culture." Are you a farmer or grower who'd like to be a part of their mission? Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Just fine with the environmentally conscious soup? Drop in at Rust Belt Market, 22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 617-470-8811; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit-style honored The people at Parade magazine have named Buddy's Pizza No. 2 on their national honor roll of "What America Eats." The gooey, delicious Detroit-style pizza is a local tradition. Hey, good job, Buddy's. Drop in at any location to sample their new, gourmet toppings, including capers, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes and more.
How does your garden grow? The folks at detroit contemporary are hosting a garden-building competition. Gardens will be designed and built as permanent installations in the gardens outside their building. But if you're feeling creative, you'd better hurry: Proposals are due by April 1. Send proposals, including a description of space needed, any proposed plants, placement in sun or shade, amount of soil needed and any drawings. Send questions and proposals to email@example.com.
Online? Sweet! The 136-year-old company, Sanders Candy — simply "Sanders" to longtime locals — has a new website. Now Detroiters at home and all over the world can order with the touch of a button. Have a look, at
Know of any upcoming food, drink or garden events? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
a tasty beverage According to Mark Szymanski at MotorCity Wine, customers just couldn't get enough of the Rhone-style red from Guild Winemakers in Portland, Ore. Szymanski says, "Every so often, we'll pour a wine by the glass and a customer will buy a case. But this was the first time that ever happened three times with a wine." And the good news is they just got a shipment of five cases of Guild's Lot Four red, out of only 705 cases produced at the vintner's cooperative. The blend of Syrah and Mourvedre grapes produces a drink that Szymanski says is "pretty full-bodied, peppery, with dark fruit characteristics, barreled in American oak so it has a toasty coconut flavor on the edge, but it's bold and bright." It's available at MotorCity Wine (608 Woodward Ave., Second Floor, Detroit; 313-483-7283; motorcitywine.com) for $16 a bottle
food/thought Indian-born and -raised New York restaurateur and author Suvir Suran found himself upstate on a 67-acre farm raising goats, alpacas, ducks, geese and chickens, providing him and his friends with true farm-to-table cuisine. Tantalizing photos and descriptions and anecdotes — such as once being offered a joint in exchange for a few fresh eggs — enhance the recipes that this former city-dweller-turned-country-boy cooks and shares in Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Chronicle Books, $29.95). Warm egg salad on croissants with country bacon and arugula, biscuit-crusted tomato pie, and shrimp and sweet corn curry are examples of the diversity of foods you can relish.
the works We like nothing better than inexpensive, functional, multipurpose kitchen utensils such as this wire mesh strainer or skimmer. The bamboo handle, unlike metal, won't burn your hands. The brass skimmer is perfect for removing fried foods such as wonton, whole fish, egg rolls, dumplings and noodles from a wok, allowing the excess oil to drain off, retaining the food's crispiness. Not exclusively for use in Chinese cooking, it's great for removing ravioli, tortellini and other boiled foods from water. A side benefit is that the boiling water is the easiest way to clean and sanitize the strainer. This one is available for $10 at templeofthai.com.