Market growth Want to get in on a growing market? Visit a local farmers' market. According to the USDA, last year saw the establishment of more than 1,000 new farmers' markets across the country, an expansion of 17 percent in one year. And they're getting bigger and more focused on food education and cooking demonstrations. Take the Milford Farmers' Market, due to open May 10. Open Thursday afternoons, the dozens of vendors draw crowds into the evening, with nearby farmers selling fresh produce along with artisans, live local entertainment and in Milford's city center. The market is open from 3-8 p.m. every Thursday through Oct. 18, on East Liberty Street between South Main and Union streets; public parking available near the market; for more info, see milfordfarmersmarket.org.
Chew and view If you like art with your fare, consider the show opening at the Majestic Café. It's called Birds of a Feather, and it's a group show with artworks featuring girls and birds. Featured artists include Sabrina Nelson, Suzanne Allen, Gary Van Gorp and Gwen Joy. Organizers promise the opening will be "a dose of über fun." Opening reception is 8-11 p.m. May 10, and the work stays up until July 8. At 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
More for Mom Still not sure where to treat Mom for Mother's Day? Big Rock Chophouse is hosting its annual Mother's Day brunch at its sister restaurant next door, the Reserve. Brunch will begin with a Champagne toast and will feature a variety of chef's stations. The breakfast station alone will offer tailor-made omelets, waffles, French toast, breakfast meats, oatmeal, traditional eggs Benedict, barbecue pork Benedict, corned beef hash, breakfast potatoes, brown-sugar-roasted grapefruit, and more. The savory station will have herb-crusted New York strip loin, pecan-crusted Amish chicken, Togarashi salmon and more. And then there will be the salads, lox, shrimp cocktail and cheeses at the cold station, to say nothing of the sumptuous selections at the dessert station. Cost (not including tax, tip, valet) is $47 for adults, $22 for children ages 6-11, and $7 for children 5 and younger; seatings 11-11:30 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m., Sunday, May 13, at 245 S. Eaton St., Birmingham; 248-647-7774; bigrockchophouse.com.
Rub it till it pops It's grilling weather! And as lovers of steaks know, all a good, room-temperature steak needs is a little salt and pepper on each side and a quick visit to a very hot grill. Or does it have to be so simple? The people at McCormick spices keep sending us increasingly unusual rubs, marinades and seasonings. They offer such slow and low rubs as "Smokin' Texas BBQ" and "Memphis Pit BBQ," a "Spiced Brandy and Herb" marinade and such seasonings as Molasses Bacon and Steakhouse Onion Burger. If salt and pepper just won't do it, see what McCormick has to offer at a better supermarket near you.
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If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons
Sheryl Crowe and Chuck White
St. Martin's Press, $29.99
There are plenty of diets with claims to improving health. Recording artist, activist, mother and cancer survivor Sheryl Crowe spreads her version of the diet gospel in If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons. Co-written with Chuck White, her personal chef at home and on the road, the authors espouse the use of nutritious, seasonal, organic foods, including animal products that are humanely raised, all without sacrificing flavor. The sofrito rice with green chilies and mango is good on its own, but even better with the mojo criollo, Latin-influenced, slow-roasted pork.
The negativity and finger-pointing and bickering surrounding this year's presidential campaigns can test your patriotism. You can't avoid it, and both big candidates will spend more money than ever hammering you with ever-uglier attack ads as November nears. At least we can take solace in something like this whimsical, flag-inspired tray. Sur La Table has an exclusive on this stars-and-stripes ceramic Uncle Sam top hat tray. It will brighten your picnic table. Maybe it won't stop all the yammering, but, hey, turn off the tube, turn down the radio and fill this tray with the kind of all-American nuts you'd rather deal with. The tray is microwave- and dishwasher-safe.