Jazzin' on local fare If the music doesn't lure you onto East Jefferson Avenue for the ninth annual Jazzin' on Jefferson festival, then perhaps the food will. And there's a big change this year at the June 15-16 festival on Detroit's far east side. Carnival food is out — FoodLab Detroit's fresh local fare is in. A network of "triple-bottom-line food entrepreneurs," FoodLab exists to connect socially and environmentally responsible food businesses in the Detroit area to hungry community members. More than a dozen different vendors will be present throughout the weekend, making for a wide range of options. French pastries, assorted vegetables and refreshing beverages are in the mix, along with some interesting original creations, such as Healthy Living Raw's banana chew sticks ("a dehydrated snack, soaked in organic lemon juice and dusted with golden turmeric powder") and Beautiful Soup's 12 varieties of gazpacho soup. And there'll be no shortage of sweets, with truffles from Peter's Chocolate Company and Native Kitchen's assortment of baked desserts in variations of natural, organic, alternatively sweetened, wheat and gluten-free. Jazzin' on Jefferson always delivers great music — attractions this year include the Ralphe Armstrong Show and Johnnie Bassett — and the new food options make it an ideal way to spend Father's Day weekend.
Top me off! If the phrase "mad hatter" makes you think of tea parties, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised to learn that Mad Hatter Day at Foran's Grand Trunk Pub will instead feature seven New Holland Hatters and IPAs. And, of course, don't forget to don your maddest hat, as prizes will be awarded. The fun starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043; foransirishpub.com.
Sparkle, sparkle Champane's Wine Cellars of Warren did all the traveling, so you can do all the tasting. Experience sparkling wines from all around the world at the Summer Sparkle wine-tasting event. Just so you arrive with a few sophistication points already in your pocket, here's some sparkling wine intel: most are white- or rose-colored, but if you see red you've got Italian Brachetto or Australian Shiraz. The sparkling wine sweetness spectrum will range from dry "brut" options to sweeter "doux" samples, including such varieties as true Champagnes, Prosecco, Cava, Spumante, and Moscato D'Asti. Summer Sparkle takes place 6-7:45 p.m. June 7. These events have sold out in the past, so an early reservation would be a good idea — just stop by the store or call 586-978-9463. Admission is $15 and includes tasting and hors d'oeuvres. Champane's Wine Cellars is located at 7007 Chicago Rd., Warren.
Smart food Wayne State University's weekly farmers market is starting up again. Vendors will include Brother Nature Produce, Grown in Detroit, D-Town Farm, ACRE Farm, and more. The market opens June 6, running 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every Wednesday through Oct. 31. Find it in front of Prentis Hall at 5201 Cass Ave., Detroit.
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Soup of the Day
(Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of
Weldon Owen, $34.95
If you dig soup, you'll love Kate McMillian's Soup of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year. Although the book is carefully organized — by month, by ingredients, even by type of soup, including chilis, chowders, grain-based soups and stews, pastas and noodles, among others — the variety can be overwhelming when trying to decide what to make. The mouthwatering photos that accompany several of the recipes help make decisions simpler. Chickpea and roasted tomato soup with fried rosemary, or saffron fregola with seafood are good for any season.
the works Making a good pot of soup requires, of course, a great recipe or, even better, an heirloom family recipe handed down for a generation or two. But you'll surely also need a good stock pot, large enough to make a batch that can be slow-simmered while the flavors develop — and thick enough to prevent scorching. Amazon has great prices on Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stockpots, such as a 12-quart model that encapsulates an aluminum disc between two layers of stainless steel, providing even heat distribution with good looks. This one, normally $120, is a bargain at $59.54 with free shipping.