Apple jacks Michigan Beer Guide's Rex Halfpenny tells us that the third annual Great Lakes Olde World Syder Competition, or GLOWS, is coming up in December, and it includes categories for commercial producers (holding liquor licenses) and noncommercial producers (home hobbyists and non-liquor licensed commercial establishments like cider mills). Fermented products of all kinds are welcome: ciders, perrys, meads, beers, and distillates, provided that they are made with or include apples or pears. Rex can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, check the Beer Guide web page at michiganbeerguide.com.
Cancer fighters As we finish up National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Hard Rock Cafe Detroit reminds us that their Thursday night performances (10 p.m.) have bands battling for cancer-fighting funds. Proceeds from the events will benefit the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the spot will host the "Rocktober" finale celebration, starts 5 p.m. At Hard Rock Cafe Detroit, 45 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-7625; $5 suggested donation; all ages welcome.
Choc it up Were you aware that Oct. 28 is National Chocolate Day? We weren't either. Just another marketing gimmick? Maybe. But it's a good excuse to get your sweet tooth on, and a chance to show your favorite local chocolatier that you really care.
EAT THE PAGE
The recent addition of Pars, a Persian restaurant, to the local dining scene is likely to spawn an interest in the hearts of home chefs for sources of this fine cuisine's recipes and techniques. Najmieh Batmanglij's A Taste of Persia (Mage Publishers, $19.95) will scratch that itch. Beautifully photographed dishes accompany the recipes, many of which should reward your efforts to duplicate the likes of the chicken marinade, which includes lime juice, yoghurt and saffron, giving kebabs a luscious golden exterior and unique flavor.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Vermont's Magic Hat Brewery is celebrating new Michigan distribution by rolling out barrels of their flagship beer No. 9. Stick your face in a pint and inhale a nose full of fruit and vanilla. It's a fruit-leather kind of fruit, dried apricot and other wrinkly sweet things. A gulp is clean with a brief bite of hops then a drying out. We are generally skeptical of fruit beers, but this brew's dry finish makes it easy to drain a few pints. Look for it on tap at your local watering hole.
Just when you thought you'd seen it all, along come Toastabags, reusable, tough plastic bags that can be filled with the ingredients usually sandwiches and slipped into a toaster slot for fast, mess-free cooking. They must have been invented by a college student seeking the simplest means possible to provide hot sustenance on the cheap. Pour in eggs and fixings for a mess-free omelet. Toastabags.com offers recipes and ordering instructions. The manufacturer claims that the bags can be wiped clean and reused. Maybe they should call them "the world's smallest kitchen."Know of any new places, special dinners or food-related events? Send materials two weeks in advance of the event to Food Stuff, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 or e-mail email@example.com