Can do spirit — The Michigan State University Extension's Food, Nutrition and Health division is offering courses in Food Preservation 101, teaching about freezing, water-bath and pressure canning, with simple demonstrations and resources for those interested in pursuing food preservation. This one-day presentation will be held twice: From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 26 and May 25, in the MSU Extension classroom at 705 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor. To enroll, call 734-997-1678.
Kitchen sink — It's that store you've likely driven past a hundred times without ever going in, but this week there's a special reason to explore Peoples Restaurant Supply: a pre-Opening Day open house on Thursday, with demonstrations of equipment, special discounts, and free food, including hot dogs, nachos and cheese, and popcorn. The business, a Detroit institution since 1918, has been making headway with householders in recent years, and owner Gary Corsi says individuals can get the same discounts as commercial kitchen operators. It all happens from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 8, at 2209 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-567-1944.
No more using your limited space and antiquated utensils as excuses to keep you out of the kitchen. Chef Jennifer Schaertl's Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens (HCI, $18.95) offers you the recipes, tools and skills that will enable you to prepare delectable meals that will do you proud. She does it all with a sense of humor, creating "When the Saints Come Marchin' in Gumbo," "Get Freaky Tzatziki" and "Rum-Infused, Caramelized Pork Chops."
When the students and monks of The Detroit Zen Center in Hamtramck aren't meditating, they're drinking and selling organic Teuk Seon green tea. Hand-harvested from the Korean mountainside, "Bright Eyes" is a high-grade tea with a pleasing aroma of marsh grass and honey. A sip is mildly sweet and earthy with just a hint of tannin on the finish. It'll last up to four steepings and proceeds go to support the nonprofit Zen Center. They offer three more grades of various quality and price. See detroitzencenter.org.
Burgers hot off the grill require a batch of hot fries. Pair a Lodge Deep Fryer Basket and a deep pot to make restaurant quality french fries or to fry fresh-caught fish. This commercial-grade basket has a sturdy handle that's long enough to keep you at a safe distance from the hot oil, and a plastic shield to keep the handle cool to the touch. The manufacturer suggests deep-frying at 365 degrees. Put the basket into the oil slowly to avoid spattering. We found this one at chefscatalog.com.
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