'Wine in the Woods' fest
Wine and food, crafts and music will abound when Howard County holds a "Wine in the Woods" festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Symphony Woods in Columbia, home of Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Ten local wineries will be pouring samples, and more than two dozen restaurants and food vendors will be preparing dishes from Buffalo shrimp to honey-glazed ham to herb cheese to chicken fajitas. Nearly a dozen musicians and performers will be entertaining with blues, jazz, classics, bluegrass, reggae and calypso music.
There will also be about 80 craftspeople and artisans displaying wares from wooden toys to table linens to baskets and beads to quilts to twig furniture, plus cooking demonstrations and wine education seminars.
The cost is $10 per person 21 and older; $5 for designated drivers. Admission for ages 3 to 20 is also $5.
Wineries include Basignani, Boordy, Woodhall, Elk Run,
Berrywine Plantations, Linganore Cellars, Catoctin, Byrd and Fiore.
For more information, call (410) 313-2762.
It's a weekend for wine events. A Tasting at the Station, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday at Green Spring Station on Falls Road just north of the Interstate 83 at the Beltway, will feature wines from 10 countries to sample, with hors d'oeuvres from eight local chefs including Linwood Dame of Linwood's, Harvey Shugarman of Harvey's, caterer Charles Levine, Joey Chiu of the JTC Green Spring Inn and Billy Himmelrich of the Stone Mill Bakery. Shops will be offering 10 percent discounts. Tickets to the event are $30 a person and are tax-deductible; the event benefits the International Visitors Center of Maryland, a private, nonprofit institution that promotes regional economic, educational and cultural interests.
The festivities will include drawing for prizes that include two round-trip airfares to London. For more information call (410) 837-7150.
Pleasurably cheap eats
"It is our opinion that eating is one of the great pleasures of life." That is the auspicious beginning for a recent cookbook by Brooke Dojne and Melanie Barnard. Auspicious because, even though the book is called "Cheap Eats," it doesn't call for any austerity in taste.
The idea of "Cheap Eats" (HarperPerennial, $9.95) is to prepare a full meal for four people that costs $10 or less. The authors rely heavily on smart shopping; they suggest choosing seasonal produce, buying in volume and buying house brands rather than pricier national brands, using coupons, and avoiding expensive ingredients and costly gadgets.
One main dish suggested for spring is ginger turkey and asparagus stir-fry with brown or white rice. Here's the recipe:
Ginger turkey and asparagus stir-fry
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 pound boneless turkey breast cutlets
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, including green tops
In a 2-cup measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch and hot pepper. Set the sauce aside.
Cut the turkey into strips about 1/4 -inch wide and dry the meat thoroughly on paper towels.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. When the oil is hot, add the turkey and cook over high heat, stirring almost constantly, for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the asparagus and continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Stir the sauce mixture and pour it into the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, for two minutes, until the sauce is clear and thickened and the asparagus is crisp-tender. Stir in the scallions and serve. Children's diets are upside-down, concludes a recent survey by the Nutritional Marketing Division of MRCA Information Services, an independent agency in Northbrook, Ill., that collects food usage information.
The survey of children ages 6 to 12, part of the company's continuing Menu Census Study of 2,000 U.S. households, found that, while the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines recommend "5 a day" servings of fruits and vegetables, children are consuming half that -- only 2.5 servings a day. The guidelines call for sparing intake of sweets, fats and oils; in fact, children consume 3.6 servings of those items. Meat, poultry, eggs and nuts, recommended to be no more than 2 or 3 servings a day, registered 4.4 servings in the survey.
Clearly some education is in order, of children and parents. The survey was commissioned by Dole Food Co. of San Francisco, which suggests that such simple measures as serving fruit juice every day, packing an apple or banana in a lunch box and having raw carrots or broccoli florets available for snacks can greatly improve a child's intake of essential fruits and vegetables.
To help parents and children choose a more healthful diet, Dole is offering a cook-booklet called "Fun with Fruits & Vegetables: -- Kids Cookbook," that provides tips on preparing fruits and vegetables and simple recipes that parents and children can fix together. Recipes include carrot and raisin sunshine salad, crunchy vegetable burrito banditos, and fruit and juice breakfast shake. Parents can get a copy by sending a check for $1, payable to Dole Kids Cookbook, to Dole Kids Cookbook, P.O. Box 8765-A, Clinton, Iowa 52736.