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Published: Saturday, 10/9/2010

Efficient home cooks stop the food fights

It’s the eternal struggle.

On the one hand are your children, determined to eat only what they want to eat. On the other hand is you, trying to make meals that are healthy, wholesome, and relatively inexpensive.

Somewhere in between is your sanity being pulled in all directions at once.

Darla P. Jaros, who lives in Waterford, Mich., addresses this problem and others in her cookbook The Kitchen Assistant: Time and Money Saving Tips in the Kitchen. She will be signing copies of the book from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Petersburg Branch Library, 60 East Center St., in Petersburg, Mich.

Ms. Jaros came to the cookbook with an expertise born of necessity. As a home cook and single mother of three, she had to learn how to use fresh ingredients and efficient cooking techniques to bring dinner on the table quickly and to make clean-up a snap.

The book covers what staple items you should always keep in the pantry, how to make a meal out of very little, how to use spices, a weight-management program, and how to stretch your grocery dollars.

Trunk show!

Come for the clothes, home accessories, and gift items. Stay for the toffee.

The 24th annual Country Garden Club Holiday Trunk Show is Tuesday and Wednesday at the Carranor Hunt and Polo Club, 502 Second St., in Perrysburg. As always, vendors from around the country (toffee) will be selling their wares and goods (toffee) in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season (toffee).

And also as always, part of the show will be devoted to food (toffee), including a new vendor, Great Lakes Tea & Spice, from Glen Arbor, Mich., which specializes in loose-leaf teas, flowering teas, and artisanal spices.

Returning this year is Toffee Traditions, from Lake Forest, Ill. You might want to try their toffee.

The show is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, with lunch available at the Carranor Caf . Those who like a little bubbly with their shopping can go to the Shopping and Champagne event from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, with an appetizer buffet and cash bar also available. Admission to these events is $5.

Those who want to get a jump on the fun can attend the preview party from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow. The $30 admission to the party includes a dinner at 7:30 p.m. and admission to all other Holiday Trunk Show events.

For more information, send an email to TrunkShow10@aol.com, or call 419-873-8506.


The upcoming Holiday Trunk Show reminds us that there are only 76 more days until Christmas — and only 52 more days until Hanukkah. So perhaps it’s time to start contemplating our waistlines. Every salad we eat now is good for two cookies in December.

Beets are abundant now and are an excellent base for salads. The recipe at left, which comes to us from the spicy people at Tabasco, plays off the subtle sweetness of beets with the sweet acid of orange juice, the creamy sharpness of blue cheese, and the vinegar kick of hot sauce.

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