Michigan wineries want to win you over


For people who do not live in this general part of the world, the whole concept of Michigan wines is a punch line. It’s kind of like West Virginia wines, which also exist but are nowhere near as good.

So prove the people in the rest of the world wrong. And one of your best chances to do so is at the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest, which will be May 18 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.

Thirty wineries have already said they are coming to the fourth annual event, and they will be serving and selling more than 100 varieties of wine.

Beer, too, will be on tap, all of it from Michigan breweries, and Michigan-made foods will also be sold.

Advance tickets are $30, which includes $10 worth of tasting tokens. Camping is available (not a bad idea, considering all that wine and beer you’ll be tasting) for $35 and $50 at the racetrack’s campgrounds.

For more information, visit or call 800-354-1010.

Food safety

If you’ve ever had a bad case of food poisoning, it is not something you ever forget. Or care to repeat.

Shockingly, about one out of every six Americans, on average, suffers from some foodborne illness every year, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Obviously, most of those cases are not the ones that you never forget. But even so, that is an awful lot of illness that for the most part can be avoided.

If you run a food-related business, you very much want to avoid it for your customers. You don’t want them to be sick, of course, and you especially don’t want them telling everyone they know how they became sick from your food. Just ask me sometime about the day I and 18 of my colleagues got food poisoning from the iced tea from a nearby restaurant. Hoo boy.

To keep from having such stories as that one spread about your business, the Center for Innovative Food Technology will hold a food safety seminar from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen.

Anyone who works with food for a living — including people who produce products to sell at markets — are encouraged to learn from the expertise of food safety expert Shari Plimpton, who will go into detail about the proper handling, processing, and storage of food. She will also discuss the basics of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points as a tool to reduce and prevent the possibility of food contamination.

The cost is $25, or $40 for two, and it is payable at the door with cash or a check. Advance registration is required.

The Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen is on State Rt. 582, about five miles north of Bowling Green. The site is associated with the Agricultural Incubator Fund, so look for either sign; it is at 13737 Middleton Pike (which is Route 582), about 2.2 miles west of I-75.

Don’t worry if you drive right past it the first time. Everybody does.

For information or to register, call 419-535-6000, ext. 140, or visit

Cooking classes

Home-baked desserts. Can anything be better?

If you want to find out, you’ll have to act fast. Williams-Sonoma is holding a free technique class in home-baked desserts today at 10 a.m. at its Westfield Franklin Park Mall store. On the schedule are a cake, a berry tart, and individual lemon tarts.

Next week’s class at 10 a.m. on April 14 will be about pan roasting, both of meats and vegetables. On April 21, the class will celebrate Earth Day by looking into energy-saving methods of cooking, such as pressure cooking and steam roasting. And on April 28, the class will be devoted to all the wonderful things you can do with a Vitamix blender. And yes, the entire class will be a subtle effort to sell you one of the blenders, which cost more than $400, but dang, those things are amazing.

Meanwhile, this month’s Cookbook Club will be exploring recipes from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Garden, including radishes with butter and herbed salt, warm asparagus and Israeli couscous salad, fennel seed-crusted chicken with fennel and herb salad, and strawberry hazelnut shortcakes.

To register for any of the Williams-Sonoma classes, call 419-475-6368.


Really, you Morsels readers are the best readers a fellow could ever ask for. You are all extraordinary in your own way — smart, wise, and if I may say so, quite cute or handsome.

When I asked for more Dinner Tonight recipes, you responded with dozens of them. It was wonderful (but keep sending in more, because dozens doesn’t last as long as you’d think).

And with the recipes came a request from reader Carol Deal, who asked if, when you send them in, you could give an indication of how many servings the recipe makes. I’m afraid I can’t do that from my lofty perch as a food editor because, to be frank, I’m terrible at estimating proportions.

So if you know how many servings your recipes make, please be so kind as to include them with the recipes. That way, everyone who makes your dishes will know how much to expect.

Thanks so much. You guys are the best.

Items for Morsels should be submitted up to two weeks before an event to