SHELL GAME — Organized 18 years ago, the St. Ambrose Oysterfest draws hundreds of people for four hours of beer, wine and food. From oysters to Chef Ken LeFevre's seafood chowder to pasta dishes to chili to desserts, more than a dozen vendors, from health-conscious Sprout House to gut-pleasing National Coney Island, will be represented, guaranteeing there'll be something on offer that's your oyster. Wristbands $25 per person ($12 for children younger than 12) include everything but beer and wine ($3 suggested donation per glass); 5-9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in the tent at 15215 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Park; call 313-822-2814 for info.
MORE BEER? — Though it's technically September, it's never too early for Oktoberfest, right? It's part of Rochester's Annual Autumn Festival. The family-friendly celebration will have German-style fare, a massive beer tent, and about 2,000 or so in attendance, enjoying music, dancing and a sauerkraut-eating contest. Tent open 5-11 p.m. Sept. 26, and 1-11 p.m. Sept. 27; admission $5 for adults; call 248-650-5080 for more info.
EAT THE PAGE
Casseroles are comforting creations. Bubbling fresh out of the oven, they always look delectable. The idea of one-pot cooking is a comfort to the cleaner of the dish. The cook frequently can use whatever is in the pantry, adding a creamy sauce to bring the ingredients together. Beatrice Ojakangas' The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever (Chronicle Books, $24.95) will inspire you to explore the 500 recipes, from appetizers to desserts, from breakfast to dinner, encompassing such ingredients as eggs, meats, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables. Mangia!
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Almost 10 centuries ago, Benedictine monks built a brewery on top of Nährberg Hill in what is now the German state of Bavaria. Today, Weihenstephan is a midsized, government-regulated enterprise that produces celebrated beers in classic styles. Presently, we're pounding their rich seasonal Festbier. It's a lager slightly higher in alcohol with a malty, full body and pleasant hop balance. This beer is easily available in Detroit, but fest time won't last much longer — grab yourself a couple six-packs, some friends and an oom-pah band.
If you cook, you will eventually burn yourself — it's a given. But, whatever you do, don't put butter on the burn to soothe it. Created by a dermatologist, Healing Skin Burn Cream MD relieves the pain, speeds wound healing and aids scar minimization. If the cost — a pretty hefty $30 — seems high, rest assured that it's a small price to pay if it works as well as its sellers claim. A simple search of the Internet should yield various sources. Keep a container in the kitchen, right next to your fire extinguisher, as they frequently go hand in hand.
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