Very Bavarian — Hankering for a quick road trip? This week sees Frankenmuth's 51st Annual Bavarian Festival, June 11-14. Expect Bavarian music, authentically dressed German bands, two parades and a full midway. Saturday is kids' day, with a children's parade at 10 a.m., and Sunday's parade can draw more than 100,000 people, with marching bands, floats, dance clubs and, of course, the newly crowned Bavarian Princess and her court. Did we mention there will be beer?

Pass the bottle — In addition to those delightful Bloody Marys, tipplers will have another reason to visit Vivio's in Detroit's Eastern Market this Thursday: an Italian wine tasting, with a visit from a winemaker from Lombardy, Italy. From 7 to 10 p.m., June 11, at 2460 Market St., Detroit; 313-393-1711; $25; attendance limited.

Bing at Blues — This Friday, Detroit's Seldom Blues celebrates its fifth anniversary with a strolling buffet, live music, and a visit from Mayor Dave Bing. At 6 p.m., Friday, June 12, at Seldom Blues, Tower 400, Level 1, GM Renaissance Center, Detroit;


Some barbecue experts say that the mark of a true pit master is one who can cook a whole pig, a process described by chef and barbecue competition champion Chris Lilly in his Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint (Clarkson Potter, $24.99). Chapter 5, "Four Hooves and a Fire," has several recipes and techniques for cooking pigs, with color photographs that ought to get aspiring amateurs and pros fired up, starting with the cover photo of succulent glazed spare ribs. Hot stuff!


There is no need to sacrifice flavor and body in your beer as the outside temperatures rise. Flemish for "white church," Wittekerke is a Belgian white beer brewed with equal portions barley and wheat to make it light and refreshing as well as a small quantity of oats for a creamy finish. Gently spiced with coriander seed and dried bitter orange peel (Curacao) the aromas are floral and fruity. And because you have the option of purchasing it in the can, it makes an ideal boating and camping beer.


Smoking briskets and pork butts requires hours — seven, ten, maybe more, depending on the size of the cut, often taking you into the evening when you can barely see the meat. Checking the internal temperature on a thermometer is near impossible, that is, unless you have an Outset F505 Magnetic Light made by Cuisinart. Its magnetic base will adhere to most stainless steel utensils, eliminating the guess-work that can ruin dinner. The ball-and-socket connection provides a full range of motion. We found this one for $15, LED bulbs and batteries. included.