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Food stuff 

Evolve — The Detroit Evolution Laboratory, created as a clearinghouse for "health, joy and liberation for the people of Detroit," is hosting some interesting cooking classes. At press time, the Aug. 18 class, "The Basics of a Vegan Diet," is sold out, but slots are still available for the class on Aug. 25, a special "Late Summer Restoration" class that will cover self-care and cooking ($70). Full descriptions and times for these and other classes are available on the group's Web site. Call 313-316-1411 or e-mail info@detroitevolution.com to reserve your space. At the rear entrance of 1434 Gratiot Ave, #1, Detroit.

Playing squash — A few hours away in southwestern Michigan, the Round Barn Winery in Baroda is having its annual harvest party, marking 15 years of the family-friendly festivities. The estate of the family-owned and -operated winery, brewery and distillery is billed as the "perfect end-of-summer event." It runs 2-7 p.m., Saturday- Sunday, Aug. 25-26. There will be adult beverages, including world-class wines, micro-brewed beer and the world's first estate vodka made from grapes. as well as hay rides, grape-stomping and moon-bouncing for kids. It's $10 per day ages 21 and up, $5 for ages 13-20, free for anybody 12 or younger. Call 1-800-716-9463 for presale discounted tickets or visit www.roundbarnwinery.com. At 10983 Hills Rd., Baroda.

Two in Troy — Brio Tuscan Grille is marking two years in Somerset Collection with a weeklong second anniversary party, with complimentary appetizers and desserts, free kids' meals and many other discounts all week long, Aug. 20-26. At 2801 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy.

Eat the Page

In her new book Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life (Harper Collins $26.95), Barbara Kingsolver and family chronicle the year they spent in the Appalachians living off the land. With husband Steven L. Hopp and daughter Camille Kingsolver as co-authors, Barbara describes how they grew fruits and vegetables and raised chickens, resolving to "get our food from so close to home that we'd know the person who grew it." Her descriptions of the flavors of freshly picked foods give us a greater appreciation of the season's bounty.

A Tasty Beverage

Renowned for its potent simplicity, a caipirinha is a blend of muddled lime, sugar and the Brazilian rum cachaça. It is Brazil's national cocktail and a delicious warm-weather tipple. We make our caipirinhas with Velho Barreiro cachaça. At the marvelously low price of $13 for one whole liter, Velho Barreiro drinks silky smooth and finishes with a whisper of dried tropical fruit and scorched stone similar to a top-shelf mescal. In fact, this brand of cachaça is so good and cheap we use it for all our rum-based cocktails. Mojitos and Cuba libres never tasted so good.

It Works

The picture can be deceiving. This is no ordinary Weber kettle. This bad boy is nearly 45 inches in diameter — that's 1,100 square inches of cooking space — as opposed the standard 22-1/2-inch model that adorns millions of decks across the country. At $1,200 dollars (plus a lot of charcoal), you can feed all of your friends and relatives — perfect for that family reunion. Weber restaurants in Chicago and other cities showcase them in open kitchens — well-ventilated, we hope. If you can get by with something a little smaller, contact Robert Felton at detroitgrillking.com and save over a grand.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to mjackman@metrotimes.com.

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