Food stuff 

Polska pride — The American-Polish Century Club is ready to throw its 29th Annual Polish Festival, celebrating Polish heritage. The festival offers a diverse mix of local music, art and Polish-American cuisine at a very reasonable cost. Last year, the fest drew more than 12,000 guests, and they hope to attract another great crowd this year, all in a child-friendly, safe and secure environment featuring stage performances, dance groups and bands — including a July 10 performance by the Polish Muslims — and delicious Polish food and imported Polish beer. It all happens July 10-12, on the grounds of the American-Polish Century Club, 33204 Maple Lane, Sterling Heights; 586-264-7990; admission free.

Cuban carnival — This month, Café Habana in Ann Arbor will celebrate the taste and sounds of Cuba. The monthlong Carnivale de Santiago has salsa dancing lessons, a special menu, live music on the patio and more. To learn more, call 734-332-6046, or drop in at 211 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor.


Chris Forth's Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations (The Lyons Press $24.95) is a provocative exploration of the 10 countries that comprise the author's Axis of Evil. Forth is a political analyst whose beat has been primarily Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but here she explores the cuisines and the politics. The last section, the "Great Satan Barbecue," illuminates the worldview of the good old U.S. of A.  


Summer days are stretched and this is the time we require our evening cocktails to be as potent and refreshing as, say, a mojito. Not coincidentally, the backyard mint patch is thriving and we have ample supply of Cruzan Estate light rum. Distilled from molasses in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cruzan is aged a minimum of one year in American oak barrels and shows gentle notes of fruit, smoke and vanilla. At $11 a fifth, it's one of the best rum values going.


It's not too late to become a part of Vedic Village, a CSA — Community Supported Agriculture — farm in Whitmore Lake where organic produce is grown from heirloom seeds. For a one-time annual fee, members get a weekly allotment of whatever crops are harvested each week. So far, there have been turnips, beets, radishes and a myriad of greens. Visit the farm to witness the development of this project. There are drop-off locations in the metro area. For more information on produce and other particulars, e-mail

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