Food Stuff 

Diner's detour — John C. Lodge Freeway, Northwestern Highway, M-10, James Couzens or just plain ol' "The Lodge," whatever you want to call this variously named thoroughfare, all summer long, metro Detroiters will be dealing with its closure. Though it's an annoyance for motorists, for businesses along the byway the results can be much worse. So the meat mavens at Morton's: The Steakhouse are offering special deals to entice diners to make the drive despite the detours. Their "premium pair dinner for two" offers two single-cut fillets, a shrimp or crab appetizer, a salad, sides and desert, all for $99. If that doesn't sound like a deal, then you haven't sampled the delicious marbled rib eyes and Porterhouses at the fabled steak chain. Other blandishments include a renewable complimentary appetizer card, a drawing for a Detroit Tigers party at Comerica Park, and guest bartender fundraising events, with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock scheduled to pour in September. Morton's is just off the Lahser service drive inside One Towne Square, Southfield; 248-354-6006.

Thanks, Mom — For those who haven't squared away their Mother's Day plans, Josephine Creperie & Bistro will be open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, May 13. They'll host a brunch until 4:30 p.m., with seatings at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., with offerings including roasted Atlantic salmon, glazed baked ham and French toast with Grand Marnier syrup. There will be an a la carte dinner starting at 4:30 p.m., with all your dinner menu choices, plus such chef's specials as steak au poivre, duck confit and crème brûlée. Brunch is $21.95, $9.95 for kids 4-10, under 4 free. At 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-399-1366; reservations required.


Eat the Page

In Cuba Cocina: The Tantalizing World of Cuban Cooking — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Morrow Cookbooks, $16.95), Joyce Lafray offers insights into the use of tropical fruits and vegetables that are now widely available, as well as the spices, meats and seafoods that comprise the dishes of Cuba. Many of the recipes come from chefs and restaurateurs in Florida and Cuba, and others have been culled from the kitchens of home cooks, with such traditional recipes as black beans and rice, arroz con pollo and ropa vieja.

A Tasty Beverage

Back in the era of empire building, it could take half a year for British provisions to reach the East Indies. This was disastrous for the mild ales and porters of the time. By the time they got to the empire's thirsty soldiers, they were flat and spoiled. Resourceful brewers boosted the amount of hops and alcohol to combat the effects of this voyage. Thus was born the India Pale Ale. Arcadia Ales of Battle Creek makes one. It has a nose of spring buds and raw nuts. A swallow brings more nuts and a touch of caramel before a long, bitter grapefruit finish. No need to wait six months.

It Works

Bread baking is a satisfying endeavor. Ten or 15 minutes of kneading by hand is the beginning of an aerobic workout. When the dough rises, you realize that yeast is a living organism. The wafting aroma of baking bread turns your abode into a home, gives it a sense of permanence. The finished product, not long out of the oven, is delectably delicious. Make a baguette. The pictured pan, with its perforations, will make it extra crispy. If you haven't baked bread before, do not be intimidated. The success of your first loaf will make you feel like a culinary scientist.

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