Food Stuff 

Wine writer Paul Lukacs and Michigan winemaker Larry Mawby (see items below) are to show up at Morels, in Bingham Farms, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, for a tasting, dinner and signing of Lukacs' new book on American wines, which includes Mawby's as the only Michigan entry. Chef Frank Turner and master sommelier Madeline Triffon will make the matches. $75 a head. Reservations required. 248-642-1094, ext. 1.

 

As part of the Cancer Project, a nationwide effort by medics, researchers and nutritionists to educate us all about the benefits of healthy food in cancer prevention and survival, Whole Foods in Ann Arbor will stage a free eight-week cooking course on how to eat right. Classes run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, March 6 to April 24, at the store. Register by calling 734-975-4500.

 

A favorite recent food item from abroad: The South Korean Supreme Court, the last word on the law in that fractured peninsula, has ruled that a dairy exec went too far when he caked nude models with wheat flour, who then hosed off each other with the dairyman's yogurt. The justices found this "obscene as the event's main purpose was commercial and it went beyond the point necessary to promote the product." No word on whether rice flour would have made the act acceptable.

 

Eat The Page

The Great Wines of America (Norton, $29.95), by Paul Lukacs, is noteworthy not just because it's a serious consideration of evermore impressive Yankee grape juice, but because it includes a Michigan outfit — L. Mawby's Vineyard and Winery, on the Leelanau — in his top 40. Lukacs — who's won some of the most enviable awards in wine writing – focuses on Larry Mawby's sparkling wines, his versions of Champagne. When you consider that the one Lukacs points up (see "A Tasty Beverage") is $27, it's a hit for our homey.

A Tasty Beverage

Winemaker Larry Mawby now concentrates on making memorable sparkling wines on his rolling, serene vineyard, which may be a reaction to the growing, even international, acclaim for them. Big-deal wine critic Paul Lukacs (see "Eat the Page") calls Mawby's Talismon "something extraordinary, if not actually magical. ... Though Mawby now is single-minded in his pursuit of high quality, Champagne-inspired sparklers, he also is alone in that quest in northern Michigan. But the excellence of talisman suggests that he may not be so for all that long."

It Works

Once you try the tiny, soft German dumplings called spaetzle, you'd likely have them at home more often if making them wasn't such a pain in the bumcakes. Using a very soft dough of flour, egg and milk — plain or with fresh herbs — you drops bits into slow-boiling water or broth. Drained, they're often then sautéed lightly. It's a lot easier to use a cheap (under $10) spaetzle maker. A bin, attached to what looks like a really big-hole cheese grater, is filled with the dough, then slid back and forth over the holes. Done.

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