Sunday Morning — With Soup at Spaulding and the Pink FlaminGO trailer, it would seem Detroit's Corktown neighborhood is becoming a center for innovative ways to dine. Well, Corktown just got a little more food-centered with the resumption of the Corktown Community Brunch, a monthly event (mostly on the third Sunday of every month) that takes over the backyard of Brother Nature, a salad garden that supplies many greens to local restaurants. The brunch, which took this summer off, is restarting this week, offering locals — and, heck, anybody who wants to attend — the opportunity to meet other food folks, see the few acres of garden nestled near the corner of Temple and Rosa Parks, and enjoy a delicious meal made with local ingredients for a donation. This week that delicious meal will be an exotic bit of fusion cuisine in which all-local goes global: Indian huevos rancheros, with naan, beans, lentils and an egg served on top. (A vegan version will also be available.) All funds raised go toward micro-grant projects enhancing local food systems, helping ensure a steady supply of local produce through the winter. It happens 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 19, behind Brother Nature Produce, 2913 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit. See corktownkitchen.org for more info.
Creative ferment — We note with interest a special luncheon of the Troy Chamber of Commerce: They'll host the co-owner of McClure's Pickles. The event, dubbed "From Pickles to Profits," will feature Joe McClure and the special pickles, locally made in Troy, he produces using a family recipe. The business, founded in 2006, has been featured on the Food Network, and has now expanded to produce relish, mustard and other products, using as much local produce as possible when in season. Every jar is hand-packed with hand-sliced cucumbers, giving a whole new meaning to "green business." The event takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at the MET Hotel Troy, 5500 Crooks Rd., Troy; $23 for Troy Chamber members, $28 for non-members; register in advance at 248-641-8151.
Say cheese! — Traffic Jam and Snug will host a cheese-making workshop in its dairy operation, giving people a chance to learn how to make soft camembert. The daylong course comes with breakfast, lunch and an after-work cheese tasting in the bar, as well as a block of cheese to take home. Class size is limited, so reserve your spot today. Takes place 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at 511 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-831-9470; $75 per person.
If you're in a food rut, consuming the same meals day after day, week after week, Peter Menzel and Faith D'Alusio's What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets (Material World Books/Ten Speed Press, $40) is apt to change the way you look at eating. This fascinating print and photo documentary chronicles the authors' three-year journey, examining the daily diets of 80 people around the world. The photos illustrate the diversity of the subjects, while the text includes their diets organized by caloric intake. Essays by food journalists and chefs provide further illumination.
As with most pre-Prohibition cocktails, The Bronx has a fuzzy history. Some cocktail historians claim that it was invented in Philadelphia, of all places. Others say it sprang from a wager at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in Manhattan. Either way, it is essentially a "perfect" martini (gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth) with orange juice. The Bronx cocktail lives and dies based on the quality of ingredients. Certainly, fresh and tangy orange juice is a necessity. Serve up and garnish with a cherry or squeeze of orange peel, as you please.
Garlic, fish, onions and other delicious foods leave an odor on your hands that becomes unpleasant after the meal. Regular soap and lemon juice just don't work well enough. However, Orka Deos Stainless Steel Soap does, using oxido-reduction, a natural property of steel, to remove strong odors, without abrasives that chafe your hands. It even has a nail cleaner on the tip of the distinctively designed teardrop-shaped bar that, incidentally, is on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art. (Some customer testimonials emphasize the importance of cleaning under your nails to fully eliminate the problem.)