Food Stuff

Street fare — The Ypsilanti Food Co-op and River Street Bakery have joined with other local businesses to put on a "Socially Responsible Local Business Showcase" Thursday in Ypsi. Co-op and bakery munchies, along with locally brewed beer, will be available at the event, which runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Corner Brewery on Norris Street.

The event's organizers hope to acquaint the community with the co-op and bakery, along with other local enterprises, including a fitness studio, an apparel manufacturer and a screen printer.

"I've lived in the area most of my life and never knew that there was a manufacturer of clothing made from organic fibers practically in my back yard, much less a food co-op in Ypsi!" remarked Mary Buchanan, who has become the development coordinator for Maggie's Organics after discovering the Ypsi clothes-maker more than a year ago. "It's amazing to think that people have been here for years and don't know what people are doing in their own community."

The owners of the community-owned grocery and bakery in Depot Town aim to provide high quality foods and goods, produced ecologically and sustainably, while practicing cooperative economics.

The event is part of "Buy Local Week" (Dec. 4-10) in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

See for more locally owned, independent solutions for your holiday shopping.

At 720 Norris St.; the evening of Thursday, Dec. 7. Free except for the cost of beer. For more information, call 734-482-4000 ext: 15.


Eat the Page

The onslaught of winter begs for hearty foods and there is none better than paella. Jeff Koehler's La Paella ($18.95, Chronicle Books) explores many of the versions that are so popular in Spain — everything from the traditional ingredients and cooking equipment to the recipes that will enable you to serve this festive, delicious treat. Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Papa Joe's Gourmet Market in Birmingham and R. Hirt Jr. in Detroit are among the area shops that sell imported Spanish chorizo, the sausage that will transform the dish.

A Tasty Beverage

Does the idea of holiday celebrating conjure up a glass punch bowl filled with a sweet-tasting, cold, fruity drink that lubricates your throat for caroling? Champagne punch is the answer. Start with a bottle of Champagne. Add a two-liter bottle of ginger ale (preferably Vernors). Then add a pint of vanilla ice cream (a quart if you like it creamier), some orange sherbet and a pint of fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries or orange slices. You get the idea. There are no rules other than to keep the kids out of the bowl.

It Works

Back to the subject of paella: It's cooked in a wide, short pan, giving the rice a broad surface on which to cook, thus creating the texture that differentiates paella from a steamed rice casserole. The appropriate pan is essential to the success of the dish. There are many sources available on the Internet. We found to be a comprehensive source, not only for the pans, but for Spanish saffron, olive oil, cooking techniques and recipes. The prices and service, according to a friend who has ordered from them, are righteous.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to [email protected].
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