Extension sets workshops on making your own salsa

If your garden is overflowing with produce this year, how about some salsa? The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is holding three food preservation workshops this month to teach salsa making.

The first workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Oxford County Extension office, 9 Olson Road, South Paris. The cost is $10.

For more information or to register, call 743-6329.

The second workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kennebunks and Arundel Adult Education, 87 Fletcher St., Kennebunk. The cost is $19.

For more information or to register, call 985-1116 or e-mail [email protected] Registration is also available online at www.kennebunk.maineadulted.org

The third workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Sacopee Valley Adult Education, 71 Main St., Suite 13, Porter. The cost is $10.

For more information or to register, call 625-3092.

Tasting event to support program on healthy food

The third annual Eco Appetito tasting event to support Ferry Beach Ecology School will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday  at Cinque Terre, 36 Wharf St.

The tasting, co-sponsored by Whole Foods, will feature Maine-produced premium meats, handmade pastas, artisan cheeses and breads, fresh seafood and drinks.

A silent auction during the event will include a two-hour sail for two donated by Portland Schooner Co., an overnight stay at the Inn on Peaks Island, a Cold River Gin gift basket from Maine Distilleries, works by Maine artists and a scholarship to a Ferry Beach Ecology School summer camp program.

Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased online at www.ecoappetito.com. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will go to the school’s Food For Thought program, which teaches the importance of healthy and sustainable food choices.

Sebago Brewing ale release will benefit Easter Seals

Taste a brew, do a good deed, too.

Sebago Brewing Co. is hosting a release party for its new Local Harvest Ale on Thursday  from 5 to 7 p.m. at its Portland location, 164 Middle St. One dollar from the sale of each pint will go to Easter Seals of Maine.

Local Harvest Ale is a pale ale made with Maine 2 Row barley from Aroostook County and hops grown in Monroe by Irish Hill Farms. It was first released in September 2008.

For more information, go to www.sebagobrewing.com

Dairy cooking competition signup deadline Sept. 30

Don’t forget: The deadline for entries in the Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off is Sept. 30.

Amateur cooks have a shot at winning $10,000 in the cookoff, which will be held at the Ocean Gateway Terminal on Oct. 30.

Each recipe entered must feature one or more Hood products. There are five categories: breakfast/brunch, soups/chowders; appetizers/side dishes; lunch/dinner (entree); and dessert.

Hood will select five semifinalists from each of the six New England states to compete for the grand prize in Portland. Each of the 30 semifinalists will receive a $100 prize, then one finalist will be selected from each category to compete for the $10,000. Finalists who do not win the grand prize will be given $500.

Annual benefit tasting will feature California wines

The fourth 20/20 Charity Wine Tasting will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday  at the Snow Squall Restaurant.

The tasting will feature 20 California wines for $20. Proceeds will benefit Portland’s Learning Works program.

The 20/20 tastings were created by local small wine distributors to raise money for local charities. Each venue donates its space and time for the tastings, and local chefs donate food to pair with the wines.

Any of the wines at 20/20 tastings can be ordered through a local retailer that has agreed to donate a percentage of sales to the charity. In this case, the retailer is Old Port Wine Merchants.

The wine distributors organizing the tasting are Crush, Davine, Devenish and Wicked.

Contest will dish up chili, chowder and apple desserts

It’s the time of year when cooking contests turn to comfort food.

Both amateur and professional cooks are invited to enter the second annual Chili, Chowder & Apple Dessert Contest, sponsored by the Waterborough Historical Society. The contest will be held Saturday  at the Waterboro Center Fire Station. Judging starts at 4:45 p.m., and public tasting follows. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m.

For more information or to register an entry, call Dianne Holden at 247-5926.

Sample wines, help ensure others’ access to clean water

Wines from Washington state will be featured at a Sept. 24 Wine to Water benefit wine tasting at Drift Gallery, 7 Shapleigh Road.

Wine to Water is an aid organization that provides clean water to needy people around the world.

The wines of Waterbrook and Rainier Ridge will be served at the tasting, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Light food will be provided by Terra Cotta Pasta.

The event costs $15 at the door, cash or check only. For more information, call 540-4510.

Bobby Flay show to feature local restaurant this week

The Lobster Dock Restaurant will be featured in an episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network this week.

The throwdown dish is crabcakes, and Flay challenges the folks at The Lobster Dock with his Blue Corn Crab Cakes with Black Olive-Red Pepper Relish and Basil Vinaigrette. The Lobster Dock’s version of the dish is Maine Crab Cakes with Summer Succotash and a Crisy Artichoke Heart.

According to video posted on the Food Network website, Flay’s crab cakes win the challenge.

The Maine episode will air at 9 tonight; 12 a.m. Thursday; and 7 p.m. Sept. 25.

Maine grain production group gets $48,000 grant

The Quimby Family Foundation has awarded a $48,000 grant to the Kneading Conference, which promotes the idea of turning Maine back into a grain-producing state.

The Kneading Conference holds an annual series of discussions and workshops on topics such as heirloom grains, milling techniques, the philosophy of baking, and earth- and brick-oven construction.

Conference organizers will use the Quimby grant to fund a portable baking kitchen; a commercial-scale, wood-fired masonry oven; and housing for both at the Somerset Grist Mill in downtown Skowhegan.

The portable kitchen will help the conference take its workshops on the road to schools and farms. The oven will be used to bake bread for the bread fair that follows the conference.

Next year’s Kneading Conference will be held at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds on July 28 and 29, followed by the Artisan Bread Fair on July 30.