Just a couple more days until the stress of Christmas shopping begins. If you have food lovers on your list, why not blow off Black Friday and stop by the Fork Food Lab on Saturday instead?

The lab, located at 42 Parris St. in Portland, has reopened after a few months of nail-biting suspense over whether it would be sold or shut down for good. Doing some of your Christmas shopping there would be a good way to show support for the commercial food incubator’s presence in our food-loving city.

On Saturday – which is Small Business Saturday – the lab will host a market upstairs and a pop-up café downstairs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Look for frozen, ready-to-eat empanadas, SeaMade kelp bars for the vegans on your list, pie tarts from Renee by the Bay, colorful macarons from Suga Suga (makes a great hostess gift), fermented hot sauce from Resurgam, and Parlor Ice Cream, which you just might have to eat on the spot. We know you won’t mind.

If you can’t make it Saturday, mark your calendar – a dozen times – for the lab’s “12 Days of Christmas” events, each of which will donate a percentage of its profits to Full Plates Full Potential. Some events are free, others are buy-as-you-go, or are ticketed. To buy tickets, go to forkfoodlab.com and click on events and 12-days-of-christmas:

Dec. 1 – Gingerbread house making with Suga Suga, 4 p.m., $60 for two hours of instruction, small bites, and materials to create and take home your own gingerbread house. Adults only.

Dec. 4 – Wreaths and trees by FarmDrop and Highland Avenue Greenhouse, 5:30 p.m., $30


Dec. 6 – Mastering Meal Prep (For Real Life) with Chris Carr of Carr Eats, 6 p.m. SOLD OUT

Dec. 7 – Relax and Snacks, 5 p.m., free. Wine, snacks, jewelry and massages available.

Dec. 9 – How To Start a Business in 60 Minutes, with Fyood Kitchen, 11 a.m., $24

Dec. 10 – DIY Food-themed Wrapping paper workshop, 6 p.m., $10

Dec. 11 – Feliz Navidad: Tacos & Beer, 6 p.m., $40

Dec. 13 – Posh + Walker Workshop on Macaron Decorating with Suga Suga, 6 p.m., $90 ticket includes a Posh + Walker Goodie Box ($40 value), decorating supplies for take-home macarons, and a light snack and sweets.


Dec. 14 – Italian Cooking Class with Marco D’Angelo, 6:30 p.m., $40, includes dinner

Dec. 17 – Bake-and-Take Cinnamon Rolls with HiBar Bakery, 5:30 p.m., $20

Dec. 19 – South American Happy Hour, 4 p.m., free. Small plates with a twist on traditional South American cuisine from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Wine and beer specials.

Dec. 20 – Middle Eastern Bake Shop/Holiday Market, with Falafel Mafia and other participating Fork Food Lab members, 4 p.m. Free.


Cherie Scott, who lives in Boothbay with her husband and two children, celebrates her Indian heritage – and the memory of her mother, who died earlier this year – through her cooking. Three years ago, she shared her family’s lamb biryani recipe with readers of Food & Dining. More recently, she has taught Indian cooking at the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School; next year, she’ll be teaching a series of classes there on regional Indian cooking.


Now Scott is bringing her Portugese-Indian culinary roots to television. On Dec. 11, she plans to debut a six-part documentary TV series based on her blog, Mumbai to Maine, at the Harbor Theater, 185 Townsend Ave., in Boothbay Harbor. The series is directed by Maine filmmaker and Boothbay native Ryan Leighton, whose documentary about hiking the Appalachian Trail won Best Maine Film at the 2018 Maine Outdoor Film Festival. The cinematographer is Maine-based Cody Mitchell.

The program begins with live entertainment and “Mumbai to Maine culinary treats” at 6 p.m. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10. An Eventbrite link will be active in a few days, or you can buy tickets at the door.

“Mumbai to Maine” will be broadcast on cable channel 1301, which airs in the Boothbay region. It will also be available on demand via Roku, Apple TV, and the BRTV website boothbaytv.com.


If you don’t have plans for Turkey Day, stop in at the Portland Club, 156 State St., for Wayside Food Program’s annual made-from-scratch Thanksgiving meal. It’s free and open to the public – both those who can’t afford a big meal, and those who want to celebrate with the community.

Last year, 300 people attended. DiMillo’s on the Water prepared 40 turkeys for the event, and at least 75 volunteers took care of the rest of the dinner, from prep to cleanup.

The event is sponsored by Unum, with support from DiMillo’s, The Black Tie Co., Garbage to Garden, Hannaford Supermarkets, and Whole Foods Market.

Correction: This story was updated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, to indicate that Wayside Food Program does not have any more volunteer opportunities this Thanksgiving.

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