Festivities and foodIf you love the festivities of the...

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December 06, 1992|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Festivities and food

If you love the festivities of the holiday season but dread gift-shopping, the third annual Festival of Trees benefit for the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which starts today at Festival Hall, is the place for you. Amid a glorious display of more than 100 trees decorated by local designers, live performances, a merry-go-round, a gingerbread village created by local chefs, and an international village spotlighting holiday customs from more than a dozen countries, shoppers can find something for everyone on their lists.

There will be a bake shop with items fresh-baked every day by H&S Bakery, a Magic & Mistletoe shop featuring ornaments, stocking stuffers and other items, a sweet shop, and Secret Santa, a shop for youngsters only, where all gifts are under $2. There will also be gift carts among the trees. People looking for special gifts for "foodies" on their list will want to check out Under the Tree, a gift shop that will offer items from Kim's Khocolate of Cumberland; Hunt Cup mustards and sauces from Hunt Cup of Baltimore; Dr. Pete's Pecan Praline Glaze, from Dr. ** Pete's of Savannah;and a variety of food gifts such as kaleidoscopes made with candy and an edible chocolate-macadamia-nut "Monet" painting from Hearts and Flowers of Long Island.

The shop's 65 vendors will also offer hand-painted furniture and decorative items, designer sweaters, hand-made children's clothing, jewelry and lots more.

The festival opens today, with a ceremony at 1 p.m. that promises "snow." The show will be open from noon to 8 p.m. today, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Sunday. Admission is $3.50 for adults and $1.50 for children. The Kennedy Krieger Institute is a comprehensive resource center for children with disabilities. The benefit is sponsored by Crown Petroleum Corp. and WJZ-TV Channel 13. There are a number of events associated with the festival. For more information, call (410) 550-9487.

"Two cloves of garlic, peeled," says the recipe, and the home cook grits his or her teeth and prepares for the ordeal of removing stubborn skin from a tiny object. "Add one teaspoon lemon zest," says the recipe, and the cook gets out the Band-Aids for the inevitable scraped knuckles. "Open clams" -- alert the emergency room.

There has to be an easier way! Of course there is; you just need professional chefs to show you. That's the message behind "Trucs of the Trade," edited by Frank Ball and Arlene Feltman (HarperCollins, 1992, $15), which presents 101 "trucs" -- French for tricks, or tips, or gimmicks, or shortcuts -- from noted chefs from around the country. For instance: Peel garlic by pressing the clove with the flat of a large knife blade -- the peel will split and be easy to remove; zest citrus with a vegetable peeler, then mince, chop or julienne as needed; "relax" clams first by putting them in a single layer on a plate or pan and putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

The second part of the book consists of recipes from some of the chefs -- Perla Meyers, Jean-Louis Palladin, Dean Fearing and Jasper White.

But perhaps the best part of the book is that when you buy it,

you will be benefiting Share Our Strength, the private non-profit group based in Washington, D.C., that is one of the the nation's largest hunger-relief organizations. SOS receives proceeds from all the items in its first gift brochure-catalog; they include, besides the "Trucs" books and a "Trucs" video, T-shirts, note cards, books and a "Great Chefs" calendar with recipes. "Trucs of the Trade" is available at bookstores; to order the book or to see a copy of the gift brochure, call (800) 222-1767.

The Central Maryland Chefs and Cooks Association hopes to invade your kitchen - not to cook dinner, but to help you keep track of the passing days with their new 13-month calendar. Each month has a beautiful photo of a specialty dish from one of the association's members, most with ties to Maryland - Mark Henry of the Milton Inn in Sparks (pan-fried fillet of rockfish with Chesapeake mousse, Pommery-leek cream and Delmarva timbale), Michael Rork of Harbor Court Hotel (Hampton's field greens), Jerry Edwards of Chef's Expressions (St. Michael's Wildfowl Feast), Tim Barger, of the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel (black antelope sausage with Eastern Shore custard and red pepper jelly), among others. Each one includes the recipe. It would make an elegant gift for anyone who enjoys food.

The association, part of the American Culinary Federation, is dedicated to advancement of the culinary profession and to supporting charitable causes. A portion of the calendar's

proceeds will go to the Chef and Child Foundation. The calendar costs $11.95 plus $2 shipping and handling. Make checks payable to CMCCA. Send to CMCCA at 0920 Route 108, Ellicott City, 21042. Call (410) 313-6988.

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