Handy food mats a tidy safeguard from kids' mess...

THE DISH

April 10, 2002|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

Handy food mats a tidy safeguard from kids' mess

Toddlers are notorious for dropping more food on the table than they put in their mouths. A North Carolina company has devised a neat solution - compact plastic place mats with adhesive strips that stick to the table or highchair. The mats from Neat Solutions are available at Rite Aid, Babies R Us, Toys R Us and Burlington Coat Factory/Baby Depot stores for $4.99 for an eight-mat package.

Events:

Discover the significance of the 19th-century afternoon tea with a program at the Hampton Mansion, 535 Hampton Lane, in Towson from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. The cost is $18 per person ($12 for members of the Historic Hampton Inc.) and includes a tour of the mansion and tea with small sandwiches and sweets. Reservations required. For information, call 410-828-9480.

Tantalize your taste buds with Linganore Winecellars' release of its first white wine of the 2001 vintage. Tasting and tour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the winery, 13601 Glissans Mill Road, Mount Airy. For information, call 800-514-8735.

Explore the differences of pinot noir around the world at a wine tasting tomorrow at Bin 604, 604 S. Exeter St. Cost is $25 per person and $35 at the door, although only advance ticket purchasers can be ensured a space. For information, call 410-576-0444.

Remedy for aches and pains

Take two cherries and call the doctor in the morning? According to the Cherry Marketing Institute, researchers have discovered that Montmorency tart cherries contain pain relievers helpful in reducing the discomforts of arthritis and gout. It appears that the cherries contain compounds that work in much the same way as aspirin and ibuprofen, only without the stomach upset medicines can cause. Scientists suspect that antioxidants found in cherries help protect the stomach from damage.

Beefing up those quick dinners

The kids are screaming, your spouse is late and you have no idea what to cook for dinner. Sound familiar? The people at Thomas E. Wilson understand. That's why they have developed a line of fully cooked meats that can be reheated and on the table in as little as five minutes.

Varieties include Beef Pot Roast, Roast Beef in Brown Gravy, Lemon Pepper Pork Roast, Seasoned Beef Sirloin Roast, Italian Seasoned Pork Roast, Beef in Barbecue Sauce and Seasoned Beef Meatloaf.

We tried the Seasoned Beef Sirloin Roast and found it a quick and easy answer to the weeknight dinner conundrum. The 110 calories per serving didn't threaten our waistlines, although we thought the meat was a bit salty. The roasts are found in the grocer's fresh-meat case, priced between $6.99 and $7.99.

Flour rises to challenge

Brazil, the country that gave us the samba and the bossa nova, now brings us a new way to spice up American culture: cheese bread.

Five hundred years ago, Native Indians in what is now Brazil learned to make flour from the cassava, or yucca plant. In the United States, we use the gluten-free flour to make tapioca. Brazilians use it to make warm cheese rolls called pao de queijo.

Now a Vermont importer is bringing this bread to American tables in a packaged cassava-flour mixture called Chebe. Add eggs, vegetable oil, water and cheese, and you have Brazilian cheese bread. Or, use the dough to make pizza crust, tortillas and even cinnamon buns. A 7.5-ounce package costs about $4 and is available at The Natural food store, 560 Cranbrook Road, Cockeysville; and David's Natural Market, 5430 Lynx Lane, Columbia; or by calling 800-217-9510.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail food@baltsun.com.

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