The Dish


January 29, 2003|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

Marking Chinese New Year with food that brings luck

Ring in the Chinese New Year on Saturday with Asian food that tradition says brings good luck and happiness.

The kumquat symbolizes prosperity, the coconut stands for togetherness and green onions represent intelligence. Won tons are served to guests as a blessing for fortune, and Asian noodles are served to represent long life.

These items and many hard-to-find fruits and vegetables can be found at, a company specializing in produce from around the world.

Keeping it all together

Mrs. Smith's Bakeries has come up with a way that you can have your pie and eat it, too -- a plastic tool that keeps the filling from falling out into the pie tin once you've cut the first piece.

The pie tool has adjustable arms that create a wedge to take the place of the missing piece of pie. As more pieces are cut, it can be adjusted to keep the filling in the pie that remains.

The Pie Keeper is dishwasher-safe and pops apart for easy cleaning. To order one, send a check or money order for $2.99 along with your name, address and phone number to Mrs. Smith's Pie Keeper Offer, P.O. Box 279, Norcross, Ga. 30091-0279. Allow six to eight weeks for delivery.

A colorful campaign

The Produce for Better Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is urging Americans to brighten their plates by eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors.

Although nutritionists have been saying for years that we should eat more fruits and vegetables, 80 percent of Americans do not eat the recommended five servings a day.

The "5 a Day the Color Way" campaign is designed to encourage people "to eat their colors" by selecting fruits and vegetables from each of the color groups: blue / purple, green, white, yellow / orange and red. The campaign will include television and radio commercials, print ads, school programs and a partnership with Crayola.

To find out more, visit

Instant pal for cooks

Looking for a friend who can give you ideas about what to cook for dinner? Then meet "Becky," a recipe expert who is available to chat night or day.

In real life, she is an interactive program called "RecipeBuddie" that can be summoned through instant messaging on AOL or MSN Instant Messenger. Type in food items or even your mood, and she'll come up with menu suggestions. And while she is sponsored by Keebler, her ideas venture beyond those foods made by the elves.

To converse with Becky, send an instant message to RecipeBuddie.


* Improve your sushi skills by learning to make broiled, fried and steamed dishes 7 p.m. Friday at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St. $60. Class size is limited. Also at A Cook's Table, celebrate the Chinese New Year at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, $45. A three-class cooking course for kids ages 8 to 10 will be held Sunday and Feb. 9 and 23 at 11 a.m. $150. For these and other classes, call 410-539-8600.

* Learn to make rice and risotto 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Donna's, 5809 Clarksville Square in Clarksville. $25. Call 410-659-5248, Ext. 112.

* Discover some of the history of fine dining as well as the secrets to knowing how to handle yourself with ease in dining situations 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at the Kings Contrivance, 10150 Shaker Drive in Columbia. $63. For more information, visit or call the International School of Protocol at 410-771-6900. Advance registration required.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish,

Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail

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