Light and easy

THE DISH

April 14, 2004|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Sun Staff

No time to cook dinner? Try abendbrot. This is the German custom of eating the biggest meal in the middle of the day and only a light meal of soup, salads, breads and cheeses in the evening.

Abendbrot means evening bread and Germans traditionally serve the evening meal between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. A spring beet salad served along with a hearty whole-grain bread and slice of ham is an easy way to give abendbrot a try.

To make the salad, place 2 cups tightly packed and chopped fresh watercress in a bowl. Slice 1 cup of pickled beets into small pieces and place in another bowl. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of walnut oil, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour half the dressing over the watercress and toss. Pour the other half over the beets and toss. To serve, divide the cress between two plates. Divide the beets and place them on the side of the cress. Finish with a slice of Mirabo (a German soft-ripened cheese) on each plate. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 284 calories; 6 grams protein; 28 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 25 milligrams cholesterol; 4 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber

-- Recipe and analysis from the German Agricultural Marketing Board

Basket of healthful goodies

Sending a fruit basket to a loved one is so yesterday. Send a vegetable basket instead. The online gift purveyor 1-800-flowers.com is offering a basket of baby vegetables that, depending on the season, includes carrots, corn, potatoes, turnips, beets, beans, onions and squash.

The basket is available for $49.99 at 1-800-flowers.com.

To keep the chill on

Vodka is one of America's favorite spirits and, as fans know, it is best when served iced cold.

The Absolut Spirits Co. has created Danzka vodka, which is packaged in a metal bottle that is made to chill the vodka at optimal temperatures.

The company says Danzka's aluminum bottle cools 50 minutes faster than vodka in glass packaging and will retain cold 50 minutes longer. The vodka comes in citrus and grapefruit flavors, and is made in one of the oldest distilleries in Denmark. In the United States, Danzka is available in three sizes: 50 milliliters, $1; 750 milliliters, $15; and 1 liter, $20.

A helping hand

Whether you're firing up the grill or baking cookies in the oven, the Orka mitt is a whale of a helper. Manufactured by iSi North America, it is heavy-duty protection against heat (up to 500 degrees) and stains.

The mitt is waterproof, slip-resistant, fits either hand, and can be washed under the tap, in the dishwasher or the washing machine. It is also nonabsorbent and nonporous and therefore hygienic.

It sells for a suggested retail price of $22 at Williams-Sonoma stores.

EVENTS

* Author Amanda Hesser will discuss her book Cooking for Mr. Latte at a six-course dinner 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the Brass Elephant, 924 N. Charles St. $100, reservations required. Call 410-547-8480.

* The Highlandtown Wine Festival will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Our Lady of Pompei Convent Garden on Father Petti Lane, near Conkling and Claremont streets. For more information, call 410-534-2212 or e-mail vino@highlandtown.com.

* Learn open-hearth cooking 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20 at the Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. $35. Call 410-848-7775 or 410-876-2667.

* Jacques Pepin will be the host of a fund-raiser to rescue endangered cookbooks 6:30 p.m. April 22 at Gertrude's Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive. The event will feature dinner inspired by 19th- and 20th-century Maryland cookbooks and selections from B&O Railroad dining-car menus. Tickets are $125 ($100 of which is tax-deductible). Call 443-872-8686.

* Taste wines from the 2003 vintage 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Berrywine Plantations-Linganore Winecellars, 13601 Glissans Mill Road. Call 800-514-8735.

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 food@baltsun.com.

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