If today's Page 1 pie story has inspired you to get into the kitchen and bake, you might want to enter the 2nd annual AID Pie Bake-off Sunday, June 12, at the Geneva French Market.
From what I hear, last year's winner, Pat Shepherd of Batavia, plans to take another shot at the title, but her pie will have to please the trained palates of myself and fellow judges Gale Gand, author and pastry chef at Tru in Chicago, and Alain Roby, an internationally acclaimed pastry chef who lives in Geneva.
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The competition is open to bakers of all skill levels and participants must register by Friday, June 10. First prize is $150 and a lifetime membership to the American Pie Council; second- and third-place prizes include baskets of spices, bread and gift certificates from area merchants.
Don't bake but like pies just the same? Stop by the booth after the judging, slated for noon to 1 p.m. Slices will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Association for Individual Development. AID provides services for children and adults with special needs in 46 area communities.
Download the entry form ($10 fee per pie) at the-association.org or contact Wendy Bialek at (847) 931-2294 for details.
What's cooking, Uncle Sam? If your summer vacation takes you to Washington D.C., plan to spend some time at the new National Archives exhibition "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet."
The free exhibit includes material from the Revolutionary War-era through the late 1990s that chronicles the government's efforts to feed Americans an ample, safe and nutritious diet. Documents, films and photographs on display echo many of our current concerns about government's role in the health and safety of our food supply.
The exhibit runs through Jan. 3, 2012 at the National Archives, 9th Street, NW, on the National Mall. Get a sneak peek at Youtube.com.
Spirited tour: Beginning Friday, June 10, North Shore Distillery opens the doors of its Lake Bluff production facility for tours and tastings.
At 6 p.m. Fridays and 2 or 4 p.m. Saturdays you can view the equipment and learn how they make gin, vodka and artisan spirits. Taste up to five samples in the tasting room after the tour. Tours cost $10 and are limited to 15 people (21 and older) per time slot. Reservations recommended; (847) 574-2499 or email@example.com.
If you're just interested in sampling the spirits, like the distillery's new Sol, a citrus- and chamomile-infused vodka that can be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed into cocktails, the tasting room will be open 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Each weekend, North Shore will feature new and classic cocktails and staff favorites. The distillery is at 28913 Herky Drive, Unit 308.
Look for Sol and other North Shore Distillery products at resturants, bars and liquor stores in the suburbs. Check the "Where to Buy" tab at northshoredistillery.com to find a store near you.
Recipe correction: The Bacon and Pesto Pasta Salad that appeared in the June 1 Food section did not list basil in the ingredient list. The recipe calls for 1 cup fresh basil. The corrected recipe is available at dailyherald.com/entlife/food.
Meatless Monday: I cringe when I hear the term "meatless burger." Burgers gotta have meat. I find the term patty a better fit for a growing category of vegetarian burger alternatives.
Today's veggie patty comes from Associated Press Food Editor J.M. Hirsch. "Because chickpeas are agreeable to a broad range of flavors, it's easy to play with the seasonings and other ingredients,"he says of his falafel-inspired chickpea sliders.
-- Deborah Pankey
• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend on Facebook.com; Deb Pankey Daily Herald.