Briefs: East End Brewing Co. a highlight of Venture Outdoors hike

| Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Venture Outdoors , a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting outdoor activities, has announced more food-related activities during July. Members of Venture Outdoors receive a discount for events; the prices shown are for the general public. Reservations are required. Some food activities are sponsored by Isidore Foods.

• "Gourmet Hot Dog Paddle" is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 5 at the North Park Boat House. After a paddle through the park, participants can feast on grilled hot dogs and special condiments such as chili, cheese, guacamole and secret-recipe relishes. The cost is $30; $10 for children.

• "East End Brewery Hike," from 3 to 6 p.m. July 12, starts with a hike through Frick Park in Point Breeze and continues to Pittsburgh's East End Brewing Co. to meet owner Scott Smith for a tour and tasting. The cost is $35, and participation is limited to adults age 21 and older.

• "Champagne and Cocktails Hike" is from 5 to 8 p.m. July 19 at Frick Park in Point Breeze. After a hike, participants will sample champagne cocktails -- bubblies mixed with fruit-flavored liqueurs and other beverages. Cheese, crackers and desserts also will be served. The cost for adults age 21 and older is $50.

• "Tea and Trails" is a specialty hike featuring a "gentle" 2-mile hike at North Park followed by an afternoon tea with scones, and strawberries and cream, prepared by a mother-daughter team from England. The cost of the event, from 2 to 5 p.m. July 20, is $30 per person.

• "Blueberry Pie Hike" features a trek around South Park that ends with a variety of pies featuring the summer fruit, high in antioxidants and nutrients. The event is from 3 to 6 p.m. July 27, and the cost is $20.

Details: 412-255-0564

Pine farmers market starts on June 5

The Township of Pine Parks & Recreation Commission has announced that a weekly farmers market will open at Pine Community Park, 230 Pearce Mill Road, Wexford, on Thursday, June 5, and operate through Sept. 11. The hours are 3 to 6 p.m., weather permitting.

The market features seasonal fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products, baked goods, cut flowers, bedding plants and perennials, and prepared foods. It is a producers-only market.

Details: 724-625-1591

Tea party, potato salad contest set by McGinnis Sisters

McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores, 4311 Northern Pike, Monroeville, is sponsoring its second "Enchanted Fairy Princess Tea Party" on Sunday, featuring a four-course meal, and pampering and manicures for little and big princesses. The cost is $16.99; $5.99 for children age 4 to 11. Seating is limited, so reservations are required.

The store also will be taking entries for its annual potato salad contest on Sunday. The first 20 people who register will be eligible to bring their potato salads to the store on June 28 for a noon tasting by staff and customers. There is no charge to sign up.

Details: Karen Novak, 412-858-7000, ext. 7

Sommelier to conduct wine class at Sweetwater

Sweetwater Cooking , 309 Carson St., South Side, will conduct an "Introduction to Wine Tasting Class" from 7 to 9 p.m. June 23, featuring Jerry Metallo, a certified sommelier and member of The American Sommelier Association.

Metallo will take participants through a discussion of flavors, reading labels, serving and tasting wine, production, basic types of grapes and wine and food pairings. The cost is $50, and the class is limited to adults age 21 and older. Registration is required.

Details: 412-325-2703

Vandergrift sausage company shares recipes

Uncle Charley's Sausage Co. in Vandergrift is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Founder Charles Armitage and WQED cooking show host Chris Fennimore solicited recipes over the Internet and have chosen more than 100 to feature in a cookbook, "Cooking with Uncle Charley: Recipes for Sausage Lovers," $14.95; if ordered online, the book is $10.95 (plus $2 shipping and handling).

The spiral-bound book is organized into breakfast, appetizer, main dish and casserole recipes and highlights pork-sausage products from Uncle Charley's. It is offered free with select purchases of Uncle Charley's products online.

Details: 724-845-3302

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