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Briefs: Programs offer hikes, nibbles, tastings

| Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More food-related activities have been announced by Venture Outdoors , a nonprofit organization dedicated to outdoor enthusiasm. Members receive a discount on events and programs.

• "Historic Homestead and Homestyle Cooking," 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1, Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center, includes a tour of the Bost Building Museum (former U.S. Steel's Homestead Works) and a dinner of soup, salad and breads, $40.

• "Vegan Hike," 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 7, Boyce Mayview Park, $30.

• "Peanut Butter Sandwich Hike," 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8, Quebec Run Wild Area, $25.

• "Strawberry Wine and Cheese Hike," limited to ages 21 and over, 3 to 6 p.m. June 14, Deer Lakes Park, $40.

• "Gourmet Burger Paddle," 2 to 6 p.m. June 15 (Father's Day), North Park Boat House, $40 adults, $10 children.

• "Canadian Beer Tasting Hike," limited to ages 21 and over, 5 to 8 p.m. June 21, North Park, $40.

• "Cherry Pie Hike," 3 to 6 p.m. June 22, $20.

• "Gourmet Dragon Boating," 6 to 8 p.m. June 27 and Aug. 8, Three Rivers Rowing Association, Millvale, featuring grilled food and adult beverages after paddling, $25.

Details: 412-255-0564.


Greek church winds up annual festival

Today, Thursday and Friday are the last three days for Pittsburghers to enjoy Greek foods prepared by the congregation at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral , 419 S. Dithridge St., Oakland. Lunch is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner today and Thursday is from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. The fundraiser features an outdoor patio grill and takeout service. During lunch, requests can be faxed to 412-683-4960.

The menu features favorites such as souvlaki, pastitsio, spanakopita and Greek salad, and pastries that include baklava, diples and kourambiethes.

Details: 412-682-3866.


Ethnic foods offered at folk festival

Cooking demonstrations at the 52nd annual Pittsburgh Folk Festival will feature area chefs and gourmets showing step by step how traditional delicacies are prepared. The event is May 16 through 18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

Demos will focus on Cajun, Grecian, Mexican, Lebanese, Italian, Slovakian, Bulgarian, Carpatho-Rusyn and Thai cuisines. They are free with admission. Seventeen international kitchens will be open this year, each with a menu of homemade items. If purchased before May 14, adult tickets (ages 13 and older) are $8 each; children ages 4 to 12 cost $4; and children under 4 are admitted free. Adult tickets purchased at the door are $10.

Details: 412-278-1267.


Sharp Edge celebrates Belgian food, beer

May is "Belgianfest" month at The Sharp Edge Restaurants in Western Pennsylvania, including the newest, The Brasserie, in Canonsburg, which opens Monday.

During the month, the Creekhouse in Crafton, Beer Emporium in East Liberty and Bistro in Sewickley are offering Belgian beer and food specials. Dishes include a charcuterie and cheese board, Flemish Beef Carbonade, Brussels-style Roasted Half Chicken, Belgian chocolate pudding and Brugge Cherry Pound Cake. The Brasserie location, near Peters Township, will feature the same selection of brews and foods as the three others.

Details: Creekhouse, 412-922-8118; Emporium, 412-661-3537; Bistro, 412-749-0305; Brasserie, 724-942-2437.


Letter carriers to collect nonperishables for needy

The Campbell Soup Co. and the National Association of Letter Carriers are pairing on Saturday to collect donations for food banks, including Pittsburgh's, as part of the union's 16th annual Stamp Out Hunger! food drive, the nation's largest single-day collection.

Last year in Pittsburgh, the community collected 783,000 pounds of food. Citizens are asked to place bags of nonperishable food items next to their mailboxes on Saturday. Postal carriers will pick them up and deliver them to the food banks. Expired items and those in glass containers are not accepted.


Store highlights scones, health, cheeses

McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores have announced events during May at the Monroeville site, 4311 Northern Pike. Reservations are required for the paid classes.

• "Learn at Lunch at McGinnis Sisters: Scones," from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17, includes a lunch of tea sandwiches and quiche as well as a hands-on scones baking class, $15.

• "Healthy Life Celebration," 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, featuring Dr. Dan's Spread of Life, Dr. Marotta's chair massage, Greek yogurt tasting, tofu cooking demonstration, Mung Dynasty sprouts, and Hear and South's new healthful lemonade. Free.

• "Cheese, Please" with representatives of Emerald Valley Farms, Scenery Hill, Pa., and Oakvale Farms, Madison, Ohio, discussing raw milk cheese, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Wines from Christian W. Klay Winery of Chalk Hill, Fayette County, will be poured, cheese recipes will be demonstrated, and Annette Richardson of Euro USA imports will lead a sampling of rare international cheeses, $35.

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

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