Page Turner, Part I
Cookbook author Deborah Madison will sign copies of her latest book, Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers' Markets, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Thursday's Crescent City Farmers Market (3700 Orleans Ave.). Madison, who heads the Slow Food chapter in Santa Fe, N.M., will also present a slide show of American farmers' markets during a pot-luck dinner beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday at the home of Poppy Tooker, New Orleans' Slow Food convivium leader. The cost is $5 for Slow Food members, $10 for non-members; guests should bring a Louisiana dish to pass. Call 899-7374 for reservations.
All kinds of places are slashing wine prices and promoting specialty cocktails to encourage summertime drinking. On Tuesdays throughout the summer, all bottles priced below $150 are 50 percent off at The Wine Loft (752 Tchoupitoulas, 561-0116). On Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Wine Loft's Rascha Bensrieti and Martin Wine Cellar's Mike Morgan collaborate on discounted wine and cheese pairings.
For Flavor's Sake
Restaurant August's (301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777) Peridot Cocktail indicates that the bicoastal sake fascination has made its way south. Stop by the restaurant's casual bar to sample the new drink composed of lime-flavored sake, pineapple juice, Midori liqueur and a star fruit garnish.
At the nearby Polo Club Lounge inside the Windsor Court Hotel (300 Gravier St., 523-6000), bartender Roger Blais is pushing three warm-weather refreshers: martinis topped off with Champagne and Peychaud's bitters; mint juleps served in frosted fleur de lis cups; and Pimm's Cup cocktails infused with fresh fruit.
The greatest alcoholic thrill I encountered last week was Mango House's (8115 Jeannette St., 862-5848) invigorating Dark and Stormy, made with dark rum and housemade ginger beer.
Page Turner, Part II
Shortly after I moved to New Orleans, a grandmotherly neighbor gifted me a Xeroxed copy of From Woodstoves to Microwaves -- Cooking With Entergy, a sort of latter-day companion to The Picayune's Creole Cook Book. The book is back in print and can be purchased for $19.95 by calling 822-5540 or visiting www.unitedwaynola.org. Proceeds benefit United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area.