Eat lunch and learn

April 28, 2014 

What: Lunch and Learn class

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Eckert's Country Store classroom, 951 S. Green Mount Road, Belleville

Cost: $15

Reservations: Required to 618-233-0513 or online at eckerts.com

Features: Learn how to make pesto. During this observational lunch-time class, basic basil pesto with potatoes, pesto chicken salad, and balsamic strawberries with pound cake will be made. Lunch portions will be served. Optional herb tour after class.

Flower Power

When:1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Eckert's Country Store classroom, 951 S. Green Mount Road, Belleville

Cost: $20

Reservations: Required to 618-233-0513 or online at eckerts.com

Features: Apple and peach buds must bloom before transforming into fruit. This bloom takes part in the spring and will be used to make ice cream muffins and a fruitilicious dip, and put together a butterfly snack mix.You'll also put your taste buds to the test with a taste experiment, and participants will plant a flower to take home to grow.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

What: Cooking class for children ages 2 to 5

When: 9:30 to 11 a.m. May 8

Where: Eckert's Country Store classroom, 951 S. Green Mount Road, Belleville

Cost: $15/per child; parents free.

Reservations: Required to 618-233-0513 or online at eckerts.com

Features: Spring is in full bloom, and there will be busy little bees in the cooking classroom piecing together a fruit flower, measuring out ice cream muffins and fluttering away with a butterfly snack mix. Children will also plant their very own flower to take home, nourish it and watch it grow.

Snap it up

Yes, I know it looks like a Venus Fly Trap, but if you serve up a lot of salad, or have kids/guests who can't easily handle getting salad out of a bowl without making a mess, this may be the next kitchen tool for you.

The Snapi Food Grabber is a single-handed server in what might also be described as a clamshell design. It also works well serving pasta and rice and could be a real help at a buffet when you've got your hands full.

The Snapi features several interlocking teeth that keep small food bits held tight when they may normally slip through the cracks. This scooper is dishwasher safe and has a built-in lock for storage. I spied it in berry blue at Rachel's Tea Room & Gift Shop in west Belleville for $6.29.

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