30th Annual Fathers Day Wine Tasting
When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cheesekeeper, 6500 W. Main St., Belleville
Features: Complimentary sampling of 16 wines. Jim Chetrick of Vineyard Brands Chicago, a wine import company, will be pouring six white wines perfect for the summer heat and eight red wines that will enhance anything you throw on the grill, plus a fun sparkling brut and a delicious port wine. All wines featured are 15 percent off the regular price, day of tasting only.
Information: 618-398-7184, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Eckert's Express
What: Mommy & Me cooking class for ages 5 and younger
When: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Eckert's Garden Country Store, 951 S. Green Mount Road, Belleville
Cost: $15/child. Parent free.
Reservations: Required to 618-233-0513 or eckerts.com
Features: Hop on a tractor-pulled wagon and take a ride through the orchards. Back in the classroom, Mix up blueberry fruit dip and hot broccoli dip and wash them down with homemade lemonade.
A toothy scrubbing
Clever little cleanup accessory: The Cutlery CleanR ($3.98) is about the size of a slice of bread and similarly shaped in plastic. It's hollow inside and filled with bristles that overlap. A suction cup can hold it to the side of the sink (or it can be hand-held). Drizzle a little soap over the top of the bristles, then plunge a utensil up and down through it to quickly remove caked on food and other grime. I found them at Walmart in O'Fallon in the kitchenware section by silverware.
Keep it cold
Popular new pitchers are the ones with removable cylindrical cores in the middle -- called ice sticks -- that are filled with water, frozen, then used to keep liquid cold without watering it down. Most of the ones I've seen are $10 and up. But, at Five Below in Fairview Heights (by Old Navy), you get several color choices in a 72-ounce size for one price: $5.