It's that time of year. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Apple House opens Saturday offering a variety of freshly picked fruit, including lots of Zestar! and Chestnut crabapples for starters. The Apple House, a large, rustic shed about 1 1/2 miles west of the arboretum entrance on Hwy. 5 (near the intersection with Rolling Acres Road), will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For up-to-date info on inventory, call 952-443-1409.

Twin Cities Pie Experiment

Entrants are being sought for the first Twin Cities Pie Experiment on Sept. 30 at the Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Av. N. in Minneapolis. This contest, the brainchild of two foodie guys from New York, is one in a series that's traveling the United States, varying by topic, and tending to attract a different demographic than, say, the Pillsbury Bake-off. Think rowdy. Also, think big. Entrants should plan on bringing enough food to provide about 250 to 300 one-bite samples. Theo Peck and Nick Suarez are looking for "the finest, most committed, passionate and intense home chefs" to show off their pies, both savory and sweet. Competitors get $50 to a local supermarket to offset the cost of ingredients. First prize is a trip to Brooklyn, N.Y., to compete in the national championships, but other prizes from the likes of Le Creuset, Anolon and Microplane will be awarded, too. A portion of the proceeds will go toward charities that promote sustainability and local culinary education for disadvantaged children and teens. To enter, or to buy tickets ($10), visit

Gobble Gobble Cluck Cluck Day

Savvy fairgoers know they can leave with a passel of new recipes, and that's true during today's Gobble Gobble Cluck Cluck Day sponsored by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Christenson Farms Stage, next to the Miracle of Birth Center, fairgoers can win prizes in the "Talk Turkey Trivia Game Show," and see Luke Myers of Eden Prairie demonstrate his world champion sport stacking skills. (He's one of the American Egg Board's "Incredible People.") Recipes for chicken, turkey and eggs are free in booths in the Dairy Building.

State Fair demos

If you're going to be at the State Fair on Monday, stop by the St. Agnes Demonstration Stage in the Creative Activities building, where I'll be demonstrating my Tunnel of Rhubarb Bundt cake at 11 a.m. and pork chops with rhubarb stuffing at 1 p.m. Wind up the fair with some great recipes!