More Julia

The Julia Child bandwagon continues to roll along. The latest is "The French Chef: Julia Child's Dinner Party Favorites," a six-episode DVD from PBS Distribution, available online and in bookstores April 16. These original black-and-white episodes from the 1960s include "Soupe au Pistou," "Asparagus From Tip to Butt," "Cassoulet," "Roast Duck a l'Orange," "Cake for Company" and "Tarts aux Fruites." In all, 180 minutes of Julia, with a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Bake-Off mixes it up

They're doing things a little differently for the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, accepting entries on a rolling basis for the various categories. We'll aim to keep you updated. The second entry phase, this one for Simple Sweets and Starters, is now open through May 9. Original recipes in this category might include cookies, bars, pies, tarts, bite-size appetizers, tartlets, pinwheels, puffs, bruschetta or focaccia. Recipes must include no more than seven ingredients (not including table salt, ground black pepper and water) and take 30 minutes or less to prepare (not including baking or cooling time). To enter, visit for details.

Winemaking course

If you like to cook with wine, why not your own wine? The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska is twice offering the class "You Can Become a Vintner: Intro to Winemaking" from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 13 and April 27. University of Minnesota oenologist Katie Cook will demonstrate techniques for both red and white wines, based on what the university has learned in its research. Call 952-443-1422 or register at

Having a Ball (jar)

The canning craze is only getting bigger, which has inspired Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball canning jars, to release a limited-edition, vintage-inspired line, the Ball Heritage Collection Jar, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Ball brothers' Perfect Mason Jar. The name "Perfect Mason" acknowledged the first-ever self-manufacture of each part of the Ball jar, with matching jars, lids and bands in a single unit. The Ball Heritage Collection Pint Jars are tinted blue, with a vintage logo. Look for them among the canning supplies.