A taste of Iran
What do kebabs, Wayzata and an Iranian mother-in-law have in common? Catherine Dehdashti, who has written about Persian cooking for Taste, pulls them all together in her novel "Roseheart." It's a semi-autobiographical tale of a young woman of European ancestry who falls in love with an Iranian engineer, whose mother soon joins their household. From Dinkytown to Lake Minnetonka, the action takes place in the '90s in the Twin Cities area (even the Taste section is mentioned), with a significant time spent in the kitchen, as her mealtime goes the way of apple khoresht (stew), basmati rice and baklava. Her novel is available at local independent bookstores and online; the Hennepin and Dakota county library systems carry it. For more info, go to catherinedehdashti.com. Or see her in person on:
• Oct. 15, reading and book signing, 7 p.m., Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Free.
• Oct. 17, book signing, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Twin Cities Book Festival, State Fairgrounds, near Cosgrove St. and Randall Av., Falcon Heights. Free. raintaxi.com/ twin-cities-book-festival.
• Oct. 25, reading and book signing, 3 p.m., Eat My Words Bookstore, 1228 NE. 2nd St., Mpls. Free.
Brick oven baking
Brick oven baking classes are popular! A class using the community brick oven at Hamline Church in St. Paul's Hamline-Midway area on Oct. 24 filled quickly. But if you wish to be notified of future classes, contact organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvest fest Thursday
Feeling spontaneous? The Inver Hills-Metro State Interdisciplinary Community Garden hosts its first Harvest Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 8, with snacks, live music, raffles and interactive poetry. The garden (profiled in Taste in May) was founded as a way to involve college students in a community effort, and they grew and donated more than 1,000 pounds of food to food shelves this year. They also make pies from the apple orchard's harvest. The event is at the gardens at 2500 E. 80th St. in Inver Grove Heights.
Stillwater food shelf benefit
A "Chopped"-style cooking competition with food-shelf ingredients will again headline the Feed the Valley Cook's Challenge on Oct. 23 at the Grand Banquet Hall in Stillwater.
Twin Cities culinary arts students will compete to prepare an entree using mystery baskets from the Food Shelf, Valley Outreach's largest program, showing what can emerge from often ordinary ingredients. Attendees also will enjoy a dinner, Dessert Dash, 125-bottle Wine Pull and live auction.
Karl Benson, owner of Cooks of Crocus Hill, will be the cooking competition commentator, and professional chefs will act as judges, with a contest for one attendee to win a chance to be a judge. For tickets, visit valleyoutreach.org.