Among the five new categories at this year's American Craft Council Show, April 20-22 at the St. Paul RiverCentre, is "foodieware," described as "fabulous utilitarian objects design to flatter your fare." One example is Richard M. Parrish's shimmering fused glass tray, a gorgeous backdrop for salads, bread, veggies or fruit. The annual show features a variety of jewelry, clothing, furniture, items priced under $100, home décor and more. (Other new categories are men's department, bride-to-be, local and the blue-chip club, featuring items valued at $10,000 and up.) For ticket info and a list of artists, visit www.craftcouncil.org.
Road trip with sustenance
Highways and food come together April 27-29 when the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance hosts its fifth annual conference, Road Food: Exploring the Midwest One Bite at a Time, at Kendall College in Chicago. Topics addressed include dining along Route 66, food trucks, drive-in restaurants, small-town cafes, farmers markets, pie and much more, each delivered by a variety of chefs, food historians and folklorists. The alliance is dedicated "to celebrating, exploring and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest," believing that how we obtain and prepare food tells us much about our culture, politics, finances and the influence of geography. For the complete schedule and info about cost, visit www.greatermidwestfoodways.com.
Grill safely, eat wisely
The best new BBQ tool named at the recent National Barbecue Association conference wasn't some solar-powered smoker or levitating fork, but a refrigerator magnet. The Meat Temperature Magnet, created by AmazingRibs.com, is a comprehensive guide to meat temperatures, including the latest USDA recommendations, chef recommendations (which often differ) and color photos of the different stages of doneness for red meats. With about one in six Americans getting sick from foodborne illnesses each year, the steaks are high. (Sorry.) The magnet sells for about $6 on Amazon.com. For more grilling info, visit www.amazingribs.com.
Tea for two, now three
TeaSource, which carries more than 250 varieties of loose-leaf teas and tea accessories, has opened a third retail location on the perimeter drive around Eden Prairie Mall. Actual address: 561 Prairie Center Drive. How you'll really find it: It's between the Original Pancake House and the Eden Prairie Library. The new location also will offer workshops and tea tastings. For more info, visit www.teasource.com.