Getting pie-triotic

Ramping up to National Pie Day on Jan. 23 (save the date!), the American Pie Council veers into the political arena with a bipartisan nod. One of Barack Obama's daughters says that while her dad doesn't eat many sweets, he loves pumpkin pie.

Cindy McCain is reported to have found the recipe for her family's favorite dessert, Patriotic Twinkie Pie, in "The Twinkies Cookbook." In a trifle bowl, she layers blue Jell-O, blueberries, instant vanilla pudding mix, strawberries, whipped topping and Twinkies.

Among the electorate, apple pie is still the favorite pie of one in five Americans.

We're pie eaters, and we approved this message.

Apple regimen

With impeccable timing, the U.S. Apple Association shares some reasons that apples keep us out of doctors' offices. Antioxidants help prevent damage to heart cells and reduce the risk of various cancers. Their fiber and flavenoids can help calm respiratory illnesses.

Apples may increase the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which improves memory. Finally, biting into apples stimulates saliva, which helps keep our mouths clean, and the fiber helps to wash away bacteria.

So take two Haralsons and call us in the morning.

Baking class

Scrambling after its original location closed, King Arthur Flour now has found a venue for its baking classes on Oct. 24 -- the Applewood Event Center, 1996 E. Hwy. 13 in Burnsville.

The class on sweet and savory yeast breads is from noon to 2 p.m., with festive cookies and pies from 7 to 9 p.m.

More information about the free and public classes, also in Woodbury and Shoreview, is at www.kingarthurflour.com.

KIM ODE