Food Network star and cookbook author Rachael Ray is coming to Lexington to sign her newest book, Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book.
She will be at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Lexington Green at noon Dec. 10. Ray's new book is the "ultimate collection of: all-new 30- minute meals, vegetarian dinners, meals for one, kosher meals, and holiday menus." The book is $24.95.
Mind our manners
On a recent Oprah show, the topic was "mind your manners." Oprah Winfrey told the audience that 80 percent of Americans think that rudeness is a serious national problem, but 99 percent of the same people say that they themselves are not rude.
It's at this time of year that we think more about manners because the Thanksgiving meal is a little more formal than other occasions, and we want our children to be on their best behavior.
Etiquette consultant Terri Thompson of Paris said parents are busier than ever, and as more meals are eaten on the run, many social skills that should be taught in the formative years are being lost.
"Ninety-five percent of parents feel that more people today lack good manners than when they were growing up," Thompson said.
Thompson is a graduate of The Etiquette Institute, and her program for children, "Please Pass the Manners," helps young children gain confidence and poise with a fun, light approach to the art of manners and social etiquette. Call (859) 987-9739 or go to www.etiquetteinaction.com.
Morton's open, briefly, for lunch
Morton's The Steakhouse in Louisville is offering customers a rare opportunity this holiday season.
The restaurant is opening for lunch on six select days in December. An a la carte lunch menu will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 10 to 12 and Dec. 17 to 19.
The holiday lunch menu includes steaks, fresh seafood, lobster, chicken and Morton's legendary hot chocolate cake. Morton's is at 626 West Main Street. Call (502) 584-0421 or go to www.mortons.com.
Shop and help a good cause
As we plan our Thanksgiving feasts and holiday baking, we'll be spending more money at the supermarket. Here's a way to help others while doing so.
I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation helps women with breast cancer by supplying prostheses, food, clothing and wigs.
The foundation is participating in the Kroger Neighborhood Reward Program, and you can request a gift card at www.ihavewings.org. Before you shop, reload the card with any amount up to $250. When I Have Wings reaches $5,000 or more in reloads within Kroger's four-week cycles, the organization will earn 4 percent on the total amount.
Local-food interest is growing
Consumers want local food. A recent study, conducted by a University of Kentucky rural sociology class, shows that despite income differences, people are universally aware of food issues and want to see more local food offered in area grocery stores and restaurants.
The study was conducted through interviews with consumers at five Lexington food retail markets: Walmart on Nicholasville Road, Walmart on New Circle Road, Good Foods Co-op and the Lexington farmers markets.
Keiko Tanaka, associate professor in the UK College of Agriculture's Department of Community and Leadership Development, said the recent survey found that people want more locally produced food, and they want to know where their food is from. Many cited a need for improved education about food in schools.
"Some of the people said that the bad thing about the U.S. food system is healthy food is expensive and junk food is cheap. They wish they could buy more fruits and vegetables for their kids, but they can't afford it," Tanaka said.
When asked what local actions are needed, participants responded with the need for a permanent, year-round farmers market in Lexington, an increase in the availability of local food at grocery stores and restaurants, community support for local farming, and improved education about food.
Tanaka and her students have plans for a Lexington Community Food Assessment Web site, and a directory of organizations and groups involved with sustainable agriculture and the food initiative in the Bluegrass region.
Talking about slow food
The University of Kentucky's Rural and Development Seminar Series will present a panel discussion, "Slowfood in the Bluegrass," from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at the Singletary Center for the Arts Presidents Room. Speakers are Jim Embry from Sustainable Communication Network; Susan Carson Lambert from RE Strategies, and Bob Perry, coordinator of the Food Systems Initiative.
A sweet spot in the mall
For more than a year, Connie Rogers has been popping corn, adding a little drizzle of white chocolate and some candy, and selling it wholesale. Now she has a retail spot that's open just in time for holiday shopping.
Mrs. Rogers' Popcorn and Sweet Shop is at Lexington Green, across from Artique. Her specialty is white chocolate-drizzled popcorn, but she also has 15 flavors of homemade fudge, plus bourbon balls, caramel apples and jam cake. "We'll be adding items as we go along," Rogers said.
She's having an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (859) 245-1470 or go to www.mrsrogerspopcorn.com.
Cookbook of recipes, memories
The latest cookbook from the Christian Women's Fellowship at Liberty Road Community Church has the best recipes from potluck dinners, picnics, banquets and holiday feasts. Several recipes are in memory of former members, including Anita Cosby, Isabelle Jordan, Vivian South, Hazel Tandy, Maggie Kearns, Lucille Whitlock, Fannie Bishop, Frances Reynolds and Mary Jane Cosby. Others are from people who have served the church since it was founded in 1966.
The book is available by sending $12, including shipping and handling, to Liberty Road Community Church, P.O. Box 54825, Lexington, Ky. 40555.
Reach Sharon Thompson at (859) 231-3321 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext 3321.