Summer is the perfect time for a riverboat cruise or a cooking lesson, both of which are available at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
Evening picnic cruises on the Dixie Belle in July feature a menu that includes fried chicken and potato salad. Cost is $35. Guests will board the riverboat at Shaker Landing. Hours are 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 7, 14, 21 and 28.
David Larson, overseer of the Trustees' Office Dining Room, will teach a class on how to transform produce from the garden into a contemporary meal. He will share recipes for the al fresco lunch. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 21 and 28. Cost is $65.
Shaker Village is at 3501 Lexington Road, Harrodsburg. Call 1-800-734-5611, Ext. 1545, or go to Shakervillageky.org.
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Using oils and vinegars
The July cooking class at Spindletop Hall, sponsored by Stuarto's Olive Oil Co., will be 6 to 8 p.m. July 11. The menu features poached salmon with raspberry-infused vanilla vinegar; oven-roasted loin of pork with Dijon country mustard and 18-year-old balsamic vinegar; walnut oil and toasted onion sea salt corn cakes; roasted red onions with habanero pepper sea salt, and strawberry vinegar shortcake.
Instructors are Spindletop executive chef Ed Valente and sous chef Timothy Wood, and Stuart Utgaard of Stuarto's. Cost is $35. Spindletop is at 3414 Ironworks Pike. Stuarto's is at 2200 War Admiral Way and 804 Euclid Avenue. Call (859) 263-0088.
Events on tap at Good Foods Market
Good Foods Market & Café, 455 Southland Drive, has a variety of classes and events planned for July.
■ Eat Local celebration, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 7. Local producers who will be sampling products include Doc's Family of Foods, Hughes Farm, Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese, Marksbury Farm Market, Pike Valley Farm Foods, Rooibee Red Tea and Sweetgrass Granola.
■ The 30-Minute Vegan, 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 26. Cost is $19. Instructor is Carolyn Gilles, chef at The Wholesome Chef.
■ Eat Local dinner, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 27. Featured producers include Lexington Pasta, Stone Cross Farm, Hughes Farm, Blue Moon Farm, Pike Valley Farm, Kentucky Ale, West Sixth Brewing Co., Boone Creek Creamery, Good Shepherd Cheese and Bluegrass Chevre. Cost is $47.
Call (859) 278-1813 or go to Goodfoods.coop.
Refreshing and calorie-free
When you tire of diet colas this summer, opt for a drink that will jazz up your picnics and back-yard cook-outs. Sparkling Ice beverages come in a variety of summertime flavors: coconut-pineapple, lemon-lime, kiwi- strawberry, lemonade, orange-mango, pomegranate-berry, pink grapefruit, and black raspberry. The drinks retail for $1.29 and have no calories.
For a quick low-calorie treat, turn the drinks into ice cream sodas.
Sparkling Ice cream soda
1/4 cup milk
1 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream (or 1 large scoop)
Any flavor Sparkling Ice
Whipped cream (optional)
Pour milk into tall 16-ounce glass. Add ice cream and enough Sparkling Ice to fill almost to top of glass. Top with whipped cream if desired.
Machine makes it easier
As summer fruits ripen, we're inspired to make jams and jellies.
Ball, the maker of canning jars, has created an appliance that will make the summer task a little easier.
The FreshTech Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker simplifies the process, making jam and jelly in less than 30 minutes. Once made, your jam or jelly you can be stored in the refrigerator for as long as three weeks, or it can be frozen or canned. The machine comes with a recipe booklet, and each recipe makes about 2 pints, or 32 ounces of jam or jelly. It retails for $99 and is sold at Bit.ly/LESelS.
Ball will hold its second annual National Can-It- Forward Day on July 14, when home preservers connect via a national circuit of canning parties and social-media activities. Home cooks nationwide can participate in a live webcast of canning demos where viewer questions will be answered in real time. You can find canning information at FreshPreserving.com. Canners also may join the conversation via Twitter; the hash tag is #canitforward.