Food & Drink

Sharon Thompson: Lexington blogger's first cookbook focuses on pure sorghum syrup

Rona Roberts of Lexington, who writes about Kentucky's food, farms and farmers on her blog,, has written her first book.

Sweet, Sweet Sorghum: Kentucky's Golden Wonder focuses on pure sorghum syrup, and how to enjoy it and add it to our daily lives.

"More sorghum consumption moves Kentucky and other sorghum-producing states in the direction of food self-sufficiency while also offering health benefits to those who eat it," Roberts said.

The book includes topics ranging from sorghum grammar — the definitions and usages of sorghum, molasses and sorghum molasses — to exactly how to make the "magical mixture" of sorghum and butter that gives biscuits their best reason to exist, she said.

Sweet, Sweet Sorghum is available at The Morris Book Shop; Good Foods Market; Joseph-Beth Booksellers; Alfalfa restaurant; Windy Corner Market; gift shops, including at the John Hunt Morgan House; and It's $26.95.

New to the lineup

Nancy Ward, owner of Kentucky Specialty Sauces, has added two products to her lineup: Bluegrass bourbon sauce and Wallace Station bourbon mustard. Call (859) 396-9568 or go to

A busy week at Equus Run

Equus Run Vineyards, 1280 Moores Mill Road, Midway will have a holiday open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. There will be live music by Encore, holiday treats, and sampling of holiday blush.

On Dec. 11, Equus will hold a Behind the Scenes winemaker and guest chef dinner featuring Woodford Reserve Distillery chef Nat Henton.

After sampling special wine blends directly from the tanks and barrels, guests will attend a cooking demonstration by Henton. The three-course tapas-style meal will feature a salad of fresh Bibb lettuce, cranberries, spiced walnuts and blue cheese drizzled with a zinfandel vinaigrette; holiday turkey roulade with country ham wrapped in bacon served with wild rice and wheat berry pilaf; and pears poached in honey and cabernet sauvignon wrapped in almond puff pastry. Cost is $50. Winemaking activities begin at 4 p.m.; dinner is at 5:30 p.m. Call (859) 846-9463 or go to

Saying thanks

The Lexington-based International Book Project recently honored Portofino restaurant for "continuously supporting literacy efforts in the developing world and in the Lexington community. IBP, founded by Harriet Van Meter in 1966, collects books at its warehouse on Delaware Avenue and distributes them by container-loads around the world. Susan Masterman, co-owner of Portofino and a former University of Kentucky English instructor, serves on the board of directors and encourages local citizens to volunteer. Call (859) 254-6771 or go to Portofino is at 249 East Main Street.

Sign someone up

A cooking class is an ideal gift for someone who loves to cook or wants to learn.

Phil Dunn's cooking classes for December include holiday brunch and dinner. Here's a list of upcoming classes, held at Architectural Kitchens & Baths, 345 Lafayette Avenue. Classes are $50 and begin at 6 p.m. Call (859) 533-3553 or email

■ Monday: Fabulous holiday brunch focuses on bellinis, soufflé and strata.

■ Dec. 12: another yummy bacon class features fettuccine carbonara and bacon-wrapped petite filet mignons.

■ Dec. 14: Holiday hors d'oeuvres to impress your guests is about making smoked salmon croque monsieur and baked brie.

■ Dec. 28: Bouillabaisse is a seafood stew made with shrimp, mussels, scallops and salmon.

■ Dec. 30: A Southern holiday dinner features cream of mushroom soup, baby spinach salad with fried oysters, honey- and bourbon-glazed ham, and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

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