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Food is love. It is fuel for our bodies. It is our culture, our history, and an important part of our everyday lives. It is also an industry and a powerful economic driver that impacts us all. This summer, explore the many faces of food, from fun events and DIY projects to unusual classes and opportunities to participate in the local food system.
SEX EDUCATION
OK, so this cooking class is actually centered on Erika Kubick’s book, Cheese, Sex, Death: A Bible for the Cheese Obsessed, but events that connect sex and food are definitely intriguing. For $85, Wanderlust Delicato will guide participants through two hours of cheese-forward recipes like gool ol’ mac n’ cheese and a fancier dish called clafoutis with apples and rich Camembert cheese. Reserve your spot for the June 29 class at Spokane’s quintessential cheese purveyor via wanderlustdelicato.com/spokane-cooking-classes.
GARDEN TEA PARTY
Can you think of a more delightful place to have a tea party than amid fields of flowers? Grumpy Chicken Farm in Sandpoint is hosting four such events this summer: July 24 and 30, and Aug. 13 and 21. Tickets are $45 for adults, $30 for children. You’re encouraged to dress to impress for this light meal with all manner of hot and cold teas, scratch-made shortbreads, scones, cookies, tea sandwiches and more. Price includes a beautiful bouquet to bring home. Visit grumpychickenfarm.com or call 208-274-3358.
PULSE PARTY
Lentils are members of the collection of superfoods called pulses, whose cousins include peas and beans. They’re also the focus of the National Lentil Festival, Aug. 19-20 in Pullman. As it has done nearly every year since 1989, the free event features a citywide celebration of lentils, the primary food export of the Palouse. Not sure how to cook lentils? Check out the cooking demos. Get to the event on Friday to sample the huge lentil chili cookoff, while Saturday means lentil pancakes from the Lions Club. Non-lentil foods and assorted beverages will also be featured, like beer from Pullman’s Paradise Creek Brewery and wine from Merry Cellars. Other festivities include a parade, live music, and assorted sporting events to watch and participate in. Visit lentilfest.com.
FILL ‘ER UP
Is it a music festival with food? Or a food festival with live music? It’s both at Pig Out in the Park, the Riverfront Park extravaganza from Aug. 31-Sept. 5 that also marks the end of summer. The event is free, but you’ll want to bring moolah to sample some of the 245 menu items spread out over 50 food booths. This year’s event includes three beer gardens and a big public market to waddle through as you give the ol’ tummy a rest from eating and drinking. Visit pigoutinthepark.com.
FOODIE FRIDAYS
One of the coolest things about living or working near downtown Spokane during summer is taking a walk to grab a lunch for eating outdoors. Find several food options in one place every Friday at Wall Street and Main Avenue through Aug. 26. The area is closed to vehicular traffic on Food Truck Fridays from 11 am-2 pm. Participating trucks include Tacos Camargo, Toby’s BBQ, Mixed Plate and Jerusalem, which serves Middle Eastern cuisine like crispy falafel and tender chicken shawarma. Visit greaterspokanefoodtrucks.com.
PITCH IN
What’s family-friendly, food-oriented and bound to make you feel good, too? Volunteering with the Spokane Edible Tree Project, which needs your help gleaning food that would otherwise go to waste from such places as Green Bluff Growers and select farmers markets. Gleaned food gets redistributed to area food banks and others in need throughout the Inland Northwest.
“As the fruit season gets going, there will be more opportunities for commercial and residential fruit gleaning that will be updated throughout the season on our social media as well as newsletters,” says the group’s gleaning coordinator, Drew Clarkson.
Wanderlust Delicato’s elevated cooking classes provide ample flavor and memory-making
While you’ve been dreaming of a white ski season, the teams at the five local resorts have been busy making improvements big and small
Dining Out 2022: More than a meal
Find out more June 25 at Big Barn Brewing (16004 N. Applewood Ln., Mead) during a free informational event from 2-4 pm. There will be food trucks on-site and beverages available from Big Barn’s Bodacious Berries, Fruits & Brews. Visit spokaneedibletreeproject.org or call 509-609-6833.
BEAT THE HEAT
Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, and last summer necessity forced many to rethink food in light of the extreme heat. Eating cold foods and grilling are two obvious options, and while ice cream for every meal sounds tempting, there are other solutions. How about roasted meats, moist cakes and perfectly cooked bread? If that sounds good, consider solar cooking. You can buy a cooker — REI sells them for $249 — or make your own with materials you’re likely to have around the house, such as a box, aluminum foil, tape and a thermometer. Solar-cooking kits have gained traction throughout the world, including through Solar Cookers International. Find out more at solarcooking.fandom.com.
CRAVE! NW
A local outdoor event with amazing food and beverages for adults only? Sign us up. Of all the summer foodie festivals, Crave! NW at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley is geared toward the culinarily committed and curious alike, providing they’re 21 or older. Even better, the open-air event is back to its original format of three days, from July 14-16. Instead of driving all over town to try food from your favorite places like Arbor Crest, Baba Spokane, Kismet, Madeleine’s, Tavolàta and Zona Blanca, Crave! NW lets you eat as much as you’d like in one place, plus you get to try food from regional and national chefs, like Felipe Hernandez, whose tamales have people traveling to Central Washington from all over the country.
Each day has a different theme. Thursday is the burger “smackdown,” with chefs vying for your votes and live wrestling providing the entertainment. On Friday, sample dishes from around the world as you enjoy live music and a carnival-like atmosphere. And on Saturday, chefs are bringin’ the heat following a “fire & smoke” theme as tribal dancers and drummers entertain guests. Advance tickets start at $49, depending on the event, and slightly higher to get in an hour before the 6-9 pm general admission, because there’s so much to see — and taste — at this popular event. Also ask about package deals and group rates. Visit cravenw.com. ♦
The original print version of this article was headlined “Food”
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