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FOOD BRIEFS Pickle demonstration set at History Center

ST. PAUL -- Pickling expert Marilyn Herman will demonstrate the steps involved in making and preserving your own pickles at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Held at the Minnesota History Center, Herman's program will feature information on what types of cucumbers to look for, recipe ideas, gift suggestions and pickle tasting.

The program is free. The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Boulevard West in St. Paul. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call (651) 296-6126.

Learn the bread-making process

PRESTON -- Guests to Historic Forestville, near Preston, will learn the time-consuming and labor-intensive process of making bread and butter when they attend Bread and Butter Weekend Sept. 14 and 15. The many steps of making butter will be demonstrated, including churning, washing and molding. Visitors can join in on the preparations and all will be rewarded with a sample of homemade bread and butter.

Historic Forestville is staffed with costumed guides who portray actual residents going about their daily activities. Guests can chat with the site's storekeeper, stroll through a family home with a housekeeper or help the hired hands with chores in the garden and farm buildings.

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Regular admission is $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, $2 for children ages 6-12 and children younger than 6 are admitted free. A state park sticker or daily admission fee is required to enter Forestville State Park. Historic Forestville is located in Forestville State Park, between Preston and Spring Valley. Information: (507) 765-2785.

Blue Bell Inn cooking workshop is Sept. 18

ST. ANSGAR, Iowa -- The Blue Bell Inn will hold the "Sweet Land of Liberty" quilting and cooking workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 18. Guests will make a patchwork tote bag out of scraps of fabric and will prepare a lunch of artichoke and mushroom soup, Colorado calzones, Harvest Pumpkin bread with cinnamon spread and tarts. Cost is $40 and participants should bring their own scissors and sewing machines. To make reservations, call (641) 713-3113. For more information, go on-line at www.bluebellinn.com.

Free stuff

Fitting in a healthy, balanced meal in the midst of school, sports, homework and early bedtimes can be a challenge for any family. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has developed a brochure of kid-friendly recipes to complement busy schedules. The brochure is available online at www.hot-dog.org in the brochure section.

Food Q &; A

Q: How should I store coffee beans? Can I freeze them?

A: Purists would say you should buy no more coffee than you can use in a week. But if you find yourself with excess beans, by all means, freeze them. Wrap the beans tightly and freeze them in a sealed container for -- optimally -- no longer than three weeks.

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