Eat and drink for the arts — Eat, drink and be merry, for a good cause. Two events in the next two weeks bring together food, adult beverages and music in order to raise money for the arts in eastern Maine. On Thursday, April 29, Luna Bar & Grill on Park Street in Bangor will hold a wine dinner to raise money for the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra. A five-course meal, paired with wine selected by Luna staff, costs $65. To reserve seats, call 974-7798. Farther north, Maine’s own Twenty2 Vodka and the Courtyard Cafe in Houlton will pair up for an evening of art, food and martinis to benefit the Southern Aroostook Cultural Arts Program. The event, set for 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, May 3, will feature appetizers and desserts from the Courtyard Cafe, specially created martinis from the folks at Twenty2, and local art displayed on the walls. Tickets are $25 per person, $45 for a couple, and are available at the cafe and at Visions Gallery, both on Main Street in Houlton.
Beer tasting — You’ve got wine, you’ve got martinis — naturally, you also might want beer. Swett’s Hogan Road Deli at 451 Hogan Road has become one of the best places in Greater Bangor to buy beer (and wine and sake, too). They have a killer selection, from domestic microbrews to German and Belgian imports, and they’re celebrating all things beer with a beer tasting 4-6 p.m. Friday, April 23. Sam Adams Brewery is sponsoring the event, showcasing regular Sam Adams beers as well as the Imperial Series. It’s also worth pointing out that Swett’s Deli makes big, tasty sandwiches, with Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and local produce. For a mall area lunch, it’s an excellent alternative to chain restaurants. The deli is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. For more info, visit www.hoganroaddeli.com.
Rhubarb reminder — Spring season is upon us, and it behooves us here at Tidbits to remind you all about the rhubarb recipe contest we had around this time last year. We received more than 20 entries, with first place going to Belinda Campbell of Brewer, and her Rhubarb Coffeecake with Caramel Sauce. We’re reprinting the recipe here, just in case you’re developing a hankering for the tangy backyard staple.
Belinda Campbell’s Rhubarb Coffeecake
with Caramel Sauce
½ cup shortening
1½ cups sugar
1 egg2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2½ cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter
½ cup butter, cubed
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup heavy whipping cream
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Combine flour and soda, and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in rhubarb. Transfer to a greased 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan. In another small bowl combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Mix in butter until crumbly and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes.
For the sauce, in a small saucepan melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Serve over warm coffeecake.