Celebrate liberty and hot dogs this Week in Food

How American: a hot-dog-eating contest on the Fourth of July. The Depot Diamond Dog
How American: a hot-dog-eating contest on the Fourth of July. The Depot Diamond Dog
Jana Frieband

There's nothing like a mid-week holiday to break up your Week in Food -- especially if you're going to be a contestant in the Depot's annual hot-dog-eating contest. We've also got a Fourth of July picnic on a farm, lessons in how to throw a dinner party, a farmers market baking contest, and more on this week's food agenda.

7/3 Summer is the ideal time to throw a dinner party, and the Wedge offers a class that promises to make the experience a head-exploder. At "Blow Their Minds! The Summer Dinner Party" you will learn the ins and outs of doable meals that look like you slaved all day. Learn simple techniques for creating color, flavor, and texture-balanced menus that include creamy corn, red pepper, and risotto soup; roasted salmon with balsamic butter sauce; glazed carrots with orange zest; green bean salad with toasted sesame seeds and rugula; and macaroons dipped in bittersweet chocolate (vegetarians can be accommodated). The class runs 7-9 p.m. and costs $49 for members, $59 for nonmembers. To sign up call 612.871.3993.

7/4 What better way to celebrate America's independence than by watching six contestants gorge on hot dogs in an epic contest? The Depot's Diamond Dog Eating Contest is back for its third year, which has contestants downing City Pages' Best Hot Dog of 2012: a 1/4 pound all-beef hot dog, wrapped with pepper bacon, deep-fried, and served on a pretzel bun. The rules are simple: Whoever eats the most dogs in a 10-minute span (with no restroom trips or vomiting) lands a Platinum Membership, 10 pairs of tickets to First Ave shows, and a $50 Depot gift card. The eating begins at 2 p.m.

Make your Fourth of July a rural one at the Farmer's Fourth of July celebration on the Kelley Farm. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the lawn, watch the spring lambs prance about, and take a horse-drawn trolley ride along the nature trail. Visitors can also join in 19th-century games and contests, including townball, the precursor to modern baseball. Mix and mingle with the costumed staff and experience the holiday as it was celebrated in the 19th century. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and entrance costs $9 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 to 17; free for children 5 and under and MHS members.

7/7 The folks at Midwest Supplies invite those interested in learning more about all-grain brewing to a special demonstration Saturday at noon. Classes are taught either by local brew clubs demonstrating their brewing prowess or Midwest staff. The class is free but space is limited, so call 952.925.9854 to reserve your spot.

7/8 Every second Sunday at the Kingfield Farmers Market is bake-off day, and today's theme is berry. You can register to enter a dish and have it judged by a panel of celebrity judges for the chance to win the acclaim of your fellow market shoppers. Your recipe will be posted on the market's website, and pieces of your dish will be sold to raise funds for the market. Judging begins at 10:30 a.m., so get baking!

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