Tilia turns one and Firkin Fest beckons this Week in Food

Baby's first birthday
Baby's first birthday

Firkin casks and maple trees are both being tapped this week, two sounds that are music to our ears every March. And don't forget to celebrate Tilia's first birthday with drinks and snacks at its southwest Minneapolis HQ this week in food.

3/19 It's hard to believe there was life before Tilia, the southwest Minneapolis restaurant helmed by Steven Brown that officially turns one year old today. Come out and celebrate this milestone with an open house from 5 to 9 p.m. The staff will be serving small bites from the kitchen throughout the evening and holding drawings for prizes. Each guest will receive two drink tickets at the door, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. Tickets cost just $20, and kids get in free. For more info visit the Tilia website.

3/20 The unseasonably warm weather has us all looking toward summer and one delicious thing: gardens! Come to Peace Coffee Tuesday night to talk all things veggie, chickens, and urban food policy. You can mix with a community gardener, a backyard chicken raiser, and IATP's local food policy expert, JoAnne Berkenkamp while also flipping through some seed catalogs. Be sure to share and swap stories and tips of your own. Register in advance for this Percolate event by calling Marin Byrne at 612.870.3411 or via email at [email protected]

3/22 Breakfast might be something you think you conquered as soon as you could tip that box of Froot Loops and connect with your bowl. Not so says the Linden Hills Co-op, which is offering "Kitchen Basics with Kate: Mastering the Art of Breakfast" for people who want to kick breakfast up a notch. Chef Kate will help you explore the most important meal of the day in a fun and empowering teaching style that will give you the kitchen confidence you need to become a breakfast champion. Class will wrap up with a make-your-own omelet bar (where you do the flipping!) and a family-style meal featuring baked French toast, perfect roast potatoes, and minted melon salad.The class runs 6-8 p.m. and costs $25, or $20 for members. Be sure to preregister by calling 612.922.1159.

3/24 Firkin Fest returns! The Happy Gnome throws up tents and unloads heaps of firkins to the delight of the local beer-guzzling community (for those who are wondering, firkin "juice" is cask-conditioned ale, meaning the carbonation in the beer comes from the secondary fermentation, which takes place inside the firkin). Brewers take extra time to create these firkins especially for the fest, so come down and do your part by drinking them up. The price for tickets has gone up this year (from $30 to $50) but fewer folks are being admitted for a smoother process, and all the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m., and tickets can be bought online via this link.

3/25 It's maple syrup season! If you're curious about how this year's crazy warm weather has affected the sap tapping, come to the Harriet Alexander Nature Center to find out firsthand. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. you can drop in to see demonstrations on how trees are tapped, collect some sap, and see it cooked to make maple syrup. Learn about traditional syruping methods, listen to Native American stories, make a fun craft, and taste maple treats. The best part: There's no charge for this sweet outing. For more info call the Nature Center at 651.765.4262.

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