Just a Pinch

Cooking class is nothing to sneeze at


If you're one of those taste bud-challenged people who dumps a mound of salt and pepper on your food before you even take the first bite, then Central Market has a class for you--The Basics: Salt, Pepper & Oil. The Central Market Cooking School's staff can educate you and your palate so that the next time something "needs salt" you'll know exactly what kind of salt to use and precisely how much is needed so you can savor the ideal flavor. You might also learn that Crisco isn't the only type of oil. The class includes a talk about different types of seasonings plus a few recipe demonstrations putting your newfound knowledge to work in the kitchen. Dishes on the menu include salt baked whole fish, three-pepper brined chicken and, for dessert, sweet olive oil quick bread. Once you've mastered "the basics" you'll be investing in a spice rack in no time, and all your friends will be dishing about your latest dish. The Basics: Salt, Pepper & Oil is Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Central Market, 5750 E. Lovers Lane. Registration is $50. Call 214-361-5754 or visit www.centralmarket.com. --Jay Webb

Most Likely to Succeed


And you thought you were productive. Robert Conley is a poet, a professor, a member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and a writer of short stories, plays and 34 novels...since 1986. Thirty-four. Since 1986. Even John Updike, more prolific with the pen than a homesick summer camper, can't keep up. Conley will sign his new book, The Cherokee Nation: A History, at Barnes & Noble in Frisco, 2601 Preston Road, on Saturday at noon. Call 972-668-2820. --Paul Kix

Old Money


Stupid rich people. Getting all the cool stuff and locking it away in their giant, well-monitored, secure houses where people like us can't get their grubby fingers on it. Well, you can't smudge his silversmith masterpieces, but you can "oh" and "ah" at the Duke of Devonshire's family collection from their country estate, including manuscripts, gold objects, early photographs, historic scientific instruments and old master drawings. Wash your hands and wear your Sunday best at 6:30 p.m. July 31 at the Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call 214-922-1826. --Shannon Sutlief

Mammal Medium


Amelia Kinkade believes in the sanctity of each and every animal life on earth, from the creepiest of crawlers to the most massive of mammals. She believes this because she's talked to a lot of experts on the subject. And by "experts on the subject" we mean the animals themselves. This weekend, she'll be in Grapevine to show off her psychic animal communication skills and give some tips to North Texans who want to get that much closer to their pets. "Every species looks at the world and the universe in a different way," says Kathy Weidner, Kinkade's friend and co-organizer of the Animal Communication Workshop at the Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 S. Main St. "They contribute information that's valuable to humans if they will just listen." Kinkade will spend two days showing attendees how to tune into the animal wavelength. Rated one of the top 100 psychics in the world (yes, somebody actually ranks them), she'll also be joined by traveling petting zoo Zooniversity and interpret what exotic and domestic animals alike have to say. Tickets to the two-day event are $195, and the seminars last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Register at www.animalworkshop.com. --Andrea Grimes

Dancin' King


In the wrong hands, harmless movie quotes become tools of pain, torture and utter annoyance. For example, that guy from high school study hall, the one who always wore a white cap and whittled off Fletch quotes like dandruff off a hippie's scalp? Wrong hands and then some. Sure, movie quotes can be tasteful--like when Mr. White Hat bitches at the company softball game and you remind him that "There's no crying in baseball"--but more commonly, people have no tact. They give up on creativity and wit when an overused movie quote can do the work instead, and--with enough repeats--it can ruin even the best movies. What a lot of people don't know is that MTV was on a mission to ruin Napoleon Dynamite before it hit theaters. In the movie's initial advertising run, every TV advert was peppered with the quotes that have since ruled teenagers' lips for the past half-year: "Flippin' sweet," "Idiot" and "Can you bring me my Chapstick?" were thrust on the screen in bold, colorful letters as actor Jon Heder whined in character. Luckily, this campaign was changed by the time the movie caught on; a few quotes remained, but MTV didn't need to do the work--they had a crazed fan base to ruin the quotes at every study hall in America. These days, the stuff is pretty old, and we know the fad's over when Grandma gets in on the act. Yes, Grandma, our mom (your daughter) goes to college. We know. Napoleon Dynamite will be shown at midnight this Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre,5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call 214-764-9106. --Sam Machkovech

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