Bits & Bites: Dinners, Maplefest, pizza playoff slated this week


Sabrina Tan and Chin Lee of Flavours of Malaysia and the Elizabeth Freeman Center will host the 8th annual celebration of International Women's Day with a buffet dinner of Malaysian-Chinese cuisine and a variety of raffle prizes from Berkshire venues and businesses on March 8. Dinner is at 6 p.m., but the doors open at 5 p.m. for a social hour and cash bar.

The cost of dinner is $35, including tax and tip. Tickets are available in downtown Pittsfield at Flavours, Dottie's, Steven Valenti's, and can be purchased online at Reservations can be made by calling Flavours at 413-443-3188. Tickets at the door as space allows.

If you can't attend, but want to contribute to the work of Elizabeth Freeman Center, visit EFC's donation page at


Zion Lutheran Church will host its annual Taste of Germany dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. The dinner will take place in the newly-renovated Common Room at the church, 74 First St., Pittsfield.

The menu will include Oma's Gulasch with egg noodles and green beans with carrots. Dessert is Bavarian cream roll. Take out is available. Beer from Wandering Star Brewery and various wines will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $12 per person, $6 for kids 12 and younger, and can be purchased at the door or in advance by going to Reservations are encouraged. The venue is handicap-accessible and all are invited.


With the recent February warm-up, maple sugaring season has arrived in time for Hopkins Memorial Forest's annual Maplefest celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. This annual event, which exalts the time-honored Yankee tradition of producing home grown sweeteners from local maple trees, will enable people to observe and take part in the process of producing maple syrup from the tree to the bottle.

Participants will be able to visit a working sugar house; to observe the finishing and bottling of the final product; to try their hands at tapping a tree and gathering sap; and to taste homemade syrup on pancakes and "sugar on snow." In addition, there will be demonstrations of old-time evaporating methods — going back to the pre-colonial era — a taste test, videos, and more.

The event is free and appropriate for people of all ages; it will be held regardless of the weather. Hopkins Forest, owned and operated by Williams College, is at the junction of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road in Williamstown.


The 6th Pittsfield Pizza Playoff will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Zion Lutheran Church, 74 First St., Pittsfield. Boy Scout Troop 8 has been soliciting area pizzarias for donations of popular pizza pies. Over 10 companies will participate.

This family event includes pizza samples, salad, dessert and beverages. Visitors will be asked to vote for their favorite pizza topping.

Tickets will be available in advance and at the door: $8 adults, $6 children younger than 12, kids 6 and younger, free.


The Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department will hold an all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage dinner fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday in the Stephentown Fire Hall, 35 Grange Hall Road, Stephentown, N.Y.

Adult, all you can eat (at the fire hall) dinners are $15, children aged 6 to 10 are $7, and youth ages 5 and younger eat free. Take-out dinners will be available for $15. Advance tickets are not required.


The First Baptist Church of North Adams will hold a St. Patrick's Day dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the church, 131 Main St. Diners should use the Eagle Street door.

The menu will include corned beef or ham, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and corn bread. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and younger. Take-out meals will be available.

The Windsor Historical Commission will hold the 3rd annual Baked Potato Fest at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Windsor Town Hall on Route 9, Windsor.

The menu will feature baked potatoes (white and sweet) with choice of a variety of hearty toppings including meat chili, olive and parsley pesto, and vegan lentil stew, accompanied by tossed salad and a dessert bar.

The cost of the meal is $10 for adults; $5 for children younger than 12, with a maximum of $30 per family.

Following the meal, Windsor architect, author, and builder Jack A. Sobon will present an illustrated talk on "English Barns in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts," focusing on the design, construction and use of these 18th- and 19th-century icons. For more information, email:


Flour. Baking soda. Buttermilk. Salt. After that, all bets are off when it comes to what's in Irish soda bread. Is your bread a "spotted dog"?

The Irish American Heritage Museum, for the sixth year in a row, invites people to enter their favorite soda bread in the annual Maureen Farrell McCarthy Amateur Irish Soda Bread Competition, on Saturday, March 10, at the museum at 370 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. Amateur bakers are invited to drop their breads off between 10 a.m. and noon. Prizes — including a $300 first prize — will be awarded at 2 p.m. Each entrant will receive a commemorative "Irish Soda Bread" T-shirt.

Each entrant must provide two loaves — one for the judges and one for the crowd to sample.

A $5 donation is suggested for visitors; museum members enjoy free.

Official rules, judging criteria and an entry form can be obtained at or by calling 518-427-1916. Bread entry is $5.


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