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Food and Drink

The lessons at Anne Arundel Community ­College’s Culinary Institute will last well after the new yearBob Melamud

Food eaten between November 1 and New Year’s Day contains no calories. I suspect I’m not alone in honoring this conviction. Yet a lifetime of stepping on the scale January 2 has convinced me that our cherished belief is a cruel urban legend.     This year I faced an additional challenge. Our editor assigned me to take and report on an Anne Arundel Community College Culinary Institute holiday class. Biscotti, cookies, Scandinavian baking and truffles tempted me — and promised an overabundance of extra calories.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving ­without the sweet finale

Can Thanksgiving dinner be both wonderful and boring at the same time? I’ve been having the exact same Thanksgiving dinner for almost 25 years now, and it’s getting old. Every year it’s the same people, same place, same menu.     What’s changeable?     It’s family, so that’s not changing.     Turkey with stuffing, sweet potatoes, gravy and the trimmings are too traditional to change.

On Veterans Day — or any other — first-line heroes are welcome here

Montgomery County firefighter and paramedic Mike O’Neil sips a beer as he sits beneath the 9/11 wall at Heroes Pub. O’Neil was at the Pentagon doing search and rescue in the aftermath of that day. He’s a typical Heroes regular: a first responder and a local from Arnold who comes in several times a week. He seems to know everyone in the place, and everyone knows him. “Great bar food, great people, and they support the community. This is Cheers,” says O’Neil, referring to the fictional tavern on TV. “We feel comfortable here.”

Serving healthy portions of ­tradition and fellowship

With Christ Church Owensville’s annual homecoming dinner coming right up, parishioners gather to clean the kitchen and wash the dishes for the feast. We eat a potluck dinner because that’s what church people do before we work together. Then, as the dishes come down from the cabinets to be washed, I fall into a reverie. The plates are sturdy diner-style, green-striped, white crockery that, for the most part, match, so they nestle in neat stacks. The small oval plates for oysters are the same pattern.

Bakers Thomas and Pam Storm of Great Harvest Bread Company

What inspires you?     We love all kinds of baked goods but particularly enjoy trying traditional breads from around the world. What’s your culinary background?     Thomas owned an ice-cream store in downtown Annapolis for 25 years before switching to bread. Where do you eat on a night off — at home or out?

In Short, if you love falafel, try this place. If you’ve never had falafel, start here with a place that does it right.

Here I am, at the Annapolis Power Boat Show, and as promised, the Market House is open. Sure, it’s a year late, but 20 years from now, will anyone remember?     I’m making my fourth trip to Amsterdam Falafel House.

Chef Michael Archibald of ­Herrington on the Bay and Honey’s Harvest

Crabs, Watermelon and Great German Fare

It’s time to get cracking. This Friday, August 2, the Annapolis Rotary Club and its 150-plus members roll out the brown paper for its 68th annual World’s Largest Crab Feast at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (5-8pm).     The feast is a highlight of summer, with all-you-can-eat steamed crabs, corn on the cob, crab soup, hot dogs, BBQ, soft drinks and beer.

Lose weight eating the Paleo Diet

It’s bathing suit season, and there’s no better time to fret about our waistlines than when they are hanging over our bikini bottoms. With obesity a recurring topic and increasingly dramatic health issue, the pursuit of the perfect diet continues. The Paleolithic or Paleo Diet has been buzzing around since the 1970s (while the real cavemen were munching the tundra over two million years ago) but has gained recent popularity. The premise is simple.

What I’ll be eating this Buy Local Week

In high Maryland summer, buying local is no challenge. Rain and sun, heat and humidity make the vegetable kingdom grow like it will devour tomorrow. Fields and farm markets are fecund with foods you’ve not tasted fresh since last fall. Corn, cucumbers, cantaloupe, peaches, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon are ready or ripening.     If I were doing the naming, I’d call Maryland’s sixth annual Buy Local Challenge the Buy Local Opportunity.