The top five recipes in the National Lentil Festival have been chosen, and their creators are already planning their trip to Pullman.
One of them, Crimson Lentil Granola, is from Patricia Franks of Valleyford, a small town just south of Spokane. It uses many products grown in Washington, according to cook-off coordinator, Vicki Leeper.
The other top recipes are a stew, soup, pizza and carrot cake, all submitted from cooks in Florida, Utah, South Carolina and Oregon.
The recipes will be judged at 2 p.m. Aug. 17 during the National Lentil Festival in Reaney Park in Pullman. One hundred festival participants will be allowed to sample each of the dishes and vote on the People's Choice award, which is $100.
Five professional judges -- food writers and chefs -- then will sample each of the five dishes and award the top prize, $2,000, with $1,000 and $500 going to the runners-up.
All the recipes submitted to the 2013 contest will be printed in a cookbook available from the Pullman Chamber of Commerce at www.lentilfest.com.
Sweet onion meals
Fourteen Walla Walla restaurants are offering specials through Sunday featuring the valley's famous pungent veggie as part of the annual Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival.
Several of the restaurants will have lunch and dinner specials. The multicourse lunches will cost $14, and three-course dinners range from $20-$30.
Some of the participating restaurants include Jacobi's Cafe, South Fork Grill and T. Maccarone's. For a full list, go to www.sweetonions.org/festival/rw.
The Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival is Saturday and Sunday and will be centered near the farmers market at the fairgrounds, 363 Orchard St.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service recommends storing fruits and veggies in separate refrigerator crisper drawers.
Fruits give off ethylene gas -- which helps them ripen -- but also shortens the storage life of vegetables. Also, some vegetables give off odors that can be absorbed by fruits and affect their quality.
Avoid overly packing crisper drawers to allow air to circulate.
Book: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Eating for Kids by Dana and Drew Villamagna.
Best for: Anyone raising children on a vegetarian diet still needs to meet the nutritional needs of a growing child. The authors cover which combinations of vegan foods provide necessary nutrition, recipes to appeal to children and tips on teaching children how to cope in a nonvegan world.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org.