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National Pancake Day: Have a stack

For the ninth consecutive year, IHOP restaurants will offer each guest a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes on National Pancake Day — today — in an effort to raise $3 million for a worthy cause.
For every short stack of pancakes served from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., IHOP encourages guests to make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, an alliance that includes Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center.
IHOP restaurants are located at 105 Faith Road in Salisbury and 800 Cloverleaf Plaza in Kannapolis.
IHOP served 4.5 million free pancakes on National Pancake Day 2013.

Eat well, do good: Other upcoming food fundraisers include:
• Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care fundraiser, Outback Steakhouse, 1020 E. Innes St., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, $20 each. Blooming Onion (one per table or per four takeouts), salad, steak and potatoes or chicken and green beans, cheese cake and soft drink. Reservations suggested for large parties, 704-637-7645.
• Meals on Wheels’ annual barbecue fundraiser, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11 at First Presbyterian Church, 308 W. Fisher St. An $8 plate (dine in or carry out) includes barbecue, roll, baked beans, slaw and dessert prepared by College Barbecue. Tickets are available at the church office.
• West Rowan Bible Teachers Association spaghetti fundraiser, 4:30-8 p.m. March 15, Millbridge Ruritan building across from Sloan Park, $5 per person or $20 for family.

That’s true ‘cue: A new organization called The Campaign for Real Barbecue wants to identify and promote North Carolina barbecue restaurants that cook the old-fashioned way, with wood or charcoal.
“Wood smoke is what makes real barbecue,” says Dan Levine, “smokesperson” for the campaign, “and good barbecue cooked entirely with wood is the gold standard by which all others are judged.”
John Shelton Reed, co-author of “Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue,” says that wood-cooking establishments are an endangered species, with fewer than 50 surviving. Many have closed; others switched to gas or electricity.
Qualifying restaurants will receive certificates and decals that identify them as 100 percent wood-cookers and will be listed on the campaign’s website, TrueCue.org.

Let’s be honest: Ice cream lovers beware: The government knows you’re unlikely to stop after half a cup.
New nutrition labels proposed last week for many popular foods aim to more accurately reflect what people actually eat. For example, the estimated serving size for ice cream would jump from a half cup to a cup.
Other proposed changes:
• Calories displayed more prominently.
• A new line for “added sugars.”
• A listing for nutrients that Americans need more of, such as potassium and vitamin D.
• ”Calories from fat” would be removed because the type of fat is more important than the amount.
The FDA will take comments on the proposal for 90 days, and a final rule could take another year. Once it’s final, the agency has proposed giving industry two years to comply.
— AP

More hummus among us? The new federal Farm Bill contains two provisions that are intended to boost consumption of chickpeas (used to make hummus) and their companion, so-called pulse crops peas and lentils.
Once an exotic Middle Eastern food that was hard to find, hummus is now sold in grocery stores, big and small. Often used by the health-conscious as a dip or spread, it can now be found in about 20 percent of the nation’s households, says the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.
Retail sales of hummus increased to $250 million in 2013, up from $192 million in 2007 and just $5 million in 1997, said U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who helped push the Farm Bill provisions on chickpeas.
The bill includes a pilot program in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend $10 million over five years to purchase pulse crops to use in school breakfasts and lunches.
— AP

“I thought it was just a regular delivery. I didn’t know I was going to go on the stage.”
— Edgar Martirosyan,
whose pizza delivery wound up being a surprise appearance at the Oscars awards ceremony Sunday

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