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Barbara Kingsolver has gone from writing about other people's "bean trees" to growing 'em herself. She's currently touring to promote her new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, about how she and her family spent 12 months growing much of their own food and seeking out local products. It hit this week's New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.

Given that the book is about life as a localvore, visiting Vermont just makes sense. In fact, Kingsolver herself phoned Tod Murphy, of Quechee's Farmers Diner, to ask if he'd hold the reception dinner. The diner is mentioned in the book.

Dinner costs $45, $30 of which will be donated to two nonprofits: NOFA and Valley Food and Farm. The reading, at Vermont Law School, is free and open to the public. Call the diner at 295-4600 for more information about either event . . .

Chocoholics should head to the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa in Stowe this weekend for the first annual Vermont Chocolate Show. Featuring chocolate art, spa treatments and, of course, samples, the show costs $8 for adults and $5 for kids. Exhibitors include Laughing Moon Chocolates of Stowe, Sweet Crunch Bake Shop of Hyde Park and Vermont Chocolatiers, Inc. of Northfield. Find more information at http://www.vermontchocolateshow.com . . .

The sunlight-challenged Blue Cat Café now has an outdoor patio. Located in the alley between 1 Lawson Lane and the Bennington Pottery building, the space features six tables and a growing herb and flower garden. There, you can sample selections from the restaurant's new spring and summer menu, such as gazpacho, stir-fried calamari with hot sauce and aioli, and ever-changing gnocchi, seafood and meat specials . . .

Euro Gourmet Café is planning to move in June, but the owners aren't sure yet where they're going. The business is "growing steadily," says co-owner Anita Selec. "We're hoping that in another, larger location, we'd be more flexible to have evening events and dance performances." Selec and husband Vladimir are looking for a place with funky appeal. "We don't just want to grab a random spot for the sake of grabbing a spot," she explains. Although they'd prefer to stay in Burlington, Selec isn't sure they'll be able to find the right kind of location in town.

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