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Whether you have baking skills, crafting skills or just helping skills, you're invited to come out to Anvil Bar & Refuge on Monday, February 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. to help assemble Valentine's Day care packages for our troops serving abroad. Although there will be plenty of baked treats on hand to assemble packages with, you're welcome to bring other goodies (such as beef jerky, tuna or chicken salad packets, sunflower seeds, coffee, etc.) to put into the boxes. And if you don't have anything to contribute, then just come out and make a card. It will mean the world to the soldier who receives it.

Tomorrow, carb-load for the Houston Marathon (if you're running it) by heading to Piola for the all-you-can-eat gnocchi day that falls on the 29th of each month. As always, the gnocchi extravaganza costs $13.50 per person, and you can choose from a variety of different sauces. You don't want your tastebuds to get tired before your legs do, after all.

Coming up in mid-February is the food event of the year, whether you're a born-and-bred Texaan or whether you got here as fast as you could. Foodways Texas (one of the winners of this year's Houston Press MasterMind Awards) is holding its first ever annual symposium: the Gulf Coast Gathering. Held at some of Galveston's greatest institutions -- the Texas Seaport Museum and Texas A&M Galveston -- and featuring some of the state's most well-known food historians and personalities, it's a meeting you won't want to miss. Tickets are on sale now for $225 for both days or $210 for Saturday only.

And don't forget: This Sunday will feature not one but two fabulous events in pots. The One Pot Showdown at the Saint Arnold Brewery on Sunday is sold out (and we'll be bringing you full coverage from the spectacle) but the 10th annual Chicken Soup Cookoff at Congregation Emanu El is not! More than 30 of Houston's top chefs and restaurants will be competing to see who can cook the meanest pot of soup, with awards presented in a range of categories. Tickets are only $10 for adults and $5 for children (although those under 5 get in free!), with proceeds going to benefit the Houston Food Bank.

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Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.