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Happenings 11/11

Smart Driver , formerly known as AARP Driver Safety Course, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 1 and 2 at the Montesano Timberland Library. Senior citizens completing the course may qualify for reductions in their auto insurance. The cost is $20 per person/$15 for AARP members. For more information and to pre-register, call Danny Wills at 249-8249.

Tapping into tapenade

Olive tapenade, an earthy, salty paste of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and other flavorings, is easy to find jarred in specialty shops. But when you whip up a batch yourself at home, the flavors pop in a surprising way that makes you never want to buy it in a jar again.

Mini tomatoes are garden gems

They have names like Jolly Elf, Indigo Rose, Orange Fizz, Baby Cakes and Cherry Buzz. They come in stop-sign red, deep ruby, golden yellow, chocolate brown and pale orange. They can look like a big gum ball or a plump olive.

Grilling flank steak

Recent guests at an online chat for The Washington Post included cookbook author and food blogger Cathy Barrow and writer and caterer Vered Guttman. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.