Boys & Girls Club fundraiser
Happy Halloween and sugar day; Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomato recipe; Café 522
Before we get into Halloween, there are very few seats left for tonight’s Fashion in the Vineyards, the all-important fundraiser for our Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. Sample appetizers of corn fritters, butternut squash soup, dungeness crab cakes, open-face BLTs, chicken pot stickers, veggie spring rolls and Chinese dumplings. Dinner starts with Sonoma greens salad with baby beets followed by rigatoni with smoked chicken or Sebastopol organic mushroom ravioli, and an abundance of glorious desserts, all at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and bound to be good.
Marchelle Carlton is current president of the B&GC board of directors, so we can expect a great event that will include local models Holly Kyle, former BGC president Deborah Emery, Eva Bertran, Ginny Krieger, Cynthia Lema, Amy Scott, Matt Seveneau, Jens Hoj, Gary Saperstein, Byron Nichols and Elias Casola.
Clothing will come from Helen Lyall, Scott Lyall, Sonoma Old School and Julie Schindler Design. Cocktails 5:30 p.m., dinner 7 p.m. $175. For tickets call 938-8544, ext. 106, immediately.
You might enjoy the unusual dinner tonight at Ramekins Culinary School featuring Steve Hearst of Hearst publishing, Hearst cattle ranching and Hearst Ranch Winery.
Publisher William Randolph Hearst’s father, George Hearst, started the family’s quality cattle breeding in Sonoma Valley. The family’s operation is now “the nation’s largest purveyor of free-range grass-fed beef,” according to Ramekins’ Julia Blanton.
The dinner will feature Hearst’s grass-fed beef and Hearst wines. $135. 6:30 p.m. 450 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Reserve immediately at 933-0450.
Some of us live in neighborhoods where vans of kids arrive to trick-or-treat on Halloween, some of us live remotely and drive kids to those neighborhoods, and some of us live in places where no one shows up at all. Unfortunately it is no longer cool to make cupcakes or popcorn balls for visiting Darth Vaders and princesses.
AAA has some nifty florescent trick-or-treat bags that glow in the dark for safety. And Synergy Dental Group has signed up a few homes to their new Hallows Club to give out “golden tickets” instead of candy to turn for prizes in on their “Cash for Candy” day Nov. 1.
Dentists Yolanda Mangrum and Kimberly Hubenette will pay $1 a pound of candy brought in to their offices on Nov. 1. Save cavities, dental bills and whirling dervish children by steering kids to their offices at 660 Third St. W., Sonoma to trade in their candy.
There are several haunting opportunities for those who don’t stay home to host ghosts.
Sonoma GayDar will host their “Calling All Super Heroes” Halloween Bash on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood with costumes, dancing, drinking and appys by Gary Saperstein and Jose Luciano. $25. 7 to 11 p.m. 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. 833-2570. Reserve at email@example.com. Checks to 16926 Eveton Lane, Sonoma 95476.
Alsina Station Grill offers Halloween (Argentine) Tango on Sunday, Oct. 30, with live music, a $10 cover charge and full dinner service available. 5 to 8:30 p.m. Reserve at 933-4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrate Halloween with music by the Carrtunes at Murphy’s Irish Pub and dance the night away with a good load of fish and chips, some of the best around. 464 First St. E., Sonoma. 935-0660.
B.R. Cohn Winery will turn into a Wild West Saloon and Halloween Murder Mystery stage on Monday, Oct. 31, with wine tasting where guests will help solve a murder mystery. Expect appetizers, desserts and wines. $45 general, $35 wine club members. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Contact Vallerie Cohn at 931-7936 or email@example.com.
The Epicurean Connection got a great leg up for its opening at 122 W. Napa St. in Sonoma in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle’s Food and Wine section where Janet Fletcher’s artisan cheese feature culminated with a list of “Where to find the products” that included the Epicurean Connection in great company. Also listed were Cowgirl Creamery, Oxbow Cheese Merchant, Berkeley’s Pasta Shop, Rainbow Grocery and Whole Foods Markets.
Davis buys a single estate’s whole crop of coffee from her space’s former tenant, Taylor Maid, sells a cup for $2 including refills and gives neighbor merchants on her block a deal of a cuppa for $1.
Fried green tomatoes:
Have some hard green tomatoes hanging onto those ugly, withering tomato vines you nurtured for so many months? Several readers have asked me for a fried green tomatoes recipe, so here is the ultimate.
Remember Fannie Flagg and her book “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café”? Flagg is an actress and comedienne who chose her new name because her original one, Patricia Neal, was already taken in the movie world. Flagg actually received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay adaptation of her book.
Born and reared in Birmingham, Ala., Flagg was hilarious on several television shows and on radio including 10 years on “Candid Camera” and “The New Dick Van Dyke Show.” Flagg was the partner of Rita Mae Brown, author of “Rubyfruit Jungle” among other novels.
Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes
• 1 medium green tomato a person
• White cornmeal
• Bacon drippings
Slice tomatoes about one-quarter-inch thick, season with salt and pepper and then coat both sides with cornmeal. In a large skillet, heat enough bacon drippings to coat the bottom of the pan, and fry tomatoes until lightly browned on both sides. That’s it.
Probably healthier oils can be used, but will lack that salty greasy taste of the bacon. – KTH
As we steered our way home after the highly successful Jewish Winemakers Tasting and Nosh Sunday afternoon, we spotted Kitty and Bruce MacKay nipping into the new Sox Appeal shop on East Napa Street. I ducked in and found them talking about the television show “Law & Order” with a woman in a faded (but earned) Stanford T-shirt. I asked how that came up, and the woman said she is an actor and plays “Judge Deborah Burke” in the SVU series, as she laughed and pulled her hair back in an attempt to look like a “fierce judge.” Hanover also hosts and produces a variety of radio and television shows, including a stint on the Food Network.
After the MacKays left, I asked the lady what her name is. She responded, all in one slightly muffled sentence, “Donna Hanover I’m the former first lady of New York.” That means she is the former wife of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. An Oakland native, Hanover holds a bachelor’s in political science from Stanford and a master’s in journalism from Columbia.
Acting on Broadway and on two other television shows, Hanover is now happily married to attorney Edwin Oster, the brother-in-law of Sox Appeal’s owner Jeannette Fung, and was here to help open the new shop. Sox Appeal, Fung’s first such endeavor even though the name is so good it sounds like a chain, carries loads of fun socks for all ages, including many actually made in the USA.
Café 522 seems to please everyone. Chef Rob Larman and Gene Daly both contacted me to tell me how fabulous the pasta with chicken livers is. So we made a reservation (definitely advised) for Saturday before the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s Mix.
The starters of a steelhead trout duo of cured (not smoked) thinly sliced flesh and tartare were perfect, as were the slightly salty crisps that balanced the flavors. The heirloom beets were divine, as were the deviled Niman Ranch pork cheeks on Anson Mills grits.
Carol and Kurt Krauthamer joined us and we sampled the Airline Chicken Breast, so named for when chicken was supposedly the best thing to order on an airplane (that is when you could order real food), according to our server, a pre-nursing J.C. student. Others ordered the cider-brined Berkshire pork tenderloin with a Brussels sprouts, turnip and bacon hash that were equally good. Next time we will try the Angry Laughing Bird Shrimp, Niman Ranch flat iron steak and those almost famous farm egg noodles with chicken livers with local mushrooms and eggs.
We nibbled all four desserts: an excellent berry pudding, warm lemon chese pie, banana chocolate chip cake and chocolate pot de crème. We all had our favorites. Entrées $19 to $26, desserts $7. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 522 Broadway, Sonoma. 938-7373, cafe522.com.
Across Broadway, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art rocked Saturday night to soul-pumping hot Latin and Cuban music. Hot “Cooking with Miami” prepared hot Cuban sandwiches of sliced ham, beef, cheese, pickles and onions, as well as a thick, never-ending flan to go with the artistically revolutionary exhibit that depicts immigrant life and life in Cuba.
The Jewish Wine Tasting & Nosh at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building Sunday was even better than last year’s. Around 350 wine and food fans attended, enjoying some of Northern California’s best wines and warm and appropriately drippy Reuben sandwiches, handmade macaroons and every other Jewish delicacy imaginable, all coordinated by Mara Kahn and prepared by members of Congregation Shir Shalom. Local band Simka had everyone dancing from winery table to dessert table and a great time was had by all.
Fred and Nancy Cline’s new endeavor, the totally renovated 1907 Victorian Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nev., got a “hot property” review in AAA’s December issue of Via magazine.
Nancy Cline’s great-uncle Harry Ramsey mined successfully for silver in the region.
Ramsey and his sister, Emma, moved to San Francisco Bay Area where Emma met and married Nancy’s grandfather, George Bunting, then a sea captain for Standard Oil.
With the Mizpah well on its way and sold out for the month of October (great restaurant), the Clines apparently are spending most of this year in Florence, Italy while a couple of their children attend school there.
Meanwhile, a Fun Palace gambling casino, the Mizpah Tavern and a brewery are under construction on their property in Tonopah. Hotel $94 to $109. mizpahhotel.net.
Nibs & Sips:
Sonoman Rev. Peadar Dalton officiated at last weekend’s wedding of Robin Williams to Susan Schneider at Meadowood in St. Helena. Dalton’s wife, travel organizer Margarita Ramirez, orchestrated the nuptials … Master wine marketer Roy Cecchetti’s Cecchetti Winery is now up to 250,000 cases a year … Apparently migrant workers are heading elsewhere partly due to the rot in some of the grape clusters. Reports from vineyard crews are that they have had to walk away from a few entire vineyards … Tiddle E. Winks proprietor Heidi Geffen no longer sells novelty ice cream treats, but she does have yummy white chocolate “deviled egg” lollipops … Strictly rumor: that Trader Joe’s might go into the old Country Motors location at Broadway and East MacArthur.
Culinary Institute of America hosts this year’s Worlds of Flavor Conference featuring “World Casual: The Future of American Menus” at its St. Helena campus Nov. 3 through 5. These are always fabulous learning and networking experiences. Registration $1,255 and hurry. Ciaprochef.com.