Save Our Sports Cajun Boil; Spinach recall
Shir Shalom Seder dinner; Mediterranean Diet again; Locals in big time news; Out of towner
SOS Save Our Sports, not to be confused with other SOSes in town, joins with the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation to put on a Mardi Gras Cajun Boil fundraiser to help save sports in Sonoma Valley middle schools on Saturday, March 9, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building. BackTrax Rock Band will rock the building with goodie oldies with dancing, a raffle and a huge Cajun dinner.
Tickets are available at Altimira and Adele Harrison Middle Schools or call Chickie Vella at 938-3232 or Stacey Ellis at 227-6285. $45 pre-sale, $50 at door. No-host bar. Adults 21 and over. Doors open 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. 126 First St. W., Sonoma.
Philip Peck of Basque Boulangerie called to insist that the Basque has not changed its cheese stick recipe, and that is definite, contrary to rumors started on Facebook.
Gloria Ferrer hosts its “Super Foods and Sparkling Wine Be Bubbly Bash” Saturday, March 9, to honor and raise funds for the Northern California Chapter of City of Hope, a respected independent research hospital northeast of Los Angeles.
Feast Catering will prepare “super foods” such as grape gazpacho, bite-size chicken and waffles, mushroom and Fontina spring rolls, Korean beef satay with pomegranate barbecue sauce, mac ‘n’ cheese lollipops and chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds all paired with Gloria’s fine wines and bubbly. Enjoy a professional make-up artist makeover and photo booth to boot.
Guests will also receive a goodie bag and chocolate tastings provided by Coco Delice. $20. 7 to 10 p.m. 23555 Highway 121 (Carneros Highway or Arnold Drive), Sonoma. Sign up at gloriaferrerbebubblybash.eventbrite.com/#.
Tin Barn Vineyards kicks off its “Cellar Soiree” series of “casual wine education classes” Saturday, March 9. Owner/winemaker Michael Lancaster will lead a vertical tasting from 2011 and 2012 barrels and 2010 bottles of his cabernet sauvignon. Food pairings from girl and the fig caters will accompany the wine.
Choose from three seatings: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Future classes will include cool-climate syrah on April 27, a wine and food seminar on May 18, and zinfandel and a sense of place on June 15.
Amy Tsaykel of Tin Barn says they created the classes to “keep our winemaker out of trouble when he’s not working harvest.” To sign up contact Tsaykel at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 938-5430.
Check out the free garden leader training Sunday, March 10, at Sonoma Charter School with hands-on training in garden activities, how to grow California vegetables and fruits, and how to help kids enjoy either a home or school garden.
Alane McCrea, a Woodland Star volunteer, and Kathleen McCauley Anast, a Sonoma Charter School parent, took the training, became the ultimate garden leaders and now have brought the “Kids Growing Strong” program to Sonoma for free. Attendees will learn how to help kids enjoy a garden, and the importance of growing, cooking and eating good food in ways that will interest students. Best of all, guests will learn about gardening with children for a fun experience. Bring your own bag lunch, your own water bottle and a coffee or tea mug for adults. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 17202 Sonoma Highway, Boyes Hot Springs. More info at email@example.com, 287-0546 or kidsgrowingstrong.org.
International news tells us that the “Mediterranean Diet” is once again the healthiest. Our good friends at Oldwayspt.org make the pyramid available, with the bottom (largest element) being physical activity and eating meals with others. Next in abundance, working to least, are fruits, veggies, grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes and seeds; then fish and seafood; followed by poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt; and topped with the least quantity of meats and sweets. Water and wine in moderation recommended. Blessings to winemakers and imbibers.
Great news for Saddles Steakhouse fans, or those who might want to try it for the first time: MacArthur Place General Manager Bill Blum says that it has extended its fun “Old Fashioned Nights” through March 31 by popular demand.
The Sunday through Tuesday night specials have become so popular that reservations are definitely advised. Expect substantial Jack Daniels old fashions or Manhattans, or martinis, for only $5. Also available à la carte are an avocado supreme with bay shrimp, great French onion soup, Caesar salad prepared tableside, sole Florentine, chicken Kiev, steak Diane, baked Alaska, crêpes Suzanne (Brangham) or executive chef Dana Jaffe’s old fashioned ice cream sundae (everything $6 to $16.95). A great bargain. 29 E. MacArthur, Sonoma. 933-3191.
The art scene was rocking in Sonoma Friday night, with great crowds and wine at Melania Mahoney’s photo show launch at Sunflower Caffé and the Arts Guild’s opening of its annual fundraising Repo Show with members’ works all made from recycled or re-purposed goods. Crowds out on the sidewalks at both galleries.
As I walked into a clinic at Kaiser Petaluma very early a couple of weeks ago, nurse Terry Rowland of Sonoma looked up from her desk shocked – she was actually reading this column at that moment. It turns out that her son, Garrett Rowland, made the photograph for the May, 2012 cover of Interior Design Magazine, along with many other photos in other issues. Now a 31-year-old Brooklyn resident, Garrett began his photographic career as a student in Glenn Moll’s photography class at Sonoma Valley High School. Big congratulations on your success, Garrett.
Gazebo coffee shop has closed in the Marketplace Shopping Center. It followed the Barking Dog’s outpost, which retreated to its original location across from the Big 3 in Boyes Hot Springs. Apparently the owner has eyes on a location in the newly renovated building across Highway 12 from Maxwell Village Shopping Center.
Mike the Baker will deliver his wood-fired bread on his colorful new bike on Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. this month, specializing in fresh baguettes ($5) and whole wheat bâtards ($7). Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having placed second in the world last year, Mike adds that he was just invited to return to Paris in March, 2014 to compete in the Masters de la Boulangerie again.
In case you haven’t heard, Taylor Farms announced online that it has “voluntarily” recalled some of its Organic Baby Spinach in California and 38 other states because of possible E. coli contamination. The spinach it is recalling is packed in 5-ounce and 16-ounce trays and sold under the names Taylor Farms Organic, Central Market Organics, Full Circle Organics, Marketside Organics, and, ironically, Simple Truth Organics. Check yours.
Taylor Farms has had to recall lettuce and spinach products for similar reasons in 2011 and 2012, according to The Huffington Post.
Muscardini Cellars will host the next Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Association Members Mixer on Thursday, March 14. Members should bring a bottle of wine to share, ogle the train running around the ceiling (almost) and munch on light appetizers. 5 to 8 p.m. 9380 Sonoma Highway (12), Kenwood. 933-9305.
The Heart of Sonoma Valley (Glen Ellen and Kenwood wineries) hosts its 2013 Savor Sonoma Valley experience Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, with food, tastes straight from the barrel and new releases at 21 wineries, rain or shine. Talk to winemakers, enjoy lots of local art and live music.
Participating wineries range from cult to corporate and include B Wise, Benziger, Chateau St. Jean, Deerfield Ranch, En Garde, Enkidu, Eric Ross, Imagery, Kaz, Kenwood, Ledson, Little, Loxton, Mayo, Moondance, Muscardini, Nakedwines, Pradise Ridge, St. Anne’s Crossing, Talisman, Ty Caton and VJB. Weekend pass $65, Sunday only $50; designated driver weekend $20, Sunday only $10. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Tickets at heartofsonomavalley.com or at door.
Congregation Shir Shalom welcomes all to its “Celebrate Our Freedom” Passover Seder at Burlingame Hall on Tuesday, March 26, hosted by Shir Shalom’s Sisterhood and Men’s Club.
Bruce Riezenman’s Park Avenue Catering (also Park 121 restaurant at Cornerstone) will provide a family-style dinner to include matzoh and charoset, poached gefilte fish with horseradish sauce, chicken matzoh ball soup, roasted lemon coriander chicken, crispy potato kugel, glazed carrots and yams with dried fruit, Blue Lake green beans with almonds, wine, French Press coffee and desserts baked by the Sisterhood. Vegetarian soup and entrée available if ordered with your reservation. Adult members $50, children of members $41, free under 5; $60 non-members, children of non-members $46. Financial “grants” available. Reserve by March 11. Mail checks to Eileen Greenberg, 363 Saunders Drive, Sonoma or contact her at email@example.com or shir-shalom.org. 935-5880.
Locals in big time news:
We had to love the cover photo of Anne Teller on Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle Magazine in her trademark fedora with a great story on her Oak Hill Farm and her family.
Jon Sebastiani and his Krave Jerky enjoyed a good story in the New York Times in which he says it was during training for the New York City Marathon that he decided to make jerky similar to that made by “a butcher in Sonoma” on a grand scale, when he reportedly got a $500,000 order from Safeway while he was still working on his joint MBA at Columbia University and UC Berkeley.
Our next door neighbors, Madeline and Drake Dierkising, kindly gave me a copy of a book called “Wine Country Chef’s Table” by Roy Breiman and Laura Smith Borrman featuring restaurants in Napa and Sonoma counties.
Their Calistoga restaurant, Café Sarafornia, enjoys a lovely colorful and complementary chapter.
The book assigns parts of meals to each region and features stories with two recipes of salads and small plates from Sonoma’s Café La Haye, two generations of chefs at the Depot Hotel, El Dorado Kitchen, Estate (now gone), Fremont Diner, the girl and the fig, Harvest Moon Café, La Salette, Ledson Hotel and Centre du Vin and Santé restaurant at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.
Out of towner:
Della Fattoria in Petaluma is not news to many of us. We bought its bread at the Tuesday farmers market until it was kicked out, and many locals ravage their shelves at Sonoma Market daily.
Ed and Kathleen Weber began to bake a few loaves of bread in a wood-burning oven on their ranch, which has led them to national recognition and a hugely successful Della Fattoria Café in downtown Petaluma.
‘Zanne Clark and I traveled over there for lunch, as do Cee Cee Ponicsan and many other Sonomans. Get there before noon to get a table. Lunch specials included a meatball piadina made with Niman Ranch pork, beef, prosciutto and ricotta meatballs, a citrus salad, chopped Greek salad, beet salad, a Bellwether Farms’ Crescenza cheese salad with sautéed garlic and Calabrian chiles, burrata and salad and seasonal veggies on polenta ($8 to $15).
‘Zanne and I both chose the tuna melt piadina (folded thin bread wafer), the keys to which are the bread and the chilis. We both left with our second halves in boxes, but unfortunately I left mine in a nearby shop.
Della Fattoria Café just added small plates evening service from 3:30 to 7 p.m. daily that includes citrus or Caesar salad, smoked salmon with crème fraîche, beans on toast, Bellwether Farms Carmody grilled cheese and a della meatball trio, lattes and homemade sangria. 141 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma. 763-0161. dellafattoria.com.