Danica Patrick racing to Sonoma
Oysters get reprieve; Horsemeat in beef? Zipper to zip it up; Newsom drops in for no lunch; Upcoming food events
Apparent owner of a Howell Mountain cabernet sauvignon vineyard, new NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will, indeed, race at the 25th running NASCAR in Sonoma June 21 to 23. An unabashed lover and collector of wines from all over the world, especially cabs, Patrick is believed to own a vineyard off Hairpin Curve on Deer Park Road near Angwin.
Patrick drove for lots of us women last weekend at the Daytona 500 where she became the first female driver in many years to qualify first and get the pole position, and the first woman to lead any laps. She placed eighth in the end.
A former IndyCar racer, Patrick is rumored to be trying to become Rookie of the Year and has entered all of NASCAR’s races around the country.
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Zipper, the cool eclectic shop at Cornerstone, will zip it up and close April 30. Fans of the store and its fun design collection should hustle on down the road to pick up your favorite gifts for you or for your best other person.
Owners Steven Saden and Elizabeth Cashour have decided to take off with their dog and travel the world for a year, with absolutely no concrete plans in their futures. “We have been doing this for 20 years and it’s time to do what we want to do next.” Well, just zip it. Sorry to see them go – they are fun and interesting people.
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Drakes Bay Oyster Co. will be allowed to continue to farm oysters thanks to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which said the oyster farmers had raised “serious legal questions” about the recently retired Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s ruling to not renew the company’s lease along the Point Reyes National Seashore. The court said Drakes Bay could carry on while the case is pending, which will allow them to provide about one-third of California’s oysters and the only oyster cannery in the state.
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Glen Ellen Star is now open for dinner nightly starting at 5:30 p.m. The Star will open for lunch starting in April with burgers, whole fish, vegetables, more pizzas, salads and their fabulous handmade, homemade ice cream, which they will take in their Jeep ice cream truck to Transcendence Theatre Company performances this summer at nearby Jack London State Historic Park.
Growing currently in the Weiswasser/Benzinger organic and biodynamic garden are arugula, lemons, limes, oranges, fava beans, thyme, marjoram and rosemary, all of which will turn up in some form on the menu. 13648 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen. 343-1384. email@example.com.
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While we learn via the New York Times that American children are consuming about 7 percent fewer calories and carbohydrates than they have in the past decade, First Lady Michele Obama just launched another campaign to guide adults and kids toward healthy eating. You can find the whole simple plan at choosemyplate.gov.
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Linda Carucci’s “Flexitarian” class last Friday at Ramekins was a real winner that included four sets of sisters, including “mirror twin” kid chefs Lilly and Audrey of Sonoma.
The class was so popular that Carucci might add another class at Ramekins between now and her scheduled August session. Ramekins.com.
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Chandelle Winery has found a new home at Margie Brooke’s wine bar Annex to her Community Café on W. Napa St. in Sonoma. Chandelle joins exclusive wineries such as Schug, Hughes, Trecini, David Noyes, Sharp Cellars and Coturri. 865 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-7779.
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Sheana Davis’ Sonoma Artisan Cheese Fair Sunday was a great hit once again. Some of us mac ‘n’ cheese cook-off judges nearly exploded and didn’t eat anything but veggies for days after. But there were some great concoctions.
Restaurant Rudy won first place, followed by Hot Box Grill and the Girl and the Fig .
I thought some of the standouts included the Girl and the Fig’s pasta with truffled pesto and St. George cheese. Hot Box Grill chef Norm Owens cleverly added carrot purée “to make it look like Velveeta,” which added humor and visual pleasure but little to the flavor.
Fabulous wine and beer tastes were enjoyed by all. Plan to attend this one next year. I enjoyed the many conversations my cracker tin collection evoked. A new vendor, Potter’s Crackers from Sacramento produces my new favorite organic and gluten-free toasted oat crackers.
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Horsemeat trots into “beef”
Several European countries such as the Czech Republic, France, England and Ireland have stopped or limited sales of ground beef since traces of horsemeat have been found in the contents. On Monday, the Ikea Group halted sales of its Swedish meatballs throughout most of Europe. In some chain stores ground horse was found in ready-made meat patties.
Ask butchers the source of any “beef” you purchase.
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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stopped in at The Lodge at Sonoma for a joint meeting where Sonoma Rotary hosted Sonoma Plaza Kiwanis to hear the author and candidate.
The large crowd, which completely packed the Stone Room, lunched on a buffet of salad, beef fajitas, flour tortillas, beans, Spanish rice and condiments (a little chimichurri sauce would have added some spunk.) Pam Gibson covered Newsom’s statements in Friday’s Index-Tribune. Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, who now resides in Ross (Marin County), is touring and selling his new book, “Citizenville,” although there were no copies to purchase in the room.
The trim, GQ-styled, elegant lieutenant governor, dressed in dark suit and an unbuttoned at the color white shirt with his trademark black hair slicked back, apparently doesn’t have enough to occupy his time as lieutenant governor.
So Newsom has plenty of time to tour California and the national political talk shows promoting his book, a.k.a campaigning for future office. Newsom talks pretty openly about running for governor, president or U.S. Senate, whichever opportunity comes first.
Being a good sport, Newsom paid cash for a Rotary raffle ticket to go to Ireland or win $10,000 and wrote out his info on the ticket stub left-handed. He put his last $6 cash back in his pocket saying “I need to save that for Starbucks on the way home. I might need some tea.” And he did not eat lunch at the Lodge.
Let’s see, how many left-handed presidents have we had? James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are/were all left-handed, according to lefthandedpresidents.com. Jump to your own conclusions.
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Sonoma Sister Cities’ Sonoma-Penglai Committee hosted a true “Year of the Snake” 10-course New Year’s banquet at Lily Kai Chinese Cuisine in Petaluma last Sunday that was a grand feast.
Courses included “full house” fried prawns and crispy spring rolls, and more; “immense fortune as the east sea” seafood corn soup; “going higher every step” hot and spicy string beans with Chinese pickles; “rising ox” stir-fry beef in black pepper sauce; “happiness for all” fried tofu with vegetables; “extra fortune every year” steamed orange roughy; “heaven and earth in peace” roasted baby pork on bok choy and mushrooms; “longevity as the South Mountain” vegetables and egg noodle stir-fry; and “complete and beautiful, perfect ten” tapioca with taro roots. Cline Cellars donated 2011 Nancy’s Cuvée, 2012 Estate Viognier and 2011 Ancient Vines Zinfandel.
Guests included Beddome Farrel, Bertram Heinz, Sister Cities International Vice President Bill Boerum; Mayor Ken Brown, Betty Ann Bruno, Christina Burnet, Yvonne Clearwaters, Jack Ding, Bob Edwards, Frank and Andrea Espina, Sherri Ferris, David Foley, Patrick Garcia, Avram and Lori Goldman, Marion Hammons, Mary Jo Hart, Lynn Joiner, David and Lisa Katz, Esther and Dave Lerner, Carol MacPetrie, Shelly Dorr, Bob Gossett, Michael Milstein, Marlene and Alan Minkin, Tom Nemcik, Joseph Newman, Tricia and Glen O’Brien, Gigi and Ron Pfleger, Peggy Phelan, Marie and Gordon Phillips, Tony Pisacane, Jane and Supervisor David Rabbitt, Wilma and Karl Renkel, Lisa Salamone, Scott Sherman, Margret and Hans Steuck, Joan Tilman, Laurie Tsuruda, John Tysell, Lisa Waltenspiel, Hon. Song Ruan and Consul Wang Xiang.
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Gundlach Bundschu will celebrate “Deed Day,” and 155 years of this family owned business’s existence making wine in Sonoma Valley on Saturday, March 9, at the Bundschu family’s Rhinefarm Estate Vineyard. Jacob Gundlach signed the original deed to the land, and GunBun stakes claim as “California’s oldest family winery.”
Join in the party with live music by Timothy O’Neil and Frankie Boots, grilled sausages and beer brats from Rosamunde Sausage Grill, library tastings and anniversary pricing on select Gundlach Bundschu wines.
Gundlach Bundschu adopted the U.S. Army’s 370th Engineering troop deployed in Afghanistan and sends monthly care packages, with letters, supplies and other tokens of support. Bring a multipack of granola bars for the troops and receive free tasting all weekend, March 9 and 10. Free with box of granola bars, $10 without. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. 939-3034. gunbun.com.
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Bob Rice announces the Breakaway Café’s second annual “Limerick-athon” with the limerick “The limerick packs laughs anatomical/In space that is quite economical. But the good ones we’ve seen/So Seldom are clean/And clean ones so seldom are comical.”
Just bring your limerick to dinner on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, for judging by the totally sober limerick panel. Dinner includes optional (read extra) Leprechaun Libation and appetizer, sweet pea and mint soup, corned beef and cabbage with traditional boiled vegetables and Dijon, with a dessert of strawberry/rhubarb compote with vanilla ice cream, and lots of laughs. $18. 19101 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 996-5949. No reservations, so go early.
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Margie Brook will launch “The Sonoma Philosophy Café” on Thursday, March 21, at her Community Café featuring freelance philosopher Sam Keen and Georgia Kelly of Praxis Peace Institute. As Brook describes it, “The philosophical café movement began in Paris and has spread rapidly throughout Europe. Its purpose is to create an ongoing public solon in a friendly place where people can gather to carry on relaxed conversation and discuss important ideas.”
Beer, wine, snacks, cookies and espresso drinks will be available for purchase. 7 to 9 p.m. 875 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-7779.
P.S. Brooke just introduced new gluten-free coconut milk pancakes with pineapple syrup, either à la carte or as a full breakfast.
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Check out “Barcelona in the Barn,” a paella feast at Benziger Family Winery to benefit the all-important WillMar Family Grief and Healing Center on Saturday, March 23. The opening reception in Benziger’s wine cave will feature ceviche, sangria, Benziger wines, Carneros Caves cheeses, a silent auction and music by Plan B.
Zazu will make the paella and Glen Ellen Star will do the dessert, with “Bay Area Backroads” star Doug McConnell serving as emcee and auctioneer, and a performance by Stephan Stubbins of Transcendence Theatre Company. Tickets $175, sponsorships $100 to $5,000. 935-1946. willmarcenter.org.
Wolfgang Puck’s menu for the Governor’s Ball following the Academy Awards included appetizers of 2,750 dates wrapped in bacon, 6,000 chestnut tortellini, 7,500 shrimp, and 1,300 shucked farmed oysters. Other stars’ favorites include Puck’s chicken pot pie, sushi, braised lamb shanks, Kobe burgers with cheddar and remoulade, Atlantic bigeye tuna, yellowtail snapper and chocolate in the shape of Oscar statues.