Mangia! Mangia!

Throw a little party for your pandemic pod, with a delicious assist from the Red Grape. Their pizza dough gets fabulously crispy in a hot oven, and they sell it to-go for just a few bucks. Get it pre-shaped if you’re not particularly adventurous, or as dough balls if you’re up for the fun challenge of shaping it yourself. Then layer it with good things like garlicky pomodoro, fresh mozzarella and basil, or savory mushrooms, grated parmesan and a dash of good oil. It’s fun, it’s delicious, and it’s a memory-maker, guaranteed.

Anytime you’re craving a culinary change of pace, pizza dough to-go from the Red Grape,, 996-4103, $2.50 each.

Walk On

There are dozens of great hikes available across Sonoma County’s 1,768 square miles, from the marshy salt ponds off San Pablo Bay to the headlands of Bodega. A cornucopia of diverse geographies surround us in every direction, and exploring them is a diverting discipline that helps pass the time. Get trekking with the help of the concise guidebook, “Day Hikes Around Sonoma County,” where each destination is ranked by difficulty, distance, exposure and elevation, and whether you can bring your canine companion along, too.

“Day Hikes Around Sonoma County: 125 Great Hikes” by Robert Stone, at Readers’ Books,, 939-1779, $21.95.

The Great Beyond

Remember travel? The pleasures of elsewhere? The unparalleled thrill of being a stranger in a strange land? We may still be stuck at home for the time being, but the great world beyond spins on. Fodors has already been everywhere you yearn to be, and their online guidebooks and virtual tours will bring you along, too. Try their “go list” for details on 52 unique destinations, or their “no list” for reminders on places to avoid. They’ve got comprehensive catalogs on what to do once arrived, and where to sleep and eat when you get there, too.

When you’re ready to get back out there, virtually or in-person,, free.

Retail Therapy

Though the powers that be are still limiting us to essential activities, keeping our local businesses afloat arguably qualifies. Need something to read? Pop into Readers’ Books. Want to test drive a new recipe? Try Sign of the Bear for supplies. Spirits need a lift? Browse the pretty things at J.James. Want to cast a glow on these long winter nights? Get to The Candlestick for lamp oil or votives. Wear a mask and don’t linger but do shop local retailers, or when the smoke clears after this long tribulation, we may no longer have the option to.

Shop local, whenever possible, $ to $$$$.

–Kate Williams

Show Comment

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Sonoma County Gazette