Crab maybe, lobster yes
There has been such great demand for the lobsters being flown in by Soroptimist International of Sonoma Valley that they have decided to offer the 1.5 pound crustaceans either live or cooked.
Previously the group said they were only going to offer cooked lobsters, but possibly the lack of Dungeness crab available for Thanksgiving has some of us salivating for another oceanic delicacy.
And, yes, there will be limited Dungeness crab on our Thanksgiving tables this year. The commercial crabbing season has been delayed until at least Dec. 1 to avoid accidentally netting migrating whales in the process of crab fishing.
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife has identified pods of humpback whales, blue whales, and Pacific leatherback sea turtles along the California coast. The delay effects commercial crabbing from Point Arena in Mendocino County to the Mexican border. The decision to impose this ban was reached between CDFW and the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
On the other hand, the recreational crab fishing season began last Saturday. And Sonoma Market just got Dungeness crab from off the state of Washington. It costs $13.99 a pound.
But back to the lobster you can pick up here in Sonoma. Place your order by Thursday, Nov. 19 and pick it/them up Nov. 21 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Once Soroptimist calls in the orders, the lobsters are flown live from Maine to San Francisco late on Nov. 20 and cooked immediately (or kept alive for you to cook), and delivered to Sonoma Soroptimist at 8 a.m. on Nov. 21. Order by calling Juliette Andrews at 338-1864 or Cynthia Morris at 363-5509. Give them a credit card number and pick up your no-contact lobster behind the Atrium building on West Napa Street.
Hopefully local fresh Dungeness crab will arrive for Christmas.
The late Alex Trebek, wine, and Sonoma cheese
Most of us around the world have watched Alex Trebek and “Jeopardy” over the show’s 37 years. We all felt we knew this nice guy.
In our family both “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” provided nightly before or after dinner entertainment for Jerry and me and our kids. Now they and their kids watch it and do better at it than I ever did. We were asked permission by “Jeopardy” producers to use a couple of our books as resources for questions.
But in the course of writing editions of one of our guidebooks, “Santa Barbara & the Central Coast – California’s Riviera,” we often stopped by Trebek’s Creston Vineyards in Templeton in San Luis Obispo County.
Trebek invested in Creston as principal owner with founders Stephanie and Larry Rosenbloom, and the Rosenblooms basically ran the winemaking part of the venture. Larry Rosenbloom made his money in the insurance business and after great success decided to go into the wine business. They transformed what had been Indian Creek Ranch into a wine estate.
As they say, “How to make a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large fortune.”
Two things surprised us about Creston’s tasting room in Templeton. The main decorative theme was lots of stuffed bears and dolls, which the tasting room host insisted represented Alex Trebek’s preference.
The other feature was that they sold Sonoma Cheese Factory cheeses, and this was back when Sonoma Cheese Factory was just that: a factory making cheese.
While a few weeks ago parklets seemed to be a partial answer to help Sonoma restaurants keep operating in a time when Sonoma County still inhabits the purple zone of COVID infections, they have developed their own problems – mainly weather.
Many proprietors were excited to have great, sunny weather that attracted customers from throughout the Bay Area, but the weather changed this week to a little rain and lots of chill.
Only Della Santina’s planned and built a whole structure in parking places on East Napa Street that reminds one of a drive-through bus or train station, completely covered, with heat and decorative lighting.
Mary’s Pizza Shack and the Swiss Hotel already had built-in heating in their patios and the Girl & the Fig was ahead of the pack in foreseeing cold weather would come and ordered heat lamps early. And now EDK, Layla and Wit & Wisdom have erected see-through tents as well.
Suppliers quickly ran out of such heaters because parklets everywhere need them. Codi Binkley of B&V Whiskey Bar & Grille was told his order would arrive in two weeks, and then was notified they would be delayed several weeks, and then suddenly received some.
Café La Haye
After permitting and acquisition problems, Café La Haye owner Saul Gropman happily announced on Monday that “heaters at each table and canopy are on their way.” He emailed broadly to welcome people to bike, walk or drive to his Café La Haye. Gropman actually bikes to his restaurant daily.