Kathleen Hill: Strawberries for sale, Mother’s Day offerings and picking out a cow for the slaughter
Watmaugh strawberry stand is open
Go for it, everyone.
Watmaugh strawberries is open. Everything looks the same this year, except that the 'counter' part of the stand teeters slightly more. Pint-sized baskets (which they top off generously) start at $3.50. At this moment, they don't have many additional vegetables besides leeks and green garlic, although often those side veggies come from their brother farms around the Central Valley. Watmaugh Road and Arnold Drive, Sonoma.
The Mill at Glen Ellen signs lease
The grist mill at Jack London Village turns again.
Former longtime chef at Saddles Steakhouse at MacArthur Place, Sanjeev K. Singh, just signed a long lease for the large restaurant space next to the grist mill at Glen Ellen's Jack London Village.
The restaurant space has housed everything from Juanita's, the Grist Mill, and a Filipino-Argentine polo-themed restaurant to the latest iteration, Aventine.
The delay in development is due to many factors such as working out details with the Aventine business seller and the county health department's requirements regarding the kitchen equipment.
Dana Jaffe, 20-year executive chef at Saddles Steakhouse and current chef at Sonoma Golf Club where members have raved about her food, will serve as a consultant to the Mill at Glen Ellen.
Sonoma Valley residents will find the Mill completely local-friendly, brewing its own beer, making wood-fired pizzas, pouring generously at a great bar, and producing other creative casual food, much of which is vegetarian friendly and at decent prices. Singh wants people to just hang out and relax and have a good time.
Singh and Jaffe hope the Mill at Glen Ellen will open in June, assuming all county and other paperwork goes smoothly. Looking forward to this one!
Cinco de Mayo and real Mexican food
More and more locals are discovering Sonoma's own Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Plaza, on Sunday, May 5.
Angie Sanchez and Veronica Vences of La Luz Center have organized the entire event, which includes a beer cantina, loads of upbeat music, a video game truck, Mexican jewelry and artworks and several professional booths. Citizens can also register to vote.
This is where you can taste real home-style Mexican food, and we can hardly wait. Pedro Infante will make enchiladas, Vicky Aceves will make enchiladas and pambazos; Estehela Martinez will offer fruit, two flavored waters, fruit cocktail, and corn. El Brinquito Market brings gorditas and burritos, Matilde and Ana Anaya are making tacos corados, quesadillas and shrimp ceviche, Tacos La Chencha offers tacos asada and al pastor, and Dragones Latinas and the Sociedad Honoraria from Sonoma Valley High School will sell chicarrones. Aunt Betty's Corn Dogs will be there as well, with the Java Wagon, which will have hot and cold drinks for sale.
Jose Sanchez offers aguas frescas, sodas and popcorn; Great Savor will sell ceviche, prawn fajitas, and salmon salad. Tacos Costa makes and sells tacos, and Wendy Ruiz of Las Dablitas will provide raspados, frutas and tejuino.
West Handmade Burgers sells Stemple beef
Garrett Sathre has added a weekly retail sale of hard-to-get Stemple Creek Ranch beef cuts and a story to go with it.
Stemple Creek Ranch was founded as a dairy ranch by Angelo Poncia near Tomales. Now his great-grandson, Loren, and his attorney wife, Lisa, have reinvented and rejuvenated the 1,000-acres into a completely organic and grass-fed cattle ranch. The whole ranch is now protected by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.
Loren graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a major in dairy science and ag business and always dreamed of coming back to his native Tomales and the family property.
Loren oversees the entire ranching operation, studying genetics with the goal of raising grass-fed and grass-finished beef that is tender, well-marbled, and tastes just as good as, if not better than, grain-finished meat, according to stemplecreek.com.
Lisa grew up in Southern California, far from the world of agriculture, and met Loren while they were both students at Cal Poly. In addition to being an active attorney and mom, she manages the operations side of the Stemple Creek Ranch business.
So Sathre goes out to Stemple Creek Ranch in Tomales and picks out the cow he wants slaughtered for next week's burgers and meat sales. When asked if that gets a little creepy, Sathre said, 'It's heavy. It should be.'
Golden Gate meats does the butchering and wraps the more expensive cuts – or, as Sathre says, 'the cuts I would never grind' – such as filet, bone-in rib eye, skirt, strip, tri-tip, petite tender, Bavette, New York, flat iron steaks and more.