Kathleen Hill: Thanksgiving, kittens, Sangiacomos and more
Free Thanksgiving Dinner fun
Sonoma's unique free and super fun community Thanksgiving dinner will show up again this year on Nov. 28 at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, hosted by both Sonoma Community Center and Vintage House.
Gary Edwards and Daniel Quijada (Tips Roadside) coordinate the food donations, cooking and serving, all accomplished by loads of volunteers. Ingredients and other supplies will be donated by locals Elaine Bell Catering, Paul's Produce, Green String Farm, Sonoma Market, Clover Sonoma Dairy, Glen Ellen Village Market, both Sonoma Rotary and Sunrise Rotary, and Joanne Romanini Distributing (vegetables).
Locals seem to be showing up in greater numbers than ever for community events, possibly because everyone needs to find something happy to do to remind ourselves of our community's beauty.
The late Jerry Casson, for whom Vintage House was named, started the tradition decades ago with her 'Thanksmas Party' at the Sonoma Community Center where she rounded up cooked turkeys from restaurants and all the trimmings and started prepping it all in her East Napa Street home, sometimes with the help of myself and my daughter. Restaurants cooked turkeys and other traditional essentials and brought them to the Community Center.
Under Gary Edwards' leadership, the whole community celebration has grown so big that it has moved to the Vets Building and still has lines, but it's well worth the wait for the unusually good free dinner.
Until recently, Vintage House cooked a Thanksgiving meal and Kiwanis delivered it to people at home. This year the two groups have united to create a true town dinner.
You don't have to be lonely or in need of food to go. There is no embarrassment factor. It's just fun and a great meal and a chance to celebrate and share Thanksgiving dinner with old and new friends.
Dinner will include turkey, ham, fresh salmon, Caggiano sausages, lots of vegetables, all the trimmings and loads of desserts. Free. 3 to 5 p.m. 126 First St. W., Sonoma. Just show up. BYOB. No corkage.
El Molino Central's black cat has kittens
Karen Waikiki's famous El Molino Mexican restaurant has become home to a big black cat on the roof, a smile-evoking creature that adds a little humor to the neighborhood.
While Karen had told this writer weeks ago that she thought the cat was pregnant, it also seemed like it might be a false alarm since the gestation period dragged on and on. And then all of a sudden kittens appeared. A small litter of four. The mystery continues; where did the orange one come from?
Apparently Karen's friend, artist Mark Marthaler, seemed to be shocked too, and she remarked on what seemed like a long pregnancy. She decided to 'give Mark time to differentiate them. He was mortified when I told him cat or dog litters could have more than one father.' Enjoy!
Homewood Winery holiday event
Dave Homewood, who stands above any crowd, invites wine and pizza lovers on Saturday, Nov. 23 at his Homewood Winery in Schellville.
Homewood's friends make some delicious pizzas to pair with his wines. Examples include his Ludia & 2015 Rousanne with ricotta, mozzarella, feta, shrimp and capers; 2015 Flying Wizzbanger, 2013 Petite Sirah and Redder the Better with Mozzarella, sour cream and bacon, and his 2011 Late Harvest Semillon and 2013 Late Harvest Merlot with fig and onion jam, fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, and red pears with a honey drizzle. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 23120 Burndale Road, Sonoma. 996-6353.
Sonoma Portworks' pumpkin pie and port tastings
Sonoma's Caryn and Bill Reading will offer tastings of pumpkin pie topped with their Duet Sherry-spiked whipped cream this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23 and 24. Port tastings are free, as is the pumpkin pie tasting.
Normally Sonoma Portworks' tasting room is open for tastings noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday, but starting next week it will be open daily. Delicious ports, sherries and Sonomic vinegars. 613 Second St., Petaluma. 769-5203.
More Thanksgiving shortcuts
Last week we offered a long list of menus of restaurants open and serving on Thanksgiving Day, as well as pies and desserts offered by specialty bakeries and caterers. Here are some more of the latter and dinner offerings.
Also, if you just want to stay home and make a turkey burger, check with your favorite meat clerk or butcher where the turkey came from and if it has been previously frozen, in which case you cannot freeze it again.
Farmers market news
The Friday morning Thanksgiving week farmers market by Depot Park will actually be next Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Arnold Field/Depot Park parking lot, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There is a market on Friday, Nov. 22, but there will not be one the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29.