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Kathleen Hill: Where to find Easter meals this weekend

Watmaugh strawberries are here (partially), firefighters’ Easter egg hunt, Dim Sum at Vintage House and more.|

Just a reminder: Easter (or any other bunnies) don’t drop Easter or any other kind of eggs. Chickens do, but for some fun reason we go through this ritual annually.

History.com says “Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection.

“Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. Eggs had been a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

From food historian Sam Rilton of English-heritage.org.uk

“Early Christians in Mesopotamia dyed eggs in the period after Easter. The practice was adopted by the Orthodox Churches, and from there it spread into Western Europe. Eggs represent new life and rebirth, and it’s thought that this ancient custom was absorbed into Easter celebrations.”

Eggs laid on Good Friday were said to turn into diamonds if they were kept for 100 years. Some thought that eggs cooked on Good Friday and eaten on Easter would promote fertility and prevent sudden death, and it became the custom to have your eggs blessed before you ate them. It was also said that if your egg had two yolks, you’d soon become rich.

Besides possibly going to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus or whatever you believe in, here are some fun things to do in Sonoma on Easter.

Cook a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the family or for yourself.

Go to the beach. Take a walk, plant vegetable starters or other growing food for you and your neighbors, or give someone some flowers to brighten their lives. Maybe even invite someone who is alone to join you for a cup of tea, glass of wine, or a meal.

Roisin Ariaz celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a Guiness at Murphy’s Irish Pub on First Street East on Thursday, March 17, 2022.  (Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)
Roisin Ariaz celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a Guiness at Murphy’s Irish Pub on First Street East on Thursday, March 17, 2022. (Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

Murphy’s Irish Pub

Chef Danielle of Murphy’s will add some Easter brunch specials to their regular menu this Sunday, such as an Irish breakfast of sautéed assorted mushrooms, Irish bangers, and a poached egg; Lyonnaise salad with frisée, lardons, croutons, a poached egg and sherry vinaigrette; grilled Wagyu sirloin steak with truffled mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts; and pan-roasted seabass with bulger pilaf, sautéed kale, and preserved lemon relish. ($18.95 to $25).

Chef Danielle would love for you to check out his bonsai feature on the bar at Murphy’s.

Sonoma Grille

Nima Sherpa and crew will come up with a veggie scramble with spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, red bell peppers and cheddar cheese served with spring mix salad; a smoked salmon Benedict with two poached eggs, spinach, Parmesan, heirloom tomatoes, on an English muffin with country potatoes; two slices of sourdough French toast soaked in vanilla bean batter with Mascarpone cheese and berry compote; Easter ham plate with two eggs any style and potatoes; and a shrimp omelet with bacon, tomatoes, arugula, pepper Jack and potatoes. ($17 to $26).

Much of their regular menu will be available as well such as trio cheese ravioli, wild King salmon, and filet mignon. ($32 to $44). 165 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-7542.

Tips Roadside

The Pryfogles again offer their Easter Bottomless Brunch served family style with “all you can eat.”

It all starts with a fresh garden salad for the table, followed by main courses of smoked brisket, fried chicken and shrimp and grits with sides of scrambled eggs, bacon, housemade biscuits and a hash of Brussels sprouts an root vegetables. Dessert brings their famous beignets. All for $55 adults, $20 for ages 7 to 12, and 6 and under eat free. bottomless Bloody Mary’s and mimosas $19. 90-minute seatings 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8445 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. Reserve at 509-0078, tipsroadside.com. or exploretock.com/tipsroadside.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

“The Inn” as it is now being called, will host an Easter Egg Hunt on the front lawns for hotel and restaurant guests at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 17, with the Easter Bunny “Hopping Inn” during the hunt.

The Inn will serve a three-course family-style menu from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. includes a smoked fish platter to share of smoked salmon, Sable fish, pastrami cured salmon, mini bagels, potato latkes, rye crisps, cream cheeses, homemade pickles and heirloom tomatoes.

Each table will select three main courses from among butter poached lobster Benedict, soft scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms, black truffles and Gruyere cheese; fried chicken and waffle with candied bacon and Bourbon maple syrup; lemon cottage cheese pancakes; brioche French toast with bananas Foster sauce; duck confit hash with chimichurri Hollandaise sauce; grilled lamb lollipops; grilled petit filet with béarnaise sauce with fingerling potatoes and truffled asparagus.

The dessert platter to share includes spiced carrot and coconut cake, Earl Grey crème brûlée and a milk chocolate tart with fresh berries. $110 adults, $39 children 6 to 12, free for kids 5 and under. Reserve at 939-2415 or smi.reservations.dl@fairmont.com.

The outdoor patio features fire pits and heaters for cool spring nights at Wit & Wisdom Sonoma.  (Photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
The outdoor patio features fire pits and heaters for cool spring nights at Wit & Wisdom Sonoma. (Photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Wit & Wisdom at The Lodge

Michael Mina’s Wit & Wisdom at The Lodge at Sonoma offers a three-course prix-fixe brunch that starts with a butter lettuce salad, a Bellwether Farms ricotta tartine, rigatoni Arrabbiata with lobster, chilled English pea soup, roasted Hog Island oysters.

Second-course choices include eggs Benedict on a Model Bakery English muffin with Canadian bacon and duck fat potato wedges; two eggs any style with grilled thick-cut bacon, heirloom tomato and duck fat potatoes; King salmon with asparagus, morel mushrooms and green garlic cream; crème brûlée French toast, the Tavern Burger on a brioche bun with sharp cheddar cheese, bacon and red onion jam; or charcoal grilled lamb chops.

And finally, indulge in a Basque-style cheesecake, the “Chocolate Bar” of Caramelia milk chocolate and peanut butter crumble; or Hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting, caramel pineapples and vanilla anglaise. $89. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reserve at witandwisdomsonoma.com/

More strawberries are expected after this week’s rain showers. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)
More strawberries are expected after this week’s rain showers. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

Watmaugh Strawberries re-opens, partially

Many of us were lucky enough last week and weekend to drive into a cloud of dust and jump (hardly) out of our cars to purchase some of the succulent first crop of Watmaugh strawberries.

The proprietors are protected by a hanging sheet of plastic like at many other places, and the strawberries have gone up from $3 to $4 a basket. Still a good deal for their unusually luscious flavor.

And the strawberries are more than well worth it. It’s also worth it to buy an extra basket to bring a little glee to family and neighbors.

But as of last Sunday morning, they planned not to sell any more during this week “because we don’t have enough strawberries yet.”

But their expectation is that after the April showers this week, they will be able to open this coming weekend and then every day from then on through the season.

Lucky us.

Jacob’s new lunch menu

Beronica Perez called to say her Jacob’s restaurant next to TrainTown on Broadway just started a new lunch menu, which looks worth checking out, starting with the fact that all breads and buns are made in house.

Top of the list is Jacob’s Hamburger with cheese, pickles, lettuce, onion, tomato and sriracha aioli on brioche bread; a fried chicken sandwich with lemon aioli, coleslaw and red onion, lamb or chicken gyros, a meatball cheese sandwich with mozzarella, red onion, and Roma tomato on housemade bread; Philly steak sandwich adding red Bell peppers; a pesto chicken sandwich; personal pizzas with their Sonoma, J’s Combo, vegetarian, pepperoni or cheese; and a grilled salmon salad on arugula with cucumber, cherry tomato and citrus vinaigrette.

All burgers and sandwiches come with choice of fries or salad. ($14 to $19). 1266 Broadway, Sonoma. 996-4024.

Rebecca Rosenberg sits near three framed photographs of the same paintings created by artist Barbara Greensweig that had been destroyed in the Rosenberg’s home during the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Kenwood, California, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.(Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)
Rebecca Rosenberg sits near three framed photographs of the same paintings created by artist Barbara Greensweig that had been destroyed in the Rosenberg’s home during the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Kenwood, California, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.(Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

‘Champagne Widows’ at Readers’ Books

Rebecca Rosenberg will launch her newest historic novel, “Champagne Widows,” at Readers’ Books on Thursday, April 21.

Don’t miss this one. Rosenberg personally researches on site in country and knows her stuff, to say nothing of putting on a good party.

This time the party will start with a champagne reception in Readers’ garden patio at 5:30, Rosenberg’s lively presentation at 6 p.m., her book signing at 6:45, and an after party at Jayme Powers’ Sigh Champagne salon with tastes of Veuve Clicquot.

A brilliant marketer, Rosenberg says, “Celebrate the first woman who made champagne, Veuve Clicquot, who battled pandemics, mental illness, sexist laws against women owning businesses, 15 years of Napoleon’s wars to conquer Europe and Napoleon himself, to forge her champagne empire.”

And that’s just a tip of the ice bucket.

You may remember Rosenberg for her other historic novels including “The Secret Life of Mrs. London” and “Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.”

According to Rosenberg, “Champagne Widows” has been mentioned favorably in Wine Enthusiast, Ms. Magazine, Women’s World and Publishers Weekly.

She is also co-founder of Sonoma Lavender with her husband, Gary Rosenberg. Their lavender field and home on Highway 12 both burned in our 2017 fires and have been completely replanted and rebuilt. 130 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 939-1779.

Spring Supper for SOS

Don’t miss the May 7 Spring Supper drive-thru, which is Sonoma Overnight Support’s (SOS) big fundraiser of the year, on the day before Mother’s Day.

SOS cooks and serves more than 300 hot meals a day to our homeless and temporarily down-on-their-luck neighbors. SOS is seeing increasing need and demand every week.

One $60 ticket will provide 12 meals for someone in need.

Preparing that much food costs money, both in food and very limited staff. Volunteers, Farm to Pantry, Haystack Farm and even backyard farmers help, but the Spring Supper is a great way we all can help if you have the means.

You just drive in one end of the Grange parking lot, pick up your bag of food, and drive out the other side of the building on Highway 12.

The meal starts with a leek and Gruyère vegetarian tart, and a fennel and celery root salad with slices of apple on a bed of radicchio and mixed greens, lightly dressed in a citrus vinaigrette.

The meat entrée is grass-fed short-ribs braised in red wine and served with polenta pancakes and a shallot cabernet sauce. The vegetarian entrée is freshly made mushroom ravioli filled with lobster mushrooms and ricotta, and poached in a rich vegetable mushroom broth.

Everyone gets grilled asparagus and a dessert of peach mascarpone sponge cake in layers brushed with peach syrup, peaches and mascarpone topped with peach sauce.

The meal options are: Meal for one $60; meal for two includes one bottle of wine for $160; a meal for four comes with two bottles of wine at $320. Or you can make a direct donation without the meal. Order by Sunday, May 1. Pick up from 4 to 6 p.m. on May 7 at 18627 Sonoma Highway, Boyes Hot Springs (across from Mary’s Pizza Shack). Order at bit.ly/springsupper22. If you would like help filling out the form or ordering, either call 939-6777 or email office@sonomaovernightsupport.org.

Sonoma Volunteer Firefighter’s Association

Sonoma Volunteer Firefighter’s Association will bring back its annual Easter Egg Hunt at Dunbar School after two years’ pause due to COVID.

It all starts with dyeing eggs at 2 p.m. Friday, April 15, at the Glen Ellen Fire Station, 12445 Arnold Drive.

Bring kids and join in the hunt itself on Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. with some golden eggs that can be turned in for chocolate fire trucks. For every five eggs found one can get a little bag of candy. All children are welcome, and please bring your own basket or sack to collect eggs.

The firefighting volunteers and the community thank Glen Ellen Village Market for donating 120 dozen eggs for this Easter Egg Hunt. More info at 975-2222.

Sushimotos Dim Sum class at Vintage House

Just in – Chef Ed Metcalfe and Chef Keo Xayavon will show you how to make Easy Dim Sum such as potstickers, gyoza, Vietnamese meatballs and more on Monday April 18 at Vintage House. There will also be some hands-on with this demo as well as lots of samples. 2 to 4 p.m. $40 members, $80 non-members.

Register online at register.capturepoint.com/reg/cat_program_class_detail.cfm?s=&t=&season_id=27261&program_id=1657915&family_mbr_str= or call Vintage House at 707-996-0311.

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