OK, Inspector, break out your hand lens. The ferns and mosses of Sugarloaf Ridge await your attention. Take an easy 3-mile stroll over hill and dale, making mental field notes as you go. You’ll locate at least five native ferns and several mosses, all flourishing in the cool, moist trenches winter allows. Afterward, sit down with the other hikers and enjoy a sack lunch, marveling at how quickly strangers become friends.
Saturday, Feb 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, 833-5712, free.
If you like-a the funghi, this is your chance to work your way through five heavily shroomed courses. Mushroom and bacon tartlets, then a black trumpet bisque, followed by oil-poached chantarelles and lobster mushrooms with roasted cauli and, finally, braised pork shoulder and porchini ricotta. They’ll wrap it all up with mushroom cardamom rice pudding, which somehow sounds weirdly delicious. Hurry, gourmands…
Saturday, Feb. 9, 6 to 8 p.m., Suite D, 21800 Schellville Road, 933-3000, figsuited.com, $85
Love And Chocolate
Chocolate is the currency of Valentine’s Day, but for foodies, plain chocolate won’t get it done. Learn how to make a fresh crème de ricotta and chocolate ganache in a fun class that includes steady sipping of local beer and wine. The Epicurean Connection is sponsoring this hands-on experience, where every participant goes home with a pot o’ cheesy chocolate for their sweetheart, and the recipe so they can do it again.
Sunday, Feb. 10, 1 to 3 p.m., Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., theepicureanconnection.com, $75
How about an early Valentine the whole family can love? Grab the kids (ages 4-plus) for a layer cake and cupcake extravaganza at Copia. You’ll learn how to make perfect multilevel cakes with satiny smooth buttercream, fluffy cupcakes that stay moist in the middle, even homemade sprinkles! Their master pastry chefs will teach you how to decorate your confections like a boss, and then you can all eat what you’ve learned. Win-win.
Sunday, Feb. 10, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., CIA at Copia, 500 First St., Napa, ciaatcopia.com, $15