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Kathleen Hill: Glen Ellen feast, beer day and more


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Glen Ellen feast at wineries

The Glen Ellen Historical Society and the Glen Ellen Forum will present a “fundraiser” dinner Saturday, April 21 at Valley of the Moon at Madrone Estate wineries.

The winery again has donated itself for other post-fire gatherings that have truly helped to bring the Glen Ellen community together in many ways.

Dinner, including pulled pork sliders, traditional baked beans, savory roasted root vegetables, cole slaw and other sides, will be prepared by winery chef Sam Badolato. The Girl & the Fig will bring mini desserts of chocolate chip sea salt cookies, chocolate cookies and cream sandwich cookies, fig crisps with walnut crumb topping, and deep dark chocolate brownies.

Music by the Dolly Mamas and Full Circle, complimented by historical displays and a silent auction.

The event is sponsored by Julie Atwood’s Halter Project and Ann Teller’s Oak Hill Farm. $25 includes coffee, tea and one wine taste. More wine tasting available, of course. 4 to 8 p.m. 777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen. Tickets at Eventbrite.com. 939-4500.

Sonoma Garden Park and garden club doings

Sonoma Garden Park’s Saturday morning Harvest Market & Plant Sale opens for the season tomorrow, April 21 at its Straw Bale Barn.

The Garden Park offers organically and sustainably grown produce and vegetable starts grown on the 6.1 acres donated by the late Pauline Bond, who gave her “ranch” to Sonoma more than 30 years ago. They also sell plant starts of heirloom veggies, flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs, and make available advice from Sonoma County Master gardeners. Check it out at 19996 Seventh St. E., Sonoma.

Learn even more at their Biochar Workshop Saturday morning at 10:30, a Flower & Gem Essences and Stinging Nettle Apothecary noon to 4 p.m., and then an eco-friendly garden tour on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. sonomaecologycenter.org.

Valley of the Moon Garden Club will also have a Spring Plant Sale Saturday, April 21 at the Sonoma Community Center featuring vegetable starts, annuals, perennials, succulents, heirloom tomatoes and pollinator plants, with Master Gardeners to answer questions. 9 a.m. to noon. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

SOS Mother’s Day Fiesta lunch

Join in the fun on Saturday, May 5 to support Sonoma Overnight Support, which includes housing for local homeless and includes Brown Baggers lunches provided to homeless and other hungry people, as well as the free Friday night dinners in Booker Hall at La Luz Center.

Guests will be welcomed by Champagne and orange juice mimosas and sparkling grape juice and pepper jack cheese quesadillas passed by Hanna Boys and Teen Services.

Joanne and Keith Filipello of Wild Thyme Garden & Events will provide a “fiesta” lunch, since it’s on Cinco de Mayo, of sweet chili glazed grilled chicken with tropical salsa, chopped salad of tomato, jicama, avocado, corn, radishes, black beans and lime dressing, with green chili corn muffins. Desserts will be the centerpiece of each table with Watmaugh strawberries and Mexican wedding cookies.

This year’s compassionate service awards will go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Meals on Wheels Wednesday crew led by Mary Evelyn Arnold, and Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti.

SOS needs our support more than ever since Executive Director Kathy King made the decision to turn down Sonoma County’s $40,000 in order to keep the Haven shelter from having to follow certain county guidelines. $40. Noon to 3 p.m. Burlingame Hall, 252 W. Spain St., Sonoma. Reserve at 939-6777 or sonomaovernightsupport.org. Or send check to P.O. Box 748, Sonoma 95476.

Great news over at Edge

Stone Edge Farm and its culinary director John McReynolds just announced that they now offer public Wednesday lunches, their Thursday dinners, and now Friday food and wine pairings.

The lunches offer a communal three-course plated seasonal meals paired with Stone Edge estate grown wines, with menus changing weekly. $125 public, $95 club members, including wines at 12 noon.

Thursday dinners continue with three-course meals and wines at 6:30 p.m. ($150 per person. Friday Food & Wine Pairings include tastings of four estate grown wines accompanied by paired bites. Two 90-minute seatings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $95 per person, $75 club members.

Edge also offers private three-hour cooking classes for a minimum of eight people. $250 per person, or $195 club members.

Reservations required for all Edge events 48 hours in advance, as is a 48 hour cancellation notice. Reserve via Larry Nadeau at larry@stoneedgefarm.com or by calling Stone Edge Winery at 935-6520.

Nomad Dinner series

Nomad Chic’s Linda Hamilton kicks off her Nomad Dinner Series on Friday, May 4 in the Sunset outdoor test kitchen area at Cornerstone with “Taste of Baja.”

Hamilton owns the hip Nomad Chic import shop at Cornerstone and is, indeed, a bit of a chic nomad herself.

Having studied art and architecture at the California College of the Arts, Hamilton designed elegant and interesting residential and commercial interiors from Bali to Chicago, and lived in Bali for several years. After a 2002 bombing there, many expats left and she ended up in Todos Santos, Mexico. She also lives here in Sonoma.

Hamilton’s first in the dinner series features San Francisco chef Mariano Balderas, whose food resembles Hamilton’s chic nomadic style, blending Mexican, Baja, and Mediterranean cuisines, with a little Mezcal to sip, if you wish. According to Hamilton, Balderas has consulted and cooked in Mexico, Canada, London, Switzerland and Spain and “has expertise in Mexican, French and Spanish cooking.”

The May 4 menu will include a first course of rib-eye carnitas with organic guacamole and cheese chicharrón, or a vegetarian alternative (not if you avoid seafood) of northern Pacific shrimp ceviche tostadas. The main dish or entrée will be pescado al pastor (line-caught tuna) tostadas with pineapple puree and cilantro foam. Seating will all be communal. Collaborating in the evening will include Prohibition Sprits & Hello Cello, Valle de Guadalupe and local wines, Baja Beans and Cornerstone Sonoma.

Hamilton’s later dinners in the series will take guests globetrotting with her to Morocco, Baja and South Africa, and maybe even Bali. $125 includes welcome drink, dinner, wine, mezcal, dessert and entertainment. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reserve at (415) 381-9087 or linda@nomadchic.mx.

Idell Family Vineyards tasting

Susan and Richard Idell invited all the small lot winemakers who buy chardonnay grapes from the Idells’ Michael Mara Vineyard to taste each other’s wines, which varied widely depending upon aging, barrels, and winemakers’ personal tastes.

Among the winemakers were Brad Smith from Idell Family Vineyards, Jill Klein Matthiasson and Jack Roberts of the famed Matthiasson, Birk O’Halloran of Iconic Wines, David Kahn of Broc Cellars, and Martin Winters of Maître de Chai. Other guests included Korbin Ming of Korbin Kameron, Virginie Boone of Wine Enthusiast, sommelier Chris Sawyer, and this writer.

Susan Idell, who did a masterful job volunteering at Delicious New Chapters cookbook giveaway, always provides a delicious lunch with these tastings including her own sorrel pesto, pear jam, Matthiasson Satsuma plum jam, Point Reyes Blue, Marin French Brie, Tricycle Goat, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, Spanish Manchego, a charcuterie selection and fabulous local salad with della Fattoria breads and Scandia Bakery cookies.

National Beer Day

Sorry we missed National Beer Day last Saturday, April 7, but here are the interesting results of the Beer Day Survey of 1,000 Americans, according to Nationaltoday.com.

“Thirty-five percent of Americans drink 5-plus bottles of beer a week, 31 percent drink a bottle a week, and 17 percent drink more than 10 bottles a week.” Lager is America’s favorite type of beer and stouts are our least favorite. One in three of Americans prefer Budweiser, followed by Corona, Coors, Miller and Heineken.

The top 10 most beer loving/guzzling states are, in descending order, Massachusetts, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, New York and Colorado. Some of us are clearly not doing our part. This is one Top 10 list California did not make.

Cindy Daniel’s Waste Notes

Healdsburg Shed owner Cindy Daniel writes about how to keep from wasting food. Here’s an excerpt from her blog with some good advice:

Nobody wants to waste food but, despite good intentions, it happens to the best of us. The good news is making a difference has never been easier.

Overall, minimizing food and packaging waste not only benefits our personal health and pocket books, but also our land, oceans and the people that produce our food.

At home:

Take stock of your pantry at the beginning of each season and write down the items that you always strive to have on hand, in addition to more regular purchases.

Keep a running list of “house meals” and their ingredients that your household already enjoys.

Invest in non-disposable materials to help you stay clean and organized. Here are some of our favorite options: Vejibags are U.S. grown and milled organic cotton bags that help keep humidity-loving vegetables like kale and carrots moist and crunchy; toss the Tupperware and invest in reusable stainless steel containers, linen bowl covers or stackable stoneware storage containers; Bee’s Wrap is a washable, reusable, and compostable alternative to plastic wrap made by infusing organic cotton with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin; plastic water bottles are one of the easiest items to replace with something long-lasting.

Learn how to keep your seasonal produce looking and tasting fresh with these helpful tips: Use your nose. Expiration dates are more often guidelines than hard facts. If a food looks, smells, and tastes fine, it’s most likely safe to eat. If any of these elements are off, then it’s time to compost it. Take stock of what’s about to expire and plan meals around those ingredients. The freezer is your friend. Keep a list of what’s in the freezer and when each item was frozen. Keep the list on the freezer door for easy reference.