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Kathleen Hill: Mother’s Day menus, events and more

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Mother’s Day is here Sunday

Sunday is the day we honor our mothers and, if we are lucky, our children honor those of us who are mothers.

It’s also a day of sadness for some of us. We all had mothers, so we can enjoy them if they are still with us, but not all women are mothers. Many of us wanted to be mothers and it didn’t work out for one reason or another, and some of us wisely knew they shouldn’t be mothers.

So let’s honor all of us on Sunday.

Honoring our mothers can be very easy and inexpensive. Just show up. If you can’t do that call your mom, or even take her flowers wherever she is. This writer will visit St. Francis Solano cemetery.

A walk or roll of some sort to take in local beauty, a trip to the beach, a baseball game or whatever mom prefers. Or cook for her. She won’t care how good it is, just do it and she will love it.

Way back in 1872 Julia Ward Howe suggested June 2 be set aside to honor mothers in the name of world peace. It took until 1907 for Anna M. Jarvis to take up the campaign. Jarvis’s mother organized “Mother’s Work Days” to save people dying from polluted water. Mother Jarvis taught at a church in Grafton, West Virginia and on May 10, 1908 a service was held to honor her, which set a precedent that the second Sunday in May be set aside to honor all mothers, living or not.

Bettina Rouas of Angèle restaurant in Napa offers a quote of Honoré de Balzac: “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” Let’s hope so.

If you choose to go somewhere, especially for a special meal, here are some suggestions. Keep in mind that we all have our own ideas of what “a special meal” is.

Glen Ellen Fire Department Mother’s Day Breakfast: Possibly the best pancake breakfast in Sonoma Valley, right in and around the downtown fire station, Sunday, May 13. Expect great flapjacks, sausage, fresh fruit, coffee, lots of flowers and much more. Mimosas and gin fizzes available This one is great fun even if you don’t know anyone in Glen Ellen. $8 adults, $5 kids. 8 a.m. to noon. Support our firefighters.

Depot Hotel Restaurant: Brunch includes a glass of sparkling wine, a mimosa or orange juice. First course choices include berries with Jersey cow ricotta or Belgian Endive and watercress salad. Then choose between beef short rib hash, Dungeness crab cannelloni, salmon filet, eggs Benedict or zucchini lasagna, followed by house tiramisu, sour cream cheesecake, limoncello cake or torta Ghilarducci. $45 adults, $22 age 5 to 12. 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by regular menu. 241 First St. W., Sonoma. 938-2980. Depotsonoma.com.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn: Expect their famous buffets of tea sandwiches including southern style pimento cheese, scones, a smoked and cured fish table, Fra’mani charcuterie, abundant salads, chilled seafood, oysters and caviar, beef and ham carving stations, loads of entrées from shrimp and grits to English pea ravioli and rum brioche French toast, with mounds of desserts. $105 adults, $52.50 children 5 to 12 years, free under age 4. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 939-2407 for reservations.

Salt & Stone: For its first Mother’s Day Brunch the restaurant offers fresh fruit and coffee cake for the table, lots of entrée selections from various eggs Benedicts, crème brûlée French toast, three eggs with choice o meat, Dungeness crab omelet, quiche with salad greens, duck leg confit Cobb salad, Shanghai chicken salad, lamb burger, or steak frites Juice and coffee included. $32.50 inclusive. 9900 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. 833-6326. Saltstonekenwood.com.

Breakaway Café: Watch for a brunch menu of Dungeness crab and avocado toast with poached egg, corn flake crusted French toast with berries, and a prosciutto and asparagus quiche $13 to $16), plus pitchers of mimosas (no reservations for brunch). Dinner offers asparagus soup, choice of pan-seared scallops and summer squash risotto or herb roasted chicken with succotash and potato fondant. Pavlova with Watmaugh strawberries and seasonal fruit for dessert. $35. Wine pairing $15. Reservations for 5 to 8:30 p.m. 19101 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 996-5949.

Suite D: Suite D will have a Mother’s Day buffet brunch with baguettes, fresh fruit salad, bagels and smoked salmon, croissants, pastries, hard boiled eggs, sliced cheeses and meats, loads of butter and jam, an omelet station, ham hash, potatoes, house cured bacon, juice, coffee and tea. Bloody Mary Bar with mimosas and sparkling wine ($5). $40 public, $34 social club members, $25 children under 13. Bring wine, $5 corkage. Seatings at 11 and 11:45 a.m., 1 and 2:45 p.m. 21800 Schellville Road, Suite D., Sonoma. 933-3000, ext. 10. Figsuited.com.

El Dorado Kitchen: EDK’s Mother’s Day brunch will include starter choices of Alaskan shrimp cocktail, mixed greens and asparagus salads, potato gnocchi, burrata, ahi tuna carpaccio, granola and yogurt parfait and English pea and potato vichyssoise with Dungeness crab. Then decide among smoked salmon eggs Benedict, chilaquiles, brioche French toast, spinach and goat cheese omelet, a breakfast flatbread, lobster risotto and a short rib with green garlic mashed potatoes. Then try the profiterole or coconut tapioca. $60. 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., regular menu after that. 405 First St., W., Sonoma. 996-3030.

Other events this weekend

McEvoy Ranch at Cornerstone: On Saturday, May 12, chef Jacquelyn Buchanan will conduct olive oil tastings and a demo with McEvoy Ranch olive oils, wine and seasonal bites such as sunchoke chips, veggie slaw, lamb meatballs and lemon biscotti. At the Sunset Gardens outdoor test kitchen at Cornerstone. Locals might recognize Jacquelyn. She served as opening chef for the General’s Daughter, was the Julia Child Culinary Director at Copia, and chef for Marin French Cheese and Laura Chenel. $85 or $68 for McEvoy club members. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Donum Estate: An event called “Discover Donum, A Place for Wine & Art” will be on Saturday, May 12. It celebrates the opening of the Donum Home, expansion of the sculpture park, and latest single vintage, single varietal pinot noir and chardonnay. Lots of nibbles from Pizza Politana and ice cream from Sweet Scoops, lavender, daffodils and 30 sculptures from Ai Weiwei, Zhan Wang, Arturo Di Modica, Fernando Botero and Jaume Plensa and local music from Sabor di mi Cuba. $65 or $85 VIP. Noon to 4 p.m., VIP reception 11 a.m. to noon. 24500 Ramal Road, Sonoma. Tickets at eventbrite.com.

Glen Ellen ‘Block Party’

Kivelstadt Cellars, Laurel Glen Vineyard, Korbin Kameron and Talisman wineries host a ‘block party’ to encourage a walking or rolling tasting tour of the four Glen Ellen tasting rooms on Saturday, May 12.

Les Pascals Patisserie will donate 10 percent of its gross on Saturday to the Glen Ellen Firefighters Association in thanks for saving downtown Glen Ellen. Independent of the block party, Les Pascals is so good that they have lines out the door every day.

Garagiste Festival

More than 40 artisan “garagiste commercial winemakers” will show up at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building on Saturday, May 12 with their small production wines.

These garagistes – or, garage winemakers – will come from Sonoma, Mendocino, Livermore, Lodi and Napa “as well as other California regions,” according to a festival announcement.

“Among the winemakers scheduled to pour are: Betwixt Wines, Calstar Cellars, Camlow Cellars, Chenoweth Wines, Crux Winery, Enoteca Five, Fallon Place Wine, Fields Family Wines, Gordenker Wines, Gregory James Wines, Halcon Vineyards, Kendrick Vineyards, La Pitchoune Winery, Lightning Wines, Magna Vita Cellars, Mastro Scheidt, Merisi Wines, Montagne Russe, Montemaggiore, Murder Ridge, Nowell-Smith Wines, Parmeson Wines, Piezo Winery, T. Berkley Wines, Trojak-Knier Winery, Von Holt Cellars and Weatherborne Wine Co.

Enjoy a seminar at 11:30 a.m. called “The Garagiste Variety Show: Exploring the Diversity of Small-Production Winemaking.” The seminar will focus on the range of wines being produced by garagiste winemakers, and investigate why garagiste winemakers have stepped away from cabernet and chardonnay to work with grapes considered under-the-radar in Northern California. Panelists include Paul Gordon of Halcon Vineyards and Randy Hester of Lightning Wines. In the afternoon is the main event, the Grand Tasting, which runs from 2 to 5 p.m.

Glen Ellen Inn expands hours

Glen Ellen Inn Grill & Martini Bar is now open six days a week, meaning they are closed on Wednesdays with their signature Dungeness crab pot stickers, mini ahi tuna tostadas, and dry aged filet and prawns, plus 400 wines and their famous martinis. Hoping they open for lunch again soon. Reserve at 996-6409. Glenelleninn.com, or opentable.com.

Sonoma Mission Gardens heats up with peppers

Manager Lydia Constantini starts out with Serranos, Jalapeños, and La Bombas which she says are “child’s play” compared to Scotch Bonnet, “guaranteed to blow your bonnet clean off.” Habañeros, Carolina Reapers, Ghosts (“what you will turn into if you eat too many”), Scorpions, and what she says are the “hottest peppers on earth,” Bhut Jolokia, concluding with, “If you can’t pronounce it, you know it’s gonna hurt your ‘bhut’ for sure.” 851 Craig Ave., Sonoma. 938-5775.

Harvey’s Donuts café hopes to open in summer

Harvey’s Gourmet Donut Company is planning to open a café where Joann and Keith Filipello’s Wild Thyme Catering was a few years ago. (And how some of us miss their evening dinners under the stars and string lights.)

Georgia and Harvey Cohen say that they have been able to extend their lease and hope “summertime will be the grand reveal,” but they are currently at the Tuesday evening farmers market. Recently their website got linked to MarthaStewartWedding.com after they made donuts at the wedding reception of Frankie Shaw and script writer Zack Strauss at Dawn Ranch in Guerneville.

Pesticides and fruit and vegetables

According to Time magazine, the Environmental Working Group says that the following 15 fruits and vegetables have the least pesticides on or in them: avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papaya, asparagus, mango, eggplant, honeydew and cantaloupe melons, kiwi, cauliflower and broccoli. Bon appétit.