Kathleen Hill: Holiday shopping and the Larmans go to Chico
Who sandwiched Thanksgiving?
And I don’t mean the turkey.
Many people took off Thanksgiving Day and that Friday from school and work to be with family and friends and to relax together, or even alone. This year, partially due to smoke from tragic fires, schools throughout the Bay Area were closed all week.
Now Thanksgiving seems to be sandwiched between competitive shopping days.
Let’s see. We have pre-Thanksgiving or “holiday” sales, Thanksgiving Day shopping sales (although fewer big stores were open), Black Friday which is the ultimate sharp-elbow competitive shopping day, Small Business Saturday shopping day, football on Sunday, Cyber Monday and now Cyber Week and Giving Tuesday.
Many wineries, shoe shops and magazine and newspaper publishers throughout the country sent out “Happy Thanksgiving” and buy-my-stuff emails, with a quick first sentence hoping our Thanksgivings were great.
Our family braved Black Friday shopping once, and have never returned. Do we really need all that stuff or are we seduced by commercials and the competition of “winning” whatever it is we went after? But these sales really do help parents who can get clothes, school supplies and shoe bargains for multiple kids.
Small Business Saturday seemed to be a great success judging by the crowds of people strolling Sonoma Plaza sidewalks. Sunday seemed a little more quiet except for at Readers’ Books where former “Daily Show” head writer Elliott Kalan told stories and read his first children’s book, “Horse Meets Dog,” which Andy Weinberger announced had out-sold Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” on Saturday.
Cyber Monday hype has gone so far as to endanger purchasers’ identities, apparently, whether you are buying a hard to find toy, an “ugly sweater” or a laptop.
No stats are in yet for Giving Tuesday, when most nonprofits appeal to our “Thanksgiving” instincts to give thanks for their good works. We certainly hope giving and receiving went well.
And if you shop at Williams-Sonoma, which was packed all weekend, their “cyber” day goes on all this week. And don’t forget Sign of the Bear for scads of kitchen doodads.
Oh yeah, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and leftovers days.
Romaine Lettuce update
As of Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have narrowed the source of the e. coli-laced Romaine lettuce to California’s central coast and Northern California.
They claim that the harvesting season is over there, advising that Romaine lettuce is again safe to eat if it is newly labeled with its place of origin and that growing region is not on the central coast.
Menu changes at Mint & Liberty
Every new restaurant needs to work out the kinks, get their staff working together as a synchronistic team, and find out what its public might like.
Obviously responding to customers’ comments, Mint & Liberty has taken some long strides toward pleasing locals in the last week or so, which is a very good thing.
The biggest step is that they have created a breakfast menu, served daily from 8 to 11 a.m. They are serving two “Dutch Baby” dishes: one is sweet, topped with lemon marmalade; the other is savory, with smoked salmon shallots and crème fraîche. Instead of being puffy, these are flat and served fresh from the oven in a hot cast iron pan.