Kathleen Hill: Mad Hatter Tea Party, Mother’s Day menus and more

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Mad Hatter Tea Party Saturday

Thinking creatively and slightly outside the box, the Sonoma Community Center presents the Mad Hatter Tea Party and Maddest Hat Contest tomorrow, Saturday, May 11 in its “Secret Garden.”

Guests will select a ceramic cup made by the Community Center’s ceramics department, from which those attending can sip tea or other beverages and then take home for your own use. Enjoy music, entertainment, animals, magic, food and tea.

Ymateina of Sebastopol will donate its yerba mate teas, both warm and chilled, as well as a “sparkling adult cocktail” (for sparkling adults) using its tea as a base. Traditional teas, lemonade, water and wine for adults will also be served.

David Walker Events will provide nibbles for the family friendly tea party including fruits and veggies, tea sandwiches such as cucumber and cream cheese, hummus and veggies, peanut butter and jelly, and turkey and Swiss cheese. Desserts will be a combination of candy and other sweets donated from Scandia Bakery, Les Pascals Patisserie & Boulangerie in Glen Ellen, and cookies from Cookie Take a Bite. $30 adults, $10 youth. 12:27 to 3:32 p.m. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

Garden Club plant sale Saturday

Need some vegetable plants for your home garden? Smart to grow your own if you can.

Valley of the Moon Garden Club offers homegrown vegetable and perennial flowering plants, succulents and landscaping plants at its annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, May 11, also at the Sonoma Community Center.

Master Gardeners and club members (some are both) will be available to answer questions and give gardening advice.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Sonoma School Gardens program, the Monarch Pollinator Garden, and speakers at the club’s monthly meetings. 9 a.m. to noon. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

Super Mother’s Day Sunday

The biggest event this weekend you can enjoy anywhere, including home, is Mother’s Day. We all had mothers, and some of us are lucky enough to still have our mothers around. And some of us are mothers.

So let’s honor all women today. It’s easy. Just be nice. Hold a door open. Say hello with a smile.

Last Friday’s column gave the menus of the restaurants and others who let me know in advance what they will be serving. (Check out last week’s column at

We have some fun additions. Those covered last Friday include Chateau Sonoma, Divewalk Café, Depot Hotel Restaurant, Tips Roadside, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Viansa Winery.

We add:

Suite D

Suite D owner Sondra Bernstein emailed a celebration of mothers everywhere with a Robert William Service poem called “The Mother,” lovely and tear jerking. She sent it out with her invitation to her Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet on Sunday, May 12. The menu includes morning pastries, fresh fruit salad, orange juice, coffee and tea, fried chicken and waffles, eggs Benedict, eggs Florentine, ham hash, breakfast potatoes, and housemade bacon, followed by miniature desserts, chocolate eclairs, strawberry shortcake, espresso cheesecake, and sea salt chocolate chunk cookies.

Their bar will be open with sparkling wine, mimosas, beer and Bloody Mary’s for sale. Corkage $10 per bottle, limit two bottles per person. $45 adults, $38.25 for club members, $25 children under 13, free age 2 and under. 21800 Schellville Road, Sonoma. Tickets at

Roche Winery

Roche Winery offers its “inaugural Mother’s Day Brunch” in their vineyards next to the soon-to-be-opened Roche Family Winery. “The Roche Kids” have taken the small winery their late parents, Genevieve and Joe Roche, started to new levels with a tasting patio next to the Girl & the Fig and building a whole new winery. They invite you to bring “the moms in your life” for a brunch in the vineyard with big valley views.

It can also be a little windy out there, so glue your bonnets on tight.

Every adult guest will receive a complimentary glass of either a mimosa or of Roche’s 2018 dry rosé, with more available for purchase.

Help yourself to Bellwether Farms yogurt and homemade granola parfait with local blueberries and a breakfast tower of mini bagels, rye toast, baguettes, and homemade jam and cream cheese.

Served at your table will be fresh-made scones, poppy seed muffins, cinnamon morning buns, fresh fruit with lemon curd salad with fennel, strawberries and apple.

Entrée choices include spinach and olive frittata with arugula salad, tomato chèvre, prosciutto, potatoes, salsa verde, Bloomsdale spinach and corn and leek purée or sweet potato hash with fried egg, crispy Hobbs bacon, red pepper and green onions.

Kids get selections from the pastry buffet and “breakfast tower” and cereal and milk. $75 adults, $60 wine club members, $15 children 4 to 12 years, and free up to age 3. Seatings at 10 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. 22097 A, Bonness Road, Sonoma. Reservations required. (800) 825-9475.

El Dorado Kitchen

EDK offers a three course prix fixe menu with starter choices of yogurt and granola parfait with berries, shrimp cocktail, green salad with beets and butternut squash noodles, asparagus salad, crab cake, octopus carpaccio and chilled corn soup.

Main courses include smoked salmon Benedict, brioche French toast, a mushroom and goat cheese omelet, breakfast flatbread with prosciutto and scrambled eggs, seared scallops, lemon ricotta ravioli, potato gnocchi with braised duck and Chanterelle mushrooms, ahi tuna Niçoise salad and roast rack of lamb.

Top it off with desserts of molten chocolate cake, strawberry rhubarb crisp, or housemade sorbet. $65 excluding beverages, tax and tip. 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., regular menu 5:30 to 9 p.m. 405 First St., W., Sonoma. Reserve at 996-3030.

Café La Haye’s chicken dinner to go

Saul Gropman, owner of Café La Haye on East Napa Street, has created a brilliant dinner to go for people to take to the Tuesday night farmers market.

Not having a food truck, Gropman and crew make a high quality take-out dinner of Caesar salad and chicken Parmesan for $20. To order in advance, email him at

4-H flapjack at Schell-Vista fire station

Sonoma Valley 4-H will host its 13th annual Flapjack Feed on Sunday, May 19 at the Schell-Vista fire station in Schellville. Much of the food is donated, thanks to local purveyors. The kids, with a little adult supervision, will serve fluffy flapjacks, sausage, fresh fruit, milk, juice and coffee.

A silent auction will feature lots of goods and projects made by 4-H members, plus donated items from sports memorabilia to plants. This is a great occasion to support Sonoma Valley youth at a decent price.

By the way, 4-H is no longer just about cows and cooking as some of us remember it. Kids from ages 5 to 19 learn about poultry, pygmy goats, beef, dairy, sheep and swine, beekeeping, baking, public speaking, dog care and training, knitting and sewing, wood working, floral design, viticulture and leadership.

Becky Larson, of Larson Family Winery, has long been a leader of the 4-H effort in Sonoma Valley, as well as a generous donor to many youth projects. For more info, contact Larson at or 529-6085. Flapjack Feed is $8, kids under 3 are free.

Speaking of pancakes…

The ever-growing Knights of Columbus pancake feed held the first Sunday of each month will continue throughout the year due to its popularity, according to Brendan Roche.

Sara Roche, who says she has always wanted to have her own café and serve breakfast, hopes to add blueberry pancakes and blueberry syrup to the menu in June. Sara already makes excellent beignets as sort of a breakfast dessert each month.

Tomato tax caution from Commerce Department

The U.S. Department of Commerce warns that they might re-impose an export tax to prevent “dumping” of excess tomatoes on the U.S. market. According to their statistics, Mexico exports $2 billion in tomatoes annually to the U.S., accounting for about half the tomatoes Americans eat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Message: Grow your own tomatoes or buy from local farmers.

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