Special farm Tours start at 5pm and feasting begins at 6. Bring a potluck side dish or dessert to share. At $30 a person and no charge for kids under $12, save yourself the backyard bbq and join the feast at the farm.
Kay Baumhefner's upcoming set of Come Home to Cooking classes, starting on June 26, will get you fully charged up for a delicious summer.
"We’ll take full advantage of all the tomatoes, beans, squash, peppers and eggplant that flood our gardens and farmers’ markets in this growing season," says Kay. "Blanching, roasting, braising and sautéing them into a frittata appetizer, classic Italian soup, and selection of composed salads. Some for now and some for later."
Learn how to prepare wild salmon bellies, shortcakes oozing with berries, peaches and cream. These classes are designed to demonstrate many different ways to get started with summer cooking at home and to ease into your own kitchen stride.
"All with the added comradery and assurance in many helping hands," says Kay. "So we’ll take our sweet time, pause for refueling breaks, and then feast on the finishing line."
Prolific novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, literary critic, Princeton professor and editor, the masterful and esteemed Joyce Carol Oates came to town to introduce her brilliant new novel: "The Accursed."
Oates, I would describe as an intellectual genius. An audience of book lovers and long time Oates literary devotees was easily entranced by a visit and reading from the spritely almost-75-year-old Pulitzer-nominated recipient of the National Book Award (amongst too many additional international accolades to list).
For over an hour, Oates captivated the crowded bookstore gathering with a fascinating multi-layering recount of her writer's process. With 40 novels to her name and hundreds more published works, hers is an impassioned life of interwoven imaginings, constant plot creation and sub-plots, character development and richly detailed historic research.
Oates talked of the immense historic archives available to her in the Princeton area. Not surprisingly, with such enticing material to hand, she has (literally) penned in her latest work what has been described as an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early-twentieth-century Princeton. Chilling supernatural elements, psychological insight and transporting historical detail in "The Accursed" allude to best selling potential to potentially rival the author's "We Were The Mulvaneys" and "Blonde".
Joyce Carol Oates was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She was raised in the working class farming community of Millersport, New York. Influenced by Faulkner, Hemingway, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, the writer has been an unstoppable force in American literature since being gifted her first typewriter at the age of 14.
Having taught at Princeton since 1978, the present Roger S. Berlind '52 Professor in the Humanities with the Program in Creative Writing has indicated that she will teach her last writing seminar at Princeton, in the fall of 2014, formally retiring from teaching in July 2015.
I had an extra special reason for standing in line at Copperfields on that April evening, waiting my turn to meet Joyce Carol Oates and have her sign my newly purchased copy of The Accursed. My newly graduated 21-year-old son was so very fortunate to have been one of the professor's select 15 students in her Advanced Creative Writing Class at U.C. Berkeley for his final semester of senior year, this Spring. Words, for once, almost failed me - but not quite!
Also on my to read pile is Edna O'Brien's new memoir, Country Girl. This book has been positively reviewed in such a wide variety of my usual haunts for hunting down great selections, that I put it on my A list.
Born in 1930 and raised a village girl in the west of Ireland, Edna O'Brien has lived in London for many years.Widely recognized as one of the greatest Irish writers of the 20th Century, O'Brien was for a long time, considered something of a Jezebel in religious County Clare for her escape from propriety into the 'red hot center of London's swinging '60s'.
According to the New York Times: "Her early novels were frequently banned, and burned, in her native Ireland when they appeared". The frank and beautifully written novels, drawn from her own experience, were about young women wishing to flee stultifying small town family life.
Considering rave reviews, awards and literary accolodes of brilliance the best revenge, Edna O'Brien authored The Country Girls Trilogy, A Fanatic Heart, The Light of Evening, Saints and Sinners amongst many more internationally acclaimed books.
Drawn into the wild heart of 1960s culture, now 82-year-old O'Brien describes herself as having been: "Ravenous. For food. For life. For the stories that I would write, except that everything was effervescent and inchoate in my overexcitable brain."
O'Brien describes Tuamgraney, the village in which she was raised, as: “enclosed, fervid, and bigoted.” Her father was a farmer, a drinker and a gambler. After convent school in Galway, she made a move to Dublin to work in a pharmacy while studying at night school.
Her first, opressive marriage to older writer Ernest Gebler produced two sons and a move to London. It was at that time, during stolen moments in between mothering, that Edna O'Brien found her voice.
I love the cover photo on Country Girl. It seems to say it all. In actual fact, it was her author's photograph from her fourth novel, 'August is a Wicked Month' - 1965.
Yesterday's grocery shopping yielded a selection of local ice cream pints to stock up the fridge in preparation for my 18-year-old son's wisdom teeth extraction, today (all four). Armed with a basket of smoothies and yogurt and soups, in perusing the ice cream selection, I noticed that Straus Family Creamery had extended its product line with two new, gluten-free ice cream flavors in time for summer sales - Cookies & Cream, and Vanilla Chocolate Chip.
Cookies & Cream is, I hear from the folks at Strauss, the first and only certified organic, gluten-free version of this flavor on the market today.
Both flavors are available in pint-sized containers at a suggested retail price of $4.79 and join other organic favorites such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Caramel Toffee Crunch and Vanilla Bean, not just here in Sonoma County, but in grocery freezer sections throughout the Western United States.
“We are excited to make these two long-time favorite flavors at Straus Family Creamery,” said Albert Straus, President of Straus Family Creamery, “We combined classic recipes with the best local, organic ingredients, using cream and milk that come from the Straus Dairy and the six other family farms we work with. As we continue to expand our range of products, we are able to better preserve and support family farming in Northern California.”
Straus Family Creamery’s Cookies & Cream starts off as flavorful organic vanilla ice cream. Next, generous pieces of rich, gluten-free chocolate cookies are mixed in (made by Pamela’s Products in Ukiah, 80 miles north of the Creamery, in Mendocino County).
The new Vanilla Chocolate Chip flavor also features organic vanilla ice cream, made with the simple, all-organic,Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients of cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks and real vanilla extract. The ice cream is then blended with rich, chunky chocolate chips.
Straus Family Creamery has a strong commitment to organic integrity and sustainability. Because the creamery and the dairy work hand in hand, the entire production process is controlled, from field to bottle (or in this case, field to scoop!). High standards are met in every step of production. Straus Family Creamery consistently strives to reduce its carbon footprint, to reuse more than 90% of water used at the creamery, and to rely on renewable energy to sustain its operations.
Discover many of the most sought after Zinfandels paired with indulgent bites from the region's top chefs at one of wine country's favorite philanthropic summer events. Winemaker Clay Mauritson and Chef Charlie Palmer invite you to the Third Annual Project Zin event & silent auction, Saturday August 17th, 2013 from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm at Hotel Healdsburg.
Mauritson, whose family has been growing grapes in the Dry Creek Valley since 1868 is, along with his wife Carrie, committed to raising awareness and advocating for all people with disabilities, especially those with Down Syndrome. The couple's oldest son Brady was diagnosed with Down Syndrome in September, 2010 at the age of 2 ½.
"The diagnosis was emotionally devastating for our family," the winemaker writes in a letter on the Hotel Healdsburg website. at "At the time, it felt as if every parent’s worst fears had come true. Little did we know what an incredible blessing this diagnosis would be and how it would profoundly change our lives."
Mingle with the chefs and elite winemakers in the line-up for Project Zin including:
A. Rafanelli Winery
Carlisle Winery & Vineyards
Dry Creek Vineyard
Limerick Lane Cellars
Mauritson Family Winery
Quivira Vineyards and Winery
Robert Biale Vineyards
Sbragia Family Vineyards
Seghesio Family Vineyards
St. Francis Winery and Vineyards
Turley Wine Cellars
Valdez Family Winery
Baci Café & Wine Bar
Dry Creek Kitchen
Healdsburg Toffee Company
Mateo's Cocina Latina
Palace Cafe (New Orleans)
Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar
Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar
Over 60 art lovers have stepped up to fully fund Sonoma-County-based Sculptural Landscape Designer, Suzanne Biaggi's Kickstarter campaign to complete an innovative new public garden at Cornerstone, in Sonoma.
In partnership with Sonoma Ecology Center, considerable work was already underway over at Cornerstone when the internationally recognized artist began to seek funding for the project's structural elements.
Biaggi, whose Ecology of Place for Phil Biaggi, celebrates her late brother, represents what she is most passionate about and what inspires her: "It highlights the importance of ecological balance to the future of our planet; honors the memory of my brother Phil; provides a place for discovery and contemplation; educates, by example, local restoration of native habitats; and employs universal design allowing the wheel chair experience to be same as the walking one."
The project is also about restoring what was originally there – wetlands, sometimes covered by shells washed up during high tide."We have already excavated for the wetlands, roughed out the path and have created the runnel (ribbon of water) that will border and cross the path as it meanders through the garden," says Biaggi.
It's also about what is here now –vineyards, symbolized by sculptural vines created from aluminum and steel wire. "The ever present wind can be seen in the patterns it creates as it passes over sculptural vineyards and activates a sound element – the abstracted voices of my brother Phil overlaid with Neil young -his favorite musician," says Biaggi.
Inspired by Kickstarter support for Sonoma County artist Ricky Watts' highly successful recent Phoenix Theater mural project, Biaggi set about her own campaign to complete her intricate vision for the latest installation at Cornerstone gardens.
Backers will be invited to meet the artist at the Garden's preview party in July. Other incentives included private consultation time with Cornerstone Head Horticulturalist, Dawn Smith and the artist; limited edition 14x21 glicee signed and numbered print of Biaggi’s conceptual collage/drawing of the project.
Photographer David Gilman's series of botanical shots is described as being 'saturated in elegance and beauty'.
A departure from his past photographic color or sepia monotone projects, this series of images was made in studio rather than outdoors.
According to the artist: "The series began when I photographed a floating begonia in a ceramic bowl to test a new lens. The decoration of the rim of the bowl mimickedthe shape of the flower and added to it's energy. I found a new subject to explore when I looked at the image. I find ceramic and glass bowls at our local thrift shops and the flowers are from our garden. I'm showing a part of the series that uses round vessels and are reminiscent of mandalas and offer the viewer a contemplative experience.
Downtown Petaluma's Boomerang Gallery invites you to the artist reception on Saturday June 1st from 7 pm to 9 pm.
This event is free to the public and open to all ages. All profits from sales are being generously donated to the Phoebe Washer Foundation.
Boomerang Gallery is located at 46 Kentucky St. Petaluma Ca. 94952
For more info 707-773-3222
"Realizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company also arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York on April 7 to mark the event. The Clydesdales, driven by Billy Wales, drew a crowd of thousands as they clattered down the streets of New York City to the Empire State Building," writes the intrepid king of U.S. reclaimation, Bug Deakin on his Heritage Salvage site. "After a small ceremony, a case of Budweiser was presented to former Governor Alfred E. Smith in appreciation of his years of service in the fight against Prohibition."
Delighting thousands of Americans on its way, the hitch apparently continued on a tour of New England and the Middle Atlantic States, making a stop in Washington D.C. in April 1933 to reenact the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
"The St. Louis hitch, driven by Art Zerr, also toured in celebration, stopping in Chicago and other Midwestern cities," reports Bug.
Soon after the hitch was introduced, the six-horse Clydesdale team increased to a team of eight.
A Dalmatian dog travels with each of the Clydesdale hitches, a tradition started in 1950 when a Dalmation was first introduced as the Budweiser Clydesdales’ mascot at the opening of a Newark Brewery. These days, Anheuser-Busch owns around 250 Clydesdales - an enduring symbol of the brewer’s heritage, tradition and commitment to quality.
The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa invited all California wineries to participate in its inaugural First Blush California Rosé Wine Competition and now it's time to taste the winning wines.
With judging complete the public is invited to taste many of the award winning wines, while enjoying live music and small bites on Saturday, June 8th, 2013, at the First Blush Tasting, being held in Napa at The Meritage Resort and Spa from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Eighty nine shades of California rosé were entered into two categories: “Dry” and “On the Sweeter Side.” Professional judges blindly evaluated and judged all submitted wines based upon factors including: wine clarity, aroma, color and overall appearance, balance, acidity, structure, fruitiness and varietal typicity. Plus whether or not the entered wines would be well received by consumers.
Competition director was Bob Ecker, noted wine/travel journalist and wine judge, and each wine was judged by five judges with extensive experience in the wine industry. Judges included Petaluma local Christopher Sawyer - an internationally-renowned sommelier, wine journalist, consultant, and public speaker. Chris travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a judge in international wine competitions.
Top winner in the Dry Rosé category was Jelly Jar Wines, while the top award for “On the Sweeter Side” was given to Ménage à Trois by Trinchero Family Estates. Many of the award winning California rosé wines, including all that were awarded Double Gold and Gold will be served at the June 8, 2013 public tasting.
Tickets are available from Cellar Pass for $25, a portion of each ticket sale will be donated to Napa’s Cope Family Center, a nonprofit that provides a full range of parent education and family support services, giving parents get the skills necessary to nurture a healthy and happy family.
Each ticket includes wine tasting from approximately 30 wineries, small bites from the chefs at The Meritage Resort and Spa, Fish Story, Silverado Cooking School and more, plus live music. Special rates are available for event attendees the night of June 8 at The Meritage Resort and Spa. Reservations can be made by calling (866) 370-NAPA. For complete information and tickets please visit http://themeritageresort.com/napa-valley-restaurants/june-wine-tasting-event.
Inaugural First Blush Award Winners:
WINNER – "DRY" ROSE CATEGORY - Jelly Jar Wines
DOUBLE GOLD AWARD - Curtis Winery
DOUBLE GOLD AWARD - Handley Cellars
DOUBLE GOLD AWARD - Jelly Jar Wines
GOLD MEDAL - Epiphany Cellars
GOLD MEDAL - Lucia Vineyards
GOLD MEDAL - Peterson Winery
GOLD MEDAL - Soban Estate
GOLD MEDAL - Proulx "Willow Creek Farm"
GOLD MEDAL - Pomar Junction
WINNER - "ON THE SWEETER SIDE" ROSE CATEGORY - Ménage à Trois
DOUBLE GOLD AWARD - Ménage à Trois