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Sunday Fun at “A Taste of Freestone”

The hamlet of Freestone comes alive Sunday with “A Taste of Freestone” from 1 to 4 p.m. Freestone Artisan Cheese will offer samplings of Water Buffalo Gelato (from Di Bufala Dairy), Gypsy Rose Cheese and salad greens from the Bohemian Farmers’ Collective, which will be gussied up with recipes from my latest book Vinaigrettes and Other Dressing: 60 Sensational Recipes to Liven Up Greens, Grains, Slaws, and Every Kind of Salad. I’ll be there, too, to sign book, chat and… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: West End Farmers Market Opens

Opening day at the West End Farmers Market offered an idyllic scene, as if I had just stumbled into an urban utopian novel. Couples lounged on well-tended grass next to the beautiful DeTurk Round Barn, eating lunch on porcelain plates as little girls in frilly dresses practiced somersaults and headstands. Dogs of all sizes chased balls and sniffed each other in the spacious dog park adjacent to the lawn, as their humans leaned on the fence chatting and offering an… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market Opens for 2013

Update: The Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market opened last Friday night and continues through the last Friday of October. It was an enormously successful opening. On Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., the Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market opens for its 2013 season, with many familiar vendors returning and a few new ones joining in at one of the prettiest markets in the county. Occidental is surrounded by towering redwoods, which filter light and provide shade, so welcome in summer’s heat. Coastal fog… Read More »

The Curious Strategies of Insects: Science Buzz Cafe Tonight

Frederique Lavoipierre, founder of Insecta-Palooza, will speak tonight at Coffee Catz (6761 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol) at 6:30 p.m., as part of Science Buzz Cafe, a very cool ongoing endeavor devoted to “bringing science and curiosity back into culture.” Admission is a cup of coffee, a bowl or chili or chili or some other yummy thing to eat or drink. Frederique’s talk will focus on the remarkable techniques insects have developed to protect themselves from the many dangers they face. They… Read More »

More Superbowl Foods, Part 2: Chef Michael Mina’s Cioppino

San Francisco Chef Michael Mina is one of our culinary titans, with 17 restaurants in 8 states. (For details, visit his web site here.)  He’s also a big 49ers fan and is currently in New Orleans for the game. Also, as many top chefs do, Mina uses ingredients that are not in season right now, specifically, basil stems and red and yellow bell peppers. I’ll leave it up to you to decide to use these ingredients or not. As you… Read More »

More Superbowl Foods, Part 1

Today, my feature on Superbowl Bites, which you can read here, includes a promise of more recipes perfect for your big game party. This is the second of three posts that fulfill the promise. The first post is here, with recipes for a delicious Persian dip and a hand-chopped tapenade. In the third post, I’ll focus on Chef Michael Mina’s Cioppino. Chef John Lyle offers some really good advice I hadn’t heard before. “Always serve pie during the fourth quarter,”… Read More »

Superbowl Poetry Slam? Why Not?

“If you want to do something really special on game day,” John Gaines, who was at the helm of The Tradewinds in Cotati for several decades, writes in a message to me, “be the only one on your block to have a poetry slam.” He is serious. “This is not as absurd as you may think,” he continues. He makes the point that The Ravens are actually named after a poem and calls the 49ers “a largely romantic ideal,” adding… Read More »

Crab, Crab and More Crab

In this week’s Mouthful column, I promise to post details about upcoming crab feeds as there are simply too many to include in the column. Here are the ones taking place in the next few days. I’ll continue to add more as they approach. Several high school crab feeds are among this weekend’s events. Piner High School Boosters Club Crab Feed takes place Friday night from 5 to 9 the Veterans Building (1351 Maple Ave., Santaa Rosa). Cost is $45… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Santa Rosa Original Market This SUNDAY

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market will take place this Sunday, not Saturday. The change is for this week only. This shift is necessary because of a previously scheduled event at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. Events at the Center are scheduled many months in advance and all those in place before the market moved to its current location last May must be honored. The market’s board of directors are working with the Center and the county to… Read More »

Wine Pairing Fun at Windsor Oak Vineyards

On Saturday, I’m scheduled to teach two sessions of a wine pairing seminar, one at 11 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. I mention it here because I’m currently not doing much teaching or making many public appearances, in part because of deep cutbacks at Santa Rosa Junior College, where I’ve been a member of the Culinary Arts Department since 1991. I am eager to go back but it will likely be a while. I enjoy teaching and love the… Read More »