Thursday, February 16, 2017

 February 2017

Mushroom Foray and Crab Dinner

We usually only do one event per month although a request for a Crab Dinner at the Tasting Room sounded so great, how could we refuse!

Feb. 4th was the Annual Mushroom Foray in Cazadero. We had another sold out crowd. This year we had a couple from Upstate New York, a group from Reno and many from San Francisco and Alameda. So great to have these people make the extra effort to enjoy our event.

We were extremely lucky with the weather, a break from rain made for an ever so delightful hike in the woods. It started raining later in the day when we were done.

 Mat the chef busy in the kitchen preparing lunch for 40. Liberty Duck Confit, black Trumpet Mashed Potatoes,  and Caesar Salad with Nightengale croutons.

The creek under the bridge has never been so full.

 The group gathered around the display of mushrooms listening to David explain the world of mushrooms. What to eat and not and so mush more, the crowd is paying close attention.

Next up, our Crab Dinner

With Dungeness crab being such a local favorite, we eat as much as we can during the short season from late November til the start of Spring. There is so much to do with Crab!

Here we go, 14 people, 15 large crabs and many Paul Mathew wines paired. Let's see what wines were chosen as the best pairing for each course.

Crab Bisque started this evening off. This traditional soup is rich and wonderful. We paired it with three wines, Rose' of Pinot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir...the winner was the chardonnay.

Crab Salad up next, with avacado. We paired this with all white wines, Brut Rose', Gewurz, Chardonnay and Rose' of Pinot Noir. We had a three way tie, between Brut Rose, Gewurz and Chardonnay

Crab Cakes, who doesn't love eating crab that was shelled for you, combined with bell pepper, herbs and spices and lightly pan fried, yes please. And it pairs with all the wines we try, Rose', Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Theb favorite of this evening was Brut Rose'.

         One of our guests thought the Chardonnay was best with every course,
                                                                                                he loves crab with Chardonnay.

Our house hold favorite crab preparation, roast crab. This is the first meal Mat made for me and we continue to enjoy it at the start of every crab season until we need to try a different recipe. We have served this to all our friends and it never siezes to please. Roast crab tossed with garlic, thyme, fennel, chile flakes and olive oil - then baked. Pinot Noir won the best wine pairing.

The chef comes out....

A little heart cookie to finish our February Foodie dinner. All you need is LOVE!

Monday, February 6, 2017

January 2017

 Life is a puzzle

This January Sonoma County has had a lot of rain! The draught is considered over, Tahoe has had a great ski season and it was a perfect month to puzzle.

At the start of the rainy days I was inspired to buy a puzzle for the tasting room, for me and our many visitors. It is so funny to see some people gravitate towards the puzzle and stay longer than anticipated or those who are kinda frighten by the thought of looking at a piece of a board that hasn't found it's place.

It's been clear to me for over twenty years that life is a puzzle. People enter your person puzzle and fit in the story in some sort of way, some easy and some not so. Some predominant and some in the background. I always used to think of life as a path that has short cuts and detours but the end result no matter the length of time to get there was determined at birth. Now a puzzle seems like a better anaology.

Our January puzzle has brought contemplation and distraction during a very difficult start to a new year. I think this year, many puzzles will be pondered over and hopefully sort themselves out with less pain and more joy than is currently appearing.

Bonding over the puzzle has been interesting too. The conversation is different, the temperament is different and the lack of concern of what's going on is definitely different, this is where we can maintain a sense of indifference starring at a world of pieces.
I chose a beautiful serene puzzle of Cinque Terra with it's incredible colorful buildings, boats, skies and sea. Mmmm, maybe this is where I'm supposed to visit next.

Ahhh, completion. Thank you puzzlers, Lets just keep puzzling and drinking wine.