Thursday, August 29, 2002
FRESH FROM THE EARTH...Got an interesting email from Jeff Mallory turning me on to a really cool happening called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Seems he''s a big fan of the concept and has enjoyed the fruits, uh, fruits and veggies of one for a while. The way he told it: "Two local, organic, small farms in Watsonville will sell you a large box, chock (full) of just-picked, tasty-like-you-never-had produce each week for just $18! You pick it up at one of several drop-off points in the area on Thursday afternoons. You subscribe in advance for 19 weeks at a time. CSAs started in Japan some time ago and are catching on all over this country now. We are subscribers this year and have been eatin'' better and tastier than ever."
The two farms are Mariquita Farm, run by Andy Griffin and Julia Wiley and High Ground Organics, owned by Stephen Pedersen and Jeanne Byrne. They have combined forces (each specializes in certain types of vegetables and/or flowers) to bring folks a weekly Festa Vegetales with lush, deeply flavored organic beauties of all kinds. I logged onto each farm''s website and got a wonderful education about Community Supported Agriculture as well as insight into the level of integrity and commitment of these fabulous farmers.
Jeff also sent along a copy of the newsletter-the writing in it alone was worth the subscription fee-full of great stories, recipes and opinions. That, combined with the gorgeous vegetables, and, for a few bucks more, fresh flowers, will enhance a family''s life considerably. As I read through it, I was developing a mean hankerin'' for those delectable delicacies sprouted by these friendly farmers. There is nothing quite so sustaining nor closer to the eternal life source as pure, fresh, unadulterated organic farm-grown produce.
The key is there in one of the paragraphs from High Ground Organics'' website: "Our vegetables and flowers are always fresh from the farm. And, unlike much of the produce that stocks supermarket shelves, we choose varieties with more attention to their taste and nutritional value than to their ability to be trucked long distances, ridiculously long shelf life, or uniform harvest time." Right on.
Check out this outstanding program at highgroundorganics.com or mariquita.com or contact these great folks right away at 761-3226 or 786-0286. Get on this now and improve your life.
SPORTS BAR BY ANY OTHER NAME... Another way to improve your life is to hang out at Sticks, the new sports bar at The Inn at Spanish Bay. To call this a sports bar is kind of like calling Elton John a lounge act. Where else can you sit in oversized wood and fabric chairs while looking out at one of the most beautiful scenes on Earth-the nonpareil Spanish Bay golf links and its breathtaking frame, the Pacific Ocean as introduced by Monterey Bay. Hello.
Sweet Thing and I got to attend the official opening party last Monday night. With images of Monday Night Football flashing from a seemingly endless array of televisions, local revelers, well, reveled in the casually elegant surroundings, having fun, kicking back and just basically enjoying life.
The bar, shaped like the curved side of a football, looks out across the first tee box and fairway to the craggy coastline and beyond. Also in the bar area are cocktail tables (as big as most restaurant tables) as well as a lounge area with comfortable living room type furniture and a fireplace. Inside is the dining room with large, beautiful wooden tables, the requisite oversized chairs (my ever-widening derriere appreciated them), a wall of clustered televisions, old time golf memorabilia, and those omnipresent views, which quietly compel and humble even the most jaded viewer.
I had no trouble envisioning a great weekend: Arrive Friday for a late afternoon tee time. Hit Sticks for drinks, snacks and a World Series game. Saturday ...early tee time...lunch and college football at Sticks...afternoon tee time...World Series game at Sticks. Sunday...early tee time...lunch and pro football at Sticks... afternoon tee time... World Series and Sunday night football at Sticks. Monday ...sleep in...Bloody Marys and lunch at Sticks...See Ya.
HOME-COOKED...Those ever resourceful and creative Euros, Calvin and Michele, from Fifi''s Cafe and Bistro in Pacific Grove, have come up with Comfort Food To Go after 5pm. Call ahead at 372-5325 and order a beautiful dinner of Boeuf Bourguignon, Chicken Au Curry, Duck Fettucine or Seafood Linguini, pick it up, take it home and eat like a movie star. Included in the $12.50 price is choice of soup du jour or salad, plus half a French baguette. Better still, don''t call ahead, stop in, sit at the bar, order a beautiful aperitif or glass of wine while the food is cooking, and live like a movie star. So who needs to cook at home?
-Dine out with Ray at email@example.com