Thursday, December 6, 2007
Merry Me… This time of year really starts the emotional sap oozing out of our family trees. The holiday season exposes my innards (emotionally speaking) more so than any other time, excepting of course those rare life-changing moments like birth, death and infinity (Martha, I think he’s got serious mental problems. Put this thing in the recycling bin).
We are rounding the clubhouse turn (I’m not sure what part of a horse track that is but it seems metaphorically correct) on our gallop for the finish line – holiday shopping meltdown. This year’s race is off to a rough start with a muddy track (the economy), dangerous conditions (the world) and questionable horses (us). Call me the metaphor kid, but this year’s holiday shopping showdown seems more like Little House on the Prairie than Bonanza. Even perennially upbeat Kathy “Sunshine” Solley, general manager of Montrio, is “worried about the economy.”
Come to think of it, I was talking to Jannae “Champagne” Lizza, wine fairy of Passionfish, about the state of the union and she seemed seriously upset – although she always seems that way, so maybe it had nothing to do with anything more than the availability of some superior wine or another. I hope we can go on defying the mathematics of our world’s insane economic imbalance and keep consumerizing without letup for as long as we are walking, talking and stalking sales. Sometimes I get so upset thinking about all this stuff that the only way to ease my suffering is to go shopping.
Popping Off… What better place to start than by buying a vast amount of bubbly? Come down to Zeph’s One-Stop in Salinas on Highway 68 near Blanco, on Thursday, Dec. 13. Vince, Bill and the One-Stop two-steppers will be sampling folks on a few dozen of the world’s sparklers. It’s time to put on the high heels, step out and start sipping. There will be food, fun, frivolity and more bubbles than a Lawrence Welk PBS donor drive. There is a cover charge to keep out the riff-raff (wait, I’ll be there) and it will be well worth it. Call Vince “Vroom Vroom” Ciollino or Bill “Bubbles” Sites at 757-3947 to reserve your glass. This thing will sell out fast.
Sweet It Is… It looks like the holiday season is making me a little risqué. There’s no risk, eh, when you buy your holiday sweets from Sweet Elena’s in Sand City. Michele “Scent of a Woman” Wilkes of Fifi’s calls Sweet Elena “The Pie Princess,” so you know I know what I’m talking about. Christmas cookies, pies, sweets for all ages – you get on the phone, 393-2063, or sweetelenas.com.
My man Thomas “Flash” Perez, who went from single to engaged, married and now expecting faster than it takes to barrel ferment a decent wine… hold everything. I object to the implications implied in the beginning part of this sentence. Were one reading this literally, one might infer that Mister Perez is frivolous in his approach to important life decisions. One might assume that Mister Perez is careless, immature, prone to irrational behavior… yeah, I guess that pretty much sums it up. Seriously, my man is gonna be a daddy. More importantly, his lovely (and mildly impetuous) wife Kristy is gonna be a mommy – soon. Look for a precious little Perez introducing himself/herself to Carmel sometime in the next couple months.
A bilingual workshop, “Health and Sustainable Development in Food Service,” will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 2 to 5pm at the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust, 85 Nielsen St., in Watsonville. The event is sponsored by PG&E, El Pajaro CDC, ALBA, Monterey Bay Green Business Program, City of Watsonville, Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust and the Central Coast Small Business Development Center. The workshop is being presented as part of the Salinas and Pajaro Valley’s Small Business Initiative, and will cover how to save money with light upgrades and energy efficiency, organic food, food preparation, diabetes and much more. For reservations or more information, call 724-3900.
Play Time… Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum) will host an open house for the business community on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 8 to 10am at its new building at 425 Washington St., in downtown Monterey. The local business community will be able to preview the new construction and have a “sneak peek” at the plans for the new galleries and exhibits. The site will open to the public in summer 2008. To learn more, call 649-6444 or visit mymuseum.org.
If you or the folks you love are into all things culinary, not to mention the entire periphery of culinary arts from plates to pans to fine gourmet foods – stop me already. Get your silly self to Clementine’s Kitchen on Canyon Del Rey and Highway 68 right there next to Tarpy’s and the Ventana Vineyards tasting room (Hi, Barbara) for the best stuff you can get your hooks into. Check out clementineskitchen.com for an idea of what to expect, plus a rundown on the many great classes, events and other fun stuff… don’t forget Lugano’s Swiss Bistro for a rollicking fun time, especially during the joyful holiday season. Look for talented Richard Denier and Dave Dally playing on Thursday nights, with frequent drop ins by the Marrotta Squeezebox Boys, plus Andre and Nargis Lengacher, your hosts, are always worth the price of admission, 626-3779… Cantinetta Luca is having an amazing white truffle dinner on Dec. 14 at 7pm. Every one of the four courses created by Chef Jason Balestrieri will have truffles, paired with wines from Piemonte, 625-6500… oh my, I don’t have room to get all the good stuff about Chef Ressul Rassallat’s new menu at Club XIX, nor how amazingly talented he is at cooking it. I’ll get back to you on that… plus there’s a great event coming at Peppoli, more stuff I have to get in… got to go shopping… ease my mind… poppies, poppies.