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Feb 13th
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Peak of Convenience

Dining_SummitKitchenSummit Kitchen has commuters covered with ready-to-heat meals, flowers, and smoked hot dogs
I traded a commute down industrial Highway 101 for the idyllic redwoods of Highway 17. The slow trek up the mountain was ideal for dreaming and planning, but once I hit the summit, the sweeping view of Monterey Bay and drop in temperature shook me into reality.  "What's for dinner?" I would distressfully inquire.

 

California's Department of Transportation estimated that 20,000 commuters traveled daily over 17 in 2006. The new Summit Kitchen in the restaurant building adjacent to the southbound lanes is poised to answer the omnipresent dinner question smack dab in the middle of the commute, offering quick and healthy prepared meals.

The Kitchen's website lists take-out-ready meals that are available on a daily basis. On Mondays, you will usually find tri-tip with corn and garlic mashed potatoes, and spaghetti with meatballs or veggie marinara and a green salad.

One night I chose a take-and-bake pizza. The 15-inch All-Meat Combo ($14.99) cooked for about 16 minutes before achieving a thoroughly browned crust. I cheated a bit, placing the paper baking pan on the pizza stone I store in the oven. I also couldn't resist picking a plum tomato while walking up the drive to slice and add to the toppings. Pizza parlor aromas filled the kitchen as bubbling cheese surrounded spiced pepperoni, crumbles of sausage and salty salami on a coating of tart, herbed tomato sauce.

The following night I heated two different meals ($6.95) in sectioned recyclable containers in the microwave. Soft cubed beef in a mildly spiced tomato-based Chile Colorado sauce was joined by Spanish rice and refried beans. The scent of American comfort food arose from a thick slice of seasoned meatloaf with bright green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy.

If you're immediately hungry, try one of the Miller's brand long, juicy, hickory-smoked beef hotdogs ($3.50) which have fewer grams of fat than the leading chicken and turkey franks. Summit has all the condiments including brown mustard and sauerkraut, and the view from the landscaped deck is beautiful.
Additionally, if you find you've forgotten your partner's birthday, Los Gatos Florist shares the space selling flowers and gifts.


Summit Kitchen, 23123 Santa Cruz Highway 17, Los Gatos, (408) 353-1000. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit summitkitchen.com. ★★★

Love Apple Farm is now teaching many of its cooking classes at a new location off of Highway 17 and Vine Hill Road, where the Smothers Brothers once made wine.

Some of these courses will be taught by David Kinch and his staff from the renowned Los Gatos restaurant Manresa. Kinch sources most of his produce from his "kitchen farm" at Love Apple.

Contact Love Apple Farm at growbetterveggies.com  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 588-3801. See this week’s cover story.






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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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