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Aug 30th
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Like Mothers for Chocolate

dn chocoMother’s Day delights; plus, La Posta’s assist and Discretion advised

Art, chocolate, and Mother’s Day weekend—a concept made in heaven. OK, promotional heaven. Nonetheless, what mother doesn’t love chocolate? Mine would throw me under the bus for anything containing cacao. So you might want to treat your mom to a delightful walkabout in the Live Oak and Pleasure Point district this Mother’s Day weekend, May 10 & 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Art & Chocolate Open Studios Art Tour. A dozen artists have opened up their studios for tours and sales. And yes, there will be chocolate to nibble as your eyes graze across painted works, ceramic pieces, craft woodwork, and photography. Find out who’s open and where to visit at the Art & Chocolate  website. Yes, your mother would love artwork as a Mother’s Day gift.

Kitchen Switches

Congratulations to La Posta chef Katherine Stern, the new mother of twins Eli and Mena. Stern’s now juggling babies rather than panna cotta and shaved fennel, and in the meantime the wildly popular Seabright kitchen is being expertly handled by Mark Denham, who restaurateur Patrice Boyle praises as having “deep knowledge about how to make great food happen.” Denham is a Bay Area kitchen veteran, with credentials from Manresa, Laiola, Bix and Chez Panisse. A passionate practitioner of “nose to tail” cooking, Denham can butcher whole carcasses down to “every single smallest part,” according to a justifiably proud Boyle.

Which brings me to another key change in the local cooking landscape. In two weeks, Chef Santos Majano will be exiting the building—Soif—to start up The Kitchen at Discretion. Discretion Brewing is the organic craft beer mecca on 41st Avenue owned by Kathleen Genco, with Michael Demers in charge of brewing the house signature line of award-winning beers. And this signature food with craft beer alliance really is a big deal. In collaboration with his wife Laura, Majano plans to create a menu of beer-focused foods at the brewery using locally sourced organic ingredients, and all of the delicious ideas we’ve come to know and love during his five years at Soif. Genco told us she envisions “small plates to mix, match, and share—because that’s the way I like to eat.” We can also expect the continued alliance between Discretion and Fogline Farms—exactly the sort of alliance we enjoy watching grow and flourish! Stay tuned.

O’mei’s Electrifying Noodles

Ants Climbing a Tree? You bet, especially if that colorful title is translated by O’mei chef Karl Cook into an addictive dish of cellophane noodles laced with scallions, minced pork and pungent Szechuan peppercorns. Add another outstanding noodle entree—San Xian chow mein, succulent with noodles, shrimp, chicken and matchstick pork, wok’d with infant bok choy in a garlic and chive sauce—and you have our new go-to dinner at the 35-year-old dining landmark. NB: always begin with an appetizer of the colossal Red Oil Dumplings.

Blissful Burgers @ Assembly

We began with a cleverly deconstructed Caesar Salad, made of Little Gem lettuces dusted with crunchy garlic bread “dust,” Parmesan and a lemony vinaigrette. We opted not to add anchovies for two dollars more. Didn’t miss them a bit. A truly vivacious starter. While I enjoyed a bowl of the house braised beef,  my companion scored what might be the best burger in town. For $12 this perfectly grilled bit of plump Angus beef arrived with classic frites and a side of peppery infant arugula salad. Great presentation and a surefire idea for when you crave 1) a burger, and 2) a light, inexpensive dinner in a stylish setting.

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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

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Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

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Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

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