Santa Cruz Good Times

Dec 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

In a Jam

din sushiShopping to support Friend in Cheeses, sushi cravings and Chaminade’s Farm to Table series

Today, July 2, is the day that the Santa Cruz Whole Foods market will donate 5 percent of its profits to Tabitha Stroup’s Friend in Cheeses Jam Co. The woman who never sleeps was getting ready for a “long day of lavender plum jelly” when she revealed that “the love and support I got from so many people, high school friends—that did even more for me than the money itself.” That said, Stroup, who is experiencing increasing arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome in her hands, is looking forward to being able to purchase much-needed mechanical lid-turning equipment with her share of the Whole Foods Local Foodmaker Grant. “Whatever the proceeds turn out to be,” she added, “will help me get closer to that lid machine.” And we will all be closer to an endless stream of creative tomato jams, watermelon jellies, and strawberry tarragon conserves— courtesy of Friend in Cheeses. So shop like you mean it.

We are not alone in making Sushi Totoro on Mission Street a weekly pit stop. Maybe it’s being a Californian, but I literally crave sushi. Weekly. And the sushi coming out of Totoro is looking more beautiful than ever. We always go for a hamachi or saba nigiri, intricately topped with a micro-zest of lemon. But I’ve also become a fan of Totoro's gorgeous futomaki rolls, sliced into what look like Byzantine mosaics of orange and yellow pickled daikon, bits of egg, mushroom and avocado, all framed by a thin band of sticky rice and a necklace of nori. The tekka maki with shiso leaf is my “call” favorite—I love the pungent touch of peppery shiso leaf to the sweet, sparkling flavor of maguro. Never better. Seriously.

Our top local farms and wineries get to show off at the Chaminade’s utterly romantic and scenic Sunset Terrace on each Farm to Table evening this summer. If you haven’t been up to this serene setting for dinner and drinks lately, you’ve got no more excuses. Rush and make reservations for the July 11 dinner event. Wines from Kathryn Kennedy join seasonal bounty from Coke Farm, Black Hen Farm and Ostrich Growers of Watsonville. Expect a memorable series of dishes created by executive chef Kirsten Ponza—from whom we can always expect gorgeous dishes— paired with an array of wines. Baby heirloom tomato pizzettas and Sriracha deviled eggs with tobiko kick off the July 11 menu, followed by radicchio with roasted beets and kale crisps, and stuffed padron peppers with poached egg. All leading up to a grilled ostrich fillet with strawberry demi, and finished with a dessert of almond panna cotta— the thought of which has my mouth watering—served with strawberry balsamic compote and black pepper crisp. The season continues on Aug. 15, Sept. 12, and Oct. 10. The $80 per person cost includes hors d’oeuvres starting at 6 p.m., family style dinner at 6:30 p.m., and all wines (tax and tip not included). Call 475-5600 or visit the Chaminade website for details and reservations.

Elegant and peppered with intricate spice colors, a blackberry interior haunted by bay leaves, and a long Italian plum finish, Ghostwriter 2012 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz County (around $29 at Shopper’s) is another superb creation by conceptual winemaker Kenny Likitprakong. From his first crush at Hallcrest Vineyards in 2002 to his recent sold-out vintages of Woodruff and Aptos Vineyard grapes, Likitprakong makes wines pretty much the way he wants. And under intriguing label names such as Hobo, Banyan, Folk Machine and Ghostwriter. Don't ask, just taste.


Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location