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Feb 12th
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Shake Down

dn vinoWine and soul music, local menu highlights, brewery wins and ice cream for Aptos 

 

If you didn’t get enough soul-shaking during the solstice, Carie MacAlpine will rock you senseless when she brings her SoulShakers to the popular winery and boîte Vino Tabi on Saturday, July 19. The singer belts and croons in the great tradition of, oh, let’s say Carole King does Peggy Lee. A bluesy vibe permeates everything MacAlpine does, and her sidemen—these dudes have been there and done that—are spot on. Stop by Vino Tabi from 6-9 p.m. on July 19, grab something in the key of Pinot or Syrah, and prepare to surrender to the sexy musical spell of Carie and the SoulShakers. Vino Tabi, for those of you who just got off the bus, is located across the tarmac from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in the winery-intensive Ingalls Street complex.

Brunch Assembly

As of last week, the downtown dining room Assembly will be running weekend brunches starting at 9 a.m. The brunch menu is long on house-baked pastries and breads, and seasonal brunch favorites, all made even better by espresso drinks from Verve. Consider this: savory bread pudding with broccoli, Gruyère hollandaise and poached egg. Sounds like a weekend plan. A little later in the day, starting at 5:30 p.m., you could do worse than stop by Oswald for an appetizer of fried calamari with Meyer lemons on a bed of tiny tart greens. Add one of those cool green cocktails, the Lime Ricky (piquant with bitters and gin) for example, and groove on into summer. Or, head to Capitola and lean into a plate of spectacularly buttery, earthy wild boar spare ribs, or some blatantly addictive bacon-wrapped prawns at Shadowbrook’s never-better Rock Room. Last week when I stopped by for wine and a little something else, the seared ahi—never a cliché in this room—arrived crunchy with panko crust and three dynamite dipping sauces. The green wasabi dip got my vote.

Ice Cream Clone

That’s right, the 67-year-old ice cream palace just added a second location at 218 State Park Drive, adjacent to Aptos’ Seacliff State Beach. This is great news for beach-goers in need of a frozen creamy fix. Marianne's fans can expect the same late-night hours as the Ocean Street shop (rare for this area of town), and, by popular demand, espresso and coffee each morning. Let that sink in—ice cream and coffee. Locally owned and operated since its founding in 1947, Marianne’s Ice Cream creates more than 100 flavors by hand, distributed in the local region, and scoops at 1020 Ocean St., Santa Cruz and 218 State Park Drive, Aptos. Why not grab the beach towels and sunscreen and run on down to State Park Drive to welcome our oldest ice cream brand to its brand-new shop?

Award-winning Discretion

41st Avenue’s Discretion Brewing just took two medals at the North American Brewers Association awards in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “Song In Your Heart” won bronze in the English-style Mild Ale category, and “Good Faith” won silver for English-style Old Ale. I’ll drink to that.

Jiggle Test

Down in 29 Palms a few weeks ago I got to sample two outrageously subtle and distinctive jellies homemade from very local, very seasonal ingredients. Mesquite bean jelly and fan palm jelly. The bean jelly had a detectable flavor note of adzuki bean, but the flavor of the palm jelly tasted exactly like the spectacular Mojave at 110 degrees. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

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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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