Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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Rising to the Occasion

dining_AldosI've enjoyed Raisin Fugasa French Toast at Aldo's Harbor Restaurant for as long as I can remember. But when I tasted their extra-tart sourdough bread at the Dream Inn's Aquarius, I knew I had to visit Aldo's Soquel Bakery.

I headed south, armed with a late morning appetite, and was surprised by what I found in this little store. In the back, as I expected, carts of bread were being readied for wholesale delivery. But the front held much more than bread.

The bakery case included large lemon bars ($1.25), scones ($1.75), éclairs ($2.75), muffins ($1.50), brownies ($1.50) and assorted cookies such as old-fashioned snickerdoodles ($1).  Breakfast Burritos ($3) or Ham and Egg Croissants ($4.75) make great traveling companions. I fell hard for the Raisin Danish ($1.50), coiled like a snake and drizzled with sugary glaze, it was as light and airy as a croissant.

At 11 a.m. pasta specials are available ($3.50 small/$6 large). Choose gnocchi, fettuccini, green tagliatelle egg noodles, or spinach and cheese ravioli. Then add marinara, pesto, mushroom or meat sauce.

Slices of pepperoni and cheese pizza are also served at lunch, as is a vegetarian tomato pizza on focaccia bread, a spinach, cheese, and rice torta, and minestrone soup. Prepared sandwiches ($4.95) include albacore tuna, ham on rye bread, and a vegetarian with provolone cheese.

And don't forget the bread, which can be had for surprisingly little dough. You can build two-foot-long sandwiches with either the sourdough soft-crusted baguette or wide, flat, and floury francesi loaves ($2). There is also a wide selection of whole wheat breads.  KP

Aldo's Italian Bakery, 4628 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 476-3470.  Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sunday.

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The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.
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