Redefine beautiful!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Venti Ora

The Wagon Wheel bar.  Seen it for eons, never went in,  Great guys and   Bellisimo Martini

After teaching my class on Tuesday, Randy and I went for a cocktail at famed "Wagon Wheel" bar in Santa Rosa, then met friends for dinner at Gogi, an Asia fusion restaurant nearby.  I couldn't help but stuff my face as the food was saparoso!; all organic vegetables and spices with free range chicken, wild fish and tofu.   Plus, we had a date with Tony.
Tony Bennett 
Tony sang all of his most loved songs and ballads.  I don't think of myself of his genre, my dad's, for sure, but I was raised with his music.  At 80, he is damn near gorgeous.  There he was, within fifty yards of me, belting out "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" arms extended, hands open as if to say, "it is all of us here tonight that make us feel so fantastico!"

I knew I would be learning to can fruit the next day with professional farmers!

 I didn't get to bed until after eleven and didn't sleep well.  Sleep has been rather spotty lately.  Tuesday evening turned to Wednesday morning quickly.  My six AM and seven AM client are both out-of-town so I could sleep in a bit, and that was slendido.  

Teddy greeted me at Nana Mae's farm

By eleven, I was tying on my favorite apron, stashing my best paring knife and heading out the door to Nana Mae's country garden for canning instructions and a garden luncheon.  I had gotten the invitation from Rebecca of "Sonoma Lavender" and Karen of "Hello Beautiful Skin Clinic", to be part of only eight lucky uomini e donne.  We were to learn from the owner/ operators of Nana Mae's Organics, Kendra, and her husband, Paul, and associate, Marilee (professional consultant to small, organic farming operations here in Northern California) in the fine art of preserving fruits and vegetables.

One of the many delicious products from Nana Mae's

Let's get it started!

Given our handmade aprons (Oh, I've got to get the name of those) and our instructions, we began peeling, chopping, mincing, boiling, sampling, chatting and photo ops.  Oh, and we enjoyed Mumm champagne and Paul's fresh pressed apple juice.

Love my new old school apron!

Rebecca, Ce Ce, Cindy, Marilee, Marchelle, Karen, mia and Marissa.
After spending an hour or so making pears in lavender honey syrup and apple chutney, we sat down to Kendra's freshly prepared and delectable lunch under the shade of her fruit trees.  We dined with in the  dappled sunlight about her floral and vegetable garden.

Lunch is served.

We ate foods grown from Kendra and Paul's home garden.  There were three different salads; potato, purple kale, and tossed green, all with varieties of amazing flavors and textures, like of pungent cheeses, spiced nuts, mild garlic and Nana Mae's own apple cider vinegar (so good for you).  There was a basket full of baguette with fromage and prosciutto.  On our table was champagne and apple chutney.  No wonder Rebecca's hearty salute' during lunch, "I'm in heaven!"

Yes, we ate here.
Having a client at two (I know, why did I do that?), I had to be the first to leave and making my way to say good bye, I found Kendra whipping fresh heavy cream in her kitchen.  I am still dreaming about the possible dessert my friends enjoyed after I left!

Bella, no?

Twenty hours after Randy and I had our cocktail, I was back in my studio with Nicola doing what I do.  I felt a bit tired, but rejuvenated by all of the beauty and creativity of the past twenty hours.  There is so much that is giola di vivere in our world, go and seek it!  Tell me of your twenty hour vacanza.

la mia casa 

What is your deliziare?


  1. Wow! You had a very full and fabulous 24 hours. Mine was quite uneventful, filled with errands and puttering.

  2. What a fun day you've had, and I'm envious you heard Tony Bennett sing live. I love his music. I'm enjoying your Italian words sprinkled throughout your post. You look so lovely in the group photo! Your smile is beautiful.

  3. Fiona,
    I feel honored to have heard and watched Tony B. He is of an old cloth of artists.

    Thank you for the appreciated compliments. I take them whenever and where ever I can... but it feels even more special coming from one I admire.

  4. Canning with Kendra and the ladies was HEAVEN for me. Thanks for coming! Rebecca

  5. Hi Debra,

    Looks like you had quite a fun packed day, it's nice that you have connections with such a great group of people!

    I saw your comment on Adrienne's dePitera's blog...are you close to Valley of the Moon winery? We were there in 2000 on our last day in Sonoma! :)


  6. Oh Yes, We are about six miles away from V of M. We are truly blessed living in this Valley of the Moon.

  7. You are right - this was so much fun and I couldn't believe it was right here in Kenwood. I felt like I was back on Grandma's farm - but much cooler canning! What a break and warm surprise. THANK YOU!

  8. Marchelle, So true! Talk about a break...