Friday, August 14, 2009

Food I'm Eating: Excellent Lunch at Terrapin Creek Café, Bodega Bay

Had a very good lunch at Terrapin Creek Café yesterday. Hadn't tried this place before, but glad I did. Had a very tasty summer squash soup with a mint and pistachio pesto, crab cakes that were done perfectly and actually tasted like crab, and an excellent cassoulet. Simple, yet delicious. Open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday. A very nice change from the many seafood places along the coast that (while not bad) have nothing special to offer--which is ironic given the proximity to the sea and easy access to sophisticated diners in the area. Highly recommended. At 1580 Eastshore Road (just to the right after you turn left to go down toward Spud Point Marina and Bodega Head from the main highway. Phone: (707) 875-2700. Having said that, I like eating lunch at the Tides when in Bodega because of the excellent view over the bay.

Birds seen during the day at the bay included: Belted kingfisher (three--or the same guy in three locations), common loon, pacific loon, White pelican, common tern, Western gull, ring-billed gull, turkey vulture, willet, marbled godwit, scrub jay, double-crested cormorant, pelagic cormorant, black oyster catcher, Clark's grebe, and Western grebe. Actually, as usual, I'm just guessing about the tern. I can never get close enough to tell which one it is. According to online information from the Madrone Audubon Society (which is our local chapter), elegant terns, Forster's terns, and Caspian terns are all possibilities. They are hard to tell apart at a distance.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wines I'm Making: Electric Fence On

Turned on the electric fence around the grapes yesterday. Will try to put on the nets today, to keep away the various varmints that eat the fruit. Looking at the grapes yesterday, the crop will be small. Fruit set was pretty poor because of the cool, wet weather we had around flowering. The Sangiovese has done better than the Cabernet. In fact, I should drop some of the fruit on the Sangiovese vines.

[Update] Got the nets on yesterday, the 13th. Already lost some fruit, despite the electric fence. I'm hoping the nets and the fence together will protect the rest. I tested a few berries for ripeness. I was surprised to find them already at 17 brix.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Miscellaneous: Perseid Meteor Shower

Look tonight for meteors late at night, from about midnight. Tonight, and tomorrow should be the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.

Enjoyed the show. Saw about 15 shooting stars from the deck. It was an unusually warm night for Santa Rosa.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Music I'm listening to: Jazz in Sonoma

Busy day on Saturday. In the morning I went to the farmer's market at the Veteran's Memorial Building, across from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. It's always hard to park when the fair is going on, but I'm glad I went. I found some good tomatoes and the fish seller had sea urchins. I picked up a couple. I was looking for other things I did not find.

Later, I went to the annual tasting and reception for the wine club members at Wellington Vineyards. I got a chance to taste some of the 2008 wines from the barrel and to talk with the growers and winemakers, which is always useful. I took along a bottle of our 2008 rosé because Toby and Janice in the tasting room and I had talked about it before. They seemed impressed. At the tasting one of the guys pouring wine mentioned that he was a bartender and would be working at the Ledson Hotel, in Sonoma, that evening and that there would be a good jazz group playing, so I went over there later. 1950s-style jazz with a good singer, a pianist, a bass player, and a drummer. Very enjoyable. I only got the name of the singer--Jonathan Poretz. He seems to appear there once a month with a smaller group. He said he brought in a bigger group last night as a rehearsal for an upcoming performance at Yoshi's in San Francisco. Shared a table with two young ladies from Italy--Federica and Lucrezia--making a tour of California. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I didn't have a proper camera with me, hence the bad photo.

Friday night had a good meal at Greens in San Francisco after seeing the Robert Frank show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I had wanted to see the Richard Avedon show and also the Ansel Adams/Georgia O'Keefe show, but got there too late in the day. Another day. The Robert Frank material was interesting. It was an unusual opportunity to see vintage prints of the entire selection for The Americans. There was a display of various editions of the book over the years. I noticed that the images looked markedly different. That's inevitable because of the variables introduced by printing, but I was surprised to see that in the most recent edition shown the cropping was quite different from that of the earlier editions. I wonder who made that decision?
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