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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bodega Community Column - December 2010

Things sure do come and go. Summer finally came in what, mid-November? And now winter’s back. My poor little fruit trees do not know what to do. They were blooming in October.

Food-wise, our new ice cream store came and went, too. I had not even gotten through all of the flavors. Maybe it was just too late in the year for ice cream. They closed before the week of Indian summer even hit. The kids are sad, but the free-for-all ice cream was a real bonanza!

I certainly hope that the two new chefs at the Casino stay awhile – at least until I can get through their menus. Though of course we greatly miss the chefs gone by, Dominique Rooney (Tuesday through Friday) and Mark Malicki (Saturday through Monday) are capturing our hearts through our stomachs. It’s looking like Bodega is actually vying for position on the map of culinary destinations.

Dominique (alleged granddaughter of Micky) hails from Sugo Trattoria in Petaluma, and Mark was the owner/chef of St. Rose. They’re using locally grown ingredients and everything. Prices are amazingly reasonable for the sophisticated offerings they are serving up. We do hope Steve will get back on his feet and bring back his pizza, though. Good old-fashioned pizza is important to a town like ours. And we are wishing Mateo well at the Valley Ford Fish Bank. I better check that out for my next report.

OK, it’s not ALL about food. I think it’s pretty exciting that 16 of our local Artisans Co-op artists will be showing their work at the Gualala Arts Center. The opening reception is December 4 from 4-6 p.m., and the show will run through January 2, 2011. The line up is spectacular with weaving, sculptures, baskets, photographs, knitted finery, jewelry, gourds, art glass, pottery, water colors and pen and ink drawings.

I just have to plug one more event, because it will support our new 4-H Club – the Sea Squids, for one reason among many. The African International Music Festival will take place on Sunday, December 5 from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Hall on High Street. Three international aid organizations have joined together to put on an incredible multi-cultural family event featuring performances by a great variety of international bands, delicious ethnic food, a silent auction and a holiday gift bazaar.

The bazaar will offer items made by 10 local organizations, including the above-mentioned Sea Squids. If you buy your tickets from Marilyn Collins or myself (478-6107 or 876-3093), four-fifths of the price of admission ($15) will go to our fledgling club. The whole event is set up to support and connect kids and groups from around the world, and promises to be a wonderful evening. For additional information contact Please go!

Holy Smoke!
It is old news by now, but I just have to take some space to thank all the firefighters from far and wide who saved Bodega on September 25. A lot of commotion and a lot of emotion was stirred up by that fire. At first we thought maybe someone had burned the bacon at Bodega Land Trust’s BLTs for BLT fundraiser. I guess a wild fire heading towards town adequately justified the low turn out. But what a blessed turn of fate that there was ample good food ready to feed the firefighters instead. I remain a firm believer in silver linings. Bodega really must be magically protected
Our hearts and thoughts remain focused on Ben Hakala who was seriously hurt in the fire. His brother Dolan reports that he is on the mend. The amazing efforts to raise money for Ben by fellow fire fighters and friends is yet another example of the silver lining of crisis.

I have to admit that it was only then, that I finally got what they mean about heroes. It’s not like in the movies. It’s just your neighbors, in sooty slickers, looking a little tired and maybe a little scared – working to save your town – for nothing. Eat your pancakes and buy more bricks everyone! We need those guys! And we still need to finish that firehouse.