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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Cheese, Wheat & Guerneville

Uploaded: Sep 4, 2014

Boy, did I food party! on a lot of wheat over the Labor Day weekend. Cheese too.

I visited Guerneville / Monte Rio (eastern Sonoma county). It's a terrific river community and a perfect weekend get away. Guerneville is a funky town with fun shopping and people watching opportunities. I hadn't been in years ? and it was worth a return trip. Leave the Bay Area by 7AM and get there by 9AM. Stop at River Inn Grill ? voted "best breakfast" in town.

Or take the "bakery tour" out to Occidental and Freestone. In Occidental, try a fluffy Blueberry Quinoa Muffin at breakfast hot spot - Howards Station Cafe. It was impossible to get a seat, so I suggest the walk up window for a quick coffee and pastry. You don't want to eat too much anyways because after that munch, head 3.5 miles to Freestone and continue the wheat-fest (biking is the real way to travel around here by the way). First, stop at Freestone Artisan Cheese for a charming creamy experience and combine your local finds with the amazing breads at Wild Flour Bread. With scones in hand, (Asiago Crimini Mushroom Swiss, and Nectarine Blueberry White Chocolate) we enjoyed delicious breakfast #2 surrounded by the bakeries lush backyard garden.

Wild Flour has been adding garden goodies into their brick oven-baked breads for 16 years. They also have a chef who comes in daily to feed the smiling workers with whatever is left from the harvest. As one satisfied staff member told me, "We just can't eat amazing bread all day long."

That weekend, we also enjoyed "Friday night happy hour for locals" at Sophie's Cellars, a quaint wine bar hosted by two fun guys who make you feel right at home, and make sure you know they are gay (no, I wasn't hitting on them). For $6, help yourself to a rich buffet of artisan cheeses, breads, fruits, salami and home-smoked salmon patties, then sit back on the sunny deck with a local wine (this is wine country), meet some locals, and enjoy being out in the middle of basically nowhere.

Tsk, tsk you might be thinking. With everyone gluten free these days, how can anyone still write about bread and bakeries? Well, I can eat a little wheat, I just don't eat too much of it. Wild Flour does offer gluten free options should that be your preference. But personally, I think that in a couple years we will realize it's not just wheat, but all processed flours and foods that make our stomachs bloat. Replacing bastardized wheat with bastardized rice will catch up with us ? sooner or later. But that's a Food Party! subject for another time.

That is, unless you bring gluten free to this week's potluck.

Howards Station Café
3611 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465

Freestone Artisan Cheese
380 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472

Wild Flour Bread
140 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472

Sophie's Cellars
20293 California 116, Monte Rio, CA

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Posted by Father of 3, a resident of Midtown,
on Sep 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm

"But personally, I think that in a couple years we will realize it's not just wheat, but all processed flours and foods that make our stomachs bloat." Why wait a couple of years. Do your readers a favor and spread the word now (you kind of started doing it by including the above statement in your blog post.) And while you're at it, throw in a little something about the addictive and hazardous nature of sugar.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:42 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Father of 3. Good suggestion. I used to be a sugar junkie and that's even a good title for a blog. Coming soon

Posted by Yvette Davis, a resident of another community,
on Sep 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Three weeks ago, while doing my grocery shopping at Costco in Lodi, Ca, I purchased a couple packs of Luke's Organic Chips. I wasn?t sure how they'd taste, but I'm super happy I got them. These chips are AMAZING!! Good luck putting down a pack once you've had your first bite! Did I mention that they're organic and gluten free. To date, I?ve tried all the flavors but my favorite include Kale and Ancient Grain. Check out their website at and your local Costco. I highly recommend them to everyone considering a healthy snack choice. You will enjoy them.

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