It was just about perfect — one of those times when you're enjoying yourself to the point that you've forgotten about things and then you sort of come to, look around, and realize it's all a big smile.
That was the way it was last Saturday evening for the Yuba-Sutter Harvest Dinner. It was organized by the chamber of commerce tourism folks, ram-rodded by Briana Struckmeyer, and it was meant to give the community a morale boost of sorts — proof that we could put on the ritz with a wide array of local food and drink. Local as in locally grown, locally prepared. And worth traveling for.
Food tourism is the thing, now. Where better to bear the mantle than here where we live and where just about everything can be grown and produced?
We had appetizers by the Yuba City Town Square fountain - smoked pork loin with prune-chipotle glaze and apricot, mascarpone and macadamia nut tarts and the like.
We took our seats at long tables laid down the center of the boulevard. We drank wine and read each other the menu — it's fun anticipating the next course in a meal that's being created for a special occasion like this. A whole bunch of people were making friends, if they weren't already, and enjoying the creativity of the chefs.
The dishes that we were served were wonderful and tasty. "Mustard Crusted Organic Rack of Lamb with Portobello Mushroom Risotto …" That's how the menu reads. But it was the whole list of ingredients that's really impressive: Chico nut almonds, Robertson Family Farms Asian pears, Pom's Away Orchards Pomegranates, Sutter Buttes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Solstice Honey, Bishop's Pumpkin Farm Apple Cider, Tarke beans, Robertson Family Farms kale, Stephens Ranch walnuts, Sutter Buttes Tuscan herb olive oil, Oregon House Farms organic grass-fed lamb, Premier mushrooms, Rue & Forsman Ranch organic Calrose rice, Wild River Farms organic golden kiwis, Bishop's butternut squash, J. Heier Farms blackberries ... and wine from Renaissance Winery, Cante Ao Vinho and Cordi Winery.
The chefs and staff and organizers of Harvest Dinner proved something — that we're a pretty good place, but when you really get organized you have what you need here to really ramp it up. The Sacramento folk can have their farm to fork dinner on their bridge … we can live it up just fine with local produce down on the boulevard. Foodies: come visit us.
Word was that they plan on doing this at least once a year, maybe twice. If you get the opportunity next time, it's going to be worth the price.
Thumbs Up: A group of eight comedians, wrangled together by local Angel Diaz, will entertain tonight at 7 p.m. at The Refuge at 1501 Butte House Road. Funds raised through admissions will go to help Casa de Esperanza.
We've not updated the situation for Casa for a while. It's the shelter for women and children who are breaking away from domestic violence.
It's a great and necessary benefit to the community … and it was set on its heels months ago when its home caught fire. Since then, the organization has had to move operations into long-term temporary quarters … and they'd like to move back home.
Money needs to be raised to do the repairs and refurbishment needed for the service to move back into its old shelter. And the fund-raising needs to continue to be able, eventually, to enable Casa to get into a bigger place.
Thumbs Up: What could be more fun than adult pedal go-cart drivers racing in Marysville's Chinatown (and very likely in the rain!) GT's Invitational Challenge Race is back in town today (Saturday) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. starting on C Street in Marysville.
Five teams with five drivers each are participating. Viewing the race is free.
The "GT" stands for one of our favorite Marysville and Chinatown boosters, Gordon Tom.
"Chinatown is where I grew up," Tom said in a story for Friday's edition. The Tom family history in Marysville goes back to the late 1800s. He's also a former professional off-road racer.
Team/driver registration is 9 a.m.; at 10 a.m. team members assemble their pedal carts; the first heat is at 11 a.m.
Double Ugh: It happened in downtown Marysville. A sloth and a tortoise were walking down opposite sides of D Street and by a quirk of fate both decided, at exactly the same time, to dash across the street. An hour later, they crashed into each other and the aftermath was horrendous.
A cruiser showed up and an officer taped off the area and looked around for witnesses … and as it turns out, the only one to have seen it happen was Mike the Snail.
"I'm sorry, officer," Mike said. "It all happened so fast … it was just a blur."