2013 Peach Wars

Spectacular San Francisco Famous Downtown Land...

Spectacular San Francisco Famous Downtown Landmarks Cityscape (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

Growing up in Sacramento we would wait all year for the white peaches to come out for pickin.

The white peaches most of you yellow hard peach eating folks say??

Yes, white peaches.  The softest yet firm white flesh is sweeter and juicier than any yellow peach you have eaten.

But, being near to the San Francisco Bay area I also love Frog Hollow Farms and I  wait for the annual peach wars.

O’Henrys vs the Cal Reds.  each year who will win.  Well try some of each and pick a winner!

And while you are at it taste their baked goods!  Excellent turnovers even the non-fruit versions like the ham & cheese.

And in Sacramento on a warm summer evening indulge in the Fresh Peach ice Cream at Gunthers Ice Cream Shop since 1940




2012 Apple Hill Time in Northern California

Downtown Placerville

Downtown Placerville (Photo credit: www78)

It’s still real warm in northern California, deep into September, but in the morning you can smell it.  Yes, you can smell apples in their crates inside of the barn.

No….I don’t live in a barn.  But I live in California and each year I love to visit Apple Hill near Placerville, also known as Hangtown, in Northern California.

You got to go and if not, you got to take a virtual trip and check it out.  It looks good, it smells good and it tastes damn good!!!

So check out the Association site and see what’s new for 2012.  Grab ourself a map & a guide if you need one.

What’s good there?  Well apples, of course.  Apples, apple pie, apple fritters, candy appled apples, apple juice & cide.

My favorite?  apple cider donuts.  Yum.

Plus BBQ lunches at some farms, train rides and fishing for the kids.  The smells and tastes.  A day out of the city.  Christmas tree tours, winery tours.  Pick ’em yourself farms.  Teaching the kids where their food comes from.

Petting zoos.

Filling up the car or truck with goodies to take home.  And even more goodies to give to famil, friends, neighbors.  Put in the freezzer.

The Blossom Trail Run at the other end of the season, usuall in April so mark your calendar.

And the Apple Hill Harvest Run, race day this ear is November 4th and the course is 8.5 beautiful miles and includes the Harvest Day 3.5 mile Run/Walk.  Check the links for info and to register.

But back to apple goodness…I am more about eating my way thru Apple Hill.  I don’t even do the wine drinking thru Apple Hill any more, so I eat.

And I look forward to it each and every year.

Peach Season and California Peaches

English: Autumn Red peach. Français : Pêches E...

English: Autumn Red peach. Français : Pêches Español: Durazno cortado por la mitad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My years seem to be driven by fruit seasons here in California and summer is peach season (well melons and strawberries too).  But back to California peaches.

I used to have a friend down near Modesto, kind of hot and dusty but great peach country.  And Smith Ranch was among the best.  My friend would buy a few flats and ship one to me!  Heaven.  A peach that ripens on the tree and is packed with care.  Don’t let supermarket peaches fool you.  Don’t let their advertisement about “they continue to ripen after they are picked” fool you.  Most fruit dies when it is picked and immediately begin to spoil.

Peaches are one of those fruits, and they are best when they fully ripen on the tree.  If you can’t get them directly off the tree shop at your local farmers market, definitely.  As they say, Dare to eat a peach…

It is almost the season for California’s famous O’Henry peaches, but I don’t bake.  I like to eat them in my hand, juice running down my arm and all over my mouth!!

So it is also almost the season for beautiful Cal Reds.  I learned about Cal Reds shopping with Frog Hollow Farms.  They have a few California fruit stands including one at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  Their farm is nearby so their products are same-day fresh.  They also have baked goods so check em out on their website if you can’t get to one of their market sites.

And buy Cal Reds, O’Henry’s, as well as the juicy & sweet California white peaches.

David Mas Masumoto, the Fresno organic farmer and author of the beloved book Epitaph for a Peach. makes me dream of peaches until summer.  Check out his farm….or his book.

Apples are good….but eat a peach every day!

So now that you have all of those peaches–what do you do with them?

Well check out this link with 13 great Peach recipes with beautiful photos!  It will all make your mouth water for that sweet peach taste!

Things like Swizzle Stick Soup

Pork Chops with Peaches,

And, Peach Salsa

They have Peach Ice Cream (my favorite), milkshakes an d Peach Pies too!

The Annual Pony Express “Re-Ride”

Pony Express Statue

Pony Express Statue (Photo credit: Frank Reese)

Each year the original Pony Express ride  from Sacramento, California to Saint Joseph, Missouri is traveled once again by courageous men and women on horseback.The Pony Express agents first saddled up and rode their horses along this route in 1860/1861, now a century and a half later modern riders volunteer to do the same, recreating the original Pony Express ride along the same route with some of the original challenges of the ride.

The heat, the sun, the night time rides, the bugs—all of those things that can make a nearly 1,966-mile journey on horseback torturous recreating that first  mail delivery company and ride.

The original ride has Pony Express “stations”  at least a mile and a half to four miles along that route where riders could stop, stretch water and feed their horses and themselves.  “Nighttime and mountain rides are harder, and combinations of the two make for the most demanding treks. That means California riders have the biggest challenge going over uneven Sierra trails without the sun to guide them.”

Every other year the re-ride begins at the Pony Express Plaza in Old Sacramento and this year it “kicked off at the plaza, headed toward Missouri. At the pre-ride ceremony, the first riders were sworn in using most of the original Pony Express oath. The riders promised not to “use profane language,” to “drink no intoxicating liquors,” and not to “quarrel or fight with any other associate.”

 Sacramento has a Pony Express statue in Old Sacramento as well as being the annual starting or stopping point for the ride recreating the mail delivery.  Why is the Pony Express so important to Sacramento?  Sacramento was the Western Terminus of the Pony Express and because of the Gold Rush there were so many men in the hills above Sacramento, far from their families,  and the Pony Express provided them with their link to their past.
They wrote letters or found someone to write letters for them and shared their letters from home with the other miners.
So the Pony Express provided that link to their families and entertainment.  And, with security, also moved money along the same route.
Now the Pony Express trail is a National Historic Route.  “It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph”
The Pony Express and the annual re-ride is just as important in St. Joseph, Missouri as it is in Sacramento, California.

2012 Summer Solstice In Tahoe City: the Heart and Solstice Festival

Secret Beach on Lake Tahoe's Nevada side, 2003

Secret Beach on Lake Tahoe’s Nevada side, 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is time for the Summer Solstice, as we celebrate the annual change from spring to summer.And no where is the Summer Solstice celebrated better than in Tahoe City, California.

It is the Annual Heart and Solstice Festival.  When you live in snow coutry I guess that summer and the sun are things you should really celebrate!

This year the Summer Solstice celebration runs from June 15th to 24th with 10 signature events and even more activities on the streets and in the shops, restaurants and bars of Tahoe City.

Tahoe City is one of my favorite little “big” towns, the “Heart and Soul” of Tahoe is nestled on the edge of the west coast of the beautiful alpine Lake Tahoe.  The jewel that sits between California and Nevvada, with gambling on the Nevada side.

Tahoe City is known for its natural high-mountain beauty, it Lake location and its “quaintness”.  It’s just a great place to visit.  Many people discover it on their drive to “North Shore” Lake Tahoe.

What:                            2012 Summer Solsrrice Festival

Where:                          Tahoe City, California

When:                            June 15th to June 24th, 2012

Events & Details:         Parties, a classic car show exhibits and ine tasting all on the shoreline of the beautiful Lake Tahoe

Highlights:                    A lake cruise on the Tahoe Gal on June 17th with music by Mumbo Gumbo

Solstice Stroll Classic Car Show June 21 on North Lake Tahoe Boulevard

The Tahoe City Wine Walk June 23 in downtown Tahoe City

The Art & Solstice exhibit June 24 at the North Tahoe Arts Center

And more!!!

The Sun by Cathy McClelland, North Lake Tahoe artist, brilliantly captures the essence of summer at Lake Tahoe.

Chili Festival in Elk Grove June 9th!!!

Get your pots out!  And your aprons.

Or at least your spoons and forks!!

Elk Gove is sponsoring their Annual Chili Festival on Saturday.

When:             Saturday, June 9 2012

10am to 7pn

Where:            Old Town Elk Gove, California

What:              The Chili Festival along with booths for vendors and live entertainment on the main stage and spread through

the streets of Old Town Elk Grove!

10,000 people attend this festival each year, competing for prizes for the Best Chili and more.

Want to be a vendor??

Or be a volunteer??  The Chili Festival is a great Elk Grove community event and volunteers are always welcome!!!

Need a map or access information??  Well, go HERE  and find out how to get to the town of Elk Grove and to the chili festival.

I can smell the chili now and it is making me hungry I tell ya!!!

There will be at least 30 chili cookers competing in Old Town Elk Grove on Saturday June 9th for the title of Best Chili in this cook-off!!

It’s All About The Chili

Wh compete in the Chili Festival?  There’s a $10,000 Grand Prize out there!!

Ten Thousand Buck-a-roos buddy.  That ain’t nothing to sneeze at.  And this is the People’s Choice Awards

Watch out for the chili with those beautiful Scotch Bonnet chilis!  I love those things…..!  Every time I can find some I use them in m chili.  I make mine with cubed steak (sometimes ground beef) and no beans (well, sometimes beans)

Real man’s chili.  Meat.  And wicked.

Go to Elk Grove and compete.  Or be a taster.  Or just have fun and eat some chili.

The Carlsbad Beach Fest, June 9 2012

Are you ready for the Carlsbad Beach Fest?

What a great reason to escape the city rat race and get away to the great beach in a beautiful small town like Carlsbad.  There are a ton of things to do in Carlsbad even on days when they don’t have their great Beach Fest.

What is the Beach Fest?

It’s an Annual event with activities stretched out along a full mile of white sandy beach in Carlsbad from Pine Avenue to Tamarack State Beach.  Beautiful!!

Fun fun funYou have swim and surf, dance and fitness, sand-sculpting and kite-flying, and of course, simple sun bathing. More event perks include local bands live across multiple stages, green product vendors and a health and safety expo

Sporting eventsTry your luck in a triathlon, duathlon and a one-mile ocean swim, or show off your skills in one of the pro and amateur surf contests sponsored by SurfRide. There will be stand-up paddleboard races, as well as a Zumba-thon fitness party — a fun way to burn calories with friends.

Register:  You must register for these sporting events and you can do it online.

Otherwise the beach fest is a FREE community event so come out and have fun, compete in the sporting events if you want something more!!

You can be a volunteer at the Beach Fest.

Check out the photos from 2011!

Need more info?  Here are all of the contact peeps!

And after the Beach Fest is over join in for the Beach Fest Evening Party at the Ocean House in Carlsbad.

Admission is only $10 and includes one drink ticket (full bar), a light buffet table and munchies, with live music on the stage. Admission allows access to the main bar area where more live music is provided until 1 a.m.  Doors open at 7 pm.

Where is Carlsbad?

Near beautiful San Diego, California.  Worth a flight and/or short drive from places like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas and points in between.

Here is a Carlsbad map

Ho’s the weather??  Beautiful…

2012 Sacramento Music Festival

The Tower Bridge, built in 1935, a popular lan...

The Tower Bridge, built in 1935, a popular landmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2012 Sacramento Music Festival is all brand-new and shiny like a new penny.

2011 was the last year of the Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee.

This is the 39th Annual Festival in Sacramento.  The organizers are looking to get back on a track of growth for Festival attendees and music participants.

Attendance has been dropping the last few years and organizers and the city want to have more than 700,000 people attend this years Festival!

So what is in a name change??

Well for a music festival like the old Jaz Jubilee it signals a change in the styles of music and types of musical acts who will be showcased.

No longer is the focus on old-time traditional jubilee jazz.

Sure, that form of music will be heard.  It is traditional jazz after all and important to the development of that genre.

But this year it will be joined with reggae, American roots music, country, modern jazz, gospel and more.

The changes are key to broadening the types and numbers of music lovers who attend the four-day Music Festival.

When:             May 25th to 28th, 2012

The Festival begins at 10am each day with the last set starting at 10:30pm each day except

Monday when the last set is 2:30pm.

The Parade kicks off the Festival in Old Sacramento at 10am on Saturday May 26th

What:             Sacramento Jazz Festival

Where:           Sacramento, California

24 venues from Old Sacramento to the Sacramento Convention Center

Who:              Who will be playing at the 2012 Festival?

Acts including Johnny “Guitar” Knox, the Zydecats, Sista Monica Parker, Big Sandy & His Fly                   -Rite Boys, Jazz ‘N’ Samba, Mariachi Los Gasllos, 101st Army Dixieland Jazz Band  Uptown Lowdown   Buster Blue   Big Sam’s Funky Nation  Saint Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band  and MORE here

Solo act Deadstring Brother makes Sacramento Music Fest debut

Prices:            You can buy adult passes, senior passes & youth passes for all four days or just for one day.

From $10 for a Senior pass on Memorial Day to $110 for a four-day Adult pass and everything in-

between.  Check out the prices and buy your tickets HERE  And you can ride shuttle buses to all

venues for just $5 for the entire weekend.  Kids 12 and under are free.

Food:  Besdes great restaurants in Old Sacramento and downtown a lot of favorite food vendors return to the festival this year including the number one seller grilled oysters, grilled sausages (the number two favorite), Cajun & Filipino food, Tri-tip, nuts & freshly picked cherries, root beer floats, Bloody Marys and more.

Schedule of events each day can be found HERE

Hotels:            For out of town visitors these hotel packages are excellent!

Do you need more information?  Check em out HERE

or Twitter    @SacMusicFest

or Facebook  SacMusicFest.com


The Festival kicked off in Old Sacramento this morning!

The opening came at 10 a.m., when Boy Scout Troop 107, from Citrus Heights, walked as honor guard onto a shortened Old Sacramento parade route this year.

The parade was moved from its traditional Friday noon time to accommodate more families, festival organizers said.”


2012 Maker Faire—San Francisco Bay Arrea

In the San Mateo Event Center for 2012 is:

the 2012 Maker Faire

What is a Maker Faire??

Cross a Hovercraft and a DeLorean.

Build a Brollyflock sculpture.

See Light Trikes & Crowd Connect.

Lots of weird and wonderful things happen at the Maker Fair.

Maker Fair started in 2006 and now they are all over.  See them all HERE

You can check out the Program, learn how to Participate and how to Attend from this page.


2012 Galt Strawberry Festival

The fantastic Annual Galt Strawberry Festival for 2012 is coming up soon!!!

I LOVE strawberries.  I could live on them all summer long.  In fact, I do!

When                  Saturday, May 19th & Sunday, May 20th

What Time         10am to 8pm on Saturday & 10am to 5pm on Sunday

Where                 Galt, California

This is the 17th Annual Stawberry Festival in Galt, so you know it is important to the folks in the area.

Put on by the Galt District Chamber of Commerce, the festival will open Saturday with a tribute to local men and women who are currently serving in our nation’s military branches in honor of Armed Forces Day….To help celebrate Armed Forces weekend, representatives of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines will be present for the entire weekend. ”

  • Strawberries strawberries strawberries more than 30 strawberry items!
  • food with everything strawberry including the world’s best strawberry shortcake and strawberry salad!
  •  entertainment like a carnival and the Dog Show, the Stunt Team, music including the Battle of the Bands!
  • and lots of other great things like the 5k run/walk and a pancake breakfast, the Cruise-In Car & Motorcycle show, the Big Taste Grill and of course Miss & Mr Strawberry Festival Royalty Pageant

SacMag.com says “If you head south on Highway 99 for about 30 minutes this weekend, you can join the festivities at the Galt Strawberry Festival—held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Eat delicious strawberry shortcake and strawberry salad—and any of the more than 30 strawberry treats available—and ride on The Zipper or the Ferris wheel at the carnival, watch the Cap City Stunt Team or the hypnotist, or listen to the Cash Tribute or Esquire Blues bands. (And there’s more—visit the Strawberry Festival website for information). Cost of admission is only $5 for adults, and children are free (as is parking!).”

If you haven’t applied for the car & motorcycle show, or the pageant or the run/walk or the other great things hurry HURRY!  HERE

And check out the photos from last years Festival here

This is absolutely the biggest and the best strawberry festival in the whole dang world!!!

890 Caroline Avenue Galt, CA 95632

The map to the festival is HERE  and yes, they even have theor own Facebook page here

Do you really need more info???

OK—-these good folks have it for you.

Phone: (209) 745-2529

Fax: (209) 745-0840 fax

Email: info@galtchamber.com

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