Life in California
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Finally Feels Like Fall

Every day, I see this tree in the street across from my office and all those crunchy leaves and have the urge to jump in…

Growing up, I used to view rain mostly as an inconvenience. Rain meant tennis practice was cancelled, traffic would be even slower on 101, and trudging up steep hills in those stylish but heavy Hunter rain boots.

But living where I do now, a cozy house in a quiet (during the week, at least) little town, I’ve really appreciated the plentiful rains and changing light of the last few weeks. It’s prompted a bit of a mental/energetic/practical shift within me. I’ve been doing more cooking, more reading, and more resting. More time spent with projects I keep putting on the back burner, like this blog which has gone neglected through the summer. That kind of thing.

So when I had two lovely friends visiting from S.F. last weekend, I wanted to show them a good time, but also honor the glorious arrival of fall.

After a spin on Saturday morning through the Healdsburg Farmers Market (I’ll be sad when it shuts down in a month or so!), we headed up north to Philo Apple Farm via Route 128. It took about an hour, but all the winding was worth it for the views along the way and the pit stop at Pennyroyal Farm in Boonville for a goat cheese tasting flight on the way back.

Perry Hoffman, the Culinary Director of SHED, and his family are well-rooted in this county and over in Napa – his grandparents were the original owners of French Laundry and also founded this oasis of a farm. It’s an honor system farm stand, which means that you weigh your own produce and put your money in a little box, and also a sprawling organic/biodynamic farm full of almost 80 varieties of apples, goats, sheep, and charming little cabins that I certainly wouldn’t mind staying in for a weekend.

Worth a walk around in your flannel sometime. I picked up a bag of apples that I’ve been snacking on this week, there’s also jam, cider, and juice galore.

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