$30; noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12; Anheuser-Busch Fairfield Brewery; ABOktoberfest.com
Join Anheuser-Busch brewmaster Nicole Harwood in an early start to Oktoberfest. German-style beers, such as Spaten and Franziskaner, will be on offer, as well as bratwursts and Bavarian pretzels. Event also includes music and games. Ticket price includes two beers and one food item. Guests 20 and younger are free. The brewery is located at 3101 Busch Drive, Fairfield.
World Centric wheat straw napkins
$3.49; Nugget markets; worldcentric.org
Petaluma-based World Centric wants to change the way you set the table. These pretty tan napkins are made renewable wheat straw but are as sturdy as their wood-pulp counterparts. Suitable for both casual meals and more upscale affairs.
$7-$8 per jar; www.lafundidora.com
Sonoma-based Ravenswood Winery – whose motto is “No wimpy wines” – has teamed with small-batch salsa-maker La Fundidora to make two exquisite salsas. Salsa Borracha is a a fiery mix of Ravenswood Lodi zinfandel, roasted ancho and morita chilies, tomato, onion, spices and sea salt. Salsa Macha combines Ravenswood Sonoma County zinfandel with guajillo chilies, olive oil, garlic, spices and sea salt. Bravo to both.
Finding Yourself in the Kitchen
$24.99; 270 pages; Rodale Books
After a series of personal crises, author Dana Velden traveled to a Buddhist monastery, where she found herself both literally and spiritually in the kitchen. These quick essays on her experience and philosophy are as satisfying as the sprinkling of recipes she includes in this delightful book.
Almond Coconut Perfect Bar
$2.99 for 2.5-ounce bar; Nugget; www.perfectbar.com
In the 1960s, nutritionist Dr. Bud Keith worked with fitness guru Jack LaLanne to spark a health craze that changed how Americans stay fit – all while the doctor roamed coast in a bus with his ever-growing family (13 kids in all). Now some of those offspring have turned a family recipe into a tasty business with these high-nutrition bars so fresh they can only be found in the refrigerated section.
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