Mary’s chicken pot pie
$16; Farmhaus (8230 Auburn Folsom Road, Granite Bay); farmhausfresh.com
This dish is a favorite of Bee dining critic Carla Meyer, who singled it out in her recent review: “Farmhaus uses exquisitely tender, moist chunks of Mary’s chicken (out of the Central Valley) in its pot pie, served only at lunch. Salty, crunchy pieces of bacon counteract a slightly sweet béchamel sauce. A buttery, airy puff-pastry crust tops the dish, lending a delicate element to the robust whole.”
California Rancher Oaky & Smoky roasted cashews
$5.99 for 5-ounce bag; Raley’s and other retailers: california-rancher.com
These cashews have an unusual flavor that is true to its billing – oak and smoke. When the regular salted variety of nuts seems too mundane, this is a sophisticated alternative.
Great Sonoma Crab & Wine Fest
$75; Feb. 6; Sonoma County Fairgrounds (1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa); sonomafb.org
Although the Dungeness crab fishery remains closed in parts of California, the 27th annual Great Sonoma Crab & Wine Fest will lay out its spread as usual, sourcing its crabs from Oregon. A reception will begin at 4 p.m., featuring wines paired with hors d’oeuvres from area restaurants. The massive crab feed starts at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s agricultural-education programs.
St. Rey Petillant Naturel Chenin Blanc
$33.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle; Corti Bros. and Taylors; streyvineyards.com
This limited-edition (only 50 cases produced) light sparkler is made by local vintners from Revolution Wines, with the terroir of Clarksburg in mind. Mild and not too sweet, it’s an easy bottle to finish.
“Great Moments In Chocolate History”
$20; 208 pages; National Geographic
While we await National Chocolate Day (Oct. 28), we can turn the pages of “Great Moments In Chocolate History” by Howard-Yana Shapiro, chief agricultural officer of giant candymaker Mars Inc. The Ph.D.-holding Shapiro presents a chocolate timeline starting with the Aztecs in the 1500s and moving through the centuries to present day. The book also includes recipes and tips such as “Choosing Chocolate.”
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