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Burning Ham hits Penngrove Saturday

HOUSTON PORTER, BY HOUSTON PORTER

For all things pork, from baby back ribs to bacon deserts, Burning Ham is the place to be on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Penngrove Park. Whether you want to compete or just eat, visit www.burninghamsonoma.com for all the info. This is a fundraiser for the Active 20-30 clubs of Petaluma, Sebastopol and the North Bay, all focusing their efforts on underprivileged children in Sonoma County.

Yanni’s October is about beer

Yanni’s Sausages of Penngrove has resurrected and updated the Drunken Pig for their October Sausage Sandwich of the month. This year, Yanni’s is making the Drunken Pig with their brand new sausage – Yanni’s Beer Brat, which is made with Lagunitas Sucks Beer.

This new iteration of the Drunken Pig also introduces Chef Christos’ original Lagunitas Sucks Beer Mornay sauce. That’s a beer and cheese sauce, which goes hand-in-hand with their beer braut. Between the sauce and the sausage, you’ll find hot banana peppers and grilled onions, all wrapped up in a sweet Italian roll from Full Circle Bakery.

The October sandwich special starts Oct. 5. Additionally, packages of the Beer Brats will be available for all your Oktoberfest festivities.

El Dia de Los Muertos

Check out the “El Dia de Los Muertos Petaluma” Facebook page for their entire schedule of events, which run through the candlelight procession Saturday, Oct. 29. Most of the events include some sort of culinary component, especially the Taste of Mexico: Mole tasting and contest, held on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Aztec Dahlia farm at 2478 East Washington St. Visit their Facebook page for more info.

More Oktoberfest

The North Bay Rowing Club will hold a special fundraiser for their yearly regatta on Monday, Oct. 9, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Lagunitas Brewing. Celebrate Oktoberfest in style with great food, beer, silent auction prizes and dancing to the Dirty Red Barn band, all to help a great cause. For more info visit NBRC’s Facebook page.

Lagunitas Beer Circus

Tickets are now on-sale for the Saturday, Oct. 21 event, held at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, from noon to 5 p.m., with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting the Petaluma Phoenix Center. www.lagunitas.com/beercircus

New organic grocery store

The sign on one of the empty spaces in Theater Square reads “Jupiter Foods,” along with window signs stating things such as “We Know Your Farmer,” “We Dig Healthy Soil,” and “We Know What The Cows Eat.” And from the artist’s rendering of what the shop will look like, it appears to be along the lines of the bodegas of days gone by, where small grocers offered high quality products to their immediately community.

Jupiter Foods’ website says it will be opening at 151 Petaluma Blvd. South in early November. Special thanks to Amy Malaise for the heads up on this one.

Sonoma Spice Queen

Wind McAlister, proprietor of the spice and gift shop known as Sonoma Spice Queen, has a special event planned for Saturday, Oct. 14, starting at 11 a.m. at the Petaluma Public Library. Learn all about “holiday spices and the different cultures around the world that use them as a way to follow family traditions.”

Wind’s presentation will include a short talk, a cooking demonstration, plenty of free tasting samples and free spices to take home.

On the following Saturday, Oct. 21, Sonoma Spice Queen will celebrate her 3rd annual Open House at their 407 C St. location. There will be cooking demonstrations, sample treats from local vendors, a preview of their holiday gift selections and a raffle for a special gift basket. For truly unique holiday gifts, Sonoma Spice Queen is hard to beat.

Petaluma Foodies

Petaluma Foodies is a new Facebook group I have launched as a virtual venue for all things having to do with Petaluma food. With so many food festivals, food fundraisers and new and old restaurants, Petaluma Foodies will be a community for everyone to share their Petaluma food experiences.

Because readers have more eyes and ears than I do, I rely on you for many of the updates I receive regarding what is happening around Petaluma. On the flipside, because of my connections in the restaurant industry, I often have insider information that I can share with readers.

Petaluma Foodies will provide a place for updates, and will let readers weigh in on what they are seeing, hearing and eating around Petaluma. Group members will not only get to stay on top of the latest food news, but will be able to participate in reporting that news. Amy Malaise, whose current Facebook group is “Petalumans Eating Locally,” will co-administer the Petaluma Foodies page.

Group members will also have ample opportunities to win prizes, like restaurant gift certificates, event tickets and special tour invites. On occasion, I may even offer up a spot or two alongside my food crew for restaurant visits and taste-tests. We will also facilitate “supper club” outings for those who want to try a new restaurant alongside other like-minded foodies.

The first such opportunity is a raffle for a spot on the judging panel of this year’s Mac N’ Cheese Challenge Sunday, Oct. 8 at the Lucchesi Center. Anyone who currently holds, or plans on buying tickets to the event, can enter to be one of the “celebrity” judges, alongside Mike DeWald of KSRO and I.

For those who haven’t purchased their tickets for Mac N’ Cheese, they are still available at www.macncheesechallenge.com. With last year’s winners including local favorites like Sax’s Joint, Sarah’s Eats & Sweets and Chef Brenda of Trade Secret, along with new comers like Bellyfull Dinners, Crocodile Restaurant, the Roaring Donkey with Faron’s BBQ, there should be some spectacular mac n’ cheeses on hand.

Other participants so far include Joe Garcia “Fat Kid Macin Cheese,” Petaluma Fire Department, Petaluma Veterinary Hospital, Johnny Marrs, Maria Parish and Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue.

JJ Jay, former brewer of Petaluma Hills, will make a special appearance to serve up some of his great brews, alongside Sonoma Coast Spirits, Dempsey’s, homebrewer Dave Rohling and Alicia and Eric Hunt, who plan to open Glen Ellen Brewing Company in the near future.

Morris distributing will also be donating, as will Lagunitas. This event raises funds for the Petaluma Animal Shelter, so animal lovers unite to come and taste and vote for your favorite mac N’ cheeses. Pet-oriented prizes will also be raffled off.

Trophies will be awarded for both the People’s Choice and Judge’s favorites.

Everyone who attends will get to vote for their favorites in the People’s Choice category, while I will run a judging panel made up of bona fide mac n’ cheese aficionados, plus the one lucky winner drawn from the Petaluma Foodies page on Facebook.

(Contact Houston Porter at houston@avant-larde.com.)