Try wines from lesser-known U.S. regions this summer

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Matching wines to different wine regions across the United States can open the palate to new flavors and create a fun way to “travel” while imbibing this summer.

Pack your shopping bags and set off for the grocery store – that’s all you need to take a wine region road trip across the United States this summer.

Wheat beers offer surprising diversity of seasonal flavors

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Modern Times Fortunate Islands is a hoppy, tropical wheat beer made in San Diego.

Because beers made with wheat are lighter in color and more delicate in flavor, they are sometimes thought of as less interesting.

In the early days of American craft brewing, many brewpubs offered a simple, often boring American wheat beer on tap. However, today’s brewers use wheat as the basis for interesting sour beers (Berliner Weisse or Belgian lambics), lighter ales featuring spicy or fruity notes (Witbier or Hefeweizen) or brews that showcase fruit or hops.

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists

Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Ghraybeh shortbread cookies use sweet-tasting ghee in lieu of butter.


When Americans think of the shortbread cookie, they often imagine the traditional Scottish cookies, shaped like oblong rectangles and served at teatime.

Like moms, vintners bend and bottle time

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Try pairing a vibrant New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a picnic for Mom on Sunday.

Time and moms have an extraordinary relationship – we seem capable of bending time when needed.

I know moms who, on any given Thursday, will accomplish a to-do list seemingly three days deep between 3-7 p.m. Other times, moms feel utterly at time’s mercy. I’ve begged for time to speed up, and pleaded with it to stop altogether, depending on what was happening in my children’s lives.

Devil's Canyon hosts kid-friendly Friday nights

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co. opens to visitors every Friday, but the last Friday of every month includes food trucks and live music in addition to the brewery’s standard, family-friendly fare.

Although a number of Bay Area brewery tasting rooms and beer bars/restaurants allow children to visit, readers have asked about places with activities or spaces that make them especially kid-friendly. The best local example I have come across is Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co. in San Carlos.

Founded in 2001 by husband-and-wife team Chris and Kristiann Garrett, Devil’s Canyon expanded into its large San Carlos facility in 2013. With large indoor and outdoor spaces, Devil’s Canyon is a popular event space for parties, musical performances and fundraising events. It is only open to the general public on Fridays starting at 4 p.m., but the Friday gatherings are packed with families, and leashed dogs are welcome inside and outside the brewery building as well.

'Unofficial' moms in our lives deserve celebration, too

Courtesy of Christine Moore
Varied blooms in a unified color easily make up multiple bouquets in honor of the “other mothers” in your family’s life this Sunday.

Some years ago, when many of my working-professional friends became moms in rapid succession, I sent Mother’s Day cards by the stack.

We were all new to the mommy gig, and I watched as ultra-confident women questioned their every decision. Should they wake the baby or let him sleep? If the pacifier calms her, is it worth risking “nipple confusion” for the peace achieved? Never before had anything been so important to us, and nothing could have prepared us for how much we wanted to get it right.

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