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Cowboy Humor

Sandpiper Restaurant, Bodega Bay

Oysters in the Mangrove by Wayne SchererLeft: Oysters in the Mangrove, by Wayne Scherer

Cowboy Humor by Ben Marshall

I just got back to the ranch from a Bodega Bay Chamber mixer at the Sandpiper Restaurant.

Sissy from Gourmet au Bay emailed me a week ago to remind me to do my chores early so I could attend the event.

I never miss a Chamber mixer. It's like a Mardi Gras, Sonoma style.

The party had ignited into a real barn burner by the time I arrived so I grabbed a glass of wine and stayed out of the way.

It gave me a chance to sample the food. The wine was good but I can't tell you who made it because I immediately had my eye on a mysterious desert at the end of the table.

Does this ever happen to you?

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You're at a party and you happen to see somethin' from the dessert table while you're pickin' up a crab cake. Now you know you're not goin' to enjoy that crab cake until you find out what the dessert is so you put it back and cut right to the hunt.

You also know you can't eat dessert first. It's the rule. Right mom?

But sometimes, when I'm feelin' extra frisky, I go for the dessert first. I know it's not right.

As it turned out, it was definitely right at the Sandpiper. I pretended to wave to people I didn't know as I moseyed down the long table of eats. I have a hard time at this and it's somethin' you might want to watch if you ever get the chance.

I look like Romney on a segway. Come to think of it, Romney might be on a segway all the time cause he's always turnin' his whole body around to look at real people. It's kinda creepy.

Anyway, I arrived at my anticipated destination and looked at the only dessert they had. "How can this be?" I thought. "How can one dessert serve all?" I'm an egalitarian in most regards but dessert is special.

Now I don't like repeatin' rumors so I'm only goin' to say this once. Dessert is never a killer item at a Chamber function.

Well, when I got there, the Sandpiper's dessert looked like little chocolate cakes baked in tiny dishes with raspberries on top. It seemed like a lot of work for chocolate cake.

Now I'm not partial or impartial to chocolate cake so I was on the horns of a Brahma. I could Romney-segway myself back to the crab cakes or settle for the darn chocolate cake. I chose the easy route, picked up one of the tiny dishes with a tiny little spoon and ate one of the raspberries. It was fresh. But what I noticed as I was scoopin' it out was how hard the chocolate cake was.

All in all it was the best Chamber mixer I've been to. Not just because Sissy throws a great bash but also because of the generosity of the hosts. The Sandpiper went all out with brie covered in a blueberry sauce, fish, crab cakes, some things I didn't recognize and the incredible chocolate creme brulee.

Oh, I didn't tell you about the creme brulee. I dug into what I thought was chocolate cake and, for the second time in the evening, my knees weakened. Breaking through the crisp, caramelized sugar the spoon entered a swirl of softness I'd been enjoyin' all my adult years. Creme brulee. You can tell by the touch. But this was different. It was chocolate.

After I tried all the other delights at the Sandpiper I tracked down the person who made the creme brulee. Her name was Julie Aff and she was as charmin' as she was a great cook. "You need to use a bitter chocolate," she confided in me.

As always I had a fun time at the Chamber mixer. Any business in the area who doesn't belong to the Chamber should join or I might be tempted to come out and visit with you.

And you know I'd make you listen to all my cowboy stories until you repented. Works every time.

Sandpiper Restaurant
1400 N Highway 1
Bodega Bay, CA 94923-9779

(707) 875-2278

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