Saturday, January 31, 2009

Golf and My Favorite Pastry - Pecan Roll from Della Fattoria

Not long after I started to play golf about 10 years ago, I met Dan and Steve, and we learned we all liked to get up early to play. We have been playing together ever since with our starting time governed by the time of the sunrise. Generally we tee off about 30-40 minutes prior to the sun peeking over the horizon, just about when you can make out the ball sitting on the tee. Of course, finding your ball is another matter for the first few holes.

This morning, with sunup scheduled for 7:15AM, we were on the tee at our home course, the Adobe Creek Golf Club in Petaluma, at about 6:50AM. It was 34-degrees with a bit of ground fog, but happily there was no frost and a clear sky promised it would warm up quickly.

6:50AM - Dan (I Think) on the First Tee

By the time we finished our round at 10:20, the temperature was up to 50-degrees and we were in our shirtsleeves. Great weather, but we need some rain!

10:20AM - First Hole - So This is What it Looks Like!

Last year when Nancy and I were spending a weekend in the Russian River area in Sonoma County, we had dinner at the Farmhouse Inn. We enjoyed the bread they served with the meal and were told that it came from Della Fattoria in Petaluma. Although we had heard of the bakery we were not familiar with their products, so on our way back to Sausalito that Sunday we stopped off for lunch at their retail cafe at 141 Petaluma Boulevard North in downtown Petaluma.

We had a very nice lunch and, since the cafe is not far from Adobe Creek, I have been stopping off there regularly ever since on my drive home for a pastry and coffee. I even learned happily one morning when we had a frost delay that they open for breakfast at 7:00AM!

Della Fattoria makes a Pecan Roll which is my absolute favorite pastry! It is really more of a popover, light and flaky and hollow on the inside where the caramelized sugar and pecans await. I stopped off for one this morning and, since I had a bit of time, ate at the cafe.

Since we had walked the 18 holes this morning and I was planning to go to the gym later today, I also asked what pastry they would recommend apart from the Pecan Roll -- the Butterhorn (with strudel!) was the suggestion.

Butterhorn, Pecan Roll and Cafe Latte (Served in a Bowl)

The Sweet Interior of the Pecan Roll

The Della Fattoria Cafe has a relaxed atmosphere and a friendly staff and is a very comfortable place to spend some time. They also have a number of wonderful photos taken in Italy by Douglas Gayeton which hang on the walls. Doug's pictures are a bit hard to explain, but hand-written on each photo are various comments about the photo which highlight some of its elements and background. For example, here is one of a gentleman named Moreno taken at his wine store, La Fattoria di Moreno, in Lamporecchio, a small town about 20 miles west of Florence in Tuscany, entitled "Nelle [should be "Nella"] Botte Piccola c’e Vino Buono” = "In the Small Cask There’s Good Wine", an Italian saying equivalent to the English "good things come in small packages."

The photo also indicates that Sig. Moreno is a lifelong communist. I noted from Wikipedia that Lamporecchio "was for many years known statistically to be the city with the most Communist supporters in Italy," and the photo states that Sig. Moreno lives on a street named after Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party from 1927 - 1964. Sounds like an interesting spot to visit. Additional information about Doug may be found here, and a wonderful set of his photo from his exhibit "SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town" at the Museo ItaloAmericano in Fort Mason may be found here.

Della Fattoria is probably best known for their breads, which, after all, is what led us there in the first place.

Della Fattoria has a fun website, especially if you are an animal lover. I also found a couple of very good posts about Della Fattoria on the Tea and Cookies and Fork and Bottle blogs that I follow.

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