This is Green Gulch Farm.
And 14miles away in SF, is Greens, the pioneer of elegant vegetarian cuisine. Pushing the envelope in the 70's, Greens has brought an awareness of vegetarian fine dining to a whole new level.
Green Gulch is the organic farm that shares the same campus as an active American Zen Center in Marin County. It is also an active supplier of fresh organic produce for Greens all year long.
As a Zen minded family, Green Gulch is a special place for us, especially with us having Zozie. As Zen is most often a solo self practice, it is a rare find to come across a community that had any children at all, let alone an actual "Children's Program" each 1st Sunday of the month! This is not simply childcare while you go and self practice. It is actually a program designed to engage and involve children into Zen practice itself. The farm is a natural practice ground for such teachings.
As my due date approaches, I wanted to celebrate our new arrival.
The growth and birth of a new being, from nothing, to now, something.
This is not my first time around. In fact, it is my fourth.
The two, after Zozie, have come and gone but stay with me, though this current one is kicking the hardest now, in both my mind and belly.
The miracle of it all still inspires me.
All have made full and complete life cycles, some just longer than others.
For Beanie, she is just beginning.
And I wanted to give this little bud that acknowledgement...
Greens was the perfect pick for my "Non-Baby Shower".
I wanted no more gifts, no more clothes, no more gear, and no more life extinguished for celebration (vegetarian)....just well wishes, support, advice, and good old fashioned friendship.
I have all I need to dress, feed, change, and entertain a newborn.
But really good food with really good friends?
Can never have too much of that!
I have the perfect circle of Mandarin Mommies to celebrate this occasion billed as my "Last Hoorah Dinner". Food was one of our connections. We have a long standing Mother's Night Out every 3rd Saturday of the month. That's how much we love food...and how much we love gabbing with each other. So every month, for one night only, we are free spirits, unencumbered, and feeling like we can stay up and out, all night long, college style. Most often, we pay for it the next day. Toddlers jumping on our faces bright and early, starting the day for us without our written, verbal, or physical consent. But even with that, our monthly MNO is sacred.
Almost graduating at 9 months (36wks), and fellow bump bearer at 6 months.
My non-baby shower then moved into a private singing room at the Music Tunnel, our local Karaoke bar, where they serve yummy boba milk teas and Taiwanese stinky tofu, (yes, at the same time).
I know, a super classy follow up to the wholesome fine dining experience at Greens, right? You betcha. One of the most fun nights in a long time, thanks to each of my Mandarin mamas for making this happen.
Pass the mic and pass the stinky tofu... we took the stage in my last hoorah!
(Now if I can dig up that YMCA clip to attach...hummmm....)