SMIP Ranch Produce Boxes, Giant See’s Lollypop and Julia Child 100th Birthday Dinners

Carrots from SMIP Ranch. (Photo by Ed Anderson)

Produce Boxes with A Chef Pedigree

Have you lusted after the pristine fruits and veggies on your plate when you’ve dined at the Village Pub in Woodside, Spruce in San Francisco, Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto and Cafe des Amis in San Francisco?

Now, you can purchase the same just-picked produce that those Bacchus Management Group restaurants, which also includes Pizza Antica, use daily. It all comes from SMIP Ranch in the hills above Woodside.

SMIP, an acronym for “sic manebimus in pace, Latin for “thus we will remain in peace,” began its relationship with the restaurants in 2001. The five-acre farm adheres to sustainable practices. In fact, the oil used at the restaurants is recycled and converted into biodiesel that powers the farm equipment and delivery van.

Its bounty has grown so abundant that it can now offer produce boxes to the public each week for $28 each.

Recently, I had a chance to try out a sample box gratis. It was overflowing with lacinato kale, Toyko turnips, Chantenay carrots, zucchini, mustard greens, delicate speckled heirloom lettuces, sprigs of spearmint, tiny-leafed fino verde basil, and squash blossoms. The box also included a handy recipe for “Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms.”

The same produce that top restaurants use can now be purchased by the public. (Photo by Ed Anderson)

The boxes must be reserved ahead of time. You can order one box at a time or commit to a whole season. There are four pick-up locations: Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Spruce Cafe in San Francisco; Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cafe des Amis in San Francisco; Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Village Pub in Woodside; and Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto.

To reserve a box, email: Or call (650) 793-2324.

Still Time to See the World’s Largest Lollypop

See’s Candies has created one monster of a lollypop: It’s 16-feet-7-inches tall and 7,003 pounds.

And you can see it in all its sweet glory when it’ll be on display in San Francisco at a couple of upcoming events.

Now, that's one HUGE lollypop. (Photo courtesy of See's)

First, on Aug. 10, it’ll be at Candlestick Park to add even more cheer when the San Francisco 49ers play a preseason game. See’s will be handing out free lollypops that day, too. But no, they won’t be this big.

Second, Aug. 12, the 49ers get in on the action again when the lollypop will star at the team’s annual “Fan Fest” at Candlestick Park, where the 49ers will host a practice session. Again, look for free regular-sized lollypops to be doled out.

Julia Child Restaurant Week

To commemorate what would have been the late-great Julia Child’s 100th birthday this week, 100 restaurants around the country will be hosting tribute dinners through Aug. 15.

Among them are RN74 in San Francisco, will offer a special $39 prix fixe dinner and a $29 prix fixe lunch featuring Child-inspired dishes, including vichyssoise and lamb stew with spring vegetables.

Bouchon Bistro in Yountville will offer a $55.95 prix fixe or the choice of a la carte Child dishes such as salade nicoise and sole meuniere.

Jardiniere in San Francisco will offer a $49 prix fixe on Aug. 13 that includes Child’s favorite coq au vin and chocolate mousse.

For a complete list of restaurants participating, click here.

More: Julia Child’s Stuffed Tomatoes Provencal

And: A Private Tour of the See’s Candies Factory

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