Cooking through the Alphabet

When our children were young we decided to spend as much time with them as possible. Instead of going to preschool I taught them Montessori Preschool. I would come up with weeks worth of lesson plans that we would implement.

Once a week we would bake, and cook our way though the alphabet. I believe it was one of their favorite things to do. We had a great time…we had botany, zoology, science, arts and crafts, music, and we would visit a different park in the SF Bay area on Thursday. Friday we would go to SF Zoo, Oakland, or the one in Walnut Creek.

Anyway, the cooking was so much fun, so I thought that I would share some of the recipes that we used over the three years we were cooking and baking our way through the alphabet.

Measuring, tasting, smelling, are all a big part of learning, and it has been proven that smells are the first sense that takes us back to a memory. How great it is that the memories of cooking and baking will take the kids back to a time of such wonderful innocence? It makes my heart full to know the times we spent together were so happy and so fulfilling! So, this is something new I am looking forward to sharing with all or you!

Classes for April

We have so much going on at our event center, aka “Casa Dell Arte”. We have Rebecca teaching a paint and sip class. The little blue bird is lovely. We are offering the class twice in April. Once on the 6th, and once on the 20th. Members get $5 off the class.

Spring_diptych_right_horizontal We are offering Open Studio twice in April too, this is a chance to meet new people, and bring your own crafts. You have a choice to either bring your own supplies or buy arts and craft supplies here. You can buy pencils and coloring book for $15.00. Plus you will get a glass of wine and some light snacks. Maybe you are in the mood for painting something, you can buy a canvas, and use our aprons, paints, and paint brushes. You will also have an easel to use. All of this for $25, and a glass of wine. If you feel like sewing, you can buy a Tubby Wubby, which has the directions, stuffing, threaded needle, and everything you need.  This craft is $8.  You are also welcome to bring your own craft, and just $10 for a glass of wine. Meet some new friends, and bring some of your own!



Want to paint a cupcake? We will be painting a beautiful cupcake on the 14th of April. This is an artist lead class, so you will have everything you need to create a little masterpiece to take home with you.


Rebecca Ruggle will be back to lead a class in her creation…Tubby Wubby. We will create little lambs on 22nd, “Stitch and Sip”, we have everything you need for the class. This is just in time for Easter.




We also have string art, which is super exciting. We are going to be hammering and learning how to do this fun craft on the 21st of April. Members get $5 off the art and craft events, and anyone staying on our property at Reale Leone, Crush Pad, or the Villa will also get $5 off.  Go to Casa Dell Arte to book one or all the classes, we look forward to seeing you there. Screenshot_20170314-192026

What You Need to Know About Chickens

The story we tell often at the winery is one about the chickens. See, we were city folks. I lived in the city all my life. I have lived in cities throughout the United States. My husband grew up in Oakland, and spent summers in Italy. His family lived in the country, and I had family that lived in the country.

We longed for a life in the country, not so remote that we were far away from anything or anyone. We wanted something that was perfect for us. We looked in northern California, and we learned that what we wanted we couldn’t get zoning for in the area where we were looking. We were told to take our dream to San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara. We found exactly what we were looking for, then we needed some chickens.

We got our chickens…I would come home with 10, my husband would come home with 15. I would come home with 20, he would come home with 25. We finally had to stop going to country stores that were offering baby chicks. OMG! They were just too temping, and we were just too weak.

We made them special herbal water to keep them strong, and had little heat lamps over them in the giant tanks. We used water tanks to make nurseries. We lined each one with pine strips, had water containers inside, as well as food containers. We checked on them several times a day, and once a week, we took out each one of the chickens to clean out the tank.

Then our houses arrived, and they were beautiful. People were so enamored with our little houses. We waited for the chickens to get their tail feathers fully formed before we moved them to their new digs. Honestly, it seemed to take so damn long. Once they were in the houses, we took the care of them in their houses for two weeks. We would open the front door of their house to see if anyone of the chickens would venture out of the house. Finally, by the third day they came outside in their little yard.



Everything was going great until we were attending the football games. We would go to the high school football games, and lock up the chickens doors at night. Then when we came home then in the morning we would discover that there would be 15 missing. Just as we purchased them, the coyotes and foxes caught them.

There was one fox I saw on our property that I would have gladly given a chicken to, if he would have asked me. He was beautiful, but he was so healthy because of all the chickens of ours that he ate.

Now, our little chicken area is like a ghost town. Don’t let anyone tell you that free range is easy, it’s only easy for the coyotes and foxes to obtain a meal.

Antonio Vivaldi

Since I was young, I have appreciated the decor in the homes of others. I remember items from the homes of people I love and have loved. Usually, a particular item in their collection speaks to me, about them.

An example would be my grandmother had a print on her wall that I loved. It was Pont Nerf. When the adults were in a conversation that I believed was boring, I would get lost for a little bit in that piece. I would count the people, study the arches and the reflection of the arches in the water. Admire the architecture that was in the background. Imagine what it was like to walk along the bank of the river, and wonder about the depth of the water. How swift was the water?  Is the current like a washing machine or is it calm? I’ve been looking for the painting that is close to the print, but I still have not found it.

One of my aunts had a sunburst clock on her wall. Another aunt had a ship inside a bottle that sat on the coffee table for years. If I have ever been to your house, I am sure there is something about your house that has struck me. There is something about every house that reminds me of a person. I have collected art that reminds me of people in my life, and when I see the painting, it reminds me of a moment in my life, an experience I don’t want to forget.


This piece is no different. In fact this one reminds me of two people. One of my friends that always played Vivaldi when we ate, and another friend that owned one of these vellum music sheets. I was enthralled when he introduced me to the piece, and knew I had to have one when I got older.

So, the next time you are at my house, you may see a piece that reminds you of home….but it reminds me of you. Even though there may be miles and miles between us, I have a little memento of our time together.

Leo’s Cafe

We love to visit our local restaurants and businesses. Supporting our local businesses will help our community grow. We have so many local farmers, small farms that are trying to make a difference by growing our food in a more suitable practices.

We also have the restaurants that are supporting the local farmers by buying that produce an utilizing it in the cuisine. I want to tell you Leo’s is simple and good food. The food got to our table fast, and it was good. The restaurant is clean, and adorable. It is a converted house, and was a restaurant for about 20 years.

Now, we have the opportunity to enjoy it as a great little place to have breakfast and brunch. If you are in the area, you’ll have to stop and eat. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised how fast your food arrives, and you will leave with a smile and full stomach.

Is the Cost of Summer Camp Worth It?

During the school year my children did not participate in too many after school activities. My husband and I believed that doing well in school was more important, and having fun after school. Our children went to the park, played in the backyard, and rode on their scooters for hours.

When March rolled around, so did all the catalogs for camps. We would comb through the pages and pages of offerings. Residential, day camps, and/or classes. We did a little of each, as well as time for just rest and relaxation.

Our kids did sport camps, karate camp, horse camp, cooking classes, acting classes, wood shop, really…you name it, my kids have probably been in the class or camp. They loved culinary arts, and several years in a row both of the them loved it. Plus, they were cooking since they did Montessori Preschool at home. They helped me pick each leaf off the basil when I made pesto. We would talk about anything and everything during those hours in the kitchen making pesto.

Recently, we don’t get home during our regular dinner hour. My husband I have to stay at the winery a little longer than closing time, or we will have someone at the Inn that we need to wait for their arrival. So, we will text our kids to let them know when we will be coming home.

Just a few weeks ago, I was holding on to some beautiful basil. Waiting for just the right time to make my homemade pesto. I came home to this…IMG_9198

Do you see the basil? I asked…What happened to my basil? My son says “I made pesto, and tortellini.” Honestly, I was thinking “OMG!” He had the dinner in the warming drawer, and put it on the table that the kids had ready.

I was a little hesitant to take a bite, but I tried it. It was delicious! He did a great job. Summer camp is worth the money. Spending time with them cooking and them participating in the process…ahhh! It makes me feel great to know that they loved the moments we shared. They also enjoyed the choices they made about going to each camp and classes. I have two wonderful children. I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments!


William Rockwell 1591-1640

My 10th Great Grandfather, from Earnest Euell Gray, Alda Tribble, Phoebe Grant Smith, Andrew A. Grant, David S. Grant, Noah Grant, Martha Huntington, John Huntington, Ruth Rockwell, William Rockwell.

William was born on February 6th, 1591, in Fitzhead, Somerset, England. He married Susan Capen on April 14th, 1624. in Dorchester, Dorset, England. They had one child during their marriage.

Departed Plymonth 20 Mar 1630 and Arrived Plymouth 30 May 1630 on the “Mary and John”.

WILLIAM ROCKWELL was born in England. The parish register of Holy Trinity, Dorchester, England, records the marriage of William Rockwell to Susana [sic] Capen, April 14, 1624. (P) The Rockwell family traces its origin to Sir Ralph De Rockwell, Norman Knight, who accompanied Empress Matilda into England, 1139, where she laid claim to the English throne. He ultimately joined King Henry II, and was given large grants of land in the County of York, England. (P) William Rockwell came to Dorchester, Massachusetts from England, 1630. He was a freeman and Deacon of the Dorchester Congregational Church. He removed to Windsor, Connecticut, where he died May 15, 1640. His wife, Susana Capen, was the daughter of Bernard and Joan (Purchase) Capen. She was born April 5, 1602 at Dorchester, England, and died November 13, 1666 at Windsor, Connecticut.

Baptized Fitzhead, Somersetshire, 6 February 1590/1, son of John and Honor (Newton) Rockwell. (Other sources give the year of baptism as 1591/2.) Came from Dorchester, Dorsetshire to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 on the “Mary & John.” Deacon of the Church. First settled in Dorchester; moved to Windsor in 1638.

She married (2) Windsor 29 May 1645 as his second wife MATTHEW GRANT. She died at Windsor 13 November 1666

Joan Rockwell Baker (1625 – 1683)*

Samuel Rockwell (1631 – 1711)*

William with his wife and three children were a part of the Winthrop delegation of the Puritan emigration sailing from Plymouth England on the "Mary and John" having departed there March 20, 1630, with Captain Squeb, arriving at Nantasket on May 30, 1630. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock less than ten years before that date.

William came to America in 1630 on the ship Mary and John. He settled first in Dorchester, Massachusetts and then in Windsor, CT.

Sailed on Mary and John, 1630

“The vessel in which Deacon Rockwell and his passengers came over on the ship ‘Mary and John.’ In those days it was called a large ship of four hundred tons. She sailed from Plymouth, England on March 20th, 1630 with 140 passengers, being 72 days on the passage. The word of God being preached and expounded every day during the passage. Great pains were taken to construct this company as would compose a well ordered settlement. In consequence of some misunderstanding about the place of landing, and having no pilot to take the vessel in, the passengers and all their goods with 16 head of cattle were landed by the ship’s boats near the site of Watertown and later located at Dorchester, Massachusetts.William Rockwell appears to have been a very ardent Christman. The history of Dorchester, Mass. refers to him in a list of gentlemen past middle life, with adult families and good estate as being elected a Deacon in the first church formed by the Rev. William Warham and Rev. John Maverick and their friends in the new hospital at Plymouth, and who came over to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630.

The Rev. William Warham had been a prominent minister from Exeter, England and the Rev. John Maverick was a minister of the established church and resided 40 miles from Exeter, England. Deacon William Rockwell was one of the first three ‘selected men’ of Dorchester, Mass. On Nov. 9th, 1630, he was selected one of the jurymen on the trial of Walter Palmer for the murder of Austin Brochus, the first trial by jury in New England. He was one of 24 Freemen who took the Oath of Fidelity May 18th, 1631. He was closely associated with the Rev. Warham and Rev. Maverick, and his fellow Deacon, William Gaylord. He and Rev. Gaylord were appointed administrators on the estate of John Russell in Sept. 1632. He was appointed to lay out the first land grants at Dorchester, and as one of the Deacons of the Dorchester Church, signed all acts and orders of the Plantation prior to 1635. He had land granted to him near Sabin Hill June 27, 1636.

In the printed town record of Dorchester under date of Dec. 17, 1635, he is granted a half acre of ground next Mr. Strongtons ‘near’ the fish house to build him a house on the condition that he ‘goe away’ and leave the Plantation, he shall leave the sayed house and ground to the Plantation in paying him the ‘chardge.’ In 1636, June 22, his house is referred to in the history where Goodman Rockwell now dwells and July 5th, 1636 he had 8 acres given him on Indian Hill. Also mention is made to his ‘lot in the common.’

In some genealogies the town of Dorchester is called Nantasket, an Indian name, but the name was changed to Dorchester, it being the name of the town from which the passengers on the ‘Mary and John’ came from England. The town now called Windsor in Connecticut was formerly called Sunsetting, an old Indian name by which that locality was named.”

Source: Family history researched by Ada Banks


William arrived on the “Mary and John” in 1630 at Boston, Massachusetts or from Fitzhead, Somerset to Windsor, Conn, 1624 (Boyd (President) p56.

William was christened 6 Feb 1591, Holy Trinity Church, Dorchester, Dorset, England. He was buried 15 May 1640, Old Cemetary, Sunsetting, Windsor, CT or Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut.

Anderson lists five children: Joan, John, Samuel, Ruth and Sarah. About the extra children incorrectly associated with this family he writes:

"All secondary sources include in this family a son Joseph and a daughter Mary. This is derived from a pedigree prepared in 1731 by Matthew Rockwell, great-grandson of the immigrant [NYGBR 2:99-102]. Mary is said to have married Jeffrey Baker, so this is a simple error for Joan; there is no independent record for a son Joseph, who is in any case said to have died young. There may be some confusion with the children of William Rockwell's brother Richard, who did have a Joseph and Mary among his six children."[1]


Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2009. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900. Yates Publishing. Gary Boyd Roberts. Ancestors of American Presidents. New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA; 2009. The great migration begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 - Robert Charles Anderson - P. 1594-1597 Henry Ensign Rockwell, The Rockwell Family in America: A Genealogical Record from 1630 to 1873 (Boston, 1873). Francis Williams Rockwell, The Rockwell Family in One Line of Descent (Pittsfield, MA 1924).

1/4/2015 LOOK UP THE PURITAN MIGRATION TO US-.. Found various information on Capen and Rockwell…also found a site that did their best to confirm passengers that were on some of the 11 ships that came over from England…One being the Mary & John Ship and they listed 3 different lists… one being an “A” list which does show Suan Capen, wife of William Rockwell along with William and two children John and Joan which also coincides with findagrave on these parties and Son Samuel would most likely have been born after they arrived in the US which again matches up. Also shows Susan’s age as 28 which also coincides with her birthdate and landing in US in 1630. Also William’s age of 39. Anyways, I am listing all of the passenger list found from this site as there are other familiar sounding names on that record as well such as Phelps and may be some others: “A” List

Our "A" List of those who were CERTAIN or HIGHLY PROBABLE passengers aboard the ship the Mary and John 1630. However, we have attempted to compile a new list of possible passengers and then rate them as follows:

•Our “A” List – Certain or highly probable

•Our “B” List – Probable

•Our “C” List – Possible

Name Approx. Age From (in England) CLAPP, ROGER 21 Salcombe Regis, Devon COGAN, ELIZABETH wife of John Endicott 23 Chard, Somerset COOK, ARRON 14 Dorchester, Dorset DENSLOW, NICHOLAS 57 Bridport, Dorset

Elizabeth Doling, wife a. 56 Bridport, Dorset Temperance Denslow, daughter 21 Bridport, Dorset Joan Denslow, daughter 15 Bridport, Dorset

DYER, GEORGE a. 51 Dorchester, Dorset

Elizabeth _____, wife a. 50 Dorchester, Dorset Elizabeth Dyer, daughter a. 15 Dorchester, Dorset Mary Dyer, daughter a. 10 Dorchester, Dorset

FORD, THOMAS a. 42 Dorchester, Dorset

Elizabeth Chard, second wife a. 41 Dorchester, Dorset Mary Ford, daughter 17 Dorchester, Dorset Joan Ford, daughter 12 Dorchester, Dorset Abigail Ford, daughter 10 Dorchester, Dorset Hepzibah Ford 4 Dorchester, Dorset

FILER, ANNE probably widow a. 40 Probably Dorset

Katherine Filer a. 12 Probably Dorset Walter Filer a. 11 Probably Dorset

GALLOP, JOHN a. 35 Bridport, Dorset GAYLORD, JOHN a. 30 Probably Somerset GAYLORD, WILLIAM a. 39 Crewkerne, Somerset

____, wife a. 37 Crewkerne, Somerset Elizabeth Gaylord, daughter a. 14 Crewkerne, Somerset William Gaylord, Jr., son 12 Crewkerne, Somerset Samuel Gaylord, son 10 Crewkerne, Somerset

GILLETTE, JONATHAN a. 24 Chaffcombe, Somerset HOLMAN, JOHN 28 Dorchester, Dorset HOSKINS, JOHN a. 45 Probably Dorset

Thomas Hoskins, son a. 10 Probably Dorset

LOMBARD, THOMAS 49 Thorncombe, Dorset

____, wife a. 47 Thorncombe, Dorset Barnard Lombard, son a. 22 Thorncombe, Dorset Thomas Lombard Jr., son 12 Thorncombe, Dorset Joshua Lombard, son 9 Thorncombe, Dorset Margaret Lombard, daughter 6 Thorncombe, Dorset

LUDLOW, GEORGE 33 Dinton, Wilts LUDLOW, ROGER 40 Dinton, Wilts MARSHFIELD, THOMAS a. 30 Exeter, Devon

____, wife a. 28 Exeter, Devon Sara Marshfield, daughter a. 3 Exeter, Devon Samuel Marshfield, son a. 2 Exeter, Devon Mercy Marshfield, daughter a. 1 Exeter, Devon

MAVERICK, REV. JOHN 51 Awliscombe, Devon

Mary Gye, wife 51 Awliscombe, Devon Elias Maverick, son a. 26 Awliscombe, Devon Mary Maverick, daughter 24 Awliscombe, Devon Moses Maverick, son 21 Awliscombe, Devon Abigail Maverick, daughter 17 Awliscombe, Devon Antipas Maverick, son a. 12 Awliscombe, Devon John Maverick Jr., son a. 11 Awliscombe, Devon

PHELPS, WILLIAM a. 35 Crewkerne, Somerset

Ann Dover, wife a. 33 Crewkerne, Somerset William Phelps Jr., son 11 Crewkerne, Somerset Samuel Phelps, son 10 Crewkerne, Somerset Nathaniel Phelps, son 5 Crewkerne, Somerset Joseph Phelps, son 1 Crewkerne, Somerset

ROCKWELL, WILLIAM 39 Dorchester, Dorset

Susan Capen, wife 28 Dorchester, Dorset Joan Rockwell, daughter 5 Dorchester, Dorset John Rockwell 2 Dorchester, Dorset

ROSSITER, EDWARD a. 55 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset

____, wife a. 53 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset Nicholas Rossiter, son a. 31 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset Ann ___, wife of Nicholas R. a. 29 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset ___, child of Nicholas a. 4 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset ___, child of Nicholas a. 2 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset Bray Rossiter, son a. 20 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset Jane Rossiter, son a. 16 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset Hugh Rossiter, son, a. 15 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset Joan Rossiter, daughter a. 14 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset

SANFORD, FRANCES, widow a. 42 Dorchester, Dorset

Henry Smith, son a. 20 Dorchester, Dorset

SOUTHCOTE, RICHARD a. 40 Devon TERRY, STEPHEN 21 Dorchester, Dorset UPSALL, NICHOLAS a. 30 Dorchester, Dorset

Dorothy Capen, wife a. 25 Dorchester, Dorset

WARHAM, REV. JOHN a. 34 Exeter, Devon

Susanna Gallop, wife a. 32 Exeter, Devon

WAY, HENRY a. 47 Bridport, Dorset

Elizabeth Batchelar, second wife a. 43 Bridport, Dorset Henry Way Jr., son 19 Bridport, Dorset Aaron Way, son 16 Bridport, Dorset George Way, son a. 15 Bridport, Dorset Hanna Way, daughter 15 Bridport, Dorset Susanna Way, daughter 9 Bridport, Dorset Richard Way, son 5 Bridport, Dorset

WILTON, DAVID 21 Beanminster, Dorset WOLCOTT, HENRY 51 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset

Elizabeth Saunders, wife 44 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset Henry Wolcott Jr., a. 20 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset George Wolcott, son a. 15 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset Christopher Wolcott a. 12 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset

BRANKER, JOHN a. 22 Honiton, Devon

Abigail Searle, wife 18 Honiton, Devon

Baptized Fitzhead, Somersetshire, 6 February 1590/1, son of John and Honor (Newton) Rockwell. (Other sources give the year of baptism as 1591/2.) Came from Dorchester, Dorsetshire to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 on the “Mary & John.” Deacon of the Church. First settled in Dorchester; moved to Windsor in 1638. Buried at Windsor 15 May 1640. Married at Holy Trinity, Dorchester, Dorsetshire, 14 April 1624, Susan Capen, daughter of BERNARD CAPEN . She married (2) Windsor 29 May 1645 as his second wife MATTHEW GRANT. She died at Windsor 13 November 1666