One of Sonoma County's most beloved celebrations, the Glendi Ethnic Food Fair, takes place this weekend, from 11 am. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Saint Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Christian Church (90 Mountain View Ave., Santa Rosa).
At the heart of the fair is, as its name implies, food, with cuisines from Russia, Macedonia, Eritrea, Greece, Italy, the Balkans and the Middle East all represented.
Highlights of the menu, which you can read in full at <a href="http://saintseraphim.com" target="_blank">saintseraphim.com</a>, include piroshki, lamb and beef gyro, spanakopita, dolmas, sarma (cabbage stuffed with veal, turkey and pork), tarator (cold cucumber and yogurt soup), timtimo (lentils), hummus, falafel and much more.
There's a bakery full of delicious desserts from around the world, Greek coffee, local microbrews and local wines. New this year is the Baklava Sundae, which features baklava with ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and cherries.
You can enjoy foods on the spot and take them home. This year, there is table service in the Weingarten.
You can listen to live music by Edessa, dance throughout the day, take dance lessons, tour the church, attend vespers service and listen to the choir. There's a bookstore, ethnic crafts, a henna booth and door prizes throughout the day.
Admission is just $5 for adults and free for everyone under 12.
The parish has hosted Glendi, which translates as "party" in Greek, since 1989. It is a major fundraiser, and a portion of the proceeds benefit local nonprofits.
<strong>Glean, You Glean, We All Glean:</strong> This Sunday, Slow Food Russian River joins CropMobster, Bloomfield Farms and Petaluma's Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) to glean produce for COTS and enjoy a fabulous farm meal prepared by chef Brandon Guenther of Rocker Oysterfellers Kitchen and Saloon, located near Bloomfield Farms.
It all takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 12550 Valley Ford Road, Petaluma.
In addition to harvesting and eating, you'll hear presentations by Elizabeth Hale, director of Food Programs at the Petaluma Kitchen; Monica Savon of COTS and Nick Papadopoulos, co-founder of CropMobster.
Kathy Tresch of Two Rock Ranch will speak about how the Friends of the Esteros helped protect the Estero Americano from urban waste water.
This is a family event, so feel free to bring kids (but not pets). Also, bring whatever you want to drink as well as place settings, including glassware, for each person.
Carpool if you can, as parking is quite limited.
<strong>Heirloom Tomato Tasting:</strong> Tomato loves, the season ain't over yet; some would say it is at its peak.
This Saturday, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (50 Mark West Springs Road) hosts a free tasting of heirloom tomatoes, along with a salsa contest, judged by market customers.
Many vendors will be offering special prices on cases of tomatoes so if you're into juicing, freezing or canning love apples, this is a great opportunity.
And be sure to search for vendors with Indigo Rose, the world's darkest tomato. Some are midnight blue with a red blush, others seem almost purple or black. And they have a unique taste that is hard to describe; it's almost as if the tomato tastes like the leaves smell. However you describe it, it is over-the-moon delicious.