musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Ah, Health!

A few years ago I attended a workshop on the health properties of wine and olive oil given by a local vintner and a cardiologist. Growing up as an Italian-American, I knew intuitively what they were talking about! I remember seeing those healthy staples of wine and olive oil nestled together in the cabinet right under our sink in my childhood home.

My parents were lucky to have North Beach Italian grocers where they would buy their wine and olive oil.  I, too, am lucky. I live in a valley where there are many wine tasting venues and a wonderful olive oil shop called Quail and Olive.

Started by Dr. Stephen Brabeck, who was a part of that health workshop I attended years ago, and continued by his daughter Annelise, Quail and Olive is a delightful corner nook that has lots of California-sourced olive oils and vinegars. One can go in and taste away during store hours and even join their Covey Club–which I did– for periodic distributions of olive oil and vinegar.

I just attended their “Covey Club Pick-Up Party” last weekend that was held in the store and its surrounding patio area. There was music by a well-known local musician, gazpacho served with special olive oil and 25 Star Aged balsamic vinegar, a large table filled with cheese/cracker/appetizer goodies, wine by Mercy vineyards, and organic Bee’s Knees ice cream (oh, my) provided by Revival Ice Cream, another local peninsula business which I may just need to research soon!

The air was smoky and the conversations often turned to the California wildfires occurring north and south of us. Those tragic events made us all the more aware and appreciative of life and the blessings we were experiencing at this community gathering.

I met a nice mother-daughter pair from San Francisco/Palo Alto, and we enjoyed recommending favorite restaurants in our respective home areas. I smiled, watching the antics of a sweet little puppy brought to the festivities by one of the patrons. I poked around the store a bit. Along with the oil and vinegar tasting stations, there is a wonderful array of cookbooks, tea towels, table accessories, and kitchenware including some Deruta ceramics from Italy that brought up some nice travel memories.

And then I retrieved my “pick up” bag which included Winter Ambrosia Vinegar and a Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A few days after the party I received a club member newsletter with recipes for using each of these. A nice touch. I am anxious to put my new Quail and Olive products in my vintage cruets, pictured above, that are the very same ones my parents used for oh-so-many decades.

For information on all kinds of products, recipes, and Covey Club membership, please visit the shop’s website at It is filled with all kinds of healthy and fun inspiration!  

12 thoughts on “Ah, Health!”

  • Thanks for reminding me about the lovely Quail & Olive shop. I have 2 empty bottles on my counter that need refills! I’ll have to join the Covey Club. I’m also glad to hear that Annelise has taken over running the shop. Oh yes and I just had a scoop of Bee’s Knees WOW! A fun place to research. Let me know if you need help on that !

    • So glad the post acted as a reminder of this little treasure in our midst. And I will definitely
      keep you in mind for further research!

  • I love that you still have your parents’ lovely vintage cruets!

    Thinking of you and so many others as I read news of the California wildfires. Stay safe!

    • Yes, it is wonderful to have little memory pieces of my parents. And thanks for the good wishes for California.
      What a sad, hard time so many people in our state are having. Sending love their way and yours, friend.

    • Yes, there are so many ways to experience our own home-grown culture and those of other countries. Food and wine products certainly allow us wonderful ways to appreciate the gifts of other lands.

  • You painted a lovely picture of an enriching and relaxing time at the Quail and Olive. People, music, and a puppy too, what could be better? The smoke however reminds us that for those affected gravely by the wildfires this is a challenging, if not tragic time. We will keep them in our thoughts and be grateful for all that we have.

    I love the story of your childhood memories of wine and olive oil being stored in decanters under the kitchen sink. What a gift to use them now and remember with joy your parents and their trips to the North Beach Italian market. The Quail and Olive is a store, individually owned and operated, with a true mission. I appreciate more and more the little places where we can shop that give us joy. The Quail and Olive tasting room is warm and welcoming. The staff is well trained and eager to assist you in your tasting and considerations of oils and vinegars. They also sell sample sizes which is nice. Their website is well done and informative. Let’s hope that the future won’t push out all these local “little joyful” experiences from our cities, towns and villages. Thank you Lynn for sharing the ways you find joy, knowing that those cruets filled with vinegar and oil will be enjoyed often. BTW, if you haven’t tried the Mission Fig vinegar, give it a try. It is really nice.

    • Thanks so much for your response to the blog, Barbara. And thanks too for your vinegar recommendation and for the accolades about our neighborhood shops that provide us with many wonderful products and community experiences. How fortunate we are in so many ways.

  • Lynn,
    Thank you so much for your lovely post. I throughly enjoyed reading it, thank you for writing about quail and Olive! That was such a fun event, I look forward to planning each and every one of our events. Thank you so much for your support! Great blog! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thanks so much, Annelise, for joining in and for being a part of providing such healthy, beautiful products
      and events for our community. I look forward to more Quail and Olive encounters and in the meantime will enjoy
      your oil and vinegar on our nightly salads right here at home. Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well!

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