Since dinner usually starts with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, present a box of Yaya's RAW Rah Spicy Flax Krackers with cumin and cayenne to spice up the cheese plate. These crisp organic snacks are made with flax and pumpkin seeds and are rich in fiber and vitamins. Three 4-oz. boxes go for $18 at yayasrawrah.com.
Maine Lobster is one of summer's joys. You'll be amazed that the Hancock Pemaquid Point Lobster Pot Pies, which come frozen in reusable white ramekins, taste so good. Each puff pastry pie is chock-full of Maine lobster chunks in a sherry broth. A box of two 7-oz. pies costs $44 at hancockgourmetlobster.com.
For the taste of crisp green beans fresh from a Vermont garden, bring along Claire's Country Garden Dilly Beans ($9, clairescountrygarden.com). They come pickled in a homey 24-oz. mason jar and pack a strong dill punch. Find the full list of Gallo award winners at gallosonoma.com/goldmedal. Photography buffs visiting San Francisco this year will encounter many reminders that a defining moment for the city, the Great Earthquake of 1906, took place as technology was making the medium more accessible. The disaster was recorded by amateurs and pros alike. Check out the California Historical Society's show of novelist Jack London's collection of photos, both his own and others' (through Sept. 30, californiahistoricalsociety.org). The images, including a shot of a ruined City Hall, are accompanied by London's published writings and his wife Charmian's terse diary entries ("Mate and I spent the night in burning streets.... Terrific experience. Napped on a doorstep till dawn."). The San Francisco Main Library's exhibit shows how the quake was chronicled in personal albums made by residents and tourists (sfpl.org, through Aug. 20).