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Drinking It In

ClubWest

(To view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

The sights, sounds & smells of Italy

By Lorraine Simpson

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The feature image with this article:
A gem in Tuscany, Potentino Castle.

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It’s incredibly difficult not to fall in love with Italy when there is so much incredible history to be explored, food to be savoured and wine to be tasted.

In Rome one can simply not go without visiting the Colosseum from inside or out, posing for a photo with a gladiator, or throwing coins in the trevi fountain…

Rome will inescapably grab you with its charm, history and character. We spent two jam-packed days here on our journey through Rome and Tuscany and would highly recommend getting the skip the line passes when you visit the sites you most want to see. Next we spent a morning in the town just outside of Rome called Frascati. This gem is one of several attractive historic hill-towns to the south-east of Rome known collectively as the Castelli Romani.

Every weekend these towns, and Frascati in particular, fill up with Romans looking for a change of pace, clean air, good food and wine. The wealthy built villas here, many of which are still standing although they’re not open to the public. The most impressive is the Villa Aldobrandini, designed by Giacomo Della Porta for the nephew of a pope. This palace dominates the town, hovering above the central piazza in faded splendour.

We were greeted by Alexander Minardi who is fifth generation winemaker at the Minardi Winery and he took us on a very interesting walking tour of his village before introducing us to some of the local delicacies such as the Porchetta on the wood fired focaccia bread which was to die for! Then we went to his family owned trattoria where we learned “hands on” how to make home made pasta and gnocci. This was such a fun experience in this authentic setting and our host was an Italian grandmother giving us her secrets to pasta making which felt all the more special. The pasta had to dry for an hour or so before eating so we went on a tour of the winery and tasted his wines before returning to eat a delicious antipasti platter followed by the pasta and gnocci we made ourselves with delicious sauces prepared by the chef.

The next day it was time to leave Rome and head for Tuscany.

When you close your eyes and imagine Tuscany, you’re likely to envision rolling, sun-kissed hills dotted with olive trees, grape vines and the occasional farmhouse or villa. It’s a place where time slows and you can savour the rustic, earthy foods and wines that prevail here. As with all regions in Italy, uniquely bold food traditions pervade the area, …

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(To read the full article, please click here to view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online.)

From the Publisher September/October 2017

ClubWest

(To view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

We all subject our family members and friends to whining.

Even the most level-headed among us break down and succumb to a little self-pitying once in a while. It feels cleansing, somehow.

But if you are in a rut or feel like you need a little boost, I am here to tell you to contact Werner Unger (wunger@cogeco.ca) at the Grimsby/Lincoln Special Olympics and volunteer some time.

Now, one might think it seems peculiar to add an element to what may already be a hectic schedule – that may be part of what has you feeling under pressure – but after one hour of working with these local athletes will clearly show you life is good. Life is what you make it.

When preparing this month’s story to note the steady growth over the 10-year existence of the Grimsby/Lincoln Chapter, I ventured down to Grimsby Secondary School for a photoshoot and series of interviews. Athletes were everywhere across the grounds – after running some sprints as part of warm-up. Some of the participants were quite young, most in their teens, and a couple were adults. No matter their age, they all= had a blast.

This was serious stuff for them and, since the provincial Special Olympics was held in July, some of then fully realize that effort manifests itself in results. Grimsby/Lincoln athletes earned a bunch of medals representing their communities and families very well. Congratulations to all for their efforts there!

As well, the parents and volunteers who make the organization go are deserving of appreciation. As noted in my feature, what started as a handful of athletes now numbers over 90 – very impressive.

Seeing these athletes in their element, working hard and taking great pride in what for many would feel to be a simple achievement, gives one pause to reflect and take stock in what we do have in our everyday lives.

As well in this edition readers will see the storied, 150-year legacy of St. Joe’s Church. Impressive to be sure. As well, for the foodies in the crowd, we have provided a “Best Of ” for Chef Jan Stulp’s “Chef In Residence” feature. Presented in this edition are the most talked about and commented recipes in the nearly three years he has been penning that feature.

Travel writer Lorraine Simpson takes you on a tasty tour of Italy – how could it be otherwise – and Beamsville’s own Brent Bochek highlights the exploits of a recent fishing venture. All in all, a diverse and intriguing effort. Enjoy!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

Summertime: and the cookin’ is easy …

ClubWest

(To view our July/August 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

By Jan-Willem Stulp

I don’t know about you but, between you and I, summertime isn’t nearly as relaxing as it could be; partly my own fault, I understand, as I tend to have lots of things on the go, and rarely take enough time to ‘relax’.

I tend to relax when I’m doing things I enjoy. This includes work-ish things, oddly enough. Like cooking.

In my career I have done some pretty intense things which are also enjoyable in their own way; much like winning a game in sports.

The intensity can be a source of leisure enjoyment, even though some ‘leisure’ activities, might not seem leisurely at all!

One of the things that impedes us from enjoying cooking is not having the time or ingredients to create something that is delicious, healthy, satisfying (and impressive….). So I’ve embarked on a little plan to assemble and share some of the things that I have done at our house, after work, which take very little
time and most of them allow for outside cooking, which is that much more enjoyable in my opinion.

Store these little gems away for those times when you just want to grab one or two things from the grocery store, get home and relax, while you cook. I usually leave my ingredients at 5-6 at the most, but I assume that everyone has salt, pepper and oil.

I don’t count those.

(Chef Stulp co-owns, along with his wife Jane, Grand Oak Culinary Market in Vineland.)

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For all the Chef’s recipe suggestions, click here for Club West Online.