Saturday, April 25, 2015

Glittering Eyes in Hiding

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. 
Roald Dahl, British writer and poet (1916-1990) in The Minpins
The Divine One does not appreciate manicures that reduce the visible sign of her power and authority. Being all wise, she knew of today's scheduled appointment with our kind veterinarian and so her Egyptian heritage led her to the perfect spot to be hidden and yet all-seeing -- behind the mashrabeyya screen. I might mention that she is also unreachable in this particular situation. All knowing, she strutted out as soon as the vet's office was closed for business.
Divine Cat 1 : Mere Mortal 0

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Perfect Pairings

In the abstract art of cooking,
ingredients trump appliances,
passion supersedes expertise,
creativity triumphs over technique,
spontaneity inspires invention,
and wine makes even the worst culinary disaster taste delicious.
Bob Blumer, Canadian food show host and author of The Surreal Gourmet: Real Food for Pretend Chefs

At the conclusion of Day Two of the Three Winos tour of Twenty Valley, courtesy of the Get Fresh passport program, we have come away with a lot of inspiration, a stack of recipes, and not a small number of bottles that will enhance many a meal. Bernedette at Sue-Ann Staff's Estate Winery walked us through the pairing of a Baco Noir with a Bacon Salad with a history of the grape and the estate. Visiting Sue-Ann's elegant dining room is always a treat . . . and so are her wines.

I usually shy away from icewine, but Rockway Vineyards' 2013 Vidal Icewine was luscious alone and it paired perfectly with a non-sweet peach tart, so a bottle has come home with me for a special dinner.

Vineland Estates Winery paired its 2012 Chardonnay Musque with Smoked Whitefish Taco with Pico de Gallo, Pickled Cucumbers and Créme Fraiche. This summer we will be sure to encourage He with the Barbeque to learn the art of smoking -- fish that is.

At our last winery stop of our two-day excursion, we paused to ponder which was the best of the 21 that we had the pleasure to sample. Each winery has its own special quality and so the question could not be answered. Judging by the tinkling of bottles in the car's boot, all are very, very good.

I can't wait for November's tour!

The following weekend, my cousin and I made use of Twenty Valley's Sunday passport. The weather blew cold but the view across the vineyard and Lake Ontario over to Toronto in the distant horizon made us feel like Spring was certainly in the air. I can't wait to taste that nascent vintage!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring in the Valley

Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.

It's that wonderful time of the year again! A time of sipping the grape and savouring tasty morsels while gazing over the hope of what will be the newest vintage. Yes, the Three Winos headed into the Niagara fruit belt for another great "Get Fresh in the Valley" event. This is the first of three weekends that the passport is offered and we enjoyed the fact that there were markedly less people at each winery. The big surprise for me was tasting some delightful rosés and I was inspired by the simple but awesome nibbles. I can't wait for the warmer weather and someone to fire up the barbeque and invite me to imbibe the new vintage on their new desk! Cheers!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

To begin, begin.
William Wordsworth, English poet (1770–1850)

Visiting with the family's master quilter this afternoon, she threw down the gauntlet (that is, a thimble) and provided me with all the necessary tools for taking up the next quilting challenge, hand applique. Along with her instruction, she gifted me with the thimble, the tiniest pins and the longest, thinnest needle that I've ever seen, as well a ball of wax for coating the thread. So now I take up the challenge -- and the thimble. Updates to follow.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

God's Sense of Humour Reineth (or Snoweth)

Dear God, so far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, and I haven’t lost my temper. I haven’t been grumpy, nasty or selfish, and I’m really glad of that! But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help. Thank you! Amen.

The robin on the front yard was trilling, so I know it's Spring; but the snow on the car really had me scratching my head. God has a devilish sense of humour!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ron's Fishing

Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone.
Septimus Winner, American songwriter (1827-1902) in "Whispering Hope" (1868)

Family and friends gathered today to celebrate a gentle man. An avid, if not always successful fisherman (aka the elusive pickerel), I take hope that he has found the perfect fishing hole and that his giggle laugh is reverberating throughout the heavenly sphere. Heaven is a better place for his presence.

During the service, a duet who had brought comfort during his days at the hospice sang "Whispering Hope", a lovely song recorded early on by Gordon MacRae and Jo Stafford (1949) and later by Jim Reeves (1961).

Rest in peace.