Have you read “The Help?” I haven’t. I hear it’s excellent, but I just haven’t had the time. Clearly I’m in need of some help. This is why I dropped out of my book club. I was tired of pretending to know what everyone was talking about. Nodding enthusiastically in agreement only takes a girl so far. Eventually your book buddies wise up and call you out.
I love the social aspect of a club. Getting out for a few hours and connecting with friends is good for the soul. Recently I discovered the joys of a different kind of club, the new book club, if you will. The only reading required is the occasional wine label. Pamphlets, brochures and labels; that’s pretty much all I can handle these days.
So, this is my new club…“Wine Club!” Simple, tasty, fast and fun.
Here’s how it works:
1. Gather eight to ten wine lovin’ friends.
2. Sync your calendars. This is usually the trickiest part. You ladies are BUSY! You’ll need to nail down two dates approximately six to eight weeks apart.
3. Select a U-vint retailer close to you. You can search for that here. Call ahead to alert/warn them when your group will be coming to initiate the batches.
4. Visit the wine store together to start your wine. You can read about that here. Before you choose your varietal, discuss whether you’ll keep your entire batch or divvy up the varietals between club members for a little variety.
5. Once your batch is underway (this will take about fifteen minutes), meet up at a nearby restaurant, wine bar or a club member’s house. Sample a few different wines and enjoy some appetizers and good conversation. Do NOT talk about books. If somebody tries to discuss a book, smack them upside the head with it.
6. In a few weeks, when the wine is ready, reconvene at the store to bottle, label and sample your wine.
7. Gather at a club member’s home for more sampling, snacks and good old fashion girl talk. Best club ever right?
My wine is fermenting at this very moment and it’s nearly ready! I’m so excited about meeting up with the YMC Wine club in Toronto on September 12 and 13th and in Vancouver on September 28 and 29th. I can taste my wine, catch up with friends, and make some new ones. Cheers to Wine Club!
For more information to help get your wine club started, visit: www.winemadesimple.ca or the Canadian Craft Wine Makers Association on Facebook.
Summer may be ending, but don’t want to hear it. Talk to me about corn being in season however, and I’m all ears. Ok, ok. I promise no corny puns. I pretty much covered them all in my interview with entertaining expert Edith Jakobs anyway. You can click here to read her tips for outdoor grilling and green entertaining.
Corn is juicy and sweet and a mouthful of yum. Sure, you can boil it and it’s still good. But, grilling takes corn from good to great. It's like corn porn.
There are a million recipes for seasonings and butters to dress your cobs. This thyme and red pepper butter looks delish.
I recently discovered Elote, or Mexican grilled corn. This would make a unique and tasty addition to a fall BBQ. Serve with a red potato salad, a tossed green and a creamy Caesar salad. For dessert, keep the corn theme going and serve an apple cobbler. Get it? Cob-ler. Sorry folks, this is the way my mind works.
Ok, here’s how to make Elote
• 8 ears sweet corn
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper of chili powder
• salt, to taste
• 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
• lime wedges
Soak corn (in husks) in cold water for 20 minutes.
Heat grill to medium.
Peel back corn husks, but leave attached at the end. Remove silk.
Pull the husks back up.
Cook directly on the grill for 20-25 minutes, turning several times.
Remove from heat and carefully (use an oven mitt) take off the husks and brush away any remaining silk.
Place cheese on a large plate.
In a small bowl mix mayo, lime juice, cayenne pepper or chili powder and salt.
Brush each ear with mayo sauce then roll in the cheese.
Serve with lime wedges, additional cayenne pepper or chili powder and fresh finely chopped cilantro.
Image Credit: Ezra Pound Cake