NOVEMBER/DECEMBER EDITION 2018
Avro Arrow's link to Grimsby Resident Bill Logan's passion for planes led him to the Arrow two PeArs beAt AnythinG Especially when poached in wine for holiday guests Just CAll me seemore Grimsby authorâ€™s journey: light into darkness
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Aeronautical engineer Bill Logan of Grimsby recalls his years working at Avro Canada, including his time working on the infamous Avro Arrow. Page 6.
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Page 6 – Avro’s demise still a bitter pill Page 12 – Just Call Me SEEMORE! A Grimsby author’s journey from light into darkness Page 16 – Market Shopping –European style: Travel writer Lorraine Simpson takes you to the Christmas markets across the pond Page 23 – It’s “pear-ing” up to be a tasty Holiday Season” Chef Jan-Willem Stulp shows how NOVEMBER/DECEMBER EDITION 2018
ON THE COVER
Avro Arrow's link to Grimsby Resident Bill Logan's passion for planes led him to the Arrow
Some great stories in this edition, highlighted in a different manner this month as the Christmas Season approaches.
two PeArs beAt AnythinG Especially when poached in wine for holiday guests Just CAll me seemore Grimsby author’s journey: light into darkness
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opinion STAYING CONNECTED
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin Like many Canadians, I have looked at the cancellation of the Avro Arrow program as one of the great mysteries in our nation’s still-young history. I have read a lot about the company, the jet – the first and only supersonic interceptor built in Canada, developed to offset the threat of Soviet bombers which could attack North America by flying over the Arctic – and Diefenbaker’s decision. The purely economic side makes sense. The government had no suitors. The U.S. would never buy Canadian, and why would they if the got all the theory and research for free (see the story) AND got all the benefits of the brain drain when the project and Avro died? There is one outstanding query which overshadows any possible theory as to the Dief ’s motivation: Why the voracity? Why would anyone who has spent millions upon millions – when $1 million was a mythological amount – not only kill a program but dissolve every bit of research, knowledge and understanding of that project? Sure, cancel it to save money if you choose, but why would the actual five competed jets not simply be mothballed, plans and drawings archived, test results filed for future use if needed? So you don’t want to spend good money after what was deemed bad....but how do you justify wasting every dime spent on the project by wiping the results of Canadian ingenuity from the face of the earth? Simply, one can’t. In a more philosophical look, take a look at the news around the world today. It seems pretty bleak and the horizon is not great. However, one thing Canadians have always had to prop us up has been our standing on the world stage. Canada, for many decades, has been kind of like a Switzerland with some clout. The clout comes from being part of the G7. The standing comes from the ability of Canadian officials to be looked upon as though they are referees for the world, an arbitor at times. So think about this: Dief steps on the gas, antes up a ton of money and puts the Arrow into full production for the Canadian Air Force. That would have made Canada a military power. There would have been demand to send planes and soldiers into the world’s skirmishes. Gone would be our “peacekeeper to the world” standing and we would have been much more aligned with the U.S.’s military might rep. That possibility is the only reason, even though I have never heard it mentioned, that could make sense for killing the Avro Arrow other than financial. Publisher, ClubWest Magazine Mike Williscraft
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November/ December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Avro story anything but straight as an arrow
60 years after first flight, Grimsby resident recalls every detail of Avro Arrow development and its demise
Bill Logan, 96, of Grimsby with a set of Avro Arrow drawings. Williscraft - Photo
By Mike Williscraft hat is one of Canada’s most legendary mysteries is a vivid memory for Grimsby’s Bill Logan. The Avro Arrow - infamous for its seemingly arbitrary cancellation by then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in February 1959 - is still looked at as an engineering marvel. This although Diefenbaker ordered every plan, every blueprint, every complete Arrow and all materials related to testing destroyed. Simply, he ordered that every aspect of the project be shredded, burned and/or eliminated. For Bill, now 96 years old, was fulfilling a lifelong interest in planes and aeronautical engineering when he took a job at Avro Canada, based in Milton, Ont., at the end of WWII. Avro - with its parent company in England - on its own was a mercurial Canadian success story which opened its doors in 1945 and, at its peak, employed more than 50,000 people with 15,000 of those employees working at the Milton plant and fellow subsidiary Orenda Engines. Previous to the engineering work on the Arrow, Avro had gained a top-drawer reputation with planes such as the Avro Lancaster Bomber as evidence of their efforts and expertise. With dedicated employees like Bill in their fold, success was almost guaranteed. Bill, a Niagara Falls native, adored planes from the time he was a toddler. “It was all I thought about when I was a youngster,” said Bill with a smile, adding, “you can put the P.Eng. after my name because I am still an engineer.”
“I built more than 100 model planes. I was interested in aircrafts right from the start. With aeronautics as his sole goal, a university degree in engineering was his immediate goal as a youth. “I checked out Toronto and Montreal but they didn’t have degrees, I wanted the degree as well, so I went to University of Michigan. Crossing the border for studies or socializing was much more simple in that era. “Growing up in Niagara Falls it was nothing to hop across the river for a coffee or entertainment,” Bill recalled. As a side note Bill noted that he is likely the only living person left who would have seen the collapse of the border bridge in Niagara Falls in 1940. “It collapsed due to ice build up. I was right there,” said Bill. Bill got two years in at UofM before WWII broke out, at which time he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. Much of his time in the RCAF was spent at the airbase in Dunnville. “Because of my stature, they wanted me to be a gunner on a bomber,” said Bill. “But I had red/green blindness, so I could not do it.” Because of his knowledge, it made
sense to keep Bill involved with pilots and flying so he began his stint training air crew on how the aircrafts work - all phases. “I got them trained, then the fellas left here for England to join the war effort,” said Bill. War time in Niagara was a pretty simple time as resources were scarce, something many today would find hard to believe. “I had an old Chevy so I could get back and forth to Niagara Falls. You couldn’t get tires, so mine had a lot of patches. If you had a problem, you patched it and kept going,” recalled Bill. “And that was if you could get gas. It was not unusual for a gas station to have a ‘no gas’ sign up.” So when he had no gas but had to get some place, he used his thumb. “Hitchhiking was not a problem back then. If you had a uniform on, somebody would pick you up right away,” he said. “One time in Niagara Falls, I got picked up by a snow plow in a big storm. He needed help working the wing, so I rode with him all the way to Dunnville working that wing.
One of the Avro Arrow test models ready for launch. The launch apparatus had to be brought in from the U.S. Photo courtesy National Air Force Muceum of Canada.
Continued From Page 7 With the end of the war, soldiers returned home on a “first in, first out” basis. This meant Bill would be released towards the end of the process. This would have compromised his return to UofM to complete his engineering studies, so he wrote a letter asking for permission for early release so he could get to school in time for the semester start. “The granted my request, so I was one of the first soldiers to return to civilian life. The other fellas weren’t back for another six months or so,” Bill recalled. “They gave us $150 and told us we could wear our uniforms for one month after we got out. For some, those were the only clothes they had. I was a bit of a celebrity. I got invited everywhere. It was great. I told them I was Canadian but they said that did not matter.. It was a fun time.” And part of his fun at
UofM was extra-curricular activities. Bill was a champion badminton player for Big Blue. When his second stint at UofM wrapped up, he had a summer work placement and then it was time to job hunt. Post-war, it was not much of a hunt. “It was really easy to get a job. You didn’t need
any experience. When I was done with school, I went to Avro to apply. I got in right away. My first job was just drawing different designs, like wings. Gradually, you worked your way through different aspects of design and eventually I was moved into electrics and hydraulics,” said Bill.
Bill Logan with a model of the Arrow and a photo on the wall from the jet’s first flight, March 25, 1958. The photo is signed by Arrow pilot Janusz Zurakowski Williscraft - Photo
PASSIONS History Continued From Page 8 For Bill, who knew what he wanted to do with his life right from the moment he gave it a first thought was now living his dream. The first major project he worked on for Avro was the Canuck fighter. He spent about 10 years on that project. In 1957, he started working on the Arrow. For an aeronautical engineer, working on the Avro Arrow was the Super Bowl of jobs. There was nothing in the world at that time which was more dynamic, more cutting edge and more challenging than working on a jet fighter which had the world talking. The Arrow was about to make Canada a world power when it came to developing and manufacturing fighter jets. “We were far ahead of everyone, espe-
Members of the OEX Recovery Team execute the task of cleaning up the first 1/8th scale Avro Arrow test model found in Lake Ontario, Aug. 12, 2018. Photo courtesy OEX Recovery Team
cially the U.S.,” said Bill with great pride. “It was the hermetic seals on our electrics and our hydraulics which set us apart. No other plane had what we had.” The Arrow was developed to combat Soviet spy planes which were regularly invading air space over Alaska and Canada’s northwest. The Arrow had a wingspan of 50 ft and was 77 ft in length. Its loaded weight was 68,605 lbs. While there are a lot of other specs to go with those, the major feature of the jet was its speed - maximum Mach 1.98 (1,307 mph) - and its ceiling altitude was 53,000 ft. The highest altitude passenger plane in use today, 60 years later, is the Gulfstream G650 which has a cruise ceiling of 51,000 ft.
Bill explained that the hermetic seals and hydraulics that had been developed were what allowed the Arrow magic to happen. “We needed to have our electrics in hermetic seals to keep the air pressure consistent around them. When the plane was at altitude, we had to ensure everything would work,” he said. During this part of his tenure, Bill said his team had a lot of meeting with U.S. representatives who were seeking to understand how the Canadians were doing what they were doing. “We had a lot of meetings with U.S. officials. Each time they came around, my boss would say run off of a copy of that design and give it to them. That bothered me,” recalled Bill. “Why would we give them our technology. I asked a couple of times, ‘Are you sure you want to give that to them?’ I was told, ‘Why not? They are our ally’.” The key to that situation, said Bill, was the U.S. was not interested and never would be interested in buying fighter planes from any other country. If it was not U.S. made, they were not interested. “The U.S. wanted our plans and theory, not our jets. I didn’t like giving away our work for free,” said Bill.
Bill and the second love of his life, his bride of 60 years as of Oct. 11, Helen. They met during his time at Avro. November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Continued From Page 9 Bill was one of the lucky ones. He got two more years of work, shifting over to the CF-100, but most were not so lucky. Despite the advances in technology which made the Arrow “Most of the people I know went to the U.S. to work,” he the fastest jet at that time, there were issues. said. It was not until some research was assessed from firing eight The end was brutal. Everything was ordered destroyed. test models out over Lake Ontario did designers realize that the “They came in and cut up the actual jets right in the hangar “steady plane” of the wing’s front edge was “no good”. with blow torches: brand new planes. It “The break in the front edge of the “They came in and cut up the didn’t make an ounce of sense. All the wing solved the in-flight problem,” said Bill. actual jets right in the hangar investment was done. It was ready,” said Bill. “The tests really did it.” with blow torches: brand new And the rest, as they say, is history. And with that, the Arrow was on the But with the Avro Arrow it seems very edge of making history. planes. It didn’t make an much to be a living history as there are But.... ounce of sense.” several conspiracy theories about what With the U.S. feted with all the information it needed, and England William H. Logan, P.Eng. would lead Diefenbaker to not only scuttle the project, but to wipe it from an interested customer, but one which the face of the earth, especially given its stature as a source of did not have enough financial resources to be a serious bidder, national pride. the days of the Arrow came to a screeching halt with an edict As much as the lack of a customer to buy the jets was part of from then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the project. In keeping with much of the lore of the ill-fated Avro Arrow, the mix, Bill says there were other complicating factors. “The fact we gave the U.S. drawing after drawing, they didn’t its, although sad as far as Canadian history goes, somehow fits have to buy anything. The Canadian Air Force wanted it, but its meteoric rise to infamy. “The day it was cancelled was like any other day. I was sitting the government didn’t want to pay for it,” he said. “And aside from that, two of the key people involved just at my desk and an announcement came on, “As of now, the didn’t get along. Our manager at Avro and key government Avro Arrow has been cancelled. You are all fired. The security representative had what you would call a personality clash. people will see you out of the building,” recalled Bill. They just didn’t like each other.” “It was horrifying: thousands out of work just like that.”
A piece of history found on the bottom of Lake Ontario, Photo courtesy OEX Recovery Team
10 clubwest.ca | July/August 2018
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Just Call Me SEEMORE Grimsby authorâ€™s journey from light into darkness and self-discovery
12 clubwest.ca | September/October 2018
Keagan looks ready for the show ring, walking tall with author Stephen Barker and friend Lise Mollgat. McDonald - Photo
PURSUITS Literature By Joanne McDonald There’s a crowd around author Stephen Barker and the line is moving slowly for a signed copy of his newly released book. It’s his day to celebrate the story of his life but everyone it seems, wants time to share news about their own. It feels like a party and everyone is welcome. Barker is blind, but he sees people in a way that draws them close. It’s a golden thread through his new book Just Call Me SEEMORE A Memoir and a gift he is sharing freely under the halo of colourful balloons at the literary event. “When I meet people I see their soul. I don’t judge,” says Stephen. “I don’t have to see people to know how they feel. All my senses are so heightened,” and now, “I wouldn’t want to lose
that. It’s a gift not a hindrance.” Moving from light into darkness and self-discovery, Stephen gained new insight and purpose and he knows that he went blind for a reason. Stephen’s kindness and humour run freely through the pages of his book. Through all the vagaries life handed him - trauma laid upon trauma of losing his sight, losing his cherished mother, his brother and his father, the loss of his beloved guide dog’s ability to lead him safely and his own struggle through cancer - it was the kindness of so many people that gave him hope and the book’s straight up message to each one of us through our own struggles is that we never walk alone. “I have great friends and people all around keep me going,” Stephen said. His
partner Barry is a quiet rock of support and has always been there for the past 31 years. Canadian Tire owner Pat Jaskula is one of the ‘angels’ in Stephen’s life. He calls her his “partner in canine,” and she has organized the book launch at her Grimsby store. Pat has been an integral part of Stephen’s journey. Together with his “hero” foster puppy trainer Steve McDonnell and a generous local community, they have raised awareness and financial support for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program which gave Stephen “his new set of eyes.” Pat says Stephen is the most positive person she has ever met. “He has helped
Book signing for the newly released ‘Just Call Me SEEMORE A Memoir’ Oct. 12 at the Canadian Tire store in Grimsby. From left: store owner Pat Jaskula, author Stephen Barker with Keagan, editor Eloise Lewis, LifeTales, Stephen McDonnell, foster puppy trainer, and designer/publisher Daniel Crack, Kinetics Design. McDonald - Photo
November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Continued From Page 13 a lot of people with his message and he speaks so well.” “We just clicked,” said book editor Eloise Lewis, LifeTales, confessing she’s gone into a bit of withdrawal now that the book is done. “Stephen is hilarious. He has the greatest sense of humour.” Eloise said the book is an inspiration, from the dazzling burst of white light on the cover, to the stories Stephen shares inside. “Stephen has a spiritually that is highly developed. He has discovered this whole other level of self.” Joining the book launch, designer and publisher Daniel Crack, Kinetics Design, said it was a great experience to be a part of the project. “I was so happy to be involved.” Born in Hamilton, Stephen worked as a flight attendant with Wardair, a career he
loved, travelling the world. He was in his mid-thirties when the first arrow found its mark - he reached for a door handle and it wasn’t there. His eyes continued to blur. It wasn’t too concerning. Months later, he made an appointment with an eye doctor and was told he was going blind. He hated the cane that was placed in his hand to navigate the outside world. He didn’t use it much. “I was losing Stephen and becoming ‘the blind guy’.” Shopping at a local grocery store with Barry, they had noticed on a few occasions a man with a puppy wearing a ‘Guide Dog in Training’ jacket. It was Steve McDonnell and the puppy was Diesel, who would soon enough be partnered with his friend Connie Groves. Steve scribbled the contact information for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides on a box top and when Stephen and Barry
Hot off the press, Stephen Barker holds the first copy of his newly released book Just Call Me SEEMORE A Memoir.
14 clubwest.ca | November/December 2018
From Life Tales editor, Eloise Lewis Stephen Barker was in his mid-thirties and leading a pretty normal life…until his world was turned upside down when he went blind. In this inspiring memoir, Stephen chronicles how, within a relatively short time span, he had to face the fear and the challenges of blindness and the trauma of losing close family members to cancer. The turning point came when he discovered the Lions Foundation Dog Guides program and was given his “new set of eyes,” a black Labrador named Zulu. With his furry guardian angel, the first of two guide dogs over a period of 10 years, he regained his independence and a reason to live. His descriptions of training at the dog guides school and the day-to-day incidents that he faces as a blind person make for at times hilarious and always fascinating and insightful reading. Stephen’s sense of humour and hope, combined with the kindness shown to him by so many people, help him overcome everything that life throws at him. His path from light into darkness was one of self-discovery as he came to understand that he went blind for a reason. His journey has brought him to a different form of light, with the conviction that you never really see until you stop seeing. Now he’s paying it forward - and still making people laugh. The 198-page book was designed and published by Daniel Crack, Kinetics Design. Editing and project management, Eloise Lewis, LifeTales. Back cover photo by Bryan Macaulay, Village Studio, Grimsby. Just Call Me SEEMORE A Memoir by Stephen Barker is available on Amazon.ca, hard copy or eBook.
Continued From Page 14
got home, they stuck it in a drawer where it would sit for the next two years. Eventually, Stephen made the call and joined a class at the school in Oakville where people went to train and be matched with a guide dog. Introduced to his two-year-old black Labrador Zulu, Stephen let the dog climb onto his bed that night, and smiling in the dark, he thought, “Zulu, my new eyes.” “Despite all the challenges I was facing, I could still manage now and then to find laughter in myself. The spark in my soul would light up and the light would flow through my veins.” After a few years, Zulu, who had given Stephen his independence, retired and remained in the family along with the addition of Keagan, Stephen’s new dog guide. “I was living with clarity and awareness nobody else could even imagine… I learned to really see the day I stopped seeing.” When friends Matt and Evelyn Lawless sent information about a type of glasses that might help Stephen see, and wanted to pay for the device that would cost many thousands of dollars, it was then Stephen realized he had to start writing things down. “I needed to share these experiences, so others could know the kindness, the love and the hope that were still out there.” Friend Lise Mollgat was there in the beginning, cheerleading and offering her creative writing skills to get the project off the ground. “You need to do this,” she told Stephen. Earlier this year, Stephen earned a Civic Award from the Town of Grimsby. And it will soon be time for his beloved Keagan to retire. Stephen will be returning to school in April 2019 to bond with and love a new guide dog, Austin.
It’s not where you walk, it’s who walks with you - a moving message on a warm sweatshirt worn by Stephen Barker.
Canadian Tire sponsors 20th guide dog in 8 years Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides is a national charitable organization that assists Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them with dog guides at no cost. The Foundation operates a national training school in Oakville where the dogs are specially trained. It costs about $25,000 and takes two years to raise, train and place a partner. The Foundation relies on donations and does not receive any government funding. Pat Jaskula, owner of the Canadian Tire store in Grimsby became involved about eight years ago through Steve McDonnell, a Grimsby resident and foster puppy trainer. “Steve had fostered 14 dogs over 14 years of his life, pretty amazing,” said Pat. The local Lions had retired from organizing the annual fundraising dog guide walk and picking it back up, Pat and Steve, who had also introduced her to Stephen Barker, planned the first of what would become an annual tradition. “Three or four of us were there for the first walk and we raised about $2,000,”
said Pat. “We’ve just completed our 8th walk and this year we raised $29,800 to help train dogs.” An annual online auction organized by Ingrid Hansen-Younger and Paul Klager has been a great success as well Pat’s annual golf tournament which this year sponsored its 20th dog. The training of a dog guide is an intensive four to six month period, training one-on-one with a trainer. Once fully trained, the dog is matched with its handler who then spends up to four weeks at the Oakville training facility, learning how to handle, trust and bond with their new dog guide. The foster puppy program helps with the care of future Dog Guides between seven weeks and 12-14 months. During this crucial time in each puppy’s life, they are temporarily “adopted” by a foster family, who teach them basic skills and provide a solid foundation for their future. For more information visit www.dogguides.com
November/ December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Opening September 15, 2018.
Market shopping European style
A market scene in Vienna, Austria.
By Lorraine Simpson he festive season is almost upon us, bringing the aroma of cinnamon spiced mulled wine, Christmas tunes and plenty of holiday spirit, and I can’t think of anything more festive than taking a European break to shop in some of the best Christmas markets in the world! The Christmas market has become a key part of Europe’s festivities with large cities, smaller towns and villages joining in the craze with pretty log cabin style market stalls packed with all kinds of unique gifts and foods. From the medieval streets of Prague to the cobbled stones of Strasburg the Christmas markets in Europe are a feast for the senses.
Beautifully decorated stalls offer handicrafts and gifts, festive baked treats, glühwein and delicious regional specialities. All the while, choirs and brass-bands provide festive musical accompaniment. Last November I went on an AMA Waterways river cruise along the Danube River from Budapest to Vilshoven. Many Christmas markets were already open and the favourite for me was Vienna. Actually in any season Vienna is my favourite city in the world and I could happily relocate there. Like an advent calendar come to life, Vienna truly radiates holiday charm from mid-November until January. With more markets to choose from and thousands of sweet and savoury treats awaiting at each, you can easily
spend your entire visit eating your way through each of the spectacularly different markets. Even though thousands of visitors swarm to the picture-perfect city for the markets, it’s just as popular for the locals – who dub the holiday a true social affair. Every day you’ll find locals dressed elegantly sipping Glühwein (the local mulled wine), and munching on freshly roasted chestnuts and spicy Christmas cookies. The main Christmas market is in front of the famous City Hall - Rathausplatz and is an entire complex complete with an ice skating circuit and a carousel. If you’ve never been to Budapest before, the city might take you by surprise, especially at Christmastime. November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
PASSIONS Travel Continued From Page 17 One of the most festive and beautifully decorated cities you’ll ever see, Budapest really puts on a gorgeous show for the holidays. You’ll find many Christmas markets spread across the city but the most famous is the one found in front of the majestic St. Stephen’s Basilica in Vörösmarty Square which is home to over 100 stalls selling a vast array of arts and crafts from local vendors. As a devout foodie I headed for the food area which sits in the centre of the market, adjacent to the large well-lit Christmas tree. The selection of dishes is almost dizzying, with vendors selling plump grilled sausages topped with spicy mustard and paprika; mulled wine spiced with fresh fruit; puff pastry chimney cakes that are cooked on an open spit and rolled with chocolate or cinnamon sugar and the largest (and crispiest) potato
Vienna Town Hall.
18 clubwest.ca | September/October 2018
Colourful Christmas ornaments at a Vienna market booth.
Some of the wares on display in London, England.
Continued From Page 18 pancakes you can find. For something truly Hungarian, opt for a warm duck or beef filled cabbage roll doused in a fresh tomato sauce or a succulent tray of meltin-your-mouth pork knuckle served with caramelized onions and peppers. As a Brit it would be remiss of me to leave out my home city of London. You can find a Christmas market on nearly every corner starting in mid to late November. Because of the sheer size of the city, the Christmas cheer is spread throughout – from the official Norwegian stalls decked out on Trafalgar Square to the ice skating rink right in Somerset House.
For foodies, some of the best fare can be found in East London at the Hyper Japan market on the Tobacco Dock. Here you’ll find endless supplies of sake, stalls selling authentic crafts, art, kimonos and amazing Japanese cuisine – such as Wasabi frosted cupcakes, hot bowls of miso soup, expertly crafted sushi and perfect slivers of sashimi and more in the bustling eating area. Along with over 100 vendors selling hand-made crafts and gifts, there’s the Urban Makers Feast, which features amazing bites from local chefs – like succulent pork sliders, decadent chocolate tortes and layered banana cakes and mulled wine cocktails spiked with
bourbon, to name a few. Soak up the festive atmosphere at Winter Wonderland - one of the biggest Christmas markets in London in the magical setting of Hyde Park. There are more than 200 wooden cabins overflowing with fantastic gift ideas including handmade crafts and beautiful pieces of jewellery and of course lots of fabulous food to taste. After Christmas shopping in the markets walk past the iconic shop windows of famous stores such as Harrods and Selfridges and get lost in the food halls as you try to stop your credit card from spontaneously combusting. November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Continued From Page 19 So how can you visit these wondrous festive markets? There are many ways. Of course my favourite way will always be by riverboat. AMA Waterways offers many Christmas Market cruises where you hop from one city or town to the next visiting the best European waterway towns have to offer. The benefits of course include never having to pack and unpack and your food, drink and entertainment are all included as are the excursions to each market over the seven-night cruise...what could be better? Actually it does get better, next November we are inviting our friends and celebrity Chef Massimo Capra and his lovely wife Rosa on a Christmas in November River cruise on the Rhine where we will visit Strasburg, Cologne and Amsterdam Christmas Markets along others. The cruise will also include cooking demonstrations and food tours with Chef Massimo and crafty demonstrations and talks on Christmas decorating by the very
talented decorator, Rosa Capra. Wouldn’t that be an amazing Christmas gift? Of course you could always opt for the independent route by train. The trains in Europe are very easy to navigate and reliable. You could easily do three cities in a week and my best suggestions for locations and originality would be to combine Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Each city is different in their look and feel, their food and their Christmas markets. I would love to talk to you more about this and we will be hosting an evening at Capra’s Kitchen in Mississauga in November to discuss our Ama Waterways cruise for next year. Check our website for details coming soon: www.conciergetravelgroup.ca Please feel free to contact me to help book your Christmas market tour or for any travel needs including gift cards for Christmas.
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22 clubwest.ca | November/December 2018
Of Pears, in Autumn By Jan-Willem Stulp he area around Niagara has been known for centuries as the Golden Horseshoe, a place in Canada where the climate was temperate enough to support ‘soft fruit’, the various crops of stone-fruit such as plums, apricots peaches etc. A much hardier fruit are the ‘pome fruits’ the family of trees in the same family as Roses. Pome fruits generally have flesh around a seed cluster, in the centre, and include apples, quince, crabapples and wild apples, as well as pears. The lesser celebrated cousin of apples, pears are nonetheless a significant crop for Niagara orchard farmers. Pear trees are always recognizable by their growth habit, sort of a tall-ish main trunk, with branches kind of ‘falling’ off at the top; imagine a conductor, just about to launch into a crescendo… Most of us are reasonably familiar with the Bosc, Bartlett and Anjou pears, easy-eating pears that are still cultivated throughout the Peninsula. A few of us may have had an opportunity to sample ‘Nashi’ pears, an Asian variety that’s incredibly juicy and tender; I used to be able to get these, by the flat, (never in bushels, they are too delicate for that) from a gentleman who had propagated several trees off a cutting he brought from his native Japan. They were very special, and delicious! Nashi, or Japanese pears are available from time to time in grocery stores, recognizable by the white ‘sweater’ they have on to protect them. Another variety, of which we only know of one tree in existence, (although I hope there are more) is the pear called Lawrence, a super-late variety, picked at the end of the Fall. I’m hoping to get just a few. Like so many other products, processes and skills, we are in danger of losing a good many pear cultivars, though. I remember working with Seckel pears or sugar pears, and a beautiful
pink variety whose name I’ve forgotten. My parents would talk about pears that they had in their youth, which were inedible raw, but were cooked and canned for winter treats, and held up very well to cooking. I don’t know their English name. And then there are quince, technically a different fruit, but basically a pear which, when cooked with a bit of acid, becomes a deep burgundy colour, with a most intoxicating honey aroma! Pears, to me, have a quality which makes them entirely unique; this fruit can actually taste creamy, exotic. I find it almost comparable in structure and use to mango; when hard, and slightly underripe, has a nice crunch and tang, great julienned in a salad. But let it ripen fully, and it becomes sweet, soft and juicy, with an exotic flavour and incredible aroma! The pears we know are reasonably abundant, I know of several orchards in our vicinity here at Grand Oak. Pears, like apples, grow well in cool climates, and many trees withstand the Canadian winters in Southern Ontario just fine. At the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, just across the road, they have just recently developed a late-ripening variety called ‘Coldsnap’, which we got to work with for a bit. The more well known varieties are the Bosc pears, best for cooking, as they keep their shape, the Bartlett, a sweet, juicy variety, used for canning and juicing, and Asian pears, or Nashi pears, rarely if ever cooked. We work with pears pretty much exclusively in the Fall, into the first part of the Winter. This is when they are undisputedly at their best. I love working it into soups, especially with parsnips, or chestnuts, and it’s a great combination with cheese, as well. I’ve selected the following as some ideas of what you could do with pears; nothing complicated, just sweet, creamy deliciousness! (Chef Stulp co-owns, along with his wife Jane, Grand Oak Culinary Market in Vineland.) November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Chef In Residence CUISINE
Honey & Pear Crostata, with Chevre & Pecans I made this originally with fresh figs instead of pears; also amazing! The idea is that the baguette is lightly toasted and then topped by this delicious mixture! A great way to use pears that are ripe. INGREDIENTS • 200 g Goat’s cheese, soft • 1/2 fresh baguette, sliced, lightly toasted • 3 pears, ideally ripe, like Bartlett or Anjou, peeled, cored and diced • 100 g pecan pieces • organic honey • thyme • salt and pepper DIRECTIONS Once the baguette is
toasted, the chevre will soften nicely on it. Do this first, while you mix the other ingredients; The pear and pecan can be lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and a bit of finely chopped fresh thyme.
This will cause the juices to come out a bit. Heap the crostata with the topping, artfully arrange on a plate and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.
For Christmas Cheer, Go West
November 2018 • Grounded Yoga — Join us at Megalomaniac Winery for a 1 hour Hatha yoga class & meditation with Catherine Frechette followed by a glass of Grounded Reserve Wine. Admission $29/$24 for Wine Club members. Megalomaniac, 3930 Cherry Ave. Vineland, (905) 5625155 • Winemaker’s Dinner— Rockway Winery, Nov. 5 at 7 PM for an intimate four course dinner prepared by Chef Stefan Olk and hosted by Winemaker David Stasiuk. Each course is paired with one of our award winning Wines. 3290 Ninth St., St. Catharines (905) 641-1030 • Holiday Murder Mystery, Dinner & Dance — Casablanca Winery Inn. Back by popular demand and just in time for your Holiday Party, we are pleased to welcome back It’s a Mystery to Me for another fabulous night of Murder Mystery, Dinner and Dance. Friday Nov. 25 in the
24 clubwest.ca | November/December 2018
Grand Ballroom. Tickets $59.95 pp+tax and gratuity. Call for reservations 905309-7171. 4 Windward Drive, Grimsby. • Winemaker’s Dinner: Menage à Trois — Nov. 5 at the Good Earth, It’s our second Winemaker’s Dinner of the year and we are going to do a little french kissing this time around! Think Alsace, Burgundy and the Rhône! Wine and hors d’oeuvres served at 6 pm and a five course menu will start at 6:30 pm. Price is $90pp, price includes wine at dinner, and a take home wine package. (Gratuity and HST not included) A maximum of 24 people can attend this trés country chic wine event! 4556 Lincoln Ave., Beamsville. (905)5636333. • Cave Spring Cellars Wrapped Up In The Valley Date: Nov. 12-13; 19-20; 26-27 Cost: $44.25 +taxes. Join us for the most popular passport wine event in Twenty Valley. Participating wineries offer new vintage and aromatic wines paired with
fall flavours from the area’s finest chefs. Visit the Cave Spring wine shop and enjoy our 2013 Cabernet Merlot paired perfectly with Chef Jason’s seasonal Short Rib Pie. Your passport entitles you to sip and savour at 23 premium wineries in Niagara’s Twenty Valley. And since we’re feeling festive, you’ll be able to collect a recipe card featuring each dish served on the Wrapped Up route! You have 3 weekends to choose from, or a Sunday only passport for all 3 Sundays of the event. A designated driver passport experience is also available for $30 pp (plus HST) offering signature mocktails provided by Cherry Lane to go with seasonal food samples. To purchase your tickets visit us at the Cave Spring wine shop or purchase them online at www.20valley.ca/wrapped-up December The 5 Elves Yuletide Tour — At
Chef In Residence CUISINE
Caramelized Vidalia, Pear and Swiss Tartelette This beauty is actually one of the hors d’oeuvres we regularly serve at the Grand Oak, when we have dinners or caterings. It is quick, delicious, impressive and seasonal, as we can change the fruit as required. I’m taking some liberties calling it a ‘tartelette’, as it is not really ‘fillable’ so to speak, but it suits this little gem. INGREDIENTS • 1/2 sheet puff pastry (you can purchase these at most grocery stores, from the frozen section) • 2 onions, slivered and caramelized • 1 pear, (I used a Bartlett) ripe, but not overly so, cored but not peeled. • Swiss cheese, (a few slices; I used about 1/2 a slice per tartelette) • Pepper, fresh ground DIRECTIONS
The sheet of puff pastry is cut into squares, about 2” square, but work with whatever fits. I got about 16 out of mine. Divide the caramelized onions (cooled) over the squares. Then take your pear, sliced into 4 length wise, and then sliver thinly. Lay these on the onions, and cover with a ½
slice of swiss. Grind fresh pepper on this. At this stage you can put this in the fridge and bake it off within 24 hours; it’s a great make-ahead Hors D’Oeuvre. Bake at 325 F, (depending on your oven) until crisp, about 12-14 min. serve warm, with a sprig of thyme.
For Christmas Cheer, Go West
Continued From Page 24 Featherstone Winery, Dec. 3-4. Join us for our Holiday Open House as we celebrate the season with our neighbours — Malivore Wine Company, Vineland Estates Winery, Greenlane Estate Winery and Ridgepoint Winery. Each winery will have their own special events on all weekend. Tickets $20.00 + HST. Ticket fees will be donated to a favourite local charity and each winery will try to fill a wine barrel with donations of non-perishable food items and gently worn winter clothing. 3678 Victoria Avenue, Vineland (905) 562-1949 • 5 Elves — Dec 3-4, This year we are fundraising for Community Care of West Niagara. This agency has an impressive listing of programming and services in the Lincoln community. For $20, guests will be able to enjoy food and wine pairings at 5 different wineries. Here at Malivoire we will be welcoming guests with our Vivant Rose and cheese selected by our wonder-
ful partner The Cheesy Guys, the perfect greeting! Guests are then invited into our newly renovated tasting room for a current vintage deliciously paired with hot Stone Soup, created by Chef Patrick Engel. The experience will then be completed by our sparkling Bisous Brut paired with a touch of sweetness. • Cave Spring Cellars’ Annual Taste & Buy. Saturday, Dec. 3 1-4 pm. Cost: $25 pp / complimentary for Cave|Inn Rewards members. Reservations: 905-562-3581 ext. 302 or email email@example.com. Holiday shopping might not seem synonymous with tasting wine, enjoying hors d’oeuvres and swapping stories with winemakers. We’re making this necessary task much more enjoyable. Come to the cellar, taste with the folks behind the wines and cross off those wine lovers on your holiday gift list... not to mention stocking up your own cellar for the season. Our team will be on hand to discuss in depth each of the current and
back vintage wines that are being poured. Ever wondered what to cellar and what to drink now - this is your opportunity to find out and compare the current and the past of our most acclaimed vintages. • Holiday Cheer — Good Girth Supper Club. Celebrate the Holiday season with friends and the Good Earth family! Good Girth Supper Club is a sumptuous prix fixe dinner menu priced at $50pp. (Gratuity, HST and all beverages extra) No membership required, but reservations are, please call 905.563.6333. Note: Reservations are available anytime between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm, with the last reservation time being 8:30pm! Good Earth Food & Wine Co. 4556 Lincoln Ave., Beamsville. (905)563-6333. Puddicombe Polar Express — At Puddicombe Estate, December 4th, 11th, 17th, 18th Step into the magic of Christmas by taking part in our 2 hour holiday special. Enjoy live music, a story while sipping on
November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
Chef In Residence CUISINE
Baked Pear Clafouti A classic French dessert, it is not difficult at all, and yet, so delicious. This recipe, too, is very versatile, needing only the various fruits, in season, to be added to the batter. Originally, the Clafouti was served with berries, or pitted cherries, (although the French tend to leave the pits in, oddly enough). For this recipe, a sweet, juicy pear is definitely best. INGREDIENTS • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise • 1 cup milk, 2 • 3 whole eggs, cracked • 1/3 cup sugar • 1/3 tsp vanilla • 2 tbsp butter, melted • 1/2 cup flour, pastry, or all-purpose, sifted DIRECTIONS
Combine the milk, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl, and mix. Add the sifted flour and combine until smooth. Pour this into a cast iron pan, or oven-proof dish. I used this cute little pan, which makes serving a cinch. Lay the pear slices in this in a bit of a design. Bake until beautiful and golden, about
20 minutes or so, at 325F. The clafouti will rise like crazy, but it won’t stay there, so don’t be upset when it falls. When complete, the pears will be outlined by the filling, which will have a custard-y texture and delicious flavour! Drizzling this with a pear liqeur or Perry, would be awesome! Serve with cream, or icecream.
For Christmas Cheer, Go West
Continued From Page 25 hot chocolate & nibbling a cookie. In our Pullman car, take some time doing the children’s bell craft and write letters to Santa and finish your trip with four food & wine pairing for adults. $20.00 pp + HST. 1468 Highway #8, Stoney Creek (905) 643-1015 Multi Dates • Fireside Fridays At Westcott Vineyards Running until Dec. 23 Join us around the the harvest tables, eat Zooma Caters delicious seasonal and ever changing menu and enjoy sipping on award-winning wines by the fire. Dec. 23 is Ugly Christmas Sweater theme with prizes for the (aka worst) sweater. Westcott Vineyards, 3180 Seventeeth St. Jordan, (905) 562-7517 • Wrapped Up - In The Valley — Your $44.25 (+HST) passport is valid for one weekend (Sat. & Sun) or opt for Sundays only passport. Visit a variety of Twenty Valley Wineries offering incredible sips & taste experiences. Call Calamus, 1-888-225-9866 for tickets.
26 clubwest.ca | November/December 2018
• Friends & Neighbours Night at Red Stone Winery (4245 King St, Lincoln) – Every Tuesday evening 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Bring your friends, family or even your coworkers to The Restaurant at Redstone for some great food and drink on our terrace. Each week we have talented local musicians provide the entertainment for the evening. Live music starting at 6:30 pm til 9 pm. Each week we are serving stone oven pizzas for $10. Chef Sider also creates a weekly grill feature showcasing the seasonal bounty of Niagara. Wash it down with an ice cold pint, cider or glass of tap wine for $5 extra. This is a popular weekly event so reservations are highly recommended but not required. See you on the terrace! • The Daily Cheese Plate at Fielding Estate Winery (4020 Locust Lane, Beamsville) running until the end of December. Join us daily for our cheese plate served up in the retail store. Choose from a changing selection of artisan cheese and locally made condiments and made to enjoy alongside a glass of our
wine year round. Best enjoyed on our deck in the warmer months and fireside in the cooler months. Cost for basic cheese plate is $20 and can be added on to. Served from 11-5 during summer hours and 11-4:30 during fall/winter hours. See more at: http:// www.fieldingwines.com/event/the-dailycheese-plate#sthash.fYH3xlIb.dpuf Winery & Estate Tours At Puddicombe Farm (1468 Hamilton Regional Rd 8) Come in a enjoy a relaxing, fun and educational stop by our tasting bar. We always have a selection of award winning wines for all to taste. Our staff are passionate when it comes to helping guest find a wine that fits their palate, and they are always excited to meet new guests as well as keep up to date with regulars. Our selection of wines for you to taste changes on a scheduled timetable. We always offer a minimum of two (2) White wines, two (2) Red wines, two (2) Fruit wines and one (1) Icewine. The Daily tours are offered; Sept and October: Daily 11:00 - 4:00, to ensure a spot please pre-book your group. Call 905-643-1015.
Chef In Residence CUISINE
Pear & (Wild) Ginger Sauce I have spoken of the wonder of wild ginger before. In our kitchens at the Grand Oak, we use this when possible, as it definitely imparts a different flavour to your recipes, but it’s so worth it! Fresh, regular ginger is also suitable, though. INGREDIENTS • 7 pears, fully ripened, yellow and aromatic; peel, and core • 1 lemon, zested and juiced • 1 vanilla bean, split • ginger, fresh, to taste. I used wild, but regular is good, too. • 2 tbsp honey (optional - the allow the pear to break down. The ginger will take a bit more time, but pear is probably sweet enough) that’s ok, as it allows the vanilla to fully infuse DIRECTIONS Simply combine this over low into the sauce. When it’s ready, lift the vanilla bean out, heat, (minus the honey) and
and taste; if you like you can add honey. Puree with a hand blender, then re-insert the vanilla bean. Serve warm with toast, yogurt or cool as a preserve with cheeses.
Rosé Poached Pear When making this, do not use soft pears such as Bartlett or Anjou; they will collapse. The Bosc is definitely the one to work with here. Peel them carefully, leaving the stem on, if possible; it looks so nice! Find a Rosé that’s not too dry, and has a robust colour, otherwise the pears will look too pale. INGREDIENTS • 6 Bosc pears, peeled, cored from below • 2 bottles of rosé wine • 3 tbsp honey • 2 cloves star anise • 1 vanilla bean, split DIRECTIONS Pour the wine in a small, stainless pan, with a thick bottom; this will take some time, so make sure you do this well in advance. Gently place the pears in the wine,
together with the rest of the ingredients. A loose fitting lid is helpful, but don’t let this boil over, it will make a mess of your stove! Bring to a simmer, and allow to aromatize your kitchen! Assume about 2 -3 hours for a proper doneness.
I like to allow my pears to cool in the wine, giving even more colour and flavour. Just before serving, reduce about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into a syrupy consistency, and drizzle over the pears. Great with ice cream, but also with Blue Cheese! November/December 2018 | clubwest.ca
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the covers block all U.V. rays and 75 per cent of infrared rays, while letting through most of the light. The result is a cool setting that is still filled with natural light.
says Ken Blokker, director of sales. They are made with Douglas Fir timbers and can be stained in a variety of colours to suit any backyard décor. “The timbers are really very beautiful, and the Natural Light Cover transforms the pergola into the perfect place to relax all summer long.” VanAm Construction has a sterling reputation across Southern Ontario for building homes and doing renovations and backyard projects of all kinds. Owner Dave Vanamerongen is based in Grimsby. The company services customers across Southwestern Ontario. “I’ve been installing Natural Light Patio Covers for many years for customers in and around London,” Blokker says. “Now that I’ve teamed up with VanAm, I can offer a wider selection of solutions for every backyard set-up.” In addition to the 30-year warranty on the Acrylite panels, there is a lifetime guarantee on the structures themselves, along with a one-year
labour warranty. “People really can’t believe it until they’re standing under the cover, looking up at the blue sky but not feeling the heat of the sun on their skin,” Blokker says. “By filtering the sunshine, we give people the best of the sun without any of the downside. It transforms backyards.” There’s plenty of time to get a Natural Light Patio Cover installed this year. There’s a turnaround time of only two or three weeks for aluminum structures, and a little bit longer for Timberlite options. Van Am does installations all year round.
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