September October 2019 Edition of ClubWest magazine

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Definitely a Haven of Hope

Intrepid Traveller Unlocks Greek Cruise Tips

Fishing Niagara Not Just for the Boys


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The amphitheatre at Athens’ Acropolis is just one of many treasures the Greek Islands hold. This edition’s travel guide provides some tips and opinions on a multi-island adventure. Page 6

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Page 6 – B&B a haven for tranquility & respite Page 12 – Greek Islands offer even more than one would expcect Page 16 – Fishing not just for the boys! Page 18 – Looking to upgrade your home? Outdoor living space, curb appeal will help Page 23 – Chef In Residence: Have no “pit”y for local fruit creations SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER EDITION 2019

ON THE COVER Dave and Daphne Bakker have a very special thing going at Haven of Hope Farms B&B. Read all about their operation in Joanne McDonald’s feature.

Jordan B&B

Definitely a Haven of Hope

Intrepid Traveller Unlocks Greek Cruise Tips

Fishing Niagara Not Just for the Boys


"Serving West Niagara & Winona"

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“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin This edition of ClubWest Magazine has two polar opposite stories in that one, about Haven of Hope B&B, highlights the features of a place for quiet, solace and respite, while our travel feature deals with covering ground in the Greek Islands via a cruise in a go, go, go environment. Both avenues provide breaks from the daily norms but do it very different ways. Of course, once you read Joanne McDonald’s feature on Dave and Daphne Bakker’s B&B you will realize their facility caters to families who are receiving treatment for cancer or other medical conditions as well as those with disabilities. It is certainly not intended to compare a traditional vacation to a stay at a place of healing. What is intended is to note simply that quiet, space and our natural environment is good for the soul. Part of the Bakker’s mission statement is: “At Haven of Hope Farm, we provide a place for guests and their families to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of our bed and breakfast and working sheep farm... We welcome you to our farm and humbly suggest a walk over to the farm to visit our sheep and alpacas. The animals are a very important and special part of Haven of Hope Farm. They love visitors and enjoy entertaining those who spend time with us.” We here in Niagara West are clearly spoiled by what we have around us. Many are eager to travel around the province or around the world but miss the simple wonders we have right at our door. That does not mean anyone should ignore the pull on their heart strings to travel to Hawaii or whatever direction they feel the need to go, but there are also great opportunities to step out of life’s fast lane and enjoy some quiet, some scenery, some Niagara beauty. Take a walk at Beamer Conservation Area and head out to the point to survey all the area. It is the greatest view in Niagara (next to the Falls, or course). Speaking of falls, Ball’s Falls...been there? That, too, is a remarkably beautiful walk: otherworldly. Both Grimsby waterfront trail and Lincoln’s Charles Daley Park have excellent beach fronts along which a stroll can break the monotony of anyone’s day. Yes, travelling afar can be wondrous, but so can be peaceful splendour that is right outside our respective doors. Mike Williscraft Publisher, ClubWest Magazine

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Dave and Daphne Bakker are intuitive to the needs of their guests. - McDonald Photo

Haven of Hope A place to just be

By Joanne McDonald he mindful kindness of Daphne and Dave Bakker lifts many weary hearts that find their way to the tranquility and respite of the Haven of Hope Farm Bed and Breakfast in Lincoln. For the past six years it’s been a soft landing for so many - families supporting loved ones in the hospital located five minutes away, individuals undergoing cancer and other medical treatments, people living with disabilities, and those seeking respite from the stresses of everyday life. “Sometimes people need a place to just be,” says Daphne who with Dave has walked her own journey caring for family members and welcomes guests exactly where they are in that journey. They know the importance and power of being there unconditionally. They have a depth of understanding that is intuitive to the needs of their guests - from


Guests enjoy a tranquil fireside room.

understanding their need for privacy to welcoming them around the kitchen table for a big country breakfast. Daphne leads a tour through the immaculately clean and fully accessible private guest apartment that opens onto a porch that wraps around the house for a spectacular view of the idyllic rural setting. There is an easygoing gentleness about the farm - fluffy sheep grazing, doting alpacas minding the chickens - and the absolute majesty of the green hills that roll across the horizon to meet the old growth Carolinian forest of the Rockway Conservation Area. The beauty of nature all around is life affirming. The setting is picture perfect but it’s the sensitive and intuitive care from hosts Daphne and Dave that give support to guests wherever they are on their journey. “We felt this was something we were really called to do,” said Daphne. “We

feel incredibly blessed to be able to give back.” “Dave and I work together as a team and having experienced family members with health concerns it was very familiar to us to be able to enter into the lives of our guests.” The Bakkers moved to the farm property 22 years ago and raised a family Nicolette, Annalise and Jake - which has grown to include two son-in-laws, - “Jon and Phil are two of the greatest guys you could ask for,” - and four grandchildren. “My mom as I was growing up had severe rheumatoid arthritis. I knew what it was like to live with a family member with a severe disability. Our daughter Nicolette was diagnosed with Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) a platelet disorder.” “As a result of spending a lot of time at McMaster we came to understand what it was like to have a child with a medical

Suffolk sheep are popular with guests.

Acres of whitewashed fencing align the entrance to Haven of Hope Farm B&B. McDonald - Photos September/October 2019 |


Continued From Page 7 condition,” Daphne said. In 2012 the family spent the whole summer painting fence posts on the 12-acre farm. “We had a blast.” They renovated the barn and Daphne and Dave got a blessing from all their kids to begin the new chapter in their lives. They opened Haven of Hope Farm in October, 2013. Life is precious and can be fraught with difficulties. The Bakkers and all their rural B&B has to offer give their guests rest for the journey. They are a profoundly caring couple. “Having gone through a lot of these experiences ourselves we actually can understand their journey in a deeper way. Our desire is to give them a place to just be.” “When we started the Haven of Hope Farm as a family we felt so blessed by what we had been given and we wanted to give back to our community in this way. We want to show them the warmth

and hospitality and be able to meet them where they’re at with what they’re going through.” “When guests come here there is a peace and stillness and the hospitality they receive, they often say, gives them renewed strength for their journey.” “We have one apartment suite. We focus on one set of guests at a time so the hospitality they receive is very personal. We try to meet their needs. We allow them to come to us and we respect their privacy.” “We do enjoy getting to know each guest. We talk together, cry together. They time they spend with us, they are allowing us into their world and we consider it such a privilege.” “There are guests who come for rest between cancer treatments. We have family members from the hospice who come while they’re visiting their loved ones. There are people with disabilities and the suite is set up for all their needs.” Haven of Hope also hosts day retreats The farm’s animals - sheep, chickens and alpacas - are a very popular and therapeutic aspect for Haven of Hope. McDonald - Photo

for groups such as Grief Share which supports people who have lost loved ones. It’s a lot of work and Daphne credits the “amazing help” that keeps everything right and running. “We have people who help us on the farm and we have a student helper. We have a great church family and friends.” And the guests, Daphne says, give back to them in so many awesome ways. “We have a phrase, ‘enter as a guest, leave as a friend.” Guests have called Haven of Hope “a wonderful place run by wonderful people.” They write about enjoying the Bakker’s company during “delightful country breakfasts” and remark that the private apartment is immaculately clean and the food amazing. They call it “a warm and welcoming home and a muchneeded retreat.” The reviews are heartfelt. Guests call the Haven of Hope Farm B&B a

PASSIONS Supplying Tranquility

The comfortable sitting room opens onto a private porch McDonald - Photo

Continued From Page 8 “Five-plus Star” accommodation with full barrier-free accessibility in a quiet, rural setting. “If you or anyone in your family is on a medical journey, your stay can be like a retreat where your strength is renewed and your soul restored.” Another guest writes: “During my stay, Daphne ministered to me many times in many ways, from healing, lovingly prepared meals and juices; to kind, encouraging words; to prayers from the heart and more. She and Dave are a great team.” The guest apartment is a private, fully accessible and tastefully decorated suite with a master bedroom, and private bathroom. The sitting room is equipped

with recliners, dining table and chairs, fridge, microwave oven, kitchen amenities, electric fireplace and a closet with clothes washer and dryer. Guests have exclusive use of the adjacent cozy fireplace room with comfortable furniture, Wifi, television, films, games and books. The breakfast menu is changed each day and posted at the family dining table in the host kitchen. “Chef Daphne offers numerous options including gluten and dairy-free dishes. The food is, well, simply delicious.” While the full farm style healthy breakfast can be served in the privacy of the suite, guests recommend partaking in the company of the most hospitable hosts.”

There are trails to walk, gardens to enjoy, a whimsical treehouse and play area, and a viewing deck into the conservation area to spot deer and wild turkeys. The animals, Suffolk sheep, alpacas and chickens are an important and special part of Haven of Hope Farm. They love visitors and the alpacas are a hit with their comical expressions. It’s 12 acres of beauty and tranquility on a working sheep farm nestled in the Niagara Escarpment surrounded by lush vineyards and fruit orchards. It’s a place to retreat and savour the privacy in a time of stress and crisis. Haven of Hope Farm B&B is located at 3315 Ninth St. Louth, Lincoln. Phone 905-682-0059 or: September/October 2019 |





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Greek Island Travel Guide (by a novice traveller)

The impetus for this journey was this photo - the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The day and the attraction were as spectacular as you would imagine. Bratton - Photo

By Mike Williscraft he goal was simple - see the Acropolis. How that adventure unfolded and all the things surrounding it just sort of happened. I am not a good traveller. I work - that’s what I do. Idle time and I simply do not get along. That is why I like cruises, it woud seem. To be very clear, I am not a travel expert. I am not a travel agent, nor do I travel even remotely regularly. In late May, a 10-day Mediterranean excursion was they second time I have taken a full week off in 10 years. My only trepidation of this foray across the pond was “will I go to all this trouble and not enjoy it?”


12 | September/October 2019

After a long overnight flight from Toronto to Venice, Italy with a stop in Munich, Germany - we took a water taxi from Aeroporto di Venezio - Marco Polo to the stop adjacent to the town square. Once there, I was there - no question! The purpose of the Venice stop, aside from that being the point of origin for our cruise that would leave the next day, was to simply see the place we had heard so much about. Like the acropolis, which we would see a few days hence, Venice was even more than one might expect. Our accommodations at Hotel Violino D’Oro were quaint, right in the middle of it all, and cheap. I don’t use the word cheap lightly but when other spots in the vicinity were

Continued From Page 12 $450-$550 CAD per night, this spot was 175 Euro (about $260 CAD - and included an excellent buffet breakfast. This is a definite recommend for anyone looking to be walking distance from the heart of it all - San Marcos Square - and have gondola rides right outside the front door. Wanting to make the most our trip, my trusty partner in crime, Catherine Bratton, and I wanted the extra night ahead of departing on a nine-day cruise simply to unwind and acclimatize to the time change and simply being out of the office. This is a another highly recommended travel point no matter where the departure point of a cruise. Not only does it remove time pressures, but it removes concerns about flights running on time and getting to any point in time for a departure. Over the years, we have had many false starts on vacations. On two occasions we were within 24 hours of pulling the trigger on a trip here or there. Something would arise - with varying degrees of severity - which killed off the notion. Our voyage on Norwegian Star was not only chosen due to the variety of ports it offered but because it fit perfectly into our extremely tight time requirements. Because it started on a Friday and ended on a Sunday back in Venice we could travel back to Toronto and be back in the office Monday to tee up another newspaper deadline. Granted, this kind of scheduling is not for the faint of heart but anyone who runs a small business will know, every day matters. This cruise hit a different port daily, so it offered huge variety, covered three countries and a lot of ground (or water, as the case may be). Having been on a couple of Caribbean cruises many years ago, I had an idea of what to expect and the Star delivered in many ways. One thing I will note off the top, when you do a cruise, hunt for the all-inclusive drink package. It is all paid up front with your initial costs. Ours included tips and totalled

Of course there are so many unique things one sees when travelling abroad, such as this light shop in Kotor, Montenegro - dazzling. Bratton - Photo $21.35 CAD per day per person. If you’re a bottled water type or enjoy pop, you would spend about $40 CAD on four beverages after tax and tip. When one considers the cost of a single (alcoholic) drink on board averaged 12 Euro (the maximum value covered by the package is $15 drinks) before tax and tip, a little over $20 CAD looks great! I’ll get back to more on the Norwegian Star later.

Trips are about memories - this was the funniest. This Chinese lady liked the look of this fellow sitting at a Dubrovnik cafe, so she jumped in for a selfie just as his wife returned. They didn’t speak the same language. I am not sure either side knew what was happening. It was hilarious. Williscraft - Photo

A marble esplanade in Corfu across from a park bordered by cafes was sublime. Williscraft - Photo

Yes, it’s that nice. Bratton - Photo Maybe it’s my sense of humour, but seeing the “scratch and dent” pile of remnants at a near 2,500-year-old historic site was funny. Interesting, but funny. Williscraft - Photo

Continued From Page 13 The stars of this show, without question were the ports themselves. As noted, the Acropolis was the goal, so some tips on that, especially from a cruiser vantage point. Where Norwegian really fell flat was in dealing with excursions and information. If you have been on a cruise, you will know the lines use the internal television “network” to promote themselves endlessly - and why not, they have a captive audience. Part of this promotion is the show hosted by the cruise director and his sidekick. Each morning, I would fire up the TV, first, to see the weather outside and second to get a reminder of the port and what was available on the activity menu. Sounds great in theory, but not one day of our venture was the right show for the right port on the morning of a stop. By the time the feed was updated later in the day, that port was history. It was like watching the Blue Jays highlights at 11 p.m. after you just got back from the game. So guests could not depend on current information from that source. Of course there was a whole venue and staff dedicated to excursions, so there was information but those staff were sales people, not information people. I must say, the best advice we got on travel came from a friend, Tina Kouretsos. I had never heard of a Hop on Hop off bus, but Tina had. She explained it is a bus network all over the Greek Islands and in most places you pay one fare and you can see entire cities getting on and off where you choose - while listening to a recorded tour guide using earpieces the operator provides with your fare - and pay only one small fare. We had a three-hour-plus hour tour of Athens for $18 CAD each. The guided tours offered as excursions on the ship were consistently in the $150-$200 CAD range per person. If you don’t mind making your own fund and want to wander as you choose it is infinitely cheaper to go your own way. On the islands or the ship, for that matter, I am not going to drill down into a lot of detail on what we liked or didn’t like. Each person is so different in their preferences, it would make no difference what my point of view is other than to say this “worked” or “didn’t work” for us - as well as some general observations. To that end, Kotor, Montenegro: this was the first stop on the voyage and one to which I gave a pass. This was for no other reason than exhaustion and the need to fully relax for a day. Even when we got to Venice, I really wanted to see as much of the city as we could in the time allotted, so we walked everywhere....and by everywhere, I mean everywhere. To set up the rest of the week, Kotor was sacrificed. The report from Catherine, and others on the ship, was “good thing you didn’t go, there were cats everywhere. The whole place smelled of them.” This was fate. I have an intense allergy to cats. Nowhere in any literature are cats even mentioned for this port and not one staff person mentioned it, yet, everyone, including staff

Continued From Page 14 were talking about it by day’s end. If you’re a cat person, you would enjoy Kotor. As for the rest of the ports, here is Reader’s Digest account: • Corfu - Great downtown core. Clean as a whistle. I have never seen marble streets before. Would love to go back and spend more time. • Santorini - Just like all the post cards. Very friendly people. Very unique, even among the other Greek Islands. A must-stop if you ever have the opportunity. • Piraeus (Athens) - the Acropolis and Egypt’s pyramids were bucket list items for me, this one is now scratched off that list. The town square in Rhodes, where restaurateurs have their turf Problem is, if you love history, you could spend a month here marked to the sidewalk stone. A cartoon-funny argument ensued and not scratch the surface - incredible. when one guy literally stepped over the line. Williscraft - Photo • Rhodes - My favourite. No particular reason other than the people were awesome, again very unique in its own way and there was a very different vibe about the place. If I could only go back to one place, Rhodes would be it. • Mykonos - again, just like the postcards. Expensive, intensely commercial and not as friendly as other ports. • Argostoli - Many cities have a large town square, Argostoli has its Lithostroto pedestrian mall, a long thin walkway which screams for you to protect your VISA at all costs. • Dubrovnik - I didn’t know much about it, so expected little, but it surprised. If you could get out of the way of all the Game of Thrones drones, there was a great deal to see. People were great. The city and landscape were just plain stunning. In the end, we did not take a single paid excursion, preferring to meander our way through the cities and villages, stopping at A postcard from Santorini. Bratton - Photo whatever cafe we chose, browsing in whatever shop we happened to stumble into and parking ourself on a shady park I didn’t get it, but thousands in Dubrovnik bench when the need arose - and it did arise. sure did when they visited for their Game Travelling the last week of May, if you have the opportunity, of Thrones tour. Apparently, some famous is also highly recommended. In the town squares, which are scene was shot at this gated entrance and all rock or marble, there is little or no shade. On our trip the throughout the area. Williscraft - Photo temperature was consistently 28 C, perfect, really. In Athens, I spoke to one employee at the Acropolis who said, “It’s a good thing you came now. In another month it will be 20 degrees hotter (mid-high 40s C, he said) and there will be four times the people. You won’t be able to move.” Glad we dodged that bullet. Also, a major point with the Acropolis itself - no ramps, no handicapped access. Visitors would need to make the climb, or be carried. Once to the top, there was red marble everywhere across the grounds. It is very slippery. We saw three people wipe out in the hour or so we browsed around up there. On the Norweigan Star itself, I would say the food was above average. There were a couple of bumps, but nothing major. The staff were top drawer: extremely friendly, accommodating and engaging. I would highly recommend this voyage to anyone who likes to see a great variety of things and do as much as you feel like. It fits that bill. It was not white glove service, but that is not what we wanted or paid for. Norwegian offered great value for the dollar. I hope it’s not another seven years until the next voyage.

Fishing not just for the boys! Char Douma and Heather Bochek with some Lake Erie groceries (walleye). By Brent Bochek eekends were made for sleeping in, relaxing, doing a few things around the house and spending time with family and friends. Well, two-out-of five isn’t bad. Sleeping in and relaxing just doesn’t seem to be an option when the fish are biting. A 5 a.m. alarm may make you question


16 18 | September/October September/October2019 2018

your sanity, but when you get the chance to spend the day on the water with your wife and friends, it’s all worth while. For me, fishing has been a lifelong passion. Having a wife who not only enjoys fishing, but is also good at it, is a blessing. It was only a few weeks after I met my wife, Heather, that we spent our first time in a boat together. A trip to the Upper

Niagara River in search of musky resulted in a couple of pike and a new favourite fishing partner for me. Although Heather has since caught her share of musky and bass, walleye seem to be her favorite species to target. Lake Erie walleye have been at the top of her list lately. With the walleye fishing as good

PASSIONS Fishing Continued From Page 16 on Lake Erie as it has ever been, we have enjoyed it this year with other couples who also love the outdoors. One such couple has been Mike and Lois Dumesnil. For approximately 35 years, Mike ran a charter boat on Lake Ontario out of Fifty Point called “Catch One”. Many of those trips for salmon and trout, Mike’s first mate on board was Lois. They have since moved their boat to Port Bruce on Lake Erie and Mike has put together a solid walleye program. Heather and I had the pleasure of spending a couple days on the water with Mike and Lois in early July. With the majority of people I see out fishing being male, it was great to see Lois and Mike working as a well-oiled machine on their boat. I guess when you spend as much time

The author’s wife, Heather Bochek, with a Kawartha Lakes musky that hit on a boat-side maneuver.

together out fishing as they do, you get to know what the other is thinking. And what they were thinking was “walleye” - and there were plenty of them. Another memorable day on the water this summer was when our friends Paul and Char Duoma joined Heather and I on our boat for some more Lake Erie walleye action. There is nothing like spending a day on the water with good people. Paul spent most of the morning driving the boat while I set rods and netted fish as Char and Heather were busy reeling in one walleye after another. It only took less then three hours of fishing for us to land a four-person limit of 24 walleye and a bonus rainbow trout. Lots of laughs and even more smiles make the early mornings all worth while. The fact that you can put a few meals of

fish on the table is a bonus. Walleye is one of the best eating fish out there. There are several ways to cook it and for those who choose not to include gluten in their diet, here is a great way to prepare it. As an alternate to wheat flour, try using almond flour. Making sure your fillets are moist, (moist fillets allow the flour to stick to the fillet better and when the moisture comes through the flour, the egg will stick better also) dredge them in the almond flour. Next, an egg wash and then dredge in a gluten-free panko. In a frying pan, add some vegetable oil with a couple table spoons of butter added and put onto a medium heat. The butter adds flavor and the oil keeps the butter from burning. Cook until golden brown on both sides and enjoy with lemon, tartar sauce or a splash of vinegar.

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Continued From Page 18 trees to ensure they’re most effective. • Fire up the patio. A firepit or fireplace can warm up an outdoor living area, making such a space warm and cozy even on a cold winter night. A patio with a built-in firepit can cost a pretty penny, but such an addition can withstand winter weather better than a standalone firepit, which might be vulnerable to being tipped over by winter winds. • Install lighting. The sun sets early in winter, so homeowners won’t be able to rely on natural light to illuminate their outdoor living spaces well into the evening like they do in summer. Heat lamps can be used to both warm and illuminate a space, serving dual, budget-friendly functions. With the right adjustments, outdoor living spaces can be enjoyed throughout winter. And not only can expanding living space improve the value of a home so, too, can improving curb appeal. Neglecting a home’s exterior overall can be a disservice to homeowners, particularly those looking to increase the value of their homes. Curb appeal is important, as a home’s appearance can greatly affect prospective buyers’ perceptions. Knowing which projects can offer the most bang for their remodeling buck can help homeowners make the right choices when improving the exterior of their homes.


F: 905-945-8529


Continued From Page 18 mind that the home is being well-protected from the elements. • New entry door: Replacing an existing door with a 20-gauge steel door complete with clear dual-pane half-glass panel, jambs and an aluminum threshold with composite stop gets homeowners 75 per cent of their initial investment back at resale. Improving the door isn’t all about good looks, either. A door that isn’t well-insulated or secure can be problematic. In addition to these improvements, homeowners would be wise to focus on some upgraded landscaping, an upgraded roof, new windows, and improved exterior lighting as surefire ways to add curb appeal and potential value to their homes.


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The Sweetest Favours 2019



Serving you is always a treat for us!

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3591 Mountain Rd., R.R.2, Beamsville • 905-563-7285

Dean Allison Member of Parliament for Niagara West Shadow Minister for International Trade Diversification

“Thank you for your continued support and confidence. I am honoured to serve as your representative in Ottawa.”


Contact Dean’s constituency office for inquiries and assistance with:

Federal government programs such as CPP, OAS, GIS, Revenue Canada, Employment Insurance, Veterans Affairs, Federal legislation or regulations. Toll Free 1.877.563.7900 | | September/October 2019 |

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2019-08-26 4:40 PM


Customers valued at Mountaineer Movers From the outset, Mountaineer Movers has been a family run operation. The company was established in September 1978 by founder, Harry (Ariaan) Mans, our father. Our family – Andrew Keddie, Wendy and Sarah MansKeddie – work together. We have a wonderful office staff Tom, Eve and Kathy. Our men on the road do a wonderful job of taking care of all our clients near and far. It is so rewarding to put clients at ease at a stressful time of their lives. Our policy is to always be honest with clients and tell them what is expected of them so they are prepared. When choosing a movers, you should ask lots of questions - e.g. do they belong to Canadian Movers Association, Better Business Bureau and Local Chamber of Commerce? How

Andrew Keddie (holding Lola), with his daughter Sarah Mans-Keddie (holding Abby), wife Wendy Mans-Keddie.

many trucks does the company have and size? We have four 26-30 ft. trucks, two tractor trailer systems and pickup with 3-24 ft. trailers for any size, move. We provide ward robes, picture mirror cartons, shrink wrap, moving pads and tie downs at no extra charge. They are part and parcel of your move.

Our whole team is also strong believers in giving back to the community from clients that are downsizing by donating household goods to Parkview Church and the Dream Centre. We do food runs for Dream Centre almost weekly to keep food banks stocked. We treat our staff and customers with respect always. I

always try to find solutions to suit their moving needs. Mountaineer Movers also has private storage. The difference there is when we pick up we tag, list, wrap and pad furniture. There is no public access to your belonging, that’s the difference between public and private. We are always available to answer a clients’ question. Since we do this daily, we realize some clients haven’t moved in decades, so we know to be kind, gentle and have a smile in your voice, a friendly voice is always more welcome. Thank you for listening. I am so proud to be part of Mountaineer Movers all 41 years and it was a pleasure to work with my dad, mentor and best friend till he passed in 2015. Wendy C Mans-Keddie President




41 year ! s s e n i s s in bu

Thank you to all our employees and customer.

Mountaineer Movers has been family owned and operated since 1978 and provides commercial and residential moving services to locations across Canada.

WE ’





Ariaan (Harry) Mans Founder

Call For All Your Moving Needs

905-561-8880 • 1-800-263-4561 22 | September/October 2019

Sarah, Wendy and Andrew Family Owners

Local stone fruit: does it get any better? By Jan-Willem Stulp have always been an optimist. Even as a kid, I tended to over-simplify things and be a bit of a dreamer. For us optimists, these days in the Niagara Region are among the best of the year, as the various farms begin displaying and selling their wares. Not to take away form the work and stress that farmers put into this bounty, but it seems to make everything just that much more positive. Even the weather, a constant source of discussion, has been very agreeable, with just a few hot days, and a good balance of rain. No drought, such as we had a few years ago; in fact, we’re mowing our lawn as often as in the spring! No significant storm events have impacted the Region, and overall the year, although off to a slow start, has been exceptional for many of our fruit-farming neighbours, family members, and friends. For us in the retail end of the fruit market, the wait seemed much too long for the first berries to finally make an appearance, but when they did, they were delicious! We are now full-out into the ‘soft fruit’ harvest, and cherries are all but done. The wonder of the season in the Niagara Region is that the current fruit is constantly being succeeded by the next-ripening crop, for a delightful cornucopia of flavours, colours and variety. And we have ring-side seats to all of it, needing only to stop at any farm, or market, to experience the best Niagara has to offer! As a chef, I’m a kid in a candy store, I can’t take it all in fast enough. The beauty of the local and seasonal kaleidoscope of harvest does have a caveat, though: most of the crops don’t last particularly long, which means that we need to make a point of experiencing them when we can. At Grand Oak, we engage with the orchard harvest with reckless abandon; our market is literally surrounded by peach, apricot, plum and nectarine trees, all of which are soft-fruit under the ‘stone-fruit’ category. They have a central pit, and a tender, usually tangy-sweet flesh. The fruit itself does not last long, once picked, but the


picking is done by hand, which means the fruit is ‘selected’ essentially for it’s ripeness and size. Cherries, various berries and other crops are harvested ‘en masse’, but stone fruit is still harvested individually. This ensures quality, and usually peak condition. Letting them ripen for a day or two often enhances the experience even more! How do we make the most of these delightful fruits? Our forebears would use any number of rather ingenious ‘preserving’ methods; pickling, jam or jelly, preserving in syrup, canning, making a ‘rum pot’, drying whole or sliced, and in certain instances, creating wines or spirits of unspecified strength and quality. We, of course, now also have the option of freezing, whole or turned into jam; the idea being to keep it less processed and simpler, ‘freezer jam’ was a staple of my childhood, and usually involved only berries, as there are not many softfruit trees in BC’s Northern Interior. Now, firmly embedded in the Niagara Region, I make ample use of the many treasures with which we have been blessed. Few chefs have the access Niagarans do. We’re so close as the Grand Oak, the folks picking the peaches and plums literally just set it inside the back door. We’re spoiled. I know that but, for most Niagara residents, I suggest that there are many benefits to working with our local growers. It starts with simply helping our neighbours, keeping dollars in the region, and staying in touch with the season to recognizing that local, in-season fruit is simply the best way to experience it. There are many great and unique ways to enjoy these stone fruits. Aside from the regular, ubiquitous jams and jellies, peach pies and plum puddings, there are several ingenious recipes that really showcase these treasures without being complicated. And, please, do yourself a favour and purchase these fruits from a farm stand, or come and see us. It is so different from the corner grocer, you’ll ask yourself why you haven’t gone earlier. (Chef Stulp co-owns, along with his wife Jane, Grand Oak Culinary Market in Vineland.) September/October 2019 |


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Delectable Plum Salsa Classically, salsa is another word for sauce, but in our English vernacular, it generally refers to a spiced, often raw chutney, with some good acidity and varying degrees of heat. It’s usually served cold, but can be warmed if the occasion, (or menu) demands it. Here, we’re working with our theme of Stone Fruit, and I’ve chosen plums, as they have natural acidity and the varieties I used will bleed together a bit, while still remaining identifiable as separate plums. Be sure to get the zest off the lime as well, it is delicious! I used only a few thin slices of a single Jalapeno, but feel free to increase the heat! INGREDIENTS • 3 each, blue and yellow plums, not too soft • 1tsp finely minced fresh ginger • 1 Tbsp lime juice (about half

lime, + the zest) • 1 bunch cilantro – chopped (depending on your own taste) • 2 tsp honey, local • Course salt and Pepper DIRECTIONS Split the plums, and remove the stone. Slice the

plums into wedges and dice, then combine with the other ingredients; the acid (lime juice) and the salt will begin to ‘cook’ the fruit pretty quickly, so use this within an hour or two, for optimum freshness. You’ll see the salsa on a cold peach gazpacho here, a simple puree of ripe peaches, orange juice, honey, and vanilla. Awesome!

To make Fall Special, Go West

September 2019 • Fire Pit Friday @ Stoney Ridge - Sept. 6, 6-9 pm. Family friendly, relaxing Friday night. Enjoy a personal, gourmet pizza from Avella’s wood fired oven, wines served by the glass in a souvenir GoVino glass and specialty s’mores. Limited seating available and is based upon a first come, first serve basis. We encourage patrons to bring their own chairs/blankets for the lawn. Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, 3201 King Street, Vineland. Phone 905-562-1324 ª Rosewood Bee Experience & Tour – Sept. 6, 13, 14 15. 3 hrs. $40 per guest, including a tour of the winery and tasting of 4 wines or meads. A unique Rosewood experience allowing you to visit the Estate Apiary (bee yard) with one of our staff beekeepers. You’ll get an up-close-and-personal look at our bee hives, learn about honey production and the importance of honeybees in our food and agricultural systems. You’ll have the ability ask any questions you like while taking selfies in your bee suit. The Bee Experience is offered seasonally throughout the summer and must

24 | September/October 2019

be booked in advance. Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery. 4352 Mountainview Road Beamsville. 905.563.4383 • Sue-Ann’s Vineyard Flicks – Watch the Stars – under the stars! Sept. 6 - Top Gun, Sept 13 – A Star us Born (2018). Tickets $19.95+hst per adult, $9+hst 18 & under. Save $5 with our Double Feature Pass - See both shows for $35+hst. BYOC (Bring your own chair or picnic blanket). Doors open 6 pm and show starts after sunset (8 pm). Wine by the glass & snacks available for purchase. Stay tuned for details. Please: no dogs, outside alcohol or food. SueAnn Staff Estate Winery, 3210 Staff Avenue, Jordan. Phone 905-562-1719 • West Niagara Fair – Sept. 6-8. Come out for the 7th annual fair. There is something as the fair for everyone. Classic ar Cruise, Smash Motorshports demo derby, Mini Chuck wagon races, Pet Paradise show free shuttle bus – Beamsville, Grimsby, Smithville. Admission $10, ages 6 – 12 $5, children under 5 are free. Come join us at the West Niagara Fairgrounds, 7402 Mud Street W., Grassie.

• Music Series On The Rock – Relax on our green roof pation. Wawn chairs and picnics welcome. Sept. 7 Joe Sacco; Sept. 14 Wilson Hadfield; Sept. 21 Dubble Trubble; Sept 28 Katey Gatta; Flat Rock Cellars, 2727 Seventh Avenue, Jordan. Phone 905-562-8994. • Concert Series, Justin Rutledge ~ Sun, Sept. 8. Just a few songs in it isn’t difficult to pick out Toronto-based alt-country singer songwriter Justin Rutledge as a university English major. Rutledge lists the literary influences of E.E. Cummings and Richard Brautigan in the same breath as his musical heroes such as Leonard Cohen and Hank Williams. Rutledge has toured Canada, the U.S. as well as Europe and the U.K extensively performing with Canadian greats such as Blue Rodeo, Kathleen Edwards and Hawksley Workman. Tickets are $79 per guest + fees + HST. Redstone Winery 4245 King Street, Beamsville. Phone: 905563-9463 • Smokin’ Sunday - Sept 8 from Noon-4 pm. This summer we welcome Wine

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Grilled Peach Salad Summer is when salad greens are most readily available, and we make good use of this, using greens often. I have four different cherry tomato plants off my patio, and copious herbs, so throwing a fresh salad together is a cinch, and a lot of fun, actually. Rounded out with cucumbers and grilled peaches, a pretty classy Alfresco salad! While you’re grilling anyways, a couple of chicken strips would easily make this a complete lunch! INGREDIENTS • 2 peaches, ripe, but still firm; sliced into half-inch thick slices • 1 tsp honey • pepper • your favorite greens, (we use leaf lettuce, spinach and arugula) • light dressing (ours was a peach/vanilla vinaigrette) DIRECTIONS Rub the honey on the peach slices, and

quickly sear on your (pre-heated) grill. You want the heat to char the peaches slightly, and have some nice looking marks. Overcooking at this point will make the peaches

very difficult to handle. Turn once, and dust lightly with pepper. Cool the peaches down somewhat so as not to cook the greens when you place them on the salad. Bon Appetit!

To make Fall Special, Go West

Continued From Page 24

Country Barbecue to join us in kicking off our new Smokin’ Sunday event! Spend a relaxing afternoon with a patio BBQ featuring Wine Country Barbecue, specializing in smoked meats. Wine by the glass available. Family Friendly! Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, 3201 Kins Street, Vineland. Phone 905-562-1324. • Fall Handmade Market - Sept. 13-14. The 9th Annual Fall HandMade Market will present over 140 curated artisans from across Ontario, Québec and Canada’s East Coast offering hand-crafted Jewelry, Bags, Fashion Accessories, Home Décor, Canning & Preserves, Natural Bath & Body Products, Original Art, Designer & Children’s Clothing, Textiles, Wood and Leather, Hand Bound Books, Ceramics, Candles, Food and so much more! Be unique. Shop local. Feel good! Held outside at 13th Street Winery. Friday, Sept. 13 ~ 11 am -7 pm, Saturday, Sept. 14 ~ 10 am-5 pm. $6 Adults. Free field parking. Cash only. ATM on site.13th Street Winery, 1776 Fourth Ave., St. Catharines. Phone 905-984-8463

• Pizza & Movie Night - Free Movie Night, Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 8ish under the stars. Bring your own comfy chair, blanket and snacks, we’ll have wine for sale for $5 a glass. The movie featured is “The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship” with Enrico Colantoni, Brooke Palsson, Krista Bridges & David Cubitt. It’s a romantic comedy about relationships set against the backdrop of beautiful Niagara Wine Country. This was filmed here in Niagara featuring Hernder’s as one of the locations. We are having a wood oven pizza night earlier with a tour and tasting with winemaker Angela Kasimos at 6 pm for $25 (limited seating) for reservations email wine@ Hernder Estate Wines,1607 Eighth Avenue Louth, St. Catharines. Phone (905) 684-3300. • Chef Parsons’ BBQ Series - Saturday, Sept. 14 – Peller Pig Roast. Nothing says summer like a backyard BBQ, and we can’t think of anyone who enjoys firing up the grill more than our very own Chef, Jason Parsons. His themed BBQ dinners are hosted on our back-

yard lawn and include a sparkling wine reception, gourmet food stations and mouthwatering desserts. Our vineyard bar will have wine and cocktails available for purchase, including our award-winning Ice Cuvée, winery-exclusive wines, and Icewine. $99 per person plus taxes and gratuities. Peller Estates Winery & Restaurant290 John Street East Niagara-onthe-Lake, ON. Phone 1-888-673-5537 • Niagara Grape & Wine Festival - Sept. 14-29. In Niagara, we celebrate the harvest by throwing the largest wine festival in Canada! Enjoy 100+ events at the 68th Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. Discovery Pass. Sept. 1415, 21-22 and 28-29, 2019. Explore Niagara at its most colourful with the Discovery Pass. Sip and savour local cuisine paired with local wines at wineries across the Niagara Region. For more information, please visit our website • The Spectacular Sauv & Savoury Sammy Experience - Sept.14-15, Sept. 21-22, Sept. 28-29. Savour a spectacular match of Kacaba’s September/October 2019 |


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Ripe apricot barbecue sauce At this time of year, peppers are being harvested in pretty serious quantities, and if you have access to a poblano or two, this is an awesome place to use it! Grill the poblano prior to using, so you can peel it; the smokiness of the pepper is also a great addition to this sauce. INGREDIENTS • 6 or 8 medium apricots, nice and ripe, (soft is no problem here!) • 4 large, ripe plum tomatoes • 2 tbsp local honey • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika • 1 poblano pepper, roasted/grilled, peeled. (start with half for this recipe) • Salt and pepper DIRECTIONS This is a simple recipe, initially, but you’ll have to do a little testing and tasting to see how you want the sauce to finish; simple additions can ‘steer’ the sauce to be hotter, tangier, even sweeter.

Combine this in a small sauce pot, and simmer on low, until very fragrant, and the apricots are soft. Taste this and adjust if you wish, then puree,

but not too smooth. I used a stick blender, and allowed some texture in the sauce yet. Served here with pork, a great combination, it will also work well with chicken, and veal.

6-10 pm. Our guests for this evening will be part of a vertical presentation of the past, present and future vintages of our most iconic red wines – the full Appassimento Cabernet Franc and Gran Q. Enjoy a multi-course dinner, live music, and one-night-only access to rare library vintages. Price: $250 per person (Includes HST). The Foreign Affair Winery, 4890 Victoria Ave. N., Vineland Station. Phone 905-562-9898. • Concert Series, Molly Johnson ~ Sun, Sept. 29. Singer-songwriter, award-winning jazz vocalist and five time Juno nominee Molly Johnson is a stage veteran. An early taste of the stage in theatre gave inspiration to choreograph, which saw her enrolled in The National Ballet of Canada. Her music career began at a very young age as she fronted a disco band at the age of 15 before turning her musical attentions to hard rock with acts such as Alta Moda and the Infidels. A parallel jazz career burgeoned and the list of accolades and nominations has never slowed. Molly’s highly anticipated new album Meaning to Tell Ya is set to drop later this year. Tickets are $79 per

guest + fees + HST. Redstone Winery 4245 King Street, Beamsville. Phone: 905-563-9463 October 2019 Cabernet, All The Way – Oct. 5 11-5 pm. Join us at four of Niagara’s award-winning wineries for an all-inclusive touring pass that will have you sitting back to relax and enjoy the crisp fall air, listen to the buzz of harvest activity, and sip and savour all the sensory joys that you can only find in Wine Country. Peller Estates - Trius Winery - Wayne Gretzky Estates - Thirty Bench. Visit for tickets • Harvest Lunch - Oct. 6 @ 1-4 pm. The date is set for our 3rd annual Harvest Lunch, hosted by Moray Tawse and Paul Pender. Stay informed of all events at Tawse Winery by signing up for our newslerter – Tawse Winery, 3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland. Phone 905-562-9500 • Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival – Oct.1114. In its 45th year, the Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival is a Niagara tradition. With over 170 juried artisans, food vendors,

To make Fall Special, Go West

Continued From Page 25

2017 Wismer Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon paired with the culinary stylings of Chef Steve Del Col and Zooma Caters. Enjoy an open faced shaved locally cured pingue cappicolo, herbed ricotta with fig & blueberry conserve sandwich on grilled baguette. This event is part of the 2019 Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, expect higher than average traffic at the vineyard between 1pm and 3pm. Kacaba Vineyards Winery, 3550 King St. Vineland. Phone905-562-5625 • Blues & BBQ - Sept. 21 @ 5:30-9:30 pm. We are excited to announce blues & bbq is back! Once again musician / sommelier Peter Boyd will be here to perform live at this great outdoor event. Enjoy live music, delicious southern BBQ by 13th Street’s executive chef Josh Berry and of course 13th Street wine! Ticket price includes delicious BBQ dinner created by executive chef Josh Berry, admission to the concert and a reusable GoVino glass. 13th Street Winery, 1776 Fourth Ave., St. Catharines. Phone 905-984-8463 • 6th Annual Vertical Dinner - Sept. 21, 26 | September/October 2019

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Apricot & Corn Chutney As I was testing for this recipe, I was reminded of a culinary technique one of my chefs used. Apricots and almonds are very close cousins, and this chef used to save all the apricot stones form the summer, and dry them out. In the late fall, we were assigned the task of ‘cracking’ them, and sure enough, each apricot stone had a mini ‘almond’ in it. The aroma of them was very strong, and totally reminiscent of amaretti. We gently roasted them, and wow! It was a pretty heady smell. The issue was the flavor, though; although strongly ‘almond’ it finished with a seriously bitter aftertaste, so we had to use them quite sparingly. In this recipe, I habitually started saving the stones….. I didn’t use them, though. The apricots and corn are a good match and the colour is great, and a nice finish on a pork chop or flank steak. INGREDIENTS • 6 large apricots • 1 small vidalia onion • 1 ‘Peaches n Cream’ ear of corn, stripped

(any sweet variety will do) • 1/2 vanilla bean • 2 stems fresh thyme, washed, chopped • 2 tsp honey • pepper (not salt) DIRECTIONS After removing the stones, dice the apricots, and the onion. Saute the onion in saute pan, with a bit of oil, just to sweat it; we’re not looking for

colour here. Add the apricot, corn and honey, as well as the vanilla bean. Simmer this, until the corn is tender, then add the thyme and season lightly with pepper. I suggest cooling this, and reheating it for service, as the vanilla will continue to develop, and the flavours will really meld together. Serve warm, and enjoy!

To make Fall Special, Go West

Continued From Page 26 demonstrators & entertainers participating in this four-day long annual tradition, there is always plenty to do, see, and explore at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority‘s most popular conservation area. You’ll also want to be sure to stop at the Farmers’ Market where you can pick up local produce, VQA Wines, and local brews. Ball’s Falls, 3292 Sixth Ave., Vineland. Phone 905-5625235. • Pinot Affair - Winemakers Dinner Weekend - Fri Oct 18 – Sun Oct 20, 6-10 pm. Save the date for upcoming details about a weekend of winemakers’ dinners that focus on pinot noir! Malivoire Wine Co, 4260 King Street, Beamsville. Phone 866-644224. • Wine Ed #10 - Harvest: Past, Present and Future - Sun., Oct. 20, 1-3 pm. Each Harvest is different year to year and one of the

greatest factors affecting the resulting vintage is weather. In this seminar we will take a look at past, present and future vintages and the corresponding weather and other conditions that had a direct influence on the wines produced. Tawse Winery, 3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland. Phone 905-562-9500. • Bountiful Days of Harvest Barrel Cellar Dinner - Oct.19 - 7 pm. Join us for a special evening in the cellar with winemaker Roberto DiDomenico as he pairs wine from some of the best Niagara vintages with regional cuisine prepared by a local chef. $125 per person plus taxes and gratuity. 25% off for Reifstyle wine club members. Call 905468-WINE or email to buy your tickets. Reif Estate Winery, 15608 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Multi-Date Events Patio is Open! - Sept.2-Oct 12, Noon-4 pm. Come and enjoy food and wine on our new

patio. Life is always better on the patio! The patio will be open from noon to 4p.m. daily. Patio may close at times due to weather conditions(wind and or rain). Reservations are recommended, but not always necessary! Harbour Estates Winery, 4362 Jordan Rd, Jordan. Phone 905-562-6279. • Wine By The Glass on the Patio at Hidden Bench - Enjoy wine by the glass available daily on the beautiful patio over looking Locust Lane Vineyards. Looking for a snack charcuterie available on weekends from 11-4 pm. Start: 2019-09-07, 11 am End: 201909-07, 4 pm. Hidden Bench Estate Winery, 4152 Locust Lane, Beamsville. Phone 905563-8700. • Flights & Bites - Kick off your weekend with our perfectly paired Flights & Bites! This special experience includes four of our signature wines, paired perfectly with September/October 2019 |


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Port-Braised Plums

Initially I had this recipe pegged as a dessert, as a topping on icecream, or an addition to a honey cake, but while researching, I came across a recipe I had for braising figs in port, a beautiful pairing for soft cheese. As we are always willing to go the extra mile here at the Grand Oak, we did a tastepairing. I used blue plums, and tweaked the recipe slightly, then paired it with sauvagine, a soft cheese from our cheese counter: it was fantastic! So here is our new, favorite cheese pairing; blue plums, gently braised in port. INGREDIENTS • 8 blue plums, ripe but not soft • 1/2 Cup port • 1 Cup merlot, not too tannic • 1/2 vanilla bean – (remember to pull this out when you’re done) • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar DIRECTIONS I left the 1/2 of the plums intact, after removing the stone. If the stone is hard to

remove, and you end up slicing the plum off in pieces, it won’t affect the flavor, just possibly the final application. Combine the port, merlot and brown sugar, and add the vanilla bean. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, and reduce slightly, maybe six minutes or so. Add the 1/2 plums, and reduce the heat to very low. This can easily go for 30-40 minutes, just

be sure to check your pan often. My stove has an ultra low heat setting, so I can really stretch recipes like this, to great effect, but monitor constantly. The plums, and their sauce are done when the sauce has a honeylike texture, and the plums are a deep burgundy colour. Allow this to cool, and pair with a soft cheese; brie would be a great pairing, but the sauvagine I used was definitely a winner!

905-562-7517. • Wine Tasting and Segway Adventure - One of the unique things to do in Niagara Falls is taking a Segway tour… through a vineyard! Go off-road and off the beaten path with this Segway and wine experience! The Tour at Henry of Pelham Family Estate presents a unique opportunity for wine lovers to enjoy a Segway ride through the beautiful vineyards of Short Hills Bench. The rich history of this vineyard goes all the way back to 1778 when the land was granted to Nicholas Smith. This Segway winery tour starts with a 10-minute training on how to ride a Segway. Once everybody feels comfortable, we go through the vineyards for about an hour. After your Segway tour, your guide takes you to the wine shop to enjoy a wine tasting of four different wines of

your choice, including their signature Baco Noir and their ice wines. Reserve your spot on this Segway and winery experience today. Henry of Pelham Winery, 1469 Pelham Rd, St. Catharines, ON. Phone 905-684-8423. • Picnic Lunch for Two - Enjoy your visit to the fullest and book a picnic lunch for two! Each Picnic Lunch includes two 5oz glasses of wine from our feature menu, a selection of charcuterie and local cheese, antipasto and a demi baguette. Select the date of your visit, and collect your picnic basket anytime from Noon3 pm then set out to explore the beautiful grounds of the Vineland Research Centre. Time: Noon-3 pm. Price: $50 + HST per basket. The Foreign Affair Winery, 4890 Victoria Ave. N., Vineland Statio. Phone 905-562-9898.

To make Fall Special, Go West

Continued From Page 27

snack-size bites which have been curated by Ricky + Olivia! Purchase this experience online now or pop by for a visit and a taste. flights-bites 1) “Avocado” Toast - Edamame guac, toasted bread | Pairing: 2017 Violette Sparkling 2) Cheese & Cracker - Mountain Oak Cheese Wild Nettle Gouda, deep-fried saltine | Pairing: 2016 Estate Chardonnay 3) Adobo Devilled Egg - Soy & Verjus marinade, dijon yolk, togorashi | Pairing: 2018 Pinot Noir Rosé 4) Soul Chocolate Dominican 70% Dark Chocolate | Pairing: 2016 Estate Pinot Noir Flights & Bites available Thursday to Monday noon-9 pm until mid October on the patio, weather permitting. Westcott Vineyards, 3180 Seventeenth Street, Jordan. Phone

28 | September/October 2019


Transforming backyards −

Natural Light Patio Covers from VanAm Construction


ll year round we crave the warmth of the sun, and then by about this time each summer, we’re working hard to avoid its harmful effects. That’s particularly true in our backyards, where too much direct sunlight can transform an idyllic oasis into a spot too hot to enjoy at certain parts of the day. Every solution has its challenges, from umbrellas that blow away during storms to awnings that cast a permanent shadow and have to be taken down each fall. The ideal solution is a Natural Light Patio Cover, available from VanAm Construction. Seemingly magic, 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. Because there are no U.V. rays, it’s impossible to get a sunburn sitting under the cover. And the air under the cover is cool because so much of the infrared heat is filtered out. All that’s left to enjoy is the sunlight – the perfect solution for any backyard. Natural Light Patio Covers use Acrylite panels, made from 100% acrylic guaranteed not to fade or discolour for 30 years. They can be configured to work in any setting, attached to homes to cover decks and patios, or built as stand-alone covers detached from the house. They are permanent structures that stay in place year-round. Homeowners have two primary choices – aluminum or wood. Aluminum structures come in white, sandalwood or brown. Each order is custom-made to fit perfectly with an existing deck or patio. The other option reflects VanAm’s expertise as a homebuilder and renovation contractor. “We also offer the covers built into beautiful Timberlite pergolas,”

“Seemingly magic,

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.

Dealer for

n For more information contact

Ken Blokker 905-517-0461