Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Arrivederci Aperitivo: CCR 2013-2014 Season Closing Event - June 30, 2014

 As the Canadian Club of Rome's 2013-2014 season draws to a close, let's gather at another lovely location to share our plans for the summer break and exchange our arrivederci wishes until we meet again in September. 

The historic Hotel Locarno will be the setting for our elegant yet relaxed aperitivo in classic Roman style. Drinks plus finger food! 

When: Monday, June 30, 2014
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. 
Where: Hotel Locarno, Via della Penna 22 
Cost: CCR members €15, guests €25 (NB: event costs are partially sponsored by the CCR)
RSVP no later than June 27th 5:00 p.m. to canadarome@gmail.com. 
NB: You are financially responsible for your reservation.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Very Special Year-End Report from the CCR Book Club

Our CCR Book Club coordinator, Nicoletta Barbarito, has sent us this wonderful year-end report on activities, including a selection of delicious recipes!

This was a particularly successful year for the CCR bookclub!

Our multicultural/multinational membership rose spectacularly to 14,  with an enthusiastic average attendance of 11 at every meeting. Books are selected collegially every 2 months on the basis of individual proposals.

Meetings are held from 7 p.m. to 10:30 pm in members' homes and include a potluck supper. We read books in English by authors from different parts of the world. Among them, this year we read DEAR LIFE by Alice Munro, the Canadian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

Our reading list was as follows (*marks the final overall preferences):

Aravik Arviga, THE WHITE TIGER * 
Jhumpa Lahiri, THE LOWLAND
Penelope Lively, HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Alice Munro, DEAR LIFE

The bookclub will re-start at the end of September 2014 and the reading will be
David Grossman, TO THE END OF THE LAND. 
Committed new readers are welcome!

By the way, our potluck suppers have turned unexpectedly into banquets -- never mind the calories! -- so, in case you are curious, voilà some recipes for dishes we enjoyed this year.

Chocolate cake (with no dairy products)  - Jeannine Ouimet

3 eggs
1/2 cup each of HOT water, powdered UNSWEETENED cocoa, vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup of white or brown sugar
3 cups of flour
1 little bag of "Pane degli Angeli" or 1 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients well.  Bake in greased and floured pan in pre-heated oven at 180°C for 40'.

Greek Phyllo Pastry Cheese Triangles  -  a big hit! -  Eleni Menegatos

1 1/2 cups of feta cheese
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1/1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 eggs
phyllo pastry (It may be a challenge to find it in Rome! Eleni finds it at Castroni, Metro and Elite supermarket. You can freeze phyllo but thaw it well in advance. When making the triangles, be sure to cover the phyllo not in use with a damp cloth so it does not dry out.)

Crumble the feta cheese into a bowl, add the other cheeses and the eggs, mix well.  Set aside.
Melt some butter and set aside. You will need a pastry brush to spread it.
Remove phyllo from package and cut it in 3 equal size long strips, about 7cm apart.
To make the triangles:  use one strip at a time, brush some melted butter over it. Spread one tbs of the filling on top and fold in the corner over it. Take the pointy end and fold it again and again. Your pastry should start to look like a triangle; continue folding until you run out of pastry and you will have your first triangle! Repeat this until you have used all the phyllo.
Place all the triangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush melted butter over each triangle. You can sprinkle sesame seeds on top if you wish.
Bake in 180°C preheated oven for 15 minutes.  You can also refrigerate the triangles or freeze them for 20 minutes and bake without thawing them.

Orange and Almond Cake  - Diane Dennis 

2 oranges
250 gr white sugar plus some for sprinkling on top
6 eggs
250gr almond meal
1 tsp baking powder

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Wash the oranges and cook in the boiling water for 2 hours. Drain, let cool and puree. All this can be done ahead of time.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Grease a 22cm spring form cake and line it with parchment. Preheat oven to 160°C (140° for convection ovens).
Beat eggs and sugar until well mixed. Stir in the orange puree then the almond meal and the baking powder. Pour into the prepared pan and dust the top with icing sugar. Bake for 1 and 1/4 hours until the top is golden.

Apple Cake - Françoise  Rastel

4 eggs
80 gr of sugar
100 gr of flour
pinch of salt
1 small liqueur glass of rum
1/2 litre of milk

Mix everything in a bowl.

500 gr of apple slices

Put the apple slices in a buttered pie dish  and  pour the mixed dough  on top.
Cook in preheated oven for about 45'.
Before serving sprinkle some sugar on top.

Vignarola, traditional Roman spring vegetable dish  -  Silia Fasciani

300 gr fresh shelled peas
300 gr fresh shelled fava beans
300 gr fresh artichoke hearts, quartered
1 head of Romaine lettuce
1 or 2 onions
half a glass of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: bits of fried bacon/pancetta

When spring is no more,  use frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones!
In a large saucepan sauté chopped onion in oil until they are soft and transparent, then add half a glass of water and salt.
Add peas, fava beans, artichokes and chopped lettuce leaves. Cover saucepan and cook over low heat until vegetables are tender. Add bacon bits at the end, if you like them. 
Vignarola is just as good when reheated. Good with Basmati rice on the side too. 

Jellied fruit dessert  -  Nicoletta Barbarito

oranges, peeled and sliced crosswise
pineapple slices (canned pineapple slices are OK but be sure they are well strained)
kiwis, peeled and sliced crosswise
bananas, peeled and sliced crosswise
strawberries, whole if small, otherwise cut in half
powdered clear gelatin - TORTAGEL brand, easily available; one bag is enough for 10 servings
Amount of fruit depends on number of servings, each has one slice of every type of fruit.

On a flat serving platter, make individual mounds by placing on top of each other thick slices of pineapple, orange, kiwi, banana, strawberry.  Prepare the jelly according to package directions - i.e. add water and sugar to powder, bring to a boil, let cool for 1' only otherwise it overthickens;  pour gently over the fruit mounds to cover them all. Keep refrigerated until serving time.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Canada Day Celebration - June 26, 2014

In conjunction with the Embassy of Canada in Rome, the Canadian Club of Rome invites you to a Canada Day celebration! A barbecue, crafts for kids, live music, cake and more.

Our picnic is going to be on the grounds of the Embassy itself and so, given the fact that all government offices are closed on the actual July 1st holiday, we'll be celebrating a few days early, on Thursday the 26th of June.

Fellow Canadian and fabulous vocalist Tonia Szkurhan will be singing pop hits, classic oldies, selections from famous contemporary Canadian singer-songwriters... and of course our national anthem! 

Bring your own blanket, remember your ID for security access... and don't forget to wear red and white!

Ticket price includes:

1 hamburger, veggie burger or hot dog
1 drink (beer, water, juice or pop)

Extra servings:
€2 for burgers/hot dogs
€1 non-alcoholic drinks
€2 beer
Water and juice -- free

When: Thursday, June 26, 2014 
Time: Barbecue 4:30-7:30 p.m.! Grounds close at 9 p.m. 
Where: Embassy of Canada, Villa Grazioli, Via Salaria 243, 00199 Rome (Parioli area) 
Cost: Tickets for CCR Members and their guests who book with CCR by 16/06/2014 are €7 for adults, €10 for adult CCR Members and guests who show up at the door without booking in advance (though they must still be on the security list), €5 children, €20 per family (4 members or more).
RSVP: to canadarome@gmail.com by June 16th for advance ticket price. Please note that visitors to the Embassy MUST provide ID and be on the security list in advance of the event. You will not be admitted onto Embassy grounds otherwise.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Aperitivo Fluviale - May 29, 2014

Next in our exploration of aperitivo spots, we'll be gathering at a hot location in the Quartiere Ostiense, Porto Fluviale, a 900 sq. m. multi-space, multi-function restaurant in an area that has witnessed the fusion of strong Roman popular traditions and cosmopolitan contemporary additions.  

A short walk away from the ancient Roman pyramid, from the "temple of Italian food" that is Eataly in its fabulous conversion of the Air Terminal Ostiense (originally built for the 1990 World Cup) and from the "industrial archeology" of the Gazometro, Porto Fluviale has quickly become a focal point in a quartiere brimming with new gastronomic venues.

Our aperitivo menu
1 drink: choice of either
one FluviAle beer (signature draft golden ale “L’Olmaia”) or a glass of red or white house wine or a soft drink

4 “cicchetti” (tapa-sized treats):
panzanella (Roman bread and tomato salad)
polpetta di melanzane (eggplant croquette)
involtino di Nero dei Nebrodi (prized Sicilian pork)
stracciatella di burrata e pomodori (soft cheese and tomatoes)

Special dietary requirements can be met if communicated upon RSVP.

When: Thursday, May 29, 2014  
Where: Porta Fluviale, Via del Porto Fluviale 22, 00154 Rome (near Gazometro/Piramide/Eataly)
Time: 7:00 pm. Please arrive on time! This is a set menu aperitivo and we cannot begin until all orders have been taken, so be please be considerate of other participants. 
Cost: Members €10, non-members €15, for choices as listed above. Any additions to the above selection must be paid separately at the individual's expense. A CCR executive member will be collecting the contribution and then paying for the main aperitivo "formula". 
RSVP: to canadarome@gmail.com by 5 pm on Wed. May 28th. Please note that you are financially responsible for your reservation.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

CCR Wine-tasting: Wines from the North-West - May 17, 2014

We regret to announce that this event must be cancelled due to a death in our sommelier's family. Our deepest condolences to Daniele.

The CCR wine tasting season is ending with a bang! We are heading north again but this time we will taste wines from the north-western part of Italy. And as always, we will share a light dinner and enjoy ‘les fonds de bouteilles’ at the end of the tasting.

Where: Residence of CCR members (Corso Trieste area area -- details will be sent to registered participants)
When: Saturday May 17, 2014 
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Cost:  €25 for members (€35 for non-members) 
RSVP to Linda and Paul at canadarome@gmail.com. Please note that you are responsible for your reservation.

Each session is given in French and Italian and focuses on a specific theme relative to Italian wines.

Daniele Maestri, well-known Italian sommelier and a favorite among CCR members for his knowledgeable and lively presentations, will again lead this lecture and wine-tasting. For those interested in ‘wining and dining’, Daniele is one of the editors of “Due Mila Vini” -- a guide to Italian wines produced by the Italian Sommelier Association.