Criollo and Scotch – The Jem

I don’t like fizzy drinks or anything too sweet, but give me a quality spirit or a lovely glass of wine and I’m a happy girl.  I’d been hooked on Red Velvet from Cupcake Winery and for the holiday season they offered a sample bottle of Criollo Liqueur with purchase.  There’s nothing more fun that experimenting with food and drink recipes which I’ll offer up until I run out of ideas.

Mix your favourite Scotch with Criollo Chocolate Salted Carmel Liqueur – served neat, the way I prefer it, or on the rocks. Since this liqueur is very sweet, you don’t need a lot.  It’s a great option when when you don’t want dessert ~and~ an after dinner drink.

We called our grandmother, Nanny, but I often referred to her as the Dragon Lady.  She always wore a dress, her hair in a French chignon and her signature red varnish on her long nails.  Born in 1900, Nanny was stylish, relaxed, fun, intelligent and the first female entrepreneur in our family.  She apparently loved Dixieland Jazz and Lethbridge beer, but the only time I saw her drinking was on special occasions and holidays and it was always Scotch.  I offer up in her honour, The Jem shown in a vintage, passed down to my Mother and passed down to me and only used for Scotch.


If you are looking for the perfect glass to give with a bottles of Criollo and Scotch, I loVe these classic 13 oz barware glasses made in Italy by Luigi Bormioli

How To Run a Book Club

I love my book club, aka Chardonnay Club [my husband’s phrase] even though it takes me 30 minutes each way. I am jealous that the other 11 gals mostly get to walk, skip or stagger home at the end of the session.
The stagger is not necessarily from the wine, but also that a number of gals are burning the midnight candle.

We are a frolicking, intelligent, eclectic group that put a high value on books that stimulate our brains and conversation, although not always at the same time.

Choosing the book line-up begins at the end of the season with each member putting forward their choices and why. The list is emailed so you have time to pick your favourites. The year-end social *before* wine is the time we discuss, debate and chose. Attention is paid to genre so that we don’t end up with all fiction or all biography. A double header or the longest book is slated for the summer and each person picks a date to host and a date to present.

Some presentations occur in tandem with two members. The host is responsible for the food, but the year end is pot luck. We meet on a Monday of each month excluding the summer and school holidays, but with our children all grown even that has changed.

Yes we do have a moderator and yes sometimes the cacophony is unbelievable, like Guns’N Roses loud. Would you have it any other way, I think not.

Here is our line-up for September to May and I’m already enjoying Life After Life.

• Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
• Love, Dishonour, Marry, etc. by David Rakoff
• The Fever by Mary Beth Keane
• Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
• A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
• The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham
• The Death Class by Erika Kayasaki
• All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu
• A House in the Sky by Amanda Kindhout & Sara Corbett

You are welcome.