Redstone Book Club: Q&A with Celia Rees

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We were lucky enough to have a little Q&A with the author of our latest Book Club book, ‘Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook’. Thanks to Celia Rees for taking the time to answer these and for reaching out when we announced her book in our rotation! We are also THRILLED to announce that Celia will be joining us in our Zoom Book Club meeting later this month. You can purchase your January Book Club Pack here!


 

Q: When you were doing your research did you gain more of an interest in wines or was that something you were already very interested in?

CR: I already had an interest in wine – and not just in drinking it! I’m by no means a wine buff but I have a working knowledge of wines of different regions. I also like finding out about food and drink local to places, so I spent some time finding out what wine would be available in the different locations and matching the choices to location and circumstances – whether it was dinner at the Savoy or local red in a trattoria. I love this kind of research!

Q: Did you get inspired to cook any of the foods that you wrote about?

CR: I haven’t cooked all the dishes, I’ll confess, but some of them I’d cook anyway or were in my family recipe book, if you like. It is a challenge I feel I ought to set myself. Maybe when the paperback comes out!

Q: Do you have a signature dish or favourite food that you like to cook?

CR: I do like to cook and cook dishes from many different cuisines from Mexican to Chinese by way of Europe, India and the Middle East. My daughter has recently introduced me to a whole new world of plant based recipes and I’m enjoying trying new things. As for a signature dish, I usually zero back to the British Isles and a family favourite – Welsh Roast Lamb with Honey and Cider.

Q: I loved the question you ask in the study guide, do you think you would make a good spy?

CR: All writers would make good spies! We tend to prefer to watch and observe, noticing small things, slotting them away for future reference. We tend to have strongly developed curiosity, a good memory for detail, lie for a living and can be quite sneaky.

Q: What is your favourite food memory?

CR: My mother’s roast ham with broad beans and new potatoes from the garden and fresh parsley sauce.

Q: Do you have another book in the works?

CR: I do. I’m working on the proposal right now but it is too early to say any more about it.

Q: What are you currently reading?

CR: I’m reading the Grey King by Susan Cooper. It is part of her “The Dark is Rising” series. The Dark is Rising, the second novel, is one of my favourite midwinter reads and I got sucked into re-reading the rest of the series. It is also background for a bit of an idea I have for a book…

THIS or THAT!

Q: Wine or cocktail?

CR: Wine

Q: Sweet or salty?

CR: Salty

Q: Tea or coffee?

CR: Umm, tough one… but has to be tea.

Q: Travel or the comfort of home?

CR: Travel

Q: Comfort foods or Haut Cuisine?

CR: Haute Cuisine

Redstone Holiday Hours

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RETAIL HOLIDAY HOURS

December 24th – 11:30am-3:00pm
December 25th-26th – CLOSED
December 31st – 11:30am-3:00pm
January 1st-2nd – CLOSED

RESTAURANT HOLIDAY HOURS

December 20th-23rd – 11:30am-4:00pm
December 24th-26th – CLOSED
December 27th-30th – 11:30am-4:00pm
December 31st – 11:30am-8:00pm
January 1st-20th – CLOSED

Redstone Book Club: Q&A with Ann Mah

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Our Book Club members submitted questions to the author of our latest book, ‘The Lost Vintage’. Thanks to Ann Mah for taking the time to answer these and for reaching out when we announced her book in our rotation!


 

Q: I’ve been studying wine for years and have a passion for food. I have always wanted to write a book but it seems like such a daunting tasks. How did you get into food writing? Do you have any advice for an inspiring writers?

AM: I started writing about food when I found myself newly married and living unexpectedly in Beijing. We had moved for my husband’s career and I was unemployed and missing my work as a book editor terribly. My first articles were for a local magazine for expats – I started writing about local fashion because that was the content they needed – eventually I got up the confidence to pitch some pieces on food. After a few months I became the dining editor, and from there I began freelancing for larger publications, and also started writing my first novel. There are so many different paths to working as a professional writer, but almost all of them begin small – with a blog, or local paper, or school newsletter. Having a thick skin is also important (there’s a lot of rejection, at every level). It also helps to write regularly – that’s where a blog comes in handy – and, of course, reading widely in different genres is essential.

Q: Your writing about wine and the region is very detailed and really made me want to visit and drink the wines (who doesn’t love a good Meursault). What did you do for researching the book?

AM: I first visited Burgundy in 2010 to research an article on Thomas Jefferson’s favorite vineyards in France. The minute I set foot in the region, I was captivated by the vine-covered slopes and charming villages. And if I sensed ghosts there, hovering amid the beauty, they only added to my fascination. I think the seed for this novel was planted then. A few years later, I volunteered to pick grapes at the harvest in Champagne. Harvest volunteers are often given free room and board, and I was put up in an empty attic apartment at the vineyard house. The rooms hadn’t been touched since the 1960s: they were sparsely decorated with mid-century hospital furniture; the floors creaked; the wallpaper was peeling; and at night the rural silence was deafening – and bone-chilling. Even though I was exhausted from long days of physical labor, whenever I lay down to sleep, my imagination would cartwheel. And so, I slept with the lights on, and when I woke, I wrote in my journal. This story was born from those wild scribblings.

Q: What is your favourite food memory?

AM: Biting into the first croissant after a long absence from Paris. It’s a memory that I hope to relive over and over again with each reunion with my favorite city!

Q:What are you currently reading?

AM: I just finished WRITERS AND LOVERS by Lily King, which was a page-turner and a love story – although not in the traditional sense. It’s about grief, and work, and relationships that let us down, and above all it’s an ode to the writing life.

Q: Do you have another book in the works?

AM: Yes! I just finished the manuscript for my new novel. It’s called JACQUELINE IN PARIS and is about the year Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy spent in Paris as a study abroad student, from 1949 to 1950. She was twenty years old, living with an impoverished Countess who was a former resistance spy, discovering a new country and herself. It’s the story of Jackie before Jack – a young woman’s awakening to art, politics, romance, and love. She later called that year the happiest of her life. The book will be published in Fall 2022.

THIS or THAT!

Q: Wine or cocktail? (Do you have a favourite?)

AM: Wine! I love a crisp, minerally white like Sauvignon Blanc, or a light-bodied red Burgundy :)

Q: Sweet or salty?

AM: Salty.

Q: Tea or coffee?

AM: Tea.

Q: Travel or the comfort of home?

AM: Can I say both? As a diplomatic family, we move regularly to far-flung locations that allow us to travel – which is the best of both worlds!

Q: Comfort foods or Haut Cuisine?

AM: Depends on the occasion!


We have copies of ‘The Lost Vintage’ left in stock, so you can still purchase our September Book Club Pack for yourself, your own Book Club meeting, or make it the perfect gift for your favourite Book Worm/Wine Lover

Mother’s Day Takeout

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Celebrate the Mom in your life!

This Mother’s Day, treat the mom in your life to a
5 course family style lunch or dinner featuring beautiful, seasonal ingredients.

Don’t forget to add on some charcuterie or oysters!

All Items, pick-up and delivery, are heat-at-home with minimal cooking required. Cooking and assembly directions included.

Pickup times available:
Saturday, May 8 and Sunday May 9 from 11:30am – 4:00pm

We are pleased to offer free delivery in the Niagara region.
Delivery available Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.

Order by May 6th at 5pm.

[Menu Description:

Chilled Sweet Pea & Arugula Soup – Dressed Peas, Mozzarella, Hazelnut

Strawberry & Cucumber Salad – Toasted Almond, Crème Fraiche, Black Pepper Dressing

Seared Albacore Tuna – Poached Asparagus, Fennel, Radish, Ginger Vinaigrette

Grilled Cornish Hen – Wild Leek, Fingerling Potato, Herb Breadcrumb, Confit Shallot Jus

Strawberry & Rhubarb Crumble – Toasted Oat Topping

Add-ons:

Mimosa Kit – 750mL Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, 2017 Redstone Sparkling – $50

Gin Caesar Kit – 946mL Walter’s Caesar, 750mLTawse Gin, Redstone Garnish – $50

1lb Vintage Coffee Roasters Coffee – $14

Cheese & Charcuterie Platter for Two or Four – Charcuterie from Niagara Food Specialties, Cheeses from Upper Canada Cheese Company, Preserves, Pickles, Mustards, Crostini – $24/$48

Fresh East Coast Oysters – Shuck at Home, Shallot Mignonette, Horseradish, Lemon – $2.50ea (minimum order of 6)

 

$50 per person – minimum order of 2 people

All Items (pick up and delivery) are heat-at-home with minimal cooking required

Free delivery on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 within the Niagara Region.

Pickup available Saturday, May 8 and Sunday May 9 from 11:30am – 4:00pm]