LWC Member Spotlight: Jean White

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Occupation:  Retired, previously banking and tax work.

How long you have you been an LWC member?  5 years

What activities have you been involved with as a member?  Currently co-president, I’ve also been the raffle chair for Santa’s Workshop and helped with the annual blood drive and Easter Bunny Breakfast.

What do you look forward to each year and why? The opportunity to give back to the community through the club and the fellowship of a great group of ladies.

Name a guilty pleasure you love.  Wine and ice cream.

You have a full day just for you – what would you do?  This is a tough one. Either spend the day doing something outrageous with a friend or something really special with my husband that we have never done before.

Pumpkinfest, Here We Come!

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There’s lots going on with the Litchfield Women’s Club this fall, and you’ll see club members out and about at many events in the coming month. We’ll be at the Hudson Kiwanis’ annual Pumpkinfest on Saturday, October 15th with a tempting assorted of pumpkin-related baked goods and other delicious treats! We’re looking forward to meeting our neighbors from surrounding towns and getting the word out about our nonprofit community service organization. Be sure to look for the LWC table; we’ll be there from early morning until the fireworks end! The event promises to be a lot of fun for everyone and we hope to see you there!

Fall is a fabulous time in New Hampshire and we’re getting out and enjoying the seasonal hues and local food with a trip to Pickity Place in Mason on Sunday, October 23rd. We’ll enjoy a 5-course gourmet luncheon in their cozy restaurant before exploring the grounds and taking in the main gift shop and the Christmas shop, too. It’s sure to be an afternoon of good food, good fun and good friends, old and new. Co-president Jean White is leading this excursion.

We have two community service initiatives in place for November, both which are longtime LWC traditions. On Saturday, November 5 (raindate November 6), club members and quite often, their family members as well, take to the streets for the annual roadside fall clean-up. LWC adopted the stretch of Route 3A beginning at Passaconaway Country Club and ending at the Litchfield Technology Park many years ago and participates in fall and spring clean-up efforts. Veteran members delight in the tales of the treasures found on the sides of the busy thoroughfare throughout the years and community members benefit from a cleaner passage through town. LWC is just one of the volunteer groups who have dedicated time for many years to keeping the town of Litchfield clean. LWC member and club secretary Claire Regan will organize the upcoming clean-up.

On November 12, club member and sunshine chair Renee Charette will head up our annual fall Blood Drive in cooperation with the American Red Cross at Griffin Memorial School in Litchfield. National Honor Society students from Campbell High School will assist as blood runners at the event and club members will be on hand to check donors in and serve refreshments. Further details will be available shortly.

The Litchfield Women’s Club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Litchfield Middle School library at 7 p.m. (October, November, February, March, April, May) and at other locations (as announced) in September, December and June, when the club enjoys off-premise social events. New members are welcome at any time. To learn more, consider coming to a meeting or email us at litchfieldwomensclub@gmail.com.

LWC Member Spotlight: Renee Charette

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Occupation: Accountant/Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant

How long you have you been an LWC member? I believe I’ve been a member for about 7 years now. What activities have you been involved with as a member? I hold the position of Sunshine chairwoman. I’ve chaired Adopt-A-Highway and the American Red Cross blood drive. I coordinate with the local Girl Scouts to recruit a troop as ‘our troop’ to assist with the running of the games at the community breakfasts (Santa’s Workshop and Easter Bunny Breakfast). In addition, this past year I worked with Mrs. Potter, the advisor of the National Honor Society at Campbell High School to get some volunteer helpers for the breakfast. I screened applicants for our scholarships. I’ve worked at the breakfasts, baked for our events, and shopped at J.C. Penney for clothing to be donated for those in need.

What do you look forward to each year and why? I look forward to working with our fellow club members (my friends) and helping in our community in any capacity that I am able. It leaves me with a good feeling….and the June dinner is a blast! Lots of fun, good food and laughs 🙂

Name a guilty pleasure you love. Guilty pleasure….hmmm….I love sweets…and chocolate, but I try to stay away because it defeats my time at the gym.

You have a full day just for you – what would you do? A full day just for me would be spent at the spa. A day for pampering…that will never happen though 🙂 .

LWC Is Off To A Great Start!

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LWC’s new year is off to a fantastic start! We had a wonderful first meeting (an Open House) of the season this past Tuesday night at Stage Crossing Clubhouse, with a preview of the fall months (and all of the great things ahead) and a terrific wine talk and tasting courtesy of Paula Doucette of Bella Vino Specialty Wines and Gourmet.

Paula’s goal was to introduce wines that many wine drinkers had misconceptions about, such as rose and chardonnay wines and also offered the opportunity to contrast and compare two different merlots.

We were pleased to see many returning members and newcomers as well, who not only enjoyed the wine talk/tasting but also the generous array of delicious appetizers (from shrimp to a lovely cheese platter) and desserts (mmmm. . . all those mini cheesecake squares!). Then there were amazing chocolate covered strawberries. . perfect with the merlot!

There’s a lot more ahead, as the Litchfield Women’s Club moves forward toward its fall activities. There’s Pumpkinfest in Hudson in mid-October as well as a fabulous 5-course lunch at Pickity Place on October 23rd. Come November, the club holds its annual fall roadside clean up and blood drive, and then December’s big Santa’s Workshop event!

More details to follow on each, and please remember. . .if you’re a Litchfield–area woman with an interest in serving your community, promoting scholarship, and making some new friends, we sure hope you’ll join us on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Litchfield Middle School library at 7 pm. We welcome your energy, your enthusiasm and the opportunity to get to know you, too!

A Recipe to Kickstart Fall

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LWC member Joan Taylor has shared a delicious apple coffee cake recipe, which is sure whet our appetites for some fall baking! Keep this recipe handy as you get ready for apple picking!

Apple Coffee Cake

  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups of apples

Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Grease a 10” tube pan and line with wax paper. Joan suggests putting a cookie sheet on the next rack in the oven in case the cake drips. Cream eggs and sugar.  Add milk and vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to the cream mixture.  Add oil.  Mix thoroughly.  Put 1/3 of the batter in greased and lined pan. Top with 1/3 of the apples and 1/3 of the sugar and cinnamon mix. Repeat three times. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours or until a knife comes out clean. Joan said that it usually takes a bit longer.

Cool (and EASY) Summer Recipe

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LWC Secretary Claire Regan knows how to take the work out of summertime meals – she combines it all in one easy piece of foil and pops it on the grill. The beauty of this quick fix for dinner (or lunch) is that any number of ingredients can be combined and the solution never grows old.

In Claire’s case, she likes to cut up her favorite veggies (and in Litchfield, whether you grow your own or rely on our fabulous farm stands, you will enjoy fresh vegetables all summer long), throw a couple of slices of cheese in a sprayed foil pouch, with a little bit of whatever type of meat (or seafood) she desires. Wrap it up and cook it on the grill to your preferred level of tenderness and what Claire calls “doneness.” ENJOY!

Give it a shot and let us know what combos you enjoy most!

By the way, we hope you’ll save the date for our annual fall open house event:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 ~ 6:30 pm at Stage Crossing Clubhouse (behind Aaron Cutler Memorial Library) in Litchfield. We invite all Litchfield area women to join us for a social evening to learn more about Litchfield Women’s Club and enjoy a fabulous wine talk and tasting by Paula Doucette of Bella Vino Specialty Wines and Gourmet.

Cool Summer Recipe Series: Fabulous Blueberry Coffee Cake

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Just in time for Litchfield’s delicious blueberry harvest – a fabulous blueberry coffee cake recipe from LWC co-president Jean White, who said she got this recipe from a Seattle, WA-area restaurant. ENJOY!

Anthony’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

  • ¾ cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and beat. Mix flour, salt and baking powder.  Add vanilla to milk. Alternately add milk and flour mixture to batter and beat until smooth. Mix 1 ½ cups of blueberries to batter by hand.  Pour into greased 9×13 baking pan and sprinkle with crumb topping and remaining blueberries.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.  Test center with toothpick to be sure it is done.  Center will remain slightly soft.  Especially good when served warm.  Keep covered in refrigerator for moistness.  It freezes well also.

Crumb Topping

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter

Combine flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Cut in butter in ½” pieces and work in with a fork until crumbly

– Jean White