When obligations on my calendar overflow, I simply pack a suitcase, kiss the cats goodbye, and head for room 107 at the Red Roof Inn. It’s my home away from home, not fancy but adequate, squeaky clean, and almost as cheap as the price of gas for the round trip from Posey Lake to Toledo and back.
A number of talks, teas, and other social events in late April and early May prompted a stay there because it wasn’t feasible to drive back and forth almost daily.
The Premier Banquet Complex was the choice of Mobile Meals of Toledo for a reunion of past board members. The function was an opportunity for the current board to update former members on future plans and to invite past members to reminisce about their service.
Pat Bell, who was instrumental in the organization of the food delivery system in 1967, was among the guests.
“I delivered the first meal,” Mrs. Bell said, adding that she delivered meals for 35 years. “It became a way of life.” Now she is one of 600 customers who receive the delivered meals. Mrs. Bell said she subscribes to the plan because the food is nutritious and the service is convenient.
The Premier is a handsome private party facility. The dinner menu got my immediate attention with the serving of Betty Salad, exactly as the late Betty Timko served it — cold, crisp, with fresh bean sprouts, and just the right amount of her famous dressing.
For the Metropolitan Ladies Club lunch menu at Belmont Country Club, where I was the guest speaker, Belmont executive chef Kyle DeMars turned chicken breasts into colorful and tasty works of art. The rolled breasts were stuffed with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, sliced and fanned out on the plates and served with slender asparagus. Crème anglaise, a thin French custard sauce, was spooned over compotes of fresh fruit.
Organized in 2004, the club is an outgrowth of the Toledo Welcome Wagon. According to president Deb Lengel, each year a different charity is chosen to receive support. This year the $2,000 proceeds from a May raffle and other fund-raisers are earmarked for Providence House.
The gorgeous location and Toni Moore’s Greek-American buffet were the rewards for speaking at the Toledo Garden Forum in the conference center at the Toledo Botanical Garden. The forum is the umbrella organization of 10 Toledo garden clubs.
I don’t know whether I was more pleased to see Toni, who was once part of the Ladyfingers catering group in Toledo, or the menu she prepared and served to forum members. She is the director of the 600 volunteers at the gardens and is no longer in the catering business, except as favors to special groups. Fortunately, the forum is one of them.
The three-inch-deep spinach pie was topped with crisp phyllo dough and hearty moussaka filled the second large pan. There was a choice of feta to add to the tossed greens. Plates of fresh pineapple spears and grapes were passed and some guests still had room for sherbet.
Two teas this month reinforced my enthusiasm for this leisurely style of entertaining that allows plenty of time to talk.
I think most teas taste alike, despite their fancy names, but I love the assortment of lovely teapots and cups. The Toledo Woman’s Club entertained 80 guests at the ninth annual Victorian Tea at the club on Woodley Road. The proceeds from the event are used for the upkeep of the club rooms.
One of Toledo’s oldest clubs, TWC was organized in 1892. Tea chairman Diane Smith emphasized that several members prepared the food, including longtime member Fran Tassie, 91, who made the scones, candied orange peel, and apricot filling in phyllo cups.
Sylvania Northview High School students Maddy Kalell, Jensen Murra, and Carly Radebaugh were servers. They are members of the Interact Club. The Toledo Campus Ministry, a professional ecumenical organization, sponsored the tea.
The Interfaith Center Auxiliary and campus ministry students prepared and served food. Elaine’s Tea Shoppe selected the teas.
Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org