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pen point | by JIM CAMPBELL
Herodotus’ history of the ancient world.
I don’t recall much about the rest of the
lecture, but I remember that letter from
Yorkshire as an important observation
about life in a time like ours, when there
is so much talk about narrow-mindedness,
prejudice and political correctness.
Could it be that some things deemed to
be prejudicial may not be based on fear
or the rejection of strangers? How can it
be wrong to enjoy the company of those
with whom we share common stories and
experiences – memories of the songs,
stories and struggles, the laughter, the fears
and frustrations faced together?
It seems we need to think clearly about
the way natural processes work in our lives
Also, many years ago, I had a dim view of
the Swiss! It was because of Hans, the first
Swiss I got to know. We worked together
Everyone, from every part of the human family, connects most easily with people
who have shared their life’s journey. No one should feel guilty about that.
DEALING WITH PREJUDICE
t a summer school at Oxford, our
professor wandered off topic. He
told us of a letter he received that
morning from a newly retired colleague
and his wife, who were now living in their
dream cottage on the Yorkshire downs. The
letter was an invitation, actually a heartfelt
plea, for the professor and his wife to come
up for a visit. The letter said they missed
PLUs – that’s People Like Us.
Their neighbours on the downs were
lovely people – friendly, kind, generous,
always ready to help if they could – but
the couple from Oxford could make no
contribution to their important conversa-
tions about sheep, horses, working dogs
and crop rotation, or to their valuable rural
skills and traditions. They yearned to be
with PLUs, to converse about history and
philosophy, about art and culture, about
existentialism or the latest translation of
Late Spring 2016 | HOMEdigest | 7
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at INCO in Sudbury. He was a schemer, a
rascal, a trickster, a womanizer, a braggart
and a poor loser. So, when anyone
mentioned the Swiss, the image of Hans
immediately surfaced from my memory
It’s an automatic process, for stored in
the corners of our brain we have a rich
supply of images that help us deal with
day-to-day stuff. There are images of people
and places: policemen, preachers, gypsies,
Greeks, the English or Scots, of places like
New York, Paris, Calgary or Rome.
Obviously, all these images are incom-
plete and inaccurate; not every Scot likes
bagpipe music, haggis, and is dour and
thrifty; every city is an incomprehensible
entity. Yet, without our handy store of these
images, our thinking processes would prob-
ably be stuck in gridlock most of the time.
So, as we confront the challenges of
combating prejudice, we need to remember
that everyone, from every part of the human
family, connects most easily with people
who have shared their life’s journey. No one
should feel guilty about that. And everyone’s
mind is richly supplied with handy images,
of people and places; they are useful,but
always sketchy and incomplete. No one
should feel guilty about that.
If we can agree that we all start from
the same places, we’d be better equipped
to work together to face and deal with
Jim Campbell is an Oakville
author, writer and long-time
contributor to HOMEdigest. His
most recent book, ‘Glimpses
Through the Mirror: The Collected
Pen Point Columns’, is available online at
Indigo.ca and Amazon.ca. We welcome your
comments on this column at homedigesteditor@
8 | HOMEdigest | Late Spring 2016
healthy eating |
4 veal shanks (bone in), 1 to 1-1/2 inches/
2.5 to 4 cm thick (about 3 lb/1.4 kg total)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
20 to 30 minutes
3 hours in
an oven or
6 to 8 hours in
a slow cooker
PROTEIN: 37 grams | FAT: 11 grams | CARBOHYDRATES: 20 grams |
CALORIES: 324 | FIBRE: 3 grams | SODIUM: 750 mg
Comfort foodAT ITS BESTYou don’t have to visit an Italian restaurant to savour an excellent Osso Buco.
This recipe can be made at home easily in your oven or slow cooker.
Osso Bucois the epitome of
comfort food. Less-tender veal shanks are
simmered in a richly flavoured tomato
sauce until tender and succulent. It can
be made in an oven or a slow cooker. It is
traditionally garnished with gremolata, a
mixture of lemon rind, parsley and garlic.
Serve over mashed potatoes or risotto to
add to your comfort-food therapy.
Late Spring 2016 | HOMEdigest | 9
Cover and bake in 325°F (160°C) oven
for 2 hours or until veal is tender, turning
meat over partway through.
Transfer meat to warm plates. Put pan
over high heat and cook to thicken and
reduce sauce, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring
frequently. Spoon sauce over meat.
Combine lemon rind, parsley and garlic;
sprinkle over each serving.
Slow cooker instructions
Prepare as above, using 1/2 cup (125 mL)
broth, as there is less evaporation in a slow
cooker. Transfer meat, then sauce, into
slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours
or until meat is tender.
To thicken sauce, pour sauce mixture
into skillet or wide saucepan (leave veal
in unplugged slow cooker to stay warm)
and boil over high heat until reduced
and thickened. Spoon over meat. Prepare
gremolata and serve as above. b
1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) stewed or chunky
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) each dried marjoram,
basil and oregano
Finely grated rind of small lemon
3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Dust veal shanks with flour; season each
with pinch of salt and pepper. In large Dutch
oven, heat oil over medium-high heat;
brown veal on both sides. Transfer to plate.
Stir onion, carrots and garlic into pan,
adding a little more oil if needed. Cook until
softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and
bring to boil, stirring up any brown bits from
bottom of pan. Stir in tomatoes, marjoram,
basil, oregano and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt
and pepper; bring to simmer. Return veal
shanks to pan, spooning sauce over meat.
home decor | by LINDA MAZUR
his year, we have been seeing many
amazing fabrics becoming available that
are full of colour and lushness, and which have
incredible patterns. The designs make the fabrics
inspirational, and they can be one of the best places
to start when you’re looking at designing a room.
But there’s more to fabric than just pretty colours
and impactful patterns. There are many aspects
associated with fabrics that should be considered,
including durability, care, pattern intricacy, the hang
of a fabric and,of course, colour.
The durability of a particular fabric is determined
by its ‘double-rub count’. Fabrics are tested for the
number of times a machine can pass back and forth
over the fabric before it wears down. Personally, I
tend to stay away from lower rub counts for residential
use and, to be safe, will not have any often-used
upholstery in a fabric rated 9,000 to 12,000 double-
rubs. However, I would suggest such fabrics for a low-
usage piece of furniture, such as an occasional chair.
Domestic fabrics are often rated at 25,000 double-rubs;
commercial fabrics can be more than 100,000.
If you want high-performance fabrics that are
anti-microbial and stain- and moisture-resistant, look
» pg 12
10 | HOMEdigest | Late Spring 2016
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home decor | continued from page 10
12 | HOMEdigest | Late Spring 2016
for something called Crypton or Nano-tex
plus DuraBlock. These fabrics are beyond
forgiving and are fantastic for high-traffic
homes, especially those with kids and pets.
One of my go-to fabric suppliers is Robert
Allen Design, which produces inspiring and
decadent new fabric designs saturated with
colours that never fail to impress.
As important as durability is in your
fabric selection, equally important is
pattern intricacy and colour. As a designer,
I love mixing colours and patterns.
However, it’s important to keep in mind
that the fabrics you have selected need to
be relevant for their intended use. You may
fall in love with a particular fabric, but the
scale and pattern repeat may not be the
best choice for upholstering, for example,
a diamond-tufted sofa. Keep this in mind
when you are customizing your furniture.
Late Spring 2016 | HOMEdigest | 13
With so much available to select from,
be bold in your choice of fabrics for your
home. If you find a pattern you adore,
but are a bit hesitant to use it generously
throughout your home, then try it on some
toss cushions or perhaps an ottoman.
Furniture fabrics and custom draperies
can be a costly purchase, so be sure to
select wisely. I like to recommend patterns
that are timeless to enhance the longevity
Linda Mazur is the principal
designer of Linda Mazur Design
Group.With over a decade of
interior design firm provides innovative interior
renovations and full-scale build projects.The firm
servicesToronto,the GTA and surrounding areas.
For details,visit www.lindamazurdesign.com.
of the investment, and they can easily be
punched up by choosing trending colours,
or they can be mated with other patterns for
a bit of fun.
Fabrics can and will enhance the design
of your home. From toiles, stripes and
florals to ikats and jacquards, there are so
many different patterns, scales and colours
that can be mixed together beautifully
to complement your room and add that
designer touch. Just remember to keep a
common element throughout and watch
your home come alive. b
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» pg 17
getting organizedgetting organized || by HELLEN BUTTIGIEG
arcia was a homeowner whose
house received a makeover on
a TV show I hosted, ‘neat’. My
team and I helped her declutter and get
organized. About a year later, a woman in
the back row at one of my speaking events
put her hand up during the question and
answer period. “Remember me?” she asked.
“I’m Marcia from the show.” (Marcia is an
Now, I’m pretty good with faces –
especially when I spend a couple of days
in a person’s home, sorting through their
precious things. But the reason I didn’t
recognize her immediately was she had
transformed. She told me that the weight
she had been struggling to lose for years
had practically melted off after we helped
her tidy her home. She had lost about 60
Research shows there is a connection between
overstuffed homes and overstuffed bodies.
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Late Spring 2016 | HOMEdigest | 17
getting organized | continued from page 14
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Limited quantity of free fans available.
At that time, I wondered if there was a
connection between overstuffed homes
and overstuffed bodies. My clients often say
they ‘feel lighter’after the clutter is gone,
but I wondered if it was possible that they
could become physically lighter as well.
A few years after that fleeting thought, I
noticed that organizing books were being
published that described the connection
between clutter and weight. These included
Peter Walsh’s Does This Clutter Make My
Butt Look Fat? and Dorothy Breininger’s
Stuff Your Face Or Face Your Stuff. Both
authors are highly regarded experts in the
field of organizing.
Just recently, I was excited to discover
a new study (conducted at the Cornell
Food and Brand Lab and published in
Environment and Behavior) that researched
how our home environments affect weight.
Among the findings was that people eat
fewer calories after their home is tidied up.
The researchers put one group of women
in a messy, noisy kitchen and another
group in a clean, quiet kitchen. They put
bowls of food in both settings. Those in the
messy kitchen ate an average of 65 more
calories in 10 minutes.
“Being in a chaotic environment and
feeling out of control is bad for diets,” said
Lenny Vartanian, PhD, the lead author of
the research. “It seems to lead people to
think, ‘Everything else is out of control, so
why shouldn’t I be?’”
Messy, chaotic environments create stress.
We already know that people eat more
when they are stressed. If you keep a more
organized and less cluttered home, you’ll
probably make better food choices, which
will likely lead to a healthier weight. b
Hellen Buttigieg, CPO, is a
certified professional organizer,
life coach, TV personality, author
and speaker. For details, visit
www.weorganizeu.com or call 905-829-2219.
18 | HOMEdigest | Late Spring 2016
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outdoor living |
anadians retreat to their backyards to spend
time outdoors with family and friends at
the first hint of spring. This is exactly why
internationally renowned Canadian interior and
furniture designer Debbie Travis has launched
a new collection of Tuscan-inspired home
“I’ve spent much of the past few years in
Italy. I wanted to bring both the clean
lines of modern Italian design and the
richness of ancient architecture to my
new Tuscan-style collection,” says Travis.
“Functionality and versatility were my
top priorities in designing the collection, so
Canadians can now bring European pizzazz to
their homes at an affordable price,”
she says. The designs offer both
comfort and style, and include
space-saving solutions, colourful
accessories and sophisticated
“The collection is comfortable
and stylish, and I expect it will
resonate very positively with Canadians.” b
feel like you’re
the Tuscan sun.
On a long wooden tray or
board, arrange thin slices
of hard pecorino cheese (a
Tuscan cheese made from
sheep’s milk), then add:
• thin slices of different
• thin slices of rolled
• a variety of different olives
and large capers
• a small dish for delicious
• crispy bread sticks
• a few sage leaves scattered
20 | HOMEdigest | Late Spring 2016
Late Spring 2016 | HOMEdigest | 21
out & aboutout & about ||
Get your ribon!
Summer in Ontario means it’s ribfest season. One great example
is The Co-operators Oakville Family Ribfest, organized by Oakville
Trafalgar Rotary. It’s a free summer festival that brings families
and individuals young and old together to celebrate, have fun,
and enjoy great food and live entertainment.
“Our fifth annual Ribfest will boast nine well-known ribbers
and dozens of great bands and performers,” says event chair
Trish Peden. “There’s also a Kids’ Play Zone that is free, a large
amusement park with rides and games, artists, a community
marketplace, lots of food vendors, plus beer and imported wine.”
Because it’s volunteer-run, 100% of profits go to support
Rotary’s charitable projects. “Oakville’s only Ribfest is a great
way to enjoy the start of summer while you help Rotary help
others,” says Peden.
For details, visit oakvillefamilyribfest.com.
For other local ribfests, go to
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