From Italy, With Love

Longtime Roswell resident Cathy Jones enjoys bringing a molto bene taste of Italy to her daily meal planning. Cathy, having quite a comfort level in science with a background in chemistry and pharmaceutical sales, put a bucket list together of things she wanted to accomplish as she approached retirement. Near the top of her list was learning to cook Italian food in Italy! 

She discovered “Good Tastes of Tuscany” in Lastra a Signa about seven miles west of Florence. Classes were held in a 13th-century castle and lodging was just up the hill in Villa Bellavista, a 14th century farmhouse in the middle of an oil grove with a beautiful view.

“Villa Pandolfini was the estate where the cooking school was located and was still a producer of olive oil and wine for the local area. We used both products in our cooking and were immediately spoiled by the freshness and quality of the olive oil and the amazing local organic wine.”

Cathy credits her frugal Scottish grandmother, who was a cook in a logging camp herself, with instilling the love of creating meals and satisfying large groups of people on a strict budget. But unlike her grandmother, Cathy’s tip for creating a meal to remember is to use the best ingredients you can find at your most comfortable price point. The ingredients are the most important factor in creating mouthwatering dishes that satisfy anyone’s palate.  

A member of the Roswell Woman’s Club since 2015, Cathy is very active supporter of the Roswell community within an organization that requires hands-on involvement, volunteerism in the community and monetary contributions through fundraising. All of the money raised at the club's events goes to pay for scholarships to deserving North Fulton high school students and a variety of non-profit organizations hand picked by the board of the club. Fundraising events sponsored by the Woman’s Club are often considered a must-do in the Roswell community and tickets often sell out quickly. 

“At the June 2021 fund raising event, Boots and Bling, I offered at auction a five course Italian dinner for  eight. The winning four couples paid $2,000.00 for my dinner. We held the dinner in early November and it was a great success,” Cathy says.  

The menu for the dinner began with parmesan flan with cherry tomato sauce. For the salad course, Sicilian blood orange salad with shaved fennel, Kalamata olives and fresh oregano dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar was served. The entree was a Scottiglia, a hunter's stew made with a variety of meat, braised in wine and served over creamy polenta. And finally, for dessert, vanilla bean panna cotta, served with a fresh fruit sauce completed the meal. The lucky participants went home with a bottle of her homemade Meyer lemon limoncello - a gift to be treasured!

Contact the Roswell Woman’s Club if you would like information about their next fundraiser. Who knows, you might just win a dinner with Cathy and her incredible cooking!

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