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About Town — December 27, 2012
by MARGARET WIRTENBERG
(Suggested title: “The Plan”)
What is the Plan for the central part of town? Is there
one, that is intended to be implemented? And is there a map
describing it? Which properties are in that central area, that
perhaps being a whole discussion in itself!
If there is one, is the map associated with it located somewhere in the
First Selectman’s office?
As part of their 2010 rewrite of the Town Plan of Conservation and
Development, perhaps the Planning and Zoning Commission has one?
If so, it would be located over at the Town Hall Annex. Which,
interestingly, is the aged structure that is inspiring town interest in
If P&Z doesn’t have one at the appropriate planning scale, they
could put one together. But true to planning theory, they would
hold workshops with the public first.
Perhaps the Board of Finance has put one together. Perhaps this
would be in the form of tables or spreadsheets summarizing the relevant
More likely, the Building Committee either has one or could put one
together in a snap, assuming the necessary funds were available in
their budget. Last time I looked, though, their budget was not
even four figures for a year’s worth of activities.
In drawing a map we have to take into account the existing land uses,
where buildings are located, and roads and access to structures as well
as pedestrian circulation. And the locations of infrastructure
such as drainage, pipes, and utility lines. Not to mention
natural features that might impede any development.
Once we get this base map prepared, the fun begins!
It’s the vision thing. Or the blind men and the elephant.
Everyone sees things differently. But in my opinion the Board of
Selectmen, through the years, have always tried to have good visions
for the Town of Weston.
They saw opportunities to preserve Weston in a sustainable way, with
respect to its natural features, and they took action. They
showed leadership in modernizing the schools and town facilities.
Their vision allowed the community to come together over school
A lot of these things happened in the face of sharply divided public
opinion. I did not agree with a lot of the objections that were
voiced, but many other times I felt that the anti-whatever faction made
In all of these fights, the Board of Selectmen were honest and
forthright. And they didn’t always win. In the end, Weston
found a way to come together.
The present Board of Selectmen can match any previous one for
intelligence, achievement, and devotion to duty. What they need
right now are some scenarios and visions for the future of the center
The new Town Plan called for pedestrianization of central Weston and
other neighborhoods. The Selectmen took a first step in this
direction by closing School Road this year for a day. That’s a
NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears
on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88
(Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.
This week’s guest is Dr. Floyd Lapp, Executive Director of SWRPA.
"About Town" interviews
Stephan Grozinger, Former Chair., P&Z, effective
2012, one of our favorite interviews!!!
"ABOUT TOWN" COLUMN
IN THE FORUM, MOST OF THE TIME, HERE!
Still many who have not subscribed...many
claim to pick it up at Peter's Market.
The Weston Forum will become a paid paper in July
Written by Kimberly Donnelly
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 11:49
The Weston Forum, currently a free publication mailed to all Weston
homes, will become a paid newspaper starting in July, Forum Publisher
Thomas Nash announced this week.
The change will reduce mailing and printing expense, a continuing
challenge for weekly newspaper publishers throughout the country. It
will also bring the paper into conformance with its sister papers
throughout the Hersam Acorn Newspapers chain, including those in
Redding, Wilton and Easton, all of which are paid.
“Since 1970, The Forum has been Weston’s main news source, from its
beginnings under founder Patricia Heifetz to its ownership for the last
20 years under Acorn Press and Hersam Acorn Newspapers. Most of our
other papers are paid publications with high penetration in their
community. Our goal is for The Forum to also become a high penetration
paid newspaper,” Mr. Nash said.
Subscription cards will be in The Forum’s Weston Answerbook next week,
and delivered with the paper throughout June.
The cost of an annual subscription will be $30. Discounts will be
offered for multiple year subscriptions.
Subscription requests should be sent to Circulation Department, 42
Vitti Street, New Canaan, CT 06840, or call 800-372-2790 and ask for
the Circulation Department.
The cost of a single copy will be $1. The Forum is currently sold on
newsstands in a variety of locations, including Peter’s Market in
Weston Center. There are plans to add more newsstand locations.
Beginning July 1, the paper will continue to be mailed to
non-subscribers on a random, rotating basis for several months to
remind readers of the change.
The Weston Forum’s Patricia Gay is grilled cheese contest finalist
Written by Stephen Saxton
Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:00
Out of more than 100 original recipes, Weston Forum
Assitant Editor Patricia Gay was selected as one of six finalists in
the second annual grilled cheese sandwich contest for Artisanal
Fromagerie and Bistro, an upscale restaurant in New York City.
Ms. Gay's submission was her Three-Cheese Crisp Sandwich, which
consists of baked parmesan cheese crisps tucked between layers of
gruyere and fontina cheese on sourdough bread grilled in rosemary
butter. (Click for recipe)
Her inspiration came from the parmesan cracker-like crisps she has made
for years for parties. "Since I like parmesan crisps and French onion
soup with melted gruyere and fontina, I thought I would combine all
three cheeses into one sandwich," she said.
Ms. Gay heard about the contest on Facebook in an announcement made by
Artisanal stating it was holding a contest for original grilled cheese
sandwiches in honor of April being National Grilled Cheese month.
Ms. Gay liked the fact that the winning sandwich would be featured on
Artisanal's menu and 10% of the proceeds from its sale would be donated
to the charity of the winner's choice.
For Ms. Gay, this meant an opportunity to help Neighborhood Studios, a
Bridgeport-based non-profit organization that provides art education
programs for underprivileged and special needs children.
Ms. Gay first learned about Neighborhood Studios when she attended a
fund-raising gala for it featuring Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell.
"I wrote a story about the gala for The Weston Forum because Dorothy
Nevas Freedman of Weston is on the studio's Board of Directors," said
The final grilled cheese judging was held Wednesday, April 18, at
Artisanal's chefs prepared the six sandwiches for a distinguished panel
of food judges which featured Artisanal's chef and co-proprietor
Terrance Brennan; Helen Rosner, editor at Saveur.com; Alyssa Shelasky
(Grub Street and New York Magazine); Ann Saxelby (Saxelby
Cheesemongers); James Mulcahy, editor at Zagat.com blog; and Lauren
Scala of NBC New York.
Judges rated the sandwiches on taste, quality of ingredients, and
Ms. Gay's Three-Cheese Crisp received unanimous praise from the panel.
Ms. Rosner called the usage of parmesan crisps "ingenious," and Mr.
Brennan complimented the combination of cheeses and its texture.
The other sandwiches were Grilled Cheese with Crisp Pork Belly, Apple
Chutney and Aged Cheddar; Grilled Cheddar with Indian Mango Pickle;
Diana Rowell's Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pierre Robert, Barely
Buzzed Cheddar, Gruyere and Apple; Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese; and
"Drunken" Raclette Grilled Cheese.
Lizz Spano of New York was the winner for her "Drunken" Raclette
Grilled Cheese, inspired by a classic Swiss dish, featuring raclette
cheese on peasant bread, smashed red potato, Dijon mustard, cornichons,
and onions caramelized in Irish whiskey.
Ms. Gay was happy for Ms. Spano and was not disappointed at all by the
results. "While my grilled cheese did not take top honors it got many
positive comments. Alyssa Shelasky said it was her favorite and she
gave me a high five afterwards. I also really liked meeting the other
contestants and Terrance Brennan," she said.
Mr. Brennan presented each finalist with an autographed copy of his
Artisanal Cooking cookbook and a sample menu with each finalist's
sandwich listed on it.
In the week leading up to the contest, Ms. Gay devised a "Plan B" to
ensure Neighborhood Studios would benefit regardless of the contest's
outcome. She made platters of her grilled cheese for friends and
co-workers to sample and asked for donations in return. At the end of
the contest, she presented an envelope of donations to Don Rainone of
Neighborhood Studios and Janet Freedman, daughter of Dorothy Nevas
Freedman, who had stopped by to cheer her on.
"This experience was so much fun," said Ms. Gay. I'm proud just to have
been named a finalist. As the song goes, I had the time of my life,"
Ms. Gay will hold a cooking demonstration for her Three Cheese Crisp on
Saturday, May 5, at the Weston Farmer's Market at Norfield Grange, 12
For more information about Artisanal and the Grilled Cheese contest,
including the recipes of all six finalists, visit artisanalbistro.com.
Three Cheese Crisp recipe
Written by Patricia Gay
Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:00
Patricia Gay's Three Cheese Crisp
2 slices sourdough bread, 1/2 inch thick
2 ounces Fontina cheese, grated on large holes of a box grater
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated on large holes of a box grater
2 Parmesan Crisps (See recipe below)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1. In a small bowl combine butter and rosemary.
2. Spread half the rosemary butter on outside of one slice of bread.
3. On the unbuttered side, sprinkle with the grated Fontina cheese.
Cover with two Parmesan Crisps, then sprinkle with the grated Gruyere
4. Top with second slice of bread, spread the top with the remaining
5. Place sandwich in a non-stick frying pan or skillet over
medium/medium high heat. Place a 9-ounce cook's press weight on top (or
other weight or just flatten with a small flat metal lid or spatula)
and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip and
top with weight/lid/spatula and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or
until that side is golden brown.
6. Remove from pan, cut sandwich in half and garnish with a Parmesan
These can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container
until ready to use. This recipe will make more crisps than needed for
8 tablespoons fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Use imported Italian
cheese, not domestic it's too oily, and never the canned green stuff,
it won't crisp), grated on the large holes of a box grater.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a rectangular baking pan with a silicone baking mat or
3. Place a 2 1/2-inch biscuit/cookie-cutter on the mat at least one
inch from the top and side of the pan, and sprinkle one tablespoon of
cheese evenly into the mold. Remove mold and repeat with remaining
cheese, spacing cheese mounds at least one-inch apart from each other
and the sides of the pan.
4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese crisps start
to turn golden brown.
5. Remove from oven and let set a minute, then remove crisps and place
on cooling rack until cool. Yield 8 crisps.
For a good cause, as well!
New Fairfield woman makes grilled cheese to please
Erik Ofgang, Danbury News-Times
Updated 10:49 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, 2012
When it comes to making grilled cheese, New Fairfield's
Patricia Gay might just be a master.
Gay's unique three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich was chosen as one of
six finalists in a New York City grilled cheese recipe contest held by
the Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro and Wine Bar, an upscale restaurant at
2 Park Ave. in Manhattan.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Gay's grilled cheese recipe will square off
against other finalists at the Artisanal Bistro in an event can be
described as a cheese fest.
The grilled cheese creations will be judged by culinary experts
including celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Rocco DiSpirito, several
food editors and Terrence Brennan, a chef and owner of Artisanal and
other restaurants in New York.
The winner's recipe will be added to the menu at Artisanal, and 10
percent of the profit from each sandwich sold will go to a charity of
the winner's choosing.
The contest celebrates April as National Grilled Cheese Month. This is
the second year of the competition and about 80 recipes were submitted.
Gay said she is a huge fan of the Artisanal restaurant and learned
about the contest because she follows it on Facebook and Twitter. A
woman who enjoys cooking as a hobby, Gay decided to enter the contest
and developed a grilled cheese recipe.
"It took me a long time to think about what sandwich to make. I created
one that definitely reflects me," she said.
She said her recipe includes Parmesan cheese crisps, which are among
her favorite snacks to make and serve to company.
Called the Artisanal Three-Cheese Crisp, Gay's sandwich is made on
sourdough bread with shredded Fontina cheese on one side, Parmesan
crisps in the middle and Gruyere on the other side.
The sandwich is grilled in a frying pan, on the stove, in butter
infused with fresh rosemary.
Gay said she was surprised it was selected as a finalist. "I wouldn't
have thought that my recipe would be complicated enough for such a fine
restaurant," she said.
Gay was New Fairfield's first selectman from 1997 to 2001 and today she
is an assistant editor at the Weston Forum.
If she wins, she said, she will donate proceeds from the sale of her
sandwich to Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County, a Bridgeport-area
nonprofit organization that provides arts education programs for
at-risk children and those with special needs.
Gay saw a concert performed by children associated with Neighborhood
Studios of Fairfield County and fell in love with the group, she said.
Members of the group are expected to be on hand Wednesday to cheer her
on and taste her recipe.
Win or lose, Gay has already raised money for the organization by
bringing grilled cheese to work and asking for donations. She said she
plans to write a check to Neighborhood Studios.
Considering what makes grilled cheese special enough to have its own
monthlong celebration, Gay said, "Grilled cheese is the ultimate
comfort food. It starts when you're a little kid. I think it's
something that we all treasure and have good memories of."
Come Wednesday, Gay said, she doesn't care if she wins. This has been a
"This is just the most fun thing. I'm just having a blast with this."
She said she was excited to meet the celebrity judges.
"Mario Batali is going to be eating it," Gay said. "I didn't really
think that through before I submitted it."
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