The Valley Line: Partying with Prosecco, Prosciutto, and Pasta

Oh my, I don’t want to see another slice of turkey for a long, long time. Our Thanksgiving feast was abundant as usual, but by now I’m tired of the leftovers. If any of you gourmet cooks out there know some delicious ways to re-do turkey and its trimmings, please let me know.

I was up in Palo Alto for the holiday and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful autumn. The brilliance of the trees in full and glorious color was truly breathtaking.

Of course here at home our own liquidambar trees are doing their best to out-shine their Northern California cousins. Their bright leaves are just in time to usher in the festive Christmas season.


It was a mellow autumn evening when nearly 100 guests gathered at the La Cañada Thursday Club to enjoy a party themed, “Prosecco, Prosciutto, and Pasta.” The invitation asked guests to come dressed “Italian chic,” so there were many stylish interpretations of the request.

Sheri Morton, chairman of the event, said she got her inspiration for the party theme after attending a California chapter of Save Venice (Italy) extravaganza.

Assisting her with the many details of the party were Jody Platisa, Jane Rosell, Alma Tycer, Thursday Club President Judy Cooper, Bev Albright, Gracella Gibbs, Mary Hennessey, Karen Poindexter, Val Burgess, Abha Goel, Joanie Bartoli-Porto and Jacky Hollingsworth.

Guests sipped sparkling Prosecco wine, which comes from the Veneto region of Italy. I was first introduced to this delightful wine in the old section of the small town of Asolo, about an hour away from Venice.

To accompany the bubbly Prosecco, guests nibbled on delicious prosciutto-wrapped date appetizers that were donated by Anthony’s Fine Wine and Food. Other delicious hors d’oeuvres were spread out on a table in the lovely newly finished patio of the club.

Dave MacPhearson, Dave Moffitt and Gerry Tutt were the official bartenders of the evening.

The big attractions of the evening were the casino-like gaming tables, where everyone could test the whims of Lady Luck. While some people were gaming, others were bidding on an array of tempting silent-auction prizes.

In between the auction bids and wagers at the game tables, La Cañada High School Concert Choir members Matt Fung, Jeffrey Goldberg and Austin Lee performed Italian arias. They were accompanied on the piano by Eric Engler. The young singers are under the direction of LCHS’s Jeff Brookey.

Later on in the evening, guests again gathered in the patio to dine on an Italian menu featuring pasta Bolognese, Alfredo with chicken and vegetable primavera. Caesar salad and garlic bread complemented the meal. Caterer Gail Connell prepared the dinner.

At the evening’s end, game players counted up their winning tickets to claim prizes of all sorts. I went home with a bottle of single-malt Scotch whisky and two fine cigars. I kept the hootch and gave the stogies to two club members’ husbands who are cigar aficionados.

I think everyone who attended the party agreed that it was a truly fun evening.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. She can be reached at

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World