Friends and family members of the Clarke family enjoy wine from Traveling Vineyard. From left, seated, are Cathy Rist Strauch, Cindy Breita, Alicia Breita, Cindy Burdick, and Scott Semon. Standing, Rita Nowakowski, MaryBelle Gilroy, Christy Clarke, Robert Clarke, Devon Clarke, and Trevor Blewett. - Ben Freda | For Abington JournalB
FACTORYVILLE — The Clarke family, of Factoryville, invite friends and family members to a social event every month.
“I like to bring people together and share people’s company,” said patriarch Robert Clarke.
Robert and his wife Christy always invite Joan Horwatt, a consultant for Pampered Chef, to talk to guests about the direct sales company specializing in kitchen supplies and recipes. On Jan. 17, Horwatt brought kitchen gadgets and foods she made by following recipes supplied by Pampered Chef. She made chipotle chicken nacho dip and raspberry habanero cheesecake dip for guests to enjoy by dipping it with carrot sticks and corn chips. For dessert, she made German chocolate lava cake. Guests listened as she explained some of Pampered Chef’s kitchen items as they looked through the catalog.
Horwatt, who taught at Lackawanna Trail Jr/Sr High School, was the Clarkes’ seventh-grade algebra teacher. She grew up in Factoryville and was a teacher for 35 years.
“It’s fun to see people I’ve known since they were children,” she said.
Christy decided to have another presenter the same night. Christopher Vernon, of Scranton, a consultant for Traveling Vineyard, a wine business, allowed guests to taste two white varietals, two reds, and a dessert wine. He also discussed which foods go with which wines.
“As a trained sommelier, I teach and educate guests on easy, every day food pairings in a spirited workshop that enhances the food and wine experience,” he said.
One of the wines guests got to taste was a 2015 Marula Western Cape Pinotage, a deep red, smoky wine of South Africa. According to Traveling Vineyard, it pairs well with anything grilled. The dessert wine Vernon brought was called Double Date Sweet American Rose, an American pink wine made from the grapes of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
“Our two biggest sellers are not our reds or whites but our dessert wines. Double Date, and Fissata drive the crowds wild,” said Vernon.
“The wine tasting event was nice,” said Christy’s sister Cindy Breita, who contacted Vernon after she heard he works for Traveling Vineyard. Cindy brought along her daughter Alicia Breita.
Vernon is also a personal shopper for The Mindful Marketer and a tarot card reader for Inner Harmony Tarot.
“In my spare time, I love to travel, go to the cinema, and host foreign exchange students,” he said. “As a hobby, I write movie reviews on my website blog “The Movie Meow” and this winter, I will begin to pen my first novel.”
This is the first time Vernon visited the Clarke family.
“I thought it was great,” said Christy, who was delighted to have Horwatt and Vernon and her house on the same night. “I think it’s neat to pair the two together.”
Friends and family members of the Clarke family enjoy wine from Traveling Vineyard. From left, seated, are Cathy Rist Strauch, Cindy Breita, Alicia Breita, Cindy Burdick, and Scott Semon. Standing, Rita Nowakowski, MaryBelle Gilroy, Christy Clarke, Robert Clarke, Devon Clarke, and Trevor Blewett.
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