Posted by: jaxterkie | April 3, 2023

Dolau WI – April 5 2023 Meeting

Recently we have decided to have our speaker for the evening prior to the formal agenda of each
meeting. Our topic for this particular evening was Italian Cookery and our speaker was Miranda
Capecchi who learned to cook Italian food when she worked as an English Language teacher in the
Emilia Romagna region of Italy. We were all looking forward to a taste of delicious Italian food but
were amazed at the sight of a table set out for us as in a restaurant that greeted us as we entered
Dolau Community Hall! With brightly checked tablecloths, cutlery and glasses, water and wine as
well as a side table set out with appetizers of cheeses (formaggio), ham (prosciutto), Italian bread
sticks (grissini) and salamis we were somewhat overwhelmed and wishing that we hadn’t had our
dinners before we came out!

Introducing herself and her mother (who was assisting her this evening and who just happens to be
our W I Federation Chair Libby Hughes) Miranda explained the order of an Italian meal, consisting
of Antipasti (meaning before pasta), a Pasta dish then a Dolce (meaning sweet). She proceeded to
demonstrate how to make a Ragu, a meat and tomato sauce to eat with pasta. While frying off a
mixture of beef and pork mince in plenty of olive oil, adding finely chopped onions, garlic and
carrot then chopped tomatoes, a tube and a half of tomato puree and a carton of passatta as well as
half a glass of red wine Miranda explained that as this sauce takes 4 hours to cook once it has
reached simmering point she had made another pot of it the previous day and Libby was in the
kitchen heating it up for us as well as cooking the pasta. We were told that Italians would never eat
spaghetti with this sauce and in the handout that she had provided Miranda not only shared her
recipe but also recommended pasta shapes such as penne which would be suitable to eat with a
Ragu. While completing her sauce Miranda served our Antipasti and recommended wrapping slices
of Parma ham around the breadsticks. With wine or fizzy water this was a delicious start to our taste
of Italian food, only surpassed by the Ragu served with penne, which was the most delicious
version of what we know as a bolognese sauce that I have ever tasted – Miranda explained that it is
the 4 hour cooking time that makes all the difference. Using our cutlery of forchetta, coltello,
cucchiaio, drinking vino rosso, vino bianco or acqua frizzante from our bicchiere, with our lovely
cameriera (waitress) bustling about making sure all was to our liking, we cleared our plates.

For dessert (Dolce) Miranda had prepared a rich Pannacotta (which literally means cooked cream
and consisted of single and double cream cooked with a little gelatine) with a caramel topping.
Amazingly some of us found room for seconds!

While we digested this feast Miranda provided further entertainment with a little sketch she had
prepared as if set in an Italian restaurant. Playing the parts of a waiter or a diner we read our parts in
small groups and Miranda came round listening to our pronunciation and helping us to sound more

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening of Italian food with Miranda and thanked both her and Libby
with a round of applause. While we are looking forward to seeing Miranda as our speaker again in
her day job as Road Safety Officer for Powys County Council, we were sad to learn that this is the
last of the Italian Cooking demonstrations that she will be giving, due to the cost of living crisis
making it too expensive. We feel very lucky that we were able to enjoy such a wonderful evening.
The photographs show Dolau W I members enjoying their taste of Italy.
Opening the business part of the meeting, President Jackie Smith showed us a draft of the finalised
programme of meetings and events for Dolau WI which includes on May 3rd a Spinning
Demonstration with Nickki Downing, on June 7th Pottery at Alex’s Pottery Studio, Old Church,
Builth Wells, on July 5th Road Safety with Miranda Capecchi, on July 19th a Garden evening visit (date to be finalised), in August a Gin Tasting with Duncan Fox of Haven Distillery (date to be finalised), on September 6th Leatherwork with Doves & Dandys and on October 3rd an Away Day on the train to Shrewsbury to include a visit to the Prison for those interested.

Due to the lateness of the evening at this point it was decided to postpone the discussion of our County Show entries to the May meeting and proceeded to reminders about the many events and activities provided by the Board of Trustees for us all, including the annual Poetry and Prose 500 word competition, Walking Netball and proposed Table Tennis sessions. We agreed on an extra evening meeting on Wednesday 31st May at the Severn Arms in Penybont to discuss our entry for the Centenary Booklet. We were reminded that our subscriptions were now due as our Treasurer gave her report and we welcomed a former member back to our group.

Reports from both Dolau Recreation Association (DRA) and Penybont Village Hall were given. Upcoming events include Dolau WI donating a hamper of Baking Products to value of £20 for the draw at the Big Breakfast event on 22nd April. DRA are holding a day of events to celebrate the King’s Coronation including showing the Coronation on screen on the Saturday followed by various activities for the children including a
Circus Workshop and presentation of Coronation coins with evening entertainment from the Radnor
Twurzels. On the Sunday there will be a barbeque.

At Penybont the Charities Group are organising an afternoon tea on the Sunday following the Coronation in the village hall and on Friday 12th May the Community Centre Management Committee are holding a Fashion Show with clothes by W E Price of Knighton, all proceeds shared between the Bracken Trust and Penybont Village Hall. Tickets at £10 each including refreshments are available in advance from Chris on 01597 821471 or Rhian on 01597851355.

Correspondence included an information pack for the NFWI Conference on May 25th in Cardiff. To
be ready for our Delegate from Llanddewi W I to vote for the Annual Resolution we confirmed
unanimously our vote in favour for the resolution on Clean Rivers before our meeting closed at
10.20 pm.

Posted by: Dolau WI | November 29, 2009

Dolau WI

WI-logoWelcome to the Dolau WI website.  Here you will find the programme of our upcoming meetings as well as reports on meetings that have taken place.