Sunday, April 8, 2012

Around Town: Thumbs down to proposed policy, thumbs up to a great luncheon

Several ladies at the annual La Cañada Thursday Club Spring Benefit told me that last week’s column ("Around Town: Comparing apples and oranges?") was totally unclear.

"Anita," asked a nice lady, "are you for or against the proposed policy?"

"Can’t you tell?" I replied.

Five minutes later, another club member approached. "I didn’t understand your column today. Are you for or against the policy?"

And so it went.

Let me speak clearly. I would vote "no" on the proposed policy that would allow the La Cañada Unified School District to ignore citizen complaints about teacher misfeasance.

Moving right along, the La Cañada Thursday Club Annual Spring Fashion Show Benefit was awesome.

In honor of the club’s centennial (1912-2012), the luncheon included foods that were popular in 1912, but with a twist: there was a vegetarian option.

We began with petite romaine hearts with tomato confetti and (optional) bay shrimp with thousand island dressing. The printed menu stated that, "The name "thousand island" comes from the Thousand Islands between the United States and Cañada." The dressing was created by a fishing guide’s wife (Sophie LaLonde) in the early 1900s.

This was followed by Chicken a’ la King (with or without chicken, I had it without) topped with a puff pastry baked in china rarebit. We learned that "Chicken a’ la King was created in 1912 by chef William ‘Bill’ King at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.

The ramekin for the Chicken a’ la King was neatly presented on the Thursday Club’s vintage plates with the 1847 Rogers Bros. International "Heritage" silverplate cutlery, consumed in the newly renovated Centennial Garden Patio.

Alongside the ramekin was a generous dollop of Waldorf salad, invented in 1896 by Oscar "Oscar of the Waldorf" Tschirky at New York’s Waldorf Hotel.

This was served with fresh-baked Parker House rolls and farm butter. The dessert was a lemon layer cake.

There was a silent auction. I won a foursome at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club, with an original certificate signed by Randy Dreyfuss!

There was a fashion show, put on by Draper & Draper of Pasadena, featuring club members as runway models.

Local Dena Higley’s daughter (Jensen Higley) gave me an invite to her mom’s book launch at Penelope’s on Thursday, April 19th at 5:30 p.m. The book, "Momaholic: Crazy Confessions of a Helicopter Parent," sounds interesting.

The ladies of the Thursday Club always come through. Some of the funds will go towards the club’s generous scholarships for graduating high school seniors. The organization quietly awards between 8-10 $1000 scholarships each year and does other charitable projects.

And, the ladies of the La Cañada Thursday Club have an abiding interest in the local schools. My apologies to my fellow club members, if I was mealy-mouthed last week!

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with the Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

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