Radio Ga Ga with a Side of Paninis

panini party 01

The scene is a charming townhouse bordering a family park. It’s Sunday morning,
just before noon, and friends and family are gathered around the table, tuned into
CBC Radio. It’s almost time for Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe.

We’ve all arrived half an hour early, shedding our shoes into a collective pile at
the bottom of the stairs. Some has brought a coffeecake. Everyone is
enjoying the anticipation.

This, after all, is not just any airing. This is the episode where Stuart himself
is going to read the story about how my friend, Lori-Anne, had an epiphany when she
got her lips stuck around a giant Popcicle at a hot, very hot, outdoor Beach Boys

That’s right. Lips. Space Pop. Beach Boys.

stuart 02It’s a story that we who are gathered already know, but this only heightens the sense of glee as we sit down to a listening party, hosted by Lori-Anne, her husband, Kyle, and the “Kylebucks Cafe.”

Kylebucks, for those who are lucky enough to pull up a stool, exists only at the kitchen island of said, secret, townhouse. And it came to be after a trip to
London, where the local Starbucks sell panini. Marmite panini. To which a Canadian barista answered, when asked if they carried them, “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t sell alcoholic drinks.”
Nuff said.

So, while we are here for the story, and the company, we are also here for a
promised assortment of panini, Kylebucks style.

To receive them, however, we’ve all been instructed to arrive with a tale which, in
true Vinyl Cafe tradition, must be short and must be true. After that, it’s up to us.
Meanwhile, as CBC’s pre-noon scheduling winds down, the panini press heats up and
gourmet sandwiches, melty and savoury, are cut into fingers and served up on
tent-carded plates.

There’s brie with black currant and pomegranate. Fake chicken (there are more
vegetarians in this congregation than not) and red pepper. Pesto spinach and
sundried tomato. Then, for something completely different, marmite spread and

And with mention of marmite, a salty-savoury brown spread made from yeast extract
and popular among Brits and vegetarians, our story time begins.

There’s a busking story, a camping tale of backpacking sundry and the kitchen sink
into the wilderness, a story of a corn-on-the-cob dowry and driving a Volkswagen
Rabbit across the prairies with nothing but momentum and a prayer.

Then, as dibs are called on the last of the panini, Stuart comes on the air and a
hush, then laughter, fills the house. Click here to listen to Summertime.

Lori-Anne’s story, frozen lips and all, closes to applause, and we celebrate with
coffeecake. Plum.

It’s a scene that seems a throwback to pre-television days, but that’s the beauty
of it, with family and friends gathered around the radio, talking about their
lives. And with the addition of the Kylebucks Cafe, certainly, a good time was had
by all.

Pear and Camembert Panini with Rhubarb, Rosemary & Honey Jam

panini party 024 ciabatta buns (those big, yummy, triangular ones from Costco), halved
2 ripe pears
125g wheel camembert (or oka, if you’re more adventursome)
4 tbs Rhubarb, Rosemary & Honey Jam

Preheat panini press. Halve and core pears. Thinly slice lengthwise. Slice camembert
(best done cold and with a serrated bread knife). Spread the bottom half of each bun
with jam, top with sliced pears and camembert. Replace top half of bun and place
sandwiches, one or two at a time, in press. Cook until cheese is gooey, then remove
panini to a cutting board and slice into fingers. Serve immediately.

Where to find it: For Rhubarb, Rosemary & Honey Jam, either dash down to Okanagan
Falls to the Meyer Family Vineyards, (250) 497.8553, or email for
mail orders.

– Words by Darcie Hossack

– Panini photos by Lori-Anne Poirier; Stuart McLean photo by Martin Weinhold

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  1. Hmmmm.. I can’t seem to find the audio link! Now I REALLY want to hear it.. and I want a panini!!


  2. I’m having difficulties embedding the link to the podcast into the story, so I’m just going to stick it down here – click on it to hear all the sordid details!,%202010%20Summertime?start=undefined

  3. Pingback: Radio Ga Ga with a Side of Paninis « what looks in

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