1 year ago


The Homer Horizon 021617

26 | February 16, 2017 |

26 | February 16, 2017 | The Homer Horizon life & arts LTHS grad sets up baby blanket donation at Silver Cross Hospital Harms earns Girl Scout’s highest honor for project Max Lapthorne, Contributing Editor The Girl Scout Promise begins, “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, to help people at all times…” For the last 13 years of her life, Megan Harms has lived by those words. So much so, that the Lockport Township High School graduate was awarded the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Girl Scout — the Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award challenges Girl Scouts to identify a problem in their community and come up with a plan to solve the problem in both the short and long term. Harms volunteered at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for a couple years, mostly on the labor and delivery floor, and she was able to identify a problem there. “When mothers come in, there would be some of them that couldn’t afford to buy the basic necessities for the baby,” Harms said. “... So I wanted to try and address that problem, and so I made crocheted blankets and baby hats.” Harms began her endeavor May 31, 2015 and officially submitted it May 10, 2016. In between, she faced a number of challenges while trying to meet the seven steps required for the project. The steps include: identifying the problem, building a team, presenting a plan and executing that plan. Building a team and making the project sustainable were the two toughest requirements for Harms to fulfill, but after reaching out to local organizations, the Homer Glen Junior Woman’s Club ended up helping her with both. “Homer [Glen] Junior Woman’s Club actually decided that they would take on my project, and that was my sustainability factor,” Harms said. “Every year, these blankets and baby hats will be donated to Silver Cross for my project.” With the help of the HGJWC and a number of other volunteers, Harms churned out 67 blankets and eight hats, exceeding her original goal of 50 blankets. She also went above and beyond when it came to the number of hours she spent on the project, logging 110 hours — 30 more than the requirement. Shortly after officially submitting her final project, Harms received an email telling her it was accepted. She would be given the Gold Award. “I was just so happy and relieved that I had accomplished it, because I know that it’s really hard, and now I can see why not a lot of people do it,” she said. It’s no coincidence Harms volunteers on the labor and delivery floor at Silver Cross and chose to do a project that would benefit children, as she hopes to eventually be a neonatal physician assistant. She is currently in her freshman year at the University of Iowa, where she is studying biology and in a program for pre-physician assistant studies. Working on her Gold Award project while also finishing up her career at Lockport Township High School was strenuous for Harms, but it made her appreciate just how tough it was to earn the award. “Being a senior, you go through a lot of things — the transition to college, and you have a lot going on in your life, and I think that’s another factor why people don’t do it,” she said. Although the project made for a hectic few months, the lessons Harms learned while working toward her Gold Award and during the rest of her 13 years in Girl Scouts have allowed her to come out of her comfort zone and will help her throughout the rest of her life, she said. “I’ve always been really shy, and I try not to be,” Harms said. “I think Girl Scouts has given me an outlet to overcome some of those things, and it teaches you a lot of life skills that you can carry on Megan Harms drops off the donated blankets last June at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. The donation was her project for the Girl Scout Gold Award. Photos submitted into so many other parts of your life.” Harms will be attending a ceremony in May where she will be presented the Gold Award. For now, she is focusing on her studies and appreciating the impact her project had on both herself and those she has helped. “I was happy that I was able to make a difference in my community; a difference that would have been unachievable without my Gold Award,” she said. RIGHT: Megan Harms donated 67 blankets and eight baby hats to Silver Cross Hospital for mothers who cannot afford them. dining out the Homer Horizon | February 16, 2017 | 27 The Dish Bonefish fashions four-flavor drink in pomegranate and sage martini Bill Jones, Managing Editor When it comes to flavor profiles, drinks usually lean toward sweet, sour, bitter or, on rare occasions, savory. But instead of committing to just one, the latest cocktail at Bonefish Grill in Orland Park tries to capture all four in one blend for something that also plays to the hopefully soon-to-come spring season by being “light and refreshing,” according to managing partner Nicholas Kapellas. The pomegranate and sage martini ($9.10) — unlike some of the restaurant’s seasonal repeats, a completely new offering — combines Reyka smallbatch vodka, fresh sage simple syrup, POM Wonderful 100 percent pomegranate juice, Cointreau, freshlysqueezed lemon juice and Angostura bitters, as far as the franchise-wide recipe goes, though Orland Park in particular makes use of Art in the Age’s Sage liqueur. “The pomegranate juice is a hot thing right now, with all of the antioxidants in it,” Kapellas explained. “We try to use the freshest products.” The cocktail also may use the optional addition of pasteurized egg whites, which are designed to act as a flavor enhancer, bringing the pomegranate to the forefront and balancing the complexity of the flavors in the mix. “It also adds that frothy top to it,” Kapellas said. The finished mix is topped with a sage leaf not only for the sake of presentation, but also to add to the aroma of the cocktail. The pomegranate and lemon hit the sour taste buds, while the orange liqueur and syrup strike the sweet ones. The sage offers the savory Bonefish Grill 15537 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park Hours • 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday • 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday • 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday For more information ... Web: Phone: (708) 873-5170 element, while the bitters live up to their namesake. While the pomegranate and sage martini offers diners something undoubtedly new, it was inspired, in part, by the great success of the restaurant’s long-standing Bonefish Pomegranate Martini, a house-made infusion with Fris vodka, pomegranate and fresh mango. “That’s a huge hit, but we wanted to take a little swing on it,” Kapellas said. “Sage is a great fresh ingredient that has a lot of flavor.” The timing could not be better, either, for of-age guests looking to give it a try. The cocktail is already on the menu and plans to be around until May 1. Before then, however, Bonefish is running a “Martini Mondays” promotion through March 20, so diners looking to try the latest offering on the cheap can get it for $5 instead of the regular price by visiting on a Monday. Best paired with ... While diners typically think food, then what matches it well for a drink, it is not out of bounds to handle that choice in the other direction. For anyone just dying to try the new pomegranate and sage martini, and then wondering what best pairs with the drink, Kapellas recommends Bonefish’s mostprized appetizer, the Bang Bang Shrimp. That said, with the complexity of the drink itself, diners looking for something new to accompany it are free to let their eyes wander across the menu. Prefer bubbles? For those with a preference for things like Bellinis, mimosas or blackberry sangria, Sunday would be the day of choice at Bonefish Grill. Among the restaurant’s offerings from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on a special brunch menu is the “Endless Bubbles Brunch” ($19.90), which gives the diner his or her choice of eggs Benedict, Brunch Favorite or omelet, as well as an endless supply of one of the three aforementioned drinks. “Brunch is one people don’t realize we have,” Kapellas said. Endless Bubbles also are available for $6 by the glass or $12 with any entrée. Readers are reminded to brunch responsibly. Hurry, before it’s gone! On Bonefish Grill’s special menu — but only until it changes again Feb. 28 — is a black cod with miso ($24.90) entrée, featuring what Kapellas calls a “melt in your mouth” fish featuring a house-made misoyaki sauce, served with fingerling potatoes, fresh baby bok choy and pickled ginger. The pomegranate and sage martini ($9.10) at Bonefish Grill in Orland Park features Reyka small-batch vodka, a hint of sage, pure pomegranate juice and lemon juice, finished with a fresh sage leaf. Bill Jones/22nd Century Media Modern Pomegranate Martini Recipe Bonefish Grill shares the secrets to making a martini similar to its recent addition, the pomegranate and sage martini. Ingredients • 1.5 ounces vodka • 1 ounce sage simple syrup • 1 ounce POM Wonderful 100 percent pomegranate juice • .25 ounces Cointreau or similar orange-flavored liqueur • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice • 2 dashes Angostura bitters • .5 ounces pasteurized egg whites (optional) Method • Pack a pint glass or a martini shaker with ice. • Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake until icy cold. • Strain into a frozen martini glass. • Garnish with fresh sage leaf for garnish. Making a fresh sage simple Syrup Bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add 4 cups of sugar in the raw (for richer texture) or superfine sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 10-15 fresh sage leaves and let boil for two minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for 24-48 hours. Note: The sage needs time to infuse throughout the simple syrup, so the longer you infuse, the brighter your flavor will be. Helpful hints • The orange liqueur (Cointreau or similar) is going to add a bit of balance to the martini but not a ton of flavor, so tweak the flavor of cordial that you use to best accommodate the flavors that you love. For a richer flavor, use a liqueur like Grand Marnier. For a sweeter orange flavor, use Cointreau. For something different, try Solerno blood orange liqueur. • For an alternate to orange liqueur, use St.-Germain elderflower liqueur or Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. • Without the egg whites, pull back slightly on the pomegranate juice, depending upon sweetness desired. • Do not forget the bitters. It’s a key element to the perfect balance in this martini. • For perfect aromatics, clap the fresh sage between your hands before garnishing the martini. This will release the oils and bring the aroma to the forefront.