Browsing: Food Celebrations

A Most Hospitable Wedding

October31

The Frenchman is now officially a part of our family.  The wedding took place on a glorious fall Sunday afternoon.  I have watched in fascination as they toiled to make their day one of love, comfort, joy, simplicity and hospitality.

wedding2

Our family of “helpers”.

The objective was very intentional and with a vision shared by their bridal party, friends, family and the folks at Fort Gilbraltar, they beautifully achieved their goal.

The scripture quote below from Romans was read at their wedding ceremony.  It is also the theme of this blog space and is quoted on the “About”.  So how did Reb and Seb go about “practicing hospitality” on their wedding day?

wedding3

They knew that they wanted to celebrate somewhere in St. Boniface.  Since Seb is French and Reb is Metis, the geography made perfect sense.  If you recall, Seb had proposed on the Provencher St. Bridge.  Their ultimate choice of Fort Gilbraltar as their venue had a great deal to do with the success of the day.  They were quite sure when they met with the expert staff at the fort that their vision for the day was embraced by all.

wedding6

The room was soft and warm even before it was full of all the people who love the couple and had traveled from near and far to celebrate the day with them.

wedding8

With personal touches like the decorating of the mantle, it felt like you had entered someone’s amazing home.

wedding9

The outside space at the fort is almost as beautiful as the inside and provided a relaxed space for the kids to run around and the adults to enjoy the last warm rays of the setting sun.  Late in the evening a bonfire was lit and little paper bags of smore fixings were set out for a treat.

wedding1

The split second timing of the wedding party entrance was absolutely magical and set the scene for the rest of the evening.

I decided that it would be crass for me to take photos of the food throughout the evening and so I don’t have specific details to share with you, except to say that Reb & Seb also wanted the eating portion of the celebration to be in keeping with their overall vision.  As a result, instead of having a formal sit down dinner or even a buffet style where people would be “stuck” at a table, they wanted finger food to be passed around for a considerable length of time so that guests would be satiated but unconfined during the process.  My personal favourite were the mini tortieres, both in theme and taste.  But the biggest hit was the poutine bar that was set up late in the evening.  Not only were the fries perfection (and you likely know that I am a French Fry snob) but the savoury gravy and the “real” cheese curds were sublime.  I am a purist regarding my poutine but I understand that the pulled pork topping was an enormous hit as well.

wedding10

Of utmost importance to Reb and Seb was that the joy of the day would be captured in an informal and unobtrusive manner.  The fabulous ladies of  “Hello Love Photography” ensured that this was achieved.

Kath’s quote: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

wedding5

Love-that is all.

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

October16

thanks2

The view from the 17th floor where we assemble each year.

Thanksgiving this year was especially poignant for me.  Perhaps it is the upcoming family wedding, perhaps the delight of having my Goddaughter home from Australia to celebrate with us, perhaps that my Mom persevered through another move to be with us, perhaps a sweet combination of all of these things.  Of particular significance though was the gratitude of being carried through some of the tougher moments that the year had brought us since the previous celebration of the harvest.  Surrounded by my family, my friends near and far, my church family and my neighbourhood, I realized anew how wonderful my life is and can be, even though it sometimes feels that I am crushed by its stresses.  As my friend Claudia (who is here right now) says: “There is always a hair in the food!”.

thnaks8

thanks8

Our assembly this year was diverse with representatives not just from Australia but Japan (an international student living with a family member),

thanks4

thanks5

from the Wee One who is the youngest (and her adorable second cousin)

thanks9

thanks10

to our Mom and my bother-in-law’s Dad who is in his 90’s

thanks3

thanks7

with various generations of cousins in between.

thanks1

When a family of over 40 gets together from all over the city, how does hot and tasty food make it to the table?  One of my sister-in-laws assigns the tasks and as we always say “Many hands make light work”-with different people assigned to prepare our standard favourites, designations to set up and take down and others to bring disposable plates and take out the garbage.

thanks13

There is always turkey, ham AND meatballs, potatoes made with and without cream cheese and a couple of casseroles of green bean bake.

thanks14

Over the years there have been many food “hits”, this year I may humbly put forward that my adaption of middle eastern sweet potatoes might have taken the most accolades.  The recipe is adapted from my new favourite cookbook:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Unfortunately fresh figs are out of season in October in central Canada so improvising was in order.
Ingredients
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ T honey
  • 12 green onions, cut into ribbons
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 6 figs, cut into quarters
  • 5 oz. crumbed chevre (mine was rolled in berries)
  • ½ c pomegranate jewels
  • S&P
Instructions
  1. Wash & cut potatoes into uniform wedges.
  2. Place them, skin side down on a heavy, greased baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle more oil and salt and pepper over all.
  4. Roast for approx. 25 minutes at 475 degrees until soft but not mushy.
  5. Place balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small sauce pan.
  6. Bring to a boil and then decrease heat and simmer 2 to 4 minutes.
  7. Sauté onions and pepper in oil for 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Assemble potatoes on platter, top with all ingredients, leaving the pomegranate for last and then drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  9. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

thanks11

The piece de resistance was Sister #3’s pumpkin pie.  Creamy and bursting with spices, she may make me a pumpkin pie lover after all these years.

Kath’s quote: “The king and high priest of all the festivals was the autumn Thanksgiving. When the apples were all gathered and the cider was all made, and the yellow pumpkins were rolled in from many a hill in billows of gold, and the corn was husked, and the labors of the season were done, and the warm, late days of Indian Summer came in, dreamy, and calm, and still, with just enough frost to crisp the ground of a morning, but with warm traces of benignant, sunny hours at noon, there came over the community a sort of genial repose of spirit – a sense of something accomplished.”-Harriet Beecher Stowe

BeFunky_7f342207997e06cdc60275550aa66556.jpg

Love-that is all.

Fall Entertaining with Smucker’s

September30

With the arrival of autumn, our routine changes. Our travelling is done for another season and we no longer head out to the beach house every weekend. We re-establish our routine of Sunday dinners together as a family and we get caught on up the movie watching that we have missed since the previous Academy Awards. The guys are avid NFL fans so we also try to accommodate as much football viewing as possible. Sometimes when a Sunday afternoon game goes late, I have to whip up a quick nibble to hold us over until our designated supper time (they typically PVR the second game to watch after we are finished at the supper table). This is when having a variety of Smucker’s jams in the pantry comes in handy.

BeFunky_IMG_0457.jpg

Both these savoury little bites are perched upon a leaf, reminiscent of the change of season. The first is a green romaine leaf. A generous dollop of Smucker’s Blueberry Jam is smeared on the leaf and then a glorious whole clove of roasted garlic is rested on the jam. Toasted pine nuts and a sprig of earthy sage follow and the entire little boat is a potpourri of lusty flavours.

BeFunky_IMG_0459.jpg

A red leaf of radicchio is employed with the second bite. Complementing the claret colour of the leaf is a matching one from a smear of Smucker’s Raspberry Jam.  Creamy chèvre follows and then the surprising combination of dark chocolate chips and freshly ground black pepper. I first tasted raspberry, chocolate and pepper together at a now defunct Winnipeg restaurant called Victor’s where the young chef was not afraid to stretch our taste buds with exciting flavour combinations.

These are placed in front of my appreciative guys who have spent the afternoon in front of the big screen in the basement family room and need just a little something to tide them over until dinner time. I don’t join them as I am anxious to get back upstairs to visit with my girls but especially our granddaughter who has made the visit too.

Kath’s quote: “And the Quangle Wangle said to himself on the Crumpetty Tree,–‘Jam; and Jelly; and bread; Are the best of food for me!”-Edward Lear

Processed with Moldiv

Love-that is all.

Smucker’s Pairings for Fall Entertaining are a simple, easy way to create delicious food combinations with jam and other ingredients, designed to help you discover how fall flavours mingle together for mouth-watering results. Each pairing has 5 ingredients or less, and is ready in less than 15 minutes. Because with a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.  For specific information on our jam flavours and varieties, please visit www.smuckers.ca.

Smuckers Logo

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Smucker’s foods of Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Smucker’s Foods of Canada

The Essence of a Bridal Shower

September17

shower13

At daughter Boo’s recent bridal shower, I learned during Sister #2’s toast, where bridal showers originated.  Supposedly there was a time when a community would gather round a new bride if her parents disapproved of the groom and did not present her with a dowry.  Such is not the case with Boo’s choice of husband as we love the Frenchman and cannot wait for him to join our family.  Although these origins seem a little punitive and unforgiving, I think that showers are wonderful occasions.  If you happen to live in my extended family you are doubly blessed because we have some extraordinary event planners in our midst.  As one of the attendees indicated: “Lovely afternoon- the love and care was palpable. I honestly don’t know more sincerely kind women than the 3 of you! Well spoken, articulate, amazing cooks and beautiful to add!”

shower22

Here are Sister #2 and #3 (I’ll remind you that I AM Sister #1).  Sister #2 on the right has a twin but it is not Sister #3, even though they look so much alike.  Brother #3 is her twin.

Sister #2 managed the food and Sister #3 the décor.  When you are careful planners and divvy up the work, an event like this flows like the love that was in the room.

shower2

shower4

shower5

Hot pink and orange were the colour choices.

shower21

Orange for the season and pink for femininity.  Guests were invited to make date suggestions and offer words of marriage wisdom to the bride and groom.  What a simple but fabulous idea.

shower8

Sister #3 was also responsible for the cupcake wedding dress that was as delicious as it was beautiful.

shower1

Old school quiche is such a convenient lunch entrée.  They can be made ahead and heated up or are equally delicious luke warm (just make sure that you keep them refrigerated up until serving time and then get left-overs back into the fridge).

shower3

Salad varieties were: orange and romaine, Chinese noodle and Greek quinoa.  We have someone who is highly nut allergic in our family so she was walked through the ingredient list in advance.

shower7

Other “Aunties” contributed the salads for lunch.

shower9

shower10

Sarah said these took four tries-but now she’s perfected them!

shower11

shower12

the bridal attendants baked desserts and then did a great job with the flow of gifts to be unwrapped, itemized and displayed.

shower14

Faces in the crowd.

shower20

My two Moms.  My first Mom on the left (almost ninety) and my 2nd Mom since I married her son over thirty years ago on the right (almost eighty).  Both Moms know how to cook, how to give good gifts, how to stay looking young and how to be as full of joy as life’s circumstances will allow.  They have taught me well.  And soon Boo will have two Mom’s (well three actually).  I have shared in her mothering with Sister #3 and as of next month, she will officially be mothered by the Frenchman’s Mom as well.  I love being your Mom, Boo.

Kath’s quote: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

BeFunky_74947_433858500021147_1925081827_n

Love-that is all.

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the September Long Weekend

August25

When you have access to a summer place on the prairies, your season is pretty brief.  As we sit here on the first official day of our summer vacation, we have a small fire in the stove as there is a chilly dampness from the morning rain.  D has the hood from his tennis jacket up and alas for him, the game that he loves is not going to happen this morning.  I am still in my fuzzy bathrobe and if this weather continues, I may not get out of it any time soon.  The time since we opened our beach house for the season on May Long seems impossibly short.  Of course, there may be beautiful September days ahead but we will be away and then our city routine takes hold in earnest.  And so, as reticent as I am, here’s an amazing way to celebrate the September Long Weekend.

In our neck of the woods (literally as we are in the Belair Provincial Forest) a local food and music aficionado has planned a Sunset Dinner on Sunday, August 31st at Lester Beach.  There will be a couple of musical acts with fireworks after sunset.  Plates are by donation to the artists.  I don’t have many more details than this but I will tell you that if we were still at our Beach House on this date, we would absolutely attend.  Not only will the food be delectable but the people of our small beach community are always warm and hospitable.

blue5.jpg

If you are anywhere in the Grand Beach, Lester Beach, Hillside Beach or Traverse Bay area this weekend, I am sure that there will be posters with more details.  If you want to know more before you leave Winnipeg, leave me a comment and I’ll give you the email I have for the event.

Kath’s quote:  “Youth is like a long weekend on Friday night. Middle age is like a long weekend on Monday afternoon.” –unknown

BeFunky_23380_459567834109190_81991445_n.jpg

Love-that is all.

 

 

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »