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Our Canadian/American Family Gathers-Part 2


The rest of the afternoon was spent with more visiting and a team scavenger hunt (where my team reigned victorious)!  Then it was off to the local park for a cross-border softball game.

Everyone who was willing was invited to partake from the youngest to Grandma Jean herself.  There were some surprize hitters and base runners and it was a close match.  Lightning called an end to the game and the start of our picnic supper.

In the end the Canadians won (in our minds at least)-consistent with the Olympics we brought home a bronze…..   Supper was another all American feast of fried chicken, beans and cole slaw.

After a leisurely morning sipping big mugs of coffee, we assembled for brunch on Sunday morning which was put together at various kitchens and by a variety of participants.  There was an egg casserole, French toast, fruit salad and pecan, cinnamon buns-yum.

Catching (and releasing) baby trout with a net.

The youngest member of the gang, still in his pjs.

Hanging on tight to Big Mable.

Prince Harry hair styles on the Ladyman brothers.

The sky had cleared and the temperature had risen and water sports dominated the rest of our stay.  Various configurations of cousins went fishing in the stream and lake, tubing, kayaking and sojourned to a floating trampoline.  I got to join in on an invigorating speed boat ride to the other end of the lake where we spotted loons and a perched eagle upon our return.

Family members started making their departures at staggered intervals.  Almost an hour was spent when D and I decided to do the same, exchanging emails and making declarations to befriend each other on Facebook so that we could keep in closer touch.   I love when social media is used for positive connections and not just frivolity and gossip.

Actually, there was a rumour started even before we had pulled out of the drive way, that the next get together would take place on the Canadian side, eh?

Thank you Sharon, Dan, Danny, Nancy, Dale, Tammy and all the kids for all your trouble hosting and loving us with food.

Kath’s “In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations — it’s cold, half-French, and difficult to stir.”-James Stuart Keateqyote

Found on the little island where I spent my morning.

Love-that is all.

Our Canadian/American Family Gathers-Part 1


Grandma Jean and I worked together years ago at the same restaurant.  I boldly told her that I was going to marry one of her sons, and years later, even I was surprized, that this fore-telling came to be.  D’s family is even more enormous than my own.  Whereas we are very concentrated in North-East Winnipeg and at the same cottage area, they are spread between TO to the east, Calgary to the west and Phoenix to the south.  This is why Christmas and reunion weekends are so important in their clan.

D’s cousins, Aunt & Uncle who live in and around the lake area of Minnesota, invited us  (and extended family) for the August long weekend, so we Canadians would have some extra time to travel.

We arrived late on Friday evening and assembled in the Pavilion for hugs and hellos (D had not seen one first cousin since they were both 6)!  After a relatively early night, our cottage full assembled for coffee and breakfast together and then we headed to the host cabin for the rest of the day.

There were no arranged activities for the morning so we assembled in little groups to catch up and reminisce.  For those that required a quiet spot, there were many available for blissful times spent gazing at the vistas.

Lunch for 40 was a significant fete.  A variety of cooking stations were set up.  Cousin Danny had one of those propane turkey fryers that was filled with water and was able to accommodate a number of cobs at once.

A crock pot full of melted butter was set beside for dipping the cobs into.  I honestly do not need any other addition to Minnesota corn.  The ears had just been picked and then husked that morning and the sweetness was astounding.  Some family members had three cobs!

Bratwurst were being grilled slowly at another station.  This practical live coal barbeque was fired up.  The wood is lit in the small chamber to the side and then when at the optimum temperature, the smoke and heat enters the large chamber where the grills are placed.  As a result Darnelle (the cousin with the tongs) is not actually working over an open flame, which means that many sausages can be cooked at one time without worrying about flame ups or hot spots.

Lucky for us char lovers, she cooked some extra well.  These were served with mustard and sauerkraut just like at a Vikings game.

Big wedges of watermelon were out (my meager contribution) and what for dessert?  Well apple pie of course (and pecan to be accurate).

Grandma Jean had baked these in her country kitchen in rural MB and transported them safely across the border.  Grandma Jeans pies were one of the many reasons for my early matrimonial declaration.

The fun and eating continues in Part 2.

Kath’s quote: The pie should be eaten “while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges, (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!) of a mild and modest warmth, the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied, the morsels of apple neither dissolved nor yet in original substance, but hanging as it were in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood…then, O blessed man, favored by all the divinities! eat, give thanks, and go forth, ‘in apple-pie order!'”-Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

Love -that is all.

Celebrating Family & Cousins


I have shared with you previously, that we are a large extended family.  My children are 3 of 14 first cousins.  The entire 14  live in Winnipeg (at the moment) and the gang relishes excuses to get together.  The perfect reason was provided last month when one of the cousins returned from an extended stay in Australia with her new beau.  Instead of his having to meet everyone on an individual basis, Sister #2 hosted a backyard BBQ so that he could be introduced to everyone, en mass.

Daughter #1 with the wife of Nephew Number#2 (tee hee).

Our son J1 with Nephew #2.

Daughter #2 with the couple of the evening.

Since it was cousins only, Sister #3 and I had to create the excuse of helping with the dinner in order to sneak a peak at the new fella!

We were actually put to very good use-Sister #3 sauteing the Pow (or was it Bam?) Shrimp and I putting together the salad, garlic bread and baked potatoes.

Sister #2 planned a simple meal with guaranteed appeal: “My Man’s Ribs” (recipe posted on this site)

and extended fixings for over sized baked potatoes a.k.a. a Baked Potato Bar (a take off on a salad bar).

The children of Sister #2 and Brother #3.

D borrowed a commercial blender from his office and made rum fruit slushies to get the party going.  A good time was had by all, as the saying goes…

Nephew #1 with fiancee of Niece #4.

Wife of Nephew #1 beside Niece #1.

Daughter #3-J2 with Wife of Nephew #4.

The Frenchman and Nephew #3.

I mistakenly missed a photo op of Nephew #4 and Nephew #5 and his girlfriend arrived after I had put the camera away.  Are they not a good looking bunch?  My angels, all of them.

Kath’s quote: “Digestion is one of the most delicately balanced of all human and perhaps angelic functions.”-M.F.K. Fisher

Love-that is all.

Winnipeg Caterers-All Seasons Catering


The question that I get asked most often as a food blogger is this: “Do you know a good caterer?”  Up until now, my repertoire of endorsements has been limited.  But I follow Chef Brent of All Seasons Catering on Twitter and Facebook (social media at work), so when I was asked this same question recently, I had an answer at the ready.  In the mean time Chef Brent and I got to meet in person at a Manitoba Food Bloggers event.  That was just days before I had the pleasure of sampling his wares, for our friend who asked for my suggestion, then graciously invited us to their event.

Sampling little nibbles at a cocktail reception is my favourite way to eat and as I understand it, what ever food you consume while standing has no calories-right? We enjoy it when they are scattered tables around where you can go up and admire and then choose a single item to enjoy and then go back and do the same with another item later.

Cranberry & Almond Brie

Fruit Platter

Roasted Garlic, wild Mushroom, Shallots & Herb Savoury Cheesecake

Pork Tenderloin on Potato Crisp with Mango Salsa

Caramelized Onion & Bacon Mini Quiche

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms

Chicken Tostadas with Spicy Slaw

Fruit Tarts

One of the Gorgeous Tortes

Chef Brent hard at Work

We were very honoured to be included on the guest list to witness the renewal of the wedding vows of our friends.  In addition, I can now fully endorse a caterer if you ever need my suggestion.  Chef Brent, his wife and the rest of his team will put together a gorgeous evening with all of the details taken care of on your behalf, so that you can mingle, enjoy your quests and celebrate life with food!

Kath’s Quote: “I’ve been married so long I’m on my third bottle of Tabasco sauce.”-Susan Vass

Love, that is all.

Young Families Dinner


The table was set to reciprocate for the meals that we had shared over the winter.  The young families that we host at our home monthly, wanted to thank us for our cozy times with a spring dinner celebration in our honour.

And were these folks organized!  This was the task list posted in the kitchen.  And here were our handsome chefs.

It was a spring time citrus theme and while the guys were busy in the kitchen, amazingly delicious cocktails were served in the yard as the little ones picnicked on quesadillas (which looked pretty darned good too)!

Soon we were called to dinner and assembled around the dining room table which was set up in the sun-filled living room.

The timing of the event was consistent with our mandatory Sunday dinner and so our gang was invited as well as Sister #3 who assists us when we host the group at our home every month.

On to the food:

The ribs were succulent.

As was the cauliflower in a rich and creamy bechamel.

Throughout dinner we were entertained with instrumental renditions of our eclectic music choices as well as a special treat of music from one of the beloved Moms who is a concert pianist and was performing later that evening.

The menu and recipe (but not the inspired setting) came from this cookbook:

The collection provides all the information necessary for busy families to shop and prepare nutritious and balanced meals for their families.

All the ingredients and timing of the preparations are clearly outlined.

As well as step by step photos of the process.

The piece de resistance of the evening was when the kids changed into their waiter attire and each served us our dessert.

Look at the joy that asking the kids to participate can bring!

And how seriously and with determined concentration, the tasks were taken on.

The bananas in lime juice were divine but in truth, I could have been fed anything and I could not have been more surrounded with love.

Kath’s quote: “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”-Craig Claiborne

Love-that is all.

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