Browsing: Food Celebrations

Dreams Really Do Come True

April27

My husband has a distinct memory from his childhood and that is of the rotisserie turning on the barbecue every Sunday afternoon.  Of course in those days it was over live briquettes which we still use up at the cottage for beach barbecues. My husband and I are not major consumers.  We had been married five years before we purchased a gas lawn mower or a brand new vacuum.  Well, we’ve just marked our 25th last fall and my husband has finally gotten his rotisserie!

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Last Sunday we invited the kids over for backyard cocktails and supper on the deck. Now that we only have one living with us at home, we try to assemble for at least one meal together every week.  P4250065

My husband put a couple of chickens on the spit and then grilled portobello mushrooms.  I sauteed spinach in bacon, onion and almonds and then tossed new baby potatoes in sour cream and fresh dill.  P4250058_edited

We also enjoyed a crisp Chenin Blanc that Daughter #3 brought back from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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Kath’s quote: “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”-Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
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Shrimp Ceviche

April26

The first time I ever tasted Ceviche (raw fish “cooked” in line juice) I was with Sister #3 at a restaurant called El Rico Maya in Cozumel in the late 1980s!  When the three sisters first travelled to Mexico together in 2005, we tricked Sister #2 into trying Ceviche Mixto by telling her that the cylindrical fish (octopus) were scallops.  She bravely had a taste.

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Tonight we are all assembling to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend who also happens to be our son’s Father-in-law.  The theme is Mexican and since it is spring, all of the ingredients are plentiful and well priced on the prairies.

This is the recipe that I have adapted over the years-modifying it to partially cook the shrimp before I take it to a party where it sits out all evening.

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1 lb. medium shelled shrimp (optional: before shelling, steam until shell JUST start to turn pink, then remove from heat and rinse in very cold water)

freshly squeezed juice from 2 large limes

salt and pepper to taste

1 small white onion, chopped

3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, loosely chopped

1/2 t chili flakes

1 T ev olive oil (optional)

In a glass bowl, toss together shrimp and lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (This is particularly NB if using unsteamed shrimp as this is time is required for the shrimp to “cook”).  When shrimp are opaque, add all of the other ingredients and toss.

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Here’s a photo of the dish being prepared by my man-servant-jk.  I took this of the Chef at Tibouran on Isla Mujeres when we requested an order to go for “happy hour” on our hotel balcony.

Kath’s quote: “Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”-Carl Sandburgheart-of-leaf

Tradition, tradition! (Part 3)

April7

Thank you to my patient readers, this is the last entry about our traditional Easter celebrations.  We have a group of friends that have been getting together for an Easter Feast for over a decade.  It started when Connie (our  transplanted Sicilian friend) remarked that she was missing her families’ celebration that year and so we decided to create an traditional Italian Easter celebration of our own. Connie and Roger are visiting from Castellammare del Golfo right now and so the timing was perfect.

Connie and I in her home town

Connie and I in her home town

Connie assembled the antipasto.  Three Italian meats, provolone cheese, olives, marinated veggies and spicy eggplant.  She picked everything up at Sobey’s and was very pleased with their selection and quality.

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Next course was Judy’s Caprese salad, topped with a light shake of olive oil from C&R’s own olive trees back home.  This was accompanied by Connie’s stuffed sun dried tomatoes-a recipe that she taught me when we visited them in Sicily. In addition, delicious and authentic breads purchased at De Luca’s (that were contributed by another attendee) were served. 

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The meat course was Italian sausages that I brown and then roasted with tri-coloured peppers and a roasted herb chicken that we have called “Ruth’s” Chicken since she shared the recipe with me 20 years ago.  Roasted potatoes and yams with a drizzle of truffle oil and yellow and green beans sauteed with toasted pine nuts, accompanied the meats.

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The person who was to have brought the salad course, which was to have been served next, couldn’t make it and so “uncleansed”, we ate on.  Gina contributed a decadent tiramisu that she purchased at La Grotta and Connie had brought a special cake from Sicily –Il Panettone Grandorato.  Jamie brought a platter of fruit to accompany the sweets and Doug put on the tea and espresso.

Kath’s quote: “Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.”-Ina Garten

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Tradition, tradition! (Part 2)

April6

Saturday of Easter weekend we went to another service where we rang bells and noisemakers at an appointed time.  It was like New Year’s Eve but even more fun because we celebrated many times not just once at midnight. 

My family assembled for dinner before the service and we walked over to church together.  I prepared all the items in advance and assembled them to go into the oven when the baked ham came out for a “rest”.

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Doug did a superb job of the ham.

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This was accompanied by  a mandarin/almond salad which I veggied up red onion, red pepper  and sprigs of fresh cilantro. P1010059

We also  had cheesy scallop potatoes, sweet potatoes tossed in honey, green beans topped with crispy onion rings and herb pull-apart loaf. P1010053

For my new daughter-in-law I prepared one of her families’ traditions when ham is served-hot curried fruit ( I used pineapple, peaches and mangoes). 

I also made this hot mustard sauce to go with the ham:

Whisk together 1 T of flour with 3/4 c sugar and 1 T dry mustard.  In a separate bowl, blend 2 egg yolks with 1 c milk.  Whisk the contents of the two bowls together and then whisk in 1/2 c tarragon vinegar.  Transfer to saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking the entire time, then reduce and simmer until desired thickness.P1010057

It was a wonderful weekend and we created some new traditions.

“I do not green eggs and ham.  I do not like them Sam I am.”-Dr. Seussimages

Tradition, tradition! (Part 1)

April5

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At Easter we always start the long weekend by attending a Seder supper on Thursday night.  It is an evening steeped in tradition and the consumption of ancient, symbolic foods.  The first item was the karpas -greens illustrating life dipped into salt water representing the tears of life.    Horseradish follows which is a reminder of the mortar of the bricks that the Israelites made for Pharaoh.  The hagigah is a brown egg which represents burnt offerings.  Lastly was the zeroah -a lamb shank bone, a symbol of the first passover lambs.   

We did get to eat “real” food as well and this year it was lovingly prepared by our youth leader and her husband. 

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We also symbolically spilled our red wine- a drop for each of 10 plaques as they are recited.

 

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The unleavened bread called matzahs, which are made with stripes and piercings, are wrapped in a special cloth  called a matzah tosh which has three pouches.

Afterwards, we ascend to the sanctuary which has been stripped of all adornment, reciting psalms as we climb the stairs.  Scripture is read in the darkness, of Jesus in the garden, then the book is slammed shut and we leave in silence.

Kath’s quote: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” –John 3:16

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