Our Canadian/American Family Gathers-Part 1

August14

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.


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