Due to a variety of last minute events, we ended up celebrating our Friday Night Dinner on Saturday this week. We were a small crowd, so we kept it simple and rich: beef tenderloin, prawns, roasted veggies, sauteed mushrooms, and I am sure there was something else…
However, before I launch into the photos, I should mention that prepping for this particular dinner really forced me to push my boundaries for two reasons. First: initially, we planned that I would face my fear and purchase prawns from the “seafood school bus”; as in a yellow school bus packed with “fresh” seafood that comes to town every few weeks (totally legitimate, I know). Despite the sketchy means of transportation and point of sale, I have actually heard that the seafood is awesome. However, when I set out to purchase said seafood, camera in hand, it was nowhere to be found. I had to buy these beauties from the store, which was much less adventuresome. Second: Living in a small town with lots of farms in the area, I had heard that I could purchase farm raised beef from a particular industry supply store. I know, another sketchy venue. So again, I put on my big girl panties and braved my natural distrust of the situation, and happily found delicious, GIGANTIC steaks at the industry supply store. I love that the meat is raised humanely and grass fed. Also, it was delicious.
Being an immigrant (as well as a true lover of the great north), I generally fully embrace Canadian culture in whatever form it arrives. However, celebrating thanksgiving (that’s right, I used a lowercase ‘t’ on purpose) in October just doesn’t cut it for me. I need the real deal, you know, the one that happens in November!
When it comes to American Thanksgiving, we generally head south of the border to celebrate with our American family, but this year we decided against traveling for a myriad of reasons. However, I have still found myself itching to celebrate this season of thankfulness with food, friends and family. That said, if I can’t be in America, I could (and should) still throw an American Thanksgiving. While we won’t be able to celebrate in my family’s traditional style (a 3pm dinner followed by a nap, and then a 7pm dinner) because people actually have to work, I am fairly certain that it will still be a memorable event. To keep things easy and stress free on Thursday, I finished off a few menu items (cranberry sauce, apple galette, and pumpkin pie) tonight!
Growing up in Seattle, rain characterized our main (and sometimes only) season. I fondly remember the few instances when I experienced snow as a child filling me with excitement, adventure, and awe. One of my favourite winter memories involving snow was when my Opa (who lived 2 hours north of us) used to call my house every time the snow fell at his house to share the good news with my younger brothers and I. Knowing how much we loved snow, he would always stuff a ziploc bag full of snowballs to bring us the next time he came for a visit.
As you can imagine, when I moved to the great north, winter quickly became one of my new favourite seasons. Upon the first snowfall during our first year here, I felt it necessary to celebrate the commencement of winter with a feast of stick-to-your-ribs carbs and good friends. We had such a great time that I insisted on making what was dubbed the “winter jesstival” an annual event. Even now, 3 years in, despite the more frustrating parts of winter (cold, darkness, and more cold), I still find myself enamored with snow and love the chance to celebrate the changing seasons.
When the snow began to fall last weekend, I planned the traditional jesstival for the following Friday. This year’s feast included perogies & farmer’s sausage, homemade mac & cheese, sausage rolls with Yvette’s chutney, an oreo treat from Cam’s childhood, and of course, red wine, which I mulled! I took a few pics (cheese for the perogies, dried mandarins for the mulled wine, and fresh sausage rolls), but was enjoying myself too much to take many more…
I’ve been knitting (and crocheting) like crazy for the past few weeks, preparing for the All Hand-made Sale that’s taking place November 16 & 17 at Grandview Church in Vancouver. Last year was my first foray into the world of craft fairs, and this year I’m trying to amp it up just a little bit, with a goal of making double the amount of profit I made last year. So, this is a formal open invitation to come out to 1st Ave & Commercial on the 16th or 17th and buy some handmade goods – not just from me, but from all the wonderful crafters, bakers, gardeners, and artists who will be selling their wares. And if you are not anywhere near Vancouver and are really itching for a hand-knit something, let me know! I take orders.
In keeping with northern culture, we planned a dynamite party held at Stellako Lodge (which I would link to, but also in keeping with northern culture, there is no active website…) for Linette’s grand send-off. Stellako Lodge is located at the head of the Stellako River, where the river and Francois Lake meet and has long been a staple of my northern life. It is the one adventure that Linette had yet to experience during her time in Burns Lake so we packed the mini van full of our best friends, excessive amounts of wine, gummies, and chips and headed for an overnight adventure.
Stellako isn’t glamourous by any stretch of the imagination, but it holds a certain charm that is especially enchanting after a late night dinner in the rustic restaurant, a few glasses (or in this particular case bottles) of red wine, and a room lit solely by the glowing light of a kerosine lantern atop your table.
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to host a garden party. You know what I mean: dazzling white lights, fresh garden produce, the best of friends sharing a meal together, and maybe even a bit of excess wine…
After months of deliberating about when said garden party should occur, we ultimately decided that August 31 would be the perfect date to celebrate the end of summer. We planned the Gatsby’esque affair and invited our favourite people to come celebrate with us. From the elaborate and creative costumes to the roasted fresh veggies (straight out of the greenhouse, I might add), to the dazzling light show that my wonderful husband created, it was a smashing success.
First stop: greenhouse to harvest beets, tomatoes, and carrots
Then we enlisted the help of our guests to prep the veggies:
I made an heirloom tomato, flat leaf parsley & blue cheese salad with these gems:
We set a table for 12 outside on the patio:At twilight we all sat down for the feast and spent the rest of the evening sitting around the table, eating, drinking, and relaxing.
I think this is up there (as far as my favourite events go) with the winter fire that took place in March. It was a great time to celebrate the friends we have, the success of the greenhouse, and the beautiful place that we live. Based on the success of the incredible evening I am thinking that this will become an annual affair!