Tag Archives: family

friday favourite – the cottage

We all heard the story many times growing up that our parents spent their honeymoon installing rafters in the family cottage that was under construction at the time. Didn’t sound like the most romantic way to start a marriage, but the cottage provided lasting memories for us all.


The family cottage was sold years ago, but whenever I’m in the area, I do a drive by and imagine what it would be like to have it back in the family. I know that’s a romantic notion that could bring a host of scheduling and upkeep challenges…but a girl can dream.

The stories that are shared and remembered between the extended family never get old. The fictitious “yik yak” creatures my grandfather made up and told stories about to all the young grandchildren. The endless homemade clay bowls and ashtrays made from daring to go in the ice cold waters of Georgian Bay to collect some fresh clay to mold and dry on the boulders. And the root beer and lime rickey floats, and sugar cereal that awaited us only on vacation.


I’m glad the cottage is still standing and that I can visit it every few years to bring back a rush of great childhood memories. It’s my Friday favourite.


a happy feast of thanks

For the last dozen or so years, we have a big family pot luck Canadian thanksgiving at a local rented hall. It’s a great time to check in with relatives and celebrate over some great family food.

There are at least 40 of us every year. And we usually salivate over the returning dishes from family – honey-cured ham, roasted vegetables, butter tarts, turkey, scalloped potatoes and more. There are four generations on hand. And there are usually guitars, soccer balls and family trees to add to the conversation.

I love this traditional (almost more than Christmas). It’s simple. It doesn’t take much to organize. And it’s kinda fun to be in a room full of people where you recognize the quirks, sayings and idiosyncrasies as your own.

Hope you had a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.


feeding a crowd

It was no big deal when my boys showed up with some friends for an impromptu pool party on the 4th. We just needed lots of everything.

We served up four kinds of salads – tabouli, broccoli slaw, pasta with pesto, and a fresh green salad with peach and roasted corn (thanks Maddie).


For the protein course, we had steak tips marinated in Trader Joe’s soyaki sauce, ribs and chicken sausage.

Cold beer, seltzer and taste tasting of three gins – Hendrick’s, Uncle Val’s Botanical and Boodles rounded out the beverage course.


And dessert was a blueberry/strawberry pie and a side of watermelon.

Add in a little basketball and frisbee in the pool, and the day was perfect.




a wedding

I have been a little preoccupied this weekend with a wedding! Our oldest son got married on Saturday and I am bursting with pride and joy. Too tired for much other than a few pictures and just the reminder to soak it all in!


love that ham, honey

Every Thanksgiving, I order a honey baked spiral cut ham for our extended family pot luck dinner. It’s become something of a ritual. And every year, as I begin carving it up in the kitchen of the rented hall, my siblings and relatives hover around to grab bits of the scraps. It is the perfect blend of sweet and salt. And it’s made from local pork. Even better.

I know, it’s not Thanksgiving this weekend, it’s Easter. But the treat that’s better than chocolate is that I’m picking up a honey ham for family dinner. 

I’m taking a road trip on Good Friday to McMaster Meats to pick up a honey glazed ham.