Sunday, July 26, 2009

Le Grand Weekend

Such a good weekend! My son-in-law came over on Saturday to pick up wife and daughter and do the birthday thing for her here, and daughter Megan came over with her guy, Rob to make the happening a bit more festive, so half the family was here (a bit more than half, actually, thanks to little Nola tipping the balance). I wanted to keep the emphasis on the beach (much good swimming was done, water temps being sublime right now, by our north of the 49th standards) rather than fussing over food, so I put together a grand aioli meal, following Lucy Waverman's instructions in The Globe this weekend -- click here if you're interested in her recipe. Besides the veggies you can see above (I parboiled the beans, carrots, and potatoes until just tender), I put out a bought, barbequed chicken (see? easy!), and Pater cooked up a bowl of mussels

and another one of prawns

Dessert was a chocolate cake layered with the raspberry mousse in Waverman's menu plan -- mmmmm, chocolate and mascarpone and raspberries? can't go wrong!

In case you're curious, that pottery bowl just in front of the chair in the photo below is full of aioli-- garlic mayonnaise -- and it's surprising how much of that disappeared as the other plates emptied!

As the meal came to an end, our conversation kept being interrupted by oooohs and aahs as a double rainbow formed against the darkening sky -- although we face East, the west-setting sun's rays splashed its rosy hues around, and for drama, lightning flashed somewhere across the water on the Lower Mainland and the Coastal Mountains. The storm continued over at least 90 minutes and gave us a light show that surpassed any possible fireworks. My daughter Megan, dressed here in a vintage (90s) dress of mine just to humour me (but doesn't it look great on her!) was determined to get a shot of the lightning -- she's really been working on getting the most out of her new camera (Canon PowerShot SX10, I think it is, and it's a fabulously versatile little workhorse).Here are two of the resulting shots -- having got only one or two shots weakly suggestive of lightning myself after ten or fifteen minutes of trying, I'm impressed, so please indulge a mother!

Nicely done, no? We so rarely get lightning storms here that to have such a dramatically beautiful one enliven our birthday celebration -- and to have it do so at such a conveniently safe distance and at such a decent viewing temperature -- made the evening truly memorable.

They're all gone now, and I'm trying to face up to the Monday morning lists. A run, first, I think, before the day gets too hot. How are you doing with the weekend-weekday turn-around? Remember to eaaaaaaase into it . . .


  1. What a lovely gathering that must have been, especially with some of Mother Nature's own "fireworks" to top off the evening! The food looks yummy too.

    (We grilled some wild-caught King salmon last night, and it was amazing.)

  2. Wonderful pictures and what a way to celebrate birthdays. The girls And I enjoyed theshow from the diningroom window.

  3. Lovely photos of what appears to be a fabulous party. And how nice of Mother Nature to add a few of her own fireworks, fun to watch and also safely out of reach.

  4. What a perfectly yummy summer birthday meal!

    For us, with no school and no more trips planned, our week is seamless - the boys (both teens now) are sleeping long and hard whether it's the weekend or a weekday. Hubby, of course, still shows up at work, but I think they are on a 'summer schedule' ie there's not much to do. Sometimes I feel a bit bad about letting them sleep in (gives me more reading time on the computer!), but really in a few more weeks they'll be back at school, so it's ok.

    Megan's photo of the lighting is brilliant! (Was that a pun?) Patricia

  5. Gorgeous food and natures fireworks. What a fete!!!!

  6. Pseu: It was great, thanks -- the wild-caught salmon, grilled, sounds delish as well -- a perfect summer meal!
    Anon: Kathy? Was the big girl there as well? I noticed she commented on FB about the storm, and I wondered whether she was safely indoors or not.
    Mardel: It was a great show!
    Patricia: Yes, good pun!
    I used to have the same reservations about letting mine sleep in, but then I'd figure they were good, productive, responsible young people, and they probably needed the rest -- so different than my own adolescence when sleeping in smacked of the immoral.
    LBR: Yes it was!

  7. And still the orange keeps coming!
    Amazing views including the food although I tend to only eat cooked garlic.
    Bizzarely, I caught Emin on You Tube yesterday searching for lightning strikes on aeroplanes. He found one! It looks shocking in more ways than one.

  8. 16: We were luckily we were all eating the garlic -- any abstainers would have been very sorry the next day!

  9. How wonderful! Gorgeous scenery, lovely family and beautiful food - doesn't get much better, does it? I had a great weekend also ... and facing a week where the kids have just gone back to school, so I can no longer avoid work and other issues. At least the weekend has fortified me!

  10. I know what you mean, Tiffany -- now that my house is empty again, I really do need to dig into my own work, but this heat is making it difficult . . .


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