Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Views from my Kitchen Sink

Hostess has asked her blogging community to post photos from their kitchen sink. For me, this is an opportunity to do the two-birds-one-stone thing and show a few photos from the family gathering I hosted this past weekend.
Here's the sink itself, comandeered by Pater (no complaints from me!) . . . and here's the view from that sink, obscured by many hungry bodies, just in from the beach.
As you can see, I have a rather splendid view to compensate when I'm facing a sinkful of scrubbing, but I'm also happy having room for guests to mill around between sink island and table.
My mother was thrilled to recognize the stained-glass lampshade. It's an antique she and my dad moved from a much-beloved heritage home, stored for years before recognizing it didn't work for them, and finally passing on to us. It doesn't work with our West Coast cottage vibe either, but for now I love the reminder of another rich family time, a decades-past dining table.

And if I turn my head left as I work at the sink, my gaze swings round to the surrounding green. . . .
Back inside, my son-in-law prepares the salmon that my brother has caught to donate to our feast (that's the successful fisherman, standing, red shirt, headband). Uncle Joel, Nola chortles. Her refrain as we moved up to the weekend, "What's your sisters' names, Nana?"  Too many to count, little girl, but she struggled valiantly, and had attached names to faces pretty well by the end of a long, exciting day.

No loaves and fishes miracles to extend that one salmon, so luckily it wasn't the main event but anchored a second, later meal along with a big pot of black bean vegetarian chili.  For lunch, our main meal, besides the various contributions of the not-so-classy but ever-popular potato chips . . .

 we relied on that also very haute cuisine summer classic -- hot dogs! Of course, we used artisan sausages from the fabulous Sausage House in Nanaimo (three types: farmer's, white barbeque, and smoky) and besides the classic French's Mustard and Heinz catsup (I'm a grainy Dijon type, but apparently my preference is not contagious and old-school still rules), son-in-law caramelized a big bowl of onion slices, the perfect accompaniment. A bowl of grilled red, orange and yellow peppers tossed with some Balsamic, and a roasted new potatoes salad (includes green beans, onions, and smoked salmon). . . and we're all happy campers.

 Not sure how the Maltesers fit into this culinary picture, but who I am to second-guess the guests' contributions?
A casual summer feast, eaten in good company, after a good swim, while basking in the sun . . . perfect!

So that's the view from my kitchen sink, one late-summer Saturday.


  1. great pictures of a great feast. The carmelized onions where fantastic and I will definitely have to add those to my future bbq lineups. I would love the recipe for the chili if you don't mind sharing it.
    thanks again Hilary

  2. The chips, the fish!

    I'm off to caramelize some onions, Juilia Chid style.

    So nice to see you all enjoying yourselves.

  3. Oh it looks like a perfect family feast....fresh fish, salads and hot dogs...did anyone put beans on their dogs?
    I am the grainy mustard type too mater, Dijon.
    I am the only one, all my clan like French's too.

    Thank you for joining in I will post Views from the Sink soon!
    I think your view is beautiful, watching the ocean and the subtle changes throughout the day never get dull.

  4. How gorgeous it all looks - lots of food and lots of family is my idea of fun!

    I won't be posting views from my kitchen sink as our house was designed by a slightly insane man and so my sink faces a tiled wall (the bathroom sink has a lovely view). I try not to dwell on that fact - it certainly means I have no reason to dawdle while washing dishes!

  5. Fabulous view! I like the way your kitchen is a part of the activity of the house. I'm a grainy dijon lover too, but I remain the only one though most of my family prefer the smooth dijon, with the exception of a certain 4-going-on-5-year-old, who is firmly in the French's camp.

  6. What a fabulous gathering and what fabulous views you
    have in every directtion! On our recent family beach
    week, I lamented the lack of no Dijon...but, I survived....
    majority rules in a group of 22 adults and 8 children!

  7. I love the hustle and bustle of summer family gatherings, everyone wrapped in towels, damp from the sea, reaching across the table for this or that. Looks wonderful Mater. And also a wee bit tiring, so I hope you've gotten some time to rest if you found it necessary.

  8. Hil: Glad you liked the chili -- I'll try to post the recipe either here or on the KensClan FB page, but might take me a week or so.
    Susan: Not sure how Julia does it, but caramelized onions enhance almost any meal. Enjoy!
    Hostess: The beans were at a separate meal from the hot dogs, but I'll keep that idea in mind for the next round. Looking forward to your Collected Sinks post.
    Tiffany: That's the spirit -- just get in and get out, no need to linger over the dishwashing!
    Lesley: It's pretty great!
    Mardel: There's something about those old classics, French's mustard and Heinz ketchup, that endures, especially for the wee ones.
    Pavlova: See above re Dijon/non pref. And yes, we are very fortunate in our views all around.
    Lisa: You know it! There's a wonderful bustling ease to it all (and no, that's no oxymoronic, is it?) but yes, I'm tired -- I did sneak some downtime when Nola needed her nap but couldn't settle with everyone nearby. I lay down with her for 20 minutes 'til she dropped off. That wee warm person, breathing more and more slowly. . .

  9. The view is great - how could it be otherwise, given the location? I think the best view, though, must be the crowd around the sink and table - isn't that just the best of the summer?

  10. Pondside: I have to agree with you -- I love my ocean view, of course, but the crowd of family is my favourite view of all!

  11. Hot dogs are the best! I am horrified to tell you how often I eat them. Never with a bun (yuck). Sliced thin with a little ramekin of yellow mustard and other sauces on the side. Throw in some peppers and it's like health food :-)

    What a great view of the kitchen.


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