Summer picnics and family reunions.
Last night we had a family gathering and picnic at my Aunt's and today at my house we also had a special visit from my niece and her husband, her daughters and we also had a picnic and barbeque. To avoid overheating my house, I cook the chicken on the barbeque with lemon wedges in the cavitty, olive oil and coarse salt on top and put this is a caste iron pan atop the grill. It is so good. Both events were unexpected and we had a delightful time. You just have to seize these precious moments, and so my question to all, what special outdoor moments have you celebrated, and what was around the barbeque table?
We had a typical Canadian barbeque, chicken, roasted potatoes, potato salad (overkill I know) and corn on the cob, watermelon for dessert.
So what are you celebrating and cooking?
My backup, almost no-prep outdoor cooked dish is paella. Of course we grill and also have a wood-fired oven that gets used constantly in nice weather, but both of those things require a bit of advance planning, and that's not always the way our summer schedule plays out.
My big sled-sized paella pan and portable burner are my secret weapon for family gatherings and quick outdoor meals. I consider it winning the bonus round for pot luck dishes because it's unusual to most people, it feeds a crowd with low effort, everyone loves it AND it's entertainment.
Last weekend we had an impromptu birthday gathering for my sister in law. She was supposed to go on a trip, but her plans got derailed. So I took the reins and we made a little party for about 8 of us.
Grilled up a couple of nice steaks with a little Montreal Steak seasoning, burgers for the kids.
Spinach salad with dried cranberries, walnuts and gorgonzola
sweet potato fries
grilled onions and green peppers
Chocolate fudge birthday cake
The weather was nice and thankfully, no uninvited mosquitoes came our way. It was a great afternoon that stretched into the evening, all planned with a day's notice.
You are right about seizing the precious moments... we all had a great time and I can't wait to see the family again.
"First Sunday" monthly family gathering. It happens the first Sunday of every month. Grilled Cornish Game Hens with grilled flat bread and grilled vegetables, a rice/water chestnut salad and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Coconut macaroons with coconut/chocolate chip/caramel ice cream for dessert.