“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Jane Howard

Turkey Shoot 2013A Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Canada comes a month early compared to our friends in the US. Origins can be dated back to 1578 and the voyage of Martin Frobisher searching for the Northwest Passage.  Samuel de Champlain held many festival of celebration of thanks and established the Order of Good Cheer  in sharing their food with the First Nation.

At one point Upper and Lower Canada celebrated Thanksgiving at different times. After the American Revolution, refugees that remained loyal to Britain brought customs and traditions north to Canada. Its date fluctuated until 1957 when the second Monday in October became a national statutory holiday.  The theme became a celebration of the abundant harvest and thankfulness of all we are blessed with.

Our family gathering’s origin comes from an event long before my participation. During the 1960’s, my in-laws would have a fall party they entitled The Turkey Shoot. The day long party centered around the men target shooting for bragging rights and the prize of a turkey for

Thanksgiving. Its day had long passed and would have probably remained a memory if not for the creativity of my brother-in-law. We decided in 1989 to make Thanksgiving our event and resurrected The Turkey Shoot. Christmas would be for our immediate nest, but Thanksgiving would be the whole family, extended, girlfriends and boyfriends, friends, dogs, basically everybody that makes us who we are. There would be no presents and no expectations other than being together to be together. We would eat, and eat well, have drinks, tell stories and rehash laughs and tears, sit up too late around the fire and just be us. I have to say in 24 years I have no memory of disagreements, attitudes or fights. I am very proud of us all. Understand that some years have been good with new arrivals and life events; others have not been so good.  People, important people, loved ones that have been with us and should still be with us are gone in body but still sitting around the fire with us. Our Thanksgiving is about family.

We have our target competition, horseshoe pitch, archery, and have even taken to setting Chinese lanterns into the sky late at night with messages to those that we wish were there.

I can talk about the food but we’ll let the pictures do that. There’s not a lot of late evening photos because no one really wants to see us dancing to Journey or rolling downhill off an unbalanced chair. Actually you probably do but what happens at the farm stays at the farm.

To all my friends, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. To all south of the border and anticipating yours, I wish you happiness and the warm embrace of your family and friends.Fall in Northern Ontario

The Farm
Juuust a bit outside!TailgateFire Good!Turkey Spit


“The mere thought hadn’t even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.” Douglas Adams

You try, you do, and you hope that someone is listening or at least paying attention. Then you realize that you are the only one doing it and everyone else is on a cerebral vacation from reality. Life is funny, but someone has to be serious. Never thought it would be me?

Burgers are the combination of effort, taste, and love. Buying a frozen ready-made patty and throwing it on an assembly line bun is not a burger. That’s why the condiment companies make so much money. People try and hide the flavor.

My favourite go to burger is a mixture of lean ground beef and Italian sausage. The pork and the seasoning bring a new taste and adds some juiciness to the burger. You definitely need a napkin with them. Grilled mushrooms, red pepper, crisped pancetta, and some melted Havarti topped them off.

The burgers were plated with a warm potato and radish salad with a yogurt and Dijon base, sweetened with honey.

It takes only a few minute more to go artisanal than mass produced. It’s worth it!

I have 2 friends for dinner tomorrow night so the BGE will be smoking.

Be well and eat well


When the meat hits the grill like a big dollar bill...That's amore. OK, I tried.

When the meat hits the grill like a big dollar bill…That’s amore. OK, I tried.

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” Julia Child

Yesterday the overhanging branches in the backyard were cut down, the grass was cut, the mulch was spread  and the lights that those damn squirrels chewed through were fixed.  The flowers are in, the herbs are planted and we’re done. All I have to do is remember to water everything.  I’m usually good for about 4 weeks before I start to slip and then the garden becomes survival of the fittest!

This morning I woke to a beautiful rainbow in a red sky. The rainbow was gone by the time I took the picture.  I just thought I’d share that.

Sailor take warning...

Sailor take warning…

I try to do all or at least part of our meals outside. Be it on the BGE, Weber, or gas grill. Last night we had sausage stuffed peppers with pesto linguini. The peppers were baked on the BGE with oak smoke. The linguini wasn’t.  Since I now have herbs growing again they are taking a prominent position in everything I create. The packaged stuff is gone till the fall, or till I kill it all off.

This summer the plan is to make our own sausages, the summit being blood sausage.  It’s my death-row meal.

Be well and eat well.


Red peppers stuffed with tasty sausage love!

Red peppers stuffed with tasty sausage love!

“Everything in life has an end. Only sausages have two.” German Proverb

So to start, I loved, LOVED the season finally to #Doctor Who. You either get it, or you don’t.  I spent most of yesterday and today catching up with the 12 episode marathon that I recorded off Space yesterday. No spoilers here but Clara is finally explained.

But then we had to eat too! Sausages on the #BGE. Hot, Bratwurst, and honey garlic for the wuss contingent. Topped with grilled red peppers and red onion that were finished with butter and balsamic. Vicky created a great caesar salad. Leftovers for breakfast.

Can’t wait till November for the new Doctor season.


Life has one end, but sausages have two!

Life has one end, but sausages have two!