“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


“A satisfied customer-we should have him stuffed!” Basil Fawlty

Did some interesting things this past weekend, so it’s time to share! Steak yes but grilled oysters too!

Saturday night the trolls were out. My lady and I decided to spurge. I have long wanted to grill oysters on my #biggreenegg and this was the night. Not having time to take advantage of #StLawrencemarket, we took advantage of the seafood bar at Loblaws. Not the greatest selection in the world I must say. I don’t think shellfish is their highest priority but since we were grilling them we took the plunge on 6 after pointing out the cracked and opened ones to the fish lady. I made a #Guinnessrarebit sauce to meld with the fishy wonders.  Guinness, cheddar, Dijon, and a little Worcestershire’s combined with a roux to thicken. Vicky shucked and I coated and then introduced them to the #BGE. A little Irish on the tongue!

We accompanied the #Hors D’Oeuvre, well actually we served it with the main of grilled steak, mushrooms and a warm beet salad. The salad included the beet tops and stems, pecans, and #chèvre dressed in tarragon Dijon vinaigrette. Check the shot! There was a food coma shortly after the meal. No trolls means happy chefs!

I definitely will be introducing Guinness into more meals but it’s hard sharing the bottle. It’s so nice straight out of the glass!

Be well and eat well!


Guinness Good!

Guinness Good!

“Youth is like a long weekend on Friday night. Middle age is like a long weekend on Monday afternoon.” Richard Nelson Bolles

Alabama White BBQ Sauce heaven!

Alabama White BBQ Sauce heaven!

So this weekend ended with a bang. Not just the fireworks but the thunderstorm that came minutes after it. Watching all the soaked sightseers running up the street was like a scene from a disaster movie. There used to be a few signs down here that said “Welcome to the Beach. Get out of my parking spot!” I must admit that when I moved down here 20 years ago the crowds that would show up on long weekend were miniscule compared to the amounts that show up now a days.  Sometimes I feel like putting those signs back up or just hightailing it out of here. We have Victoria Day, Canada Day, Simcoe Day, Labour Day, and the Jazz Festival where 100,000 people show up to wander the street. It’s nice living here but when you can’t move your car for fear of losing your parking spot you start reevaluating.

So food, because that what this is all about was large, tasty, and fun.  Sunday we started with grilled Rib Steaks on the BGE, Grilled asparagus and a Caprese salad. First time we could eat outside this year. The surrounding trees are sharing their pollen and seeds all around and you need to dust the table once an hour, but being outside was nice and relaxing. Enough was left over for baguette sandwiches on Monday.

Victoria Day was orgasmic. I finally made Alabama White BBQ Sauce. Phenomenal on the hickory smoked, bacon wrapped drumsticks! Also embraced slow smoked ribs with sauce, roasted potato salad in a yogurt base, and field greens with strawberries red onion, and almonds courtesy of Vicky and her culinary skills. The appetizer was the trolls favourite, smoked brie.

I hope everybody enjoyed good food, good times and family and friends.

Have a great week and be well.


Best flavour!

The trolls favourite!

The trolls favourite!

Because you gotta graze sometime!

Because you gotta graze sometime!

Here piggy! Your so tasty!