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another fabulous feast

May 21, 2011

Our feast for May seemed to come early,  it seemed hard to believe that the 15th was really the third Sunday but with May 1st being the first Sunday in the month the 15th was it. May’s feast was enjoyed by a smaller group but the perfect size to fit around the table for interesting conversation, lots of laughs and of course great food.  We missed several people and welcomed new people at the same time.

We missed Molly who has left us to go and live in London, England with her dear David. Ellen was thinking of her when she prepared her rhubarb, apple, berry crisp to ensure that there would be dessert to replace Molly’s regular contribution.  We also missed Sarah who was filming at Evans Lake near Squamish, where she was enjoying catered dinners and we were missing her salad.  To make matters worse, Roxy was caught off guard by the early third Sunday and was working a wedding, leaving us another salad short. Trish my cousin visiting from Edmonton, stepped in with a salad to fill the gap and our tummies.  Other missing regulars included Greg who had a concert to attend and promises he will be back in June and Ted who had a houseful of guests and just did not feel comfortable bringing them all to the feast. Veronica came back after a several month hiatus being away in Toronto being with her mother, we were happy to have her join us again.

We had very little snackie foods at this feast but this did no harm to our ability to be pleasantly satiated by the end of the meal.  We were joined by two new guests: my Uncle Gene and my cousin Trish who had driven from Edmonton to visit with us and then go on to Whistler where they would pick  up their niece and granddaughter to take her back to Edmonton to attend the 90th, yes nine-zero, birthday party for Uncle Gene.  A great conversationalist, He was happy to have several new people to talk with other than John and I. Although I do not know what the topic was, Cort and him has a very lively, amiable conversation that I am not sure they would have ever had had it not been for the feast bringing a  diverse group of people together.

The conversations moved to the dining table as the food was served. We started with a very interesting, different and delicious Carrot-Ginger soup that John had prepared. It had avocado in it and a last minute addition of coconut milk. John and I were so used to the sweet tasting carrot and other combination soups that we have made that we  were somewhat surprised by the different flavour of this soup. Everyone liked it, said they liked it and judging by the empty bowls did like it.

The soup was followed by an interesting and different warm goat cheese and grilled vegetable salad prepared by Trish. warm grilled vegetables topped  fresh spring greens and were sprinkled with goat cheese. It was scrumptious!

Our entrees included meatballs in honey garlic sauce, California Bake and mushroom truffle risotto. Adam made the  meatballs and was careful to point out how hard he had worked to ensure that they were all exactly the same size.  He did a great job of it.

Barbara and Jay brought a delightful dish that was an old hippie recipe that we were happy they had revived. Jay had prepared the dish that included corn, peppers, bread crumbs and several aromatic herbs and spices.  We all want the recipe for this one.

I have been working on my patience and my need to do everything quickly and what I view as efficiently and making risotto is an active way for me to practice. I have avoided making risotto in the past because of the need to stand by the stove and give it my undivided attention for a whole 22 minutes or so but was swayed when I helped my nephew make his risotto during a recent visit to Edmonton. I chopped the mushrooms and other assorted things for the risotto and even took a turn stirring it but the significant factor was actually eating it.  It was delicious! So for our next family meal when we were back in Vancouver, it was risotto that I made. When it came time to select something for the feast, risotto it was. I decided to keep it simple and made a mushroom and truffle oil risotto. Making the risotto has turned out to be the practice in patience that I can benefit from. Having to stand at the stove and give the rice my sole focus is relaxing and meditative for me. It reminds me of when I had laryngitis for four full days several years ago at the same time we had John`s mother and partner visiting us. For the first day or so I struggled to try to join in on the conversations and to try to continue to steer the activities etc. but then surrendered to the fact that I could only sit back and listen. It made me chill out and even relax a bit and I enjoyed the silence that it offered my constantly going mind. I was even a bit sad when my voice started to return but before you could count to five I was back at it. Stirring the risotto helped me to remember that almost stillness. Anyway the risotto turned out well and was very tasty.

Happy after our great meal we were still happy to see Ellen and Cort`s crisp warm from the oven. As if that was not enough Veronica surprised us with two homemade apple pies. We were very happy to have her back with us. John was thrilled as apple pie is his all time favorite dessert. I was happy as I brought two canisters of whipped cream to the table to accompany the desserts.  The espresso infused vodka was a nice finishing touch.

So there you have it, or that is it for the food. But for me the more important part of the feasts is the opportunity to share time with wonderful people and to get to know each of them better each time. We do not always have time to share our stories or to hear the stories of others and as that is important for our well being, I am all for opportunities to do so. Our time around the table give us a chace to discuss things that we care about, things we can laugh about and  gives us a sense that we have people we can be with and that we can count on. I am not sure how others feel but I know how I do, I love the time together and the sense that we are all becoming true friends. We may worry about how we as individuals can have a positive  impact on the world and maybe we do by being together breaking bread.

I love the feasts and I hope you do too. And by the way please send me your recipes so that I can post them, cheers and until next time.

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Update about April Feast

April 16, 2011

Since I posted the last note it seems that the weather has taken a further turn for the worse. It seems so cold out there, so cold we were beginning to be worried about the little seeds and plants we had put in our garden on Monday. We did go visit the garden today and everything looks fine so here is hoping.

Update on food: John is making a yam-carrot-parsnip ginger concoction and Adam is making mashed potatoes… that is all I know for sure. see you soon!!

feast time and the livin is easy

April 13, 2011

Okay, I know that those of you who have lived in Vancouver for some time now think this has been a cold winter and spring however, those of us who just escaped the prairie winters and especially this year’s performance, think the weather has been grand. This puts us in the mood for celebrating spring and upcoming summertime.

Our April feast, on the 17th, will have several themes or things to focus on: spring, easter (if you celebrate), Molly’s last feast until she comes back to us from London in 2012 and Adam’s birthday (on the 12th), the Sun Run (which Adam and I will be running), other April birthdays, friendship and good food and how about being able to live in the world’s most liveable city!!

So we have lots to celebrate!!  The only food that I know that we are expecting is the dish that I intend to make and that is Rabbit Stew. Some people say it tastes like chicken, I say it tastes delicious.

spring beauty
spring beauty

Look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday, love to alllovely color

Another great time with friends and good food!

March 23, 2011

Once again we had a fabulous feast, a great group of friends and wonderful food.  We are a fortunate bunch. 

It was nice to have Steve and Janet, Ellen’s parents from the Sunshine Coast join us this time, I think they had a good time. It was also great to have Greg  join us once again.  I was thrilled that Samantha, Adam’s friend joined us this time and it was great that Adam’s frined Mark from Edmonton was in town and could join us. I did miss Ted and Darlene, and Veronica but know they had other commitments and I

everybody happily devouring the delicious food
wonder what happened to Katie.  We also missed Eden and  Joe who were in Edmonton on Sunday. I know they will be back.

In the food department we had quite a wide variety of great stuff.  Greg brought a perfectly spicy dip which went well with  Roxy’s homemade bread sticks. Cort’s devilled eggs and Ellen’s bean curd snackies were delicious.

I ventured into the unknown for me this month making Oysters Rockefeller.  I love oysters, cooked ones that is, and thought it would be an adventure to try to make them from scratch. That meant buying fresh oysters in the shell and the tool with which to shuck them. We bought Fanny Bay Oysters from a fresh seafood store on west 4th.

pretty little shells ready to be stuffed

John helped with the the first part of shucking by cracking open the shells just enough for me to be able to open the shells and get the treasured oyster out.  I cleaned the shells to use for the dish. They looked so pretty. I made a sauce with watercress, spinach, onion and garlic to make what  turned out to be very tasty.

yummy oysters

 

 They were very delicious and now that I have prepared them once will definitely make them again.
Then we had our meal! Sarah made a fresh veggie bean salad, delicious and good for you. Janet and Steve made a wonderful shrimp ceasar salad although Janet was hesitant to say where she washed the lettuce in her hotel room. Ellen made shrimp salad rolls that were perfectly delectable. John made Maple Bourbon Pork Ribs from a cookbook that our friend Denis gave us and Denis was right in saying these ribs were scrumptious. Roxy made a savoury veggie frittata. Adam and Mark worked together to make one of Adam’s favorite dishes, potato-onion-garlic cake. 
a savoury creation by Adam and Mark

If you can believe it, we all had enough room in our bellies to enjoy Molly’s fabulous lemon tart, topped with the ever handy whipped cream from Irene’s fridge. 

Just to make things interesting Barbara and Jay contributed to our feast by giving everyone a Kokoro Dance t-shirt, and unexpected but wonderful gift for all.
FOOD aside, what remains in my memory of the feast is the conversation with friends and seeing new connections being made between people who up unitl now either did not know each other or had little or no chance to really talk to each other.  A chance to get to know people, a chance to share ideas, a chance to feel like a big happy family. I think it was Steve who said it was wonderful to see “quite a family developing”.  We had some good laughs and look forward to more friends and food next month. Cheers!!!

March Feast Time

March 15, 2011

inspiration and just good food

I cannot believe it is almost March 20th and time for our Feast for Friends! We are hoping for another great crowd and once again some new friends plan to join us.

I am hoping to use this blog as a way to share what food is expected for the day. If you do know what you are bringing leave a comment on this note.

 I plan on making Oysters Rockefeller and John is making Maple Bourbon Pork Spareribs. And that is what I know so far.

Once you leave a comment I will add to a menu for the day!! Cheers!!

Irene

another fabulous feast full of friends and food

February 21, 2011

We had another great feast yesterday!!  It was fabulous because we had a bigger group, seventeen people and we added

all smiles

a number of new faces. We were also  joined by several out of town guests: Roxy, my sister from Edmonton and her daughter and my niece Annalise; dear friends from

soon to be devoured cauliflower

Edmonton, Warren and Veronica and our niece Patrice from Whistler.  New to the feast

fabulous friends

Vancouver guests included Barbara and Jay and Katie.  I was sad that Ellen was not able to join us and we missed Greg and Jacqui again.  We hope they all join us next month.

Food was good and just enough for the feast and enough to send care packages home with a few people. One thing I was thrilled about was the dessert. Ted brought my favorite: tuxedo cake, a delicious chocolate cake; Veronica and Warren brought my favorite: lemon tart and Katie brought my favorite: chocolate pecan pie.  I made my favorite: whipped cream to top them off. I have to admit that I did not have the absolute best sleep, could it have been all that sugar?? Perhaps I have too many favorite desserts?

my favorite–whipped cream

Conversation abounded between and among the group which made me smile. There is nothing better than a group of people together enjoying each other’s company, getting to know one another and all enjoying good food and anticipating more.  Wonderful!

February Feast is almost here!!

February 17, 2011

wild salmon caught by a friend

good food and friends

So February 20th is our next Feast. It should be a good one with what we hope is a good crowd. Some new people will be joining us and we will have at least three out of town guests, maybe five new people. So who are these people? My sister Roxy, not to be confused with our Roxy Prus, and my niece Annalise will be here from Edmonton and my sort of niece, Patrice will be here from Whistler. And Veronica and Warren, our friends, also from Edmonton may be here if they get off the slopes in time. I hope they do show up as Veronica has promised to make her famous and very delicious lemon tart, yum!!

I am not sure what other food we will have but we (John and I) are planning on making chicken chili. If you know what you are going to bring, post it so other can have an idea what to make. Whatever you bring will be great.

See you soon

Hey don’t forget to bring your recipes from previous feasts.