An Exceptional Gathering, Romanian Style

If I write all that is on my heart before bed, I will be up very very late and tomorrow there is the food prep still ahead.  Suffice it to say that gatherings out in Chestermere with the Ya Yas continues to be one of the most delightful events possible for me.  We are six women (we missed Dar today) who have grown to support, confide and laugh loudly together and today was no exception.  The visit shifted my entire view of things and caused me such peace that I have been happily working away with my own meal preparations ever since.

As I have written several times before, Wendy’s husband, Darren, treats us like we are all princesses.  He is a genuinely talented chef, but also very entertaining with his tremendous knowledge about food, ingredients and food preparation.  If I get a minute tomorrow, I’ll make certain that I tag some of his previous menus.

But for now…just wanting to link up with Darren’s own blog and his narrative about his special creamed chicken recipe.  Today’s menu was delicious!  Homemade Borscht and sour cream, perfectly mashed potatoes and some sort of corn meal ‘stuff’…(Oh…just wait a minute; I’ll go and look it up….)

I’m back. (didn’t find the name for the dish that was made of cornmeal) OH YES I DID FIND IT….Creamed Chicken served with Mamaliga (polenta).

I didn’t grab a photograph of our dessert…poppy seed loaf and special cookies made with a substitute flour and hot tea served in ornate tea cups.

Here you go…a link up with the narratives around this particular dish, Creamed Chicken.  Such a wonderful and detailed accounting of tradition and preparation of this meal. 

Thank you for hosting, Wendy and Darren….and thank you to each of you for your generous hearts.

A Ya Ya Feasting Tradition

Thanks to Wendy, Rebecca and Darren for hosting yet another amazing feast to celebrate our long-time friendship and the Christmas break.  This culinary experience is a bit of a tradition and not like any ‘eat in’ dining experience that I’ve enjoyed elsewhere.

2011 saw us enjoying a Japanese Hot Pot and all of the other dishes that precede it…

Japanese Hot Pot...amazing!

Japanese Hot Pot…amazing!

Beautiful friends....awesome chefs!

Beautiful friends….awesome chefs!

Prime Rib and a most amazing tea service.  (I am only selecting a photo or two to represent the epic treat!)

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Yet another feast!  Can my readers believe the presentation?

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Here we are some time years ago, likely after being spoiled!

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And…this year…let’s face it, we’re Besties!  YEAH!

Feast Christmas Ya Yas 2015

Darren began by serving us roasted potato soup…and yes…absolutely yummy!  The most creamy delicious soup!  Unbelievable!  On the menu…

“Potato soup with micro frites and green onion. Pork rib roast studded with garlic and rubbed with rosemary, pepper flakes and salt cooked over charcoal. The pork was served over steamed asparagus on a roasted pepper reduction. With the pork, were two potato croquettes topped with sour cream and homemade grainy mustard. For dessert, there were profiteroles with some melted sugar.
The extra sauces I made were: Parsley and garlic in olive oil and salt. Home made grainy dijon mustard. Raspberry puree with balsamic vinegar. Chimichurri. Pico de gallo.
I think that’s it. Was going to make fresh bread sticks but I forgot. Next time!”

Kath's Canon, December 20 and 21, 2015 Wendy's Feast and Franks 011

Kath's Canon, December 20 and 21, 2015 Wendy's Feast and Franks 012

Kath's Canon, December 20 and 21, 2015 Wendy's Feast and Franks 013Kath's Canon, December 20 and 21, 2015 Wendy's Feast and Franks 015

The nourishment that our friends share with us is very symbolic of how we nourish one another through the laughter, the tears, the celebrations and the struggles.  To be fed by others is an act of sacrifice and of giving.  I want to thank my friends for the treasure of their giving hearts.  I appreciate the empathy and the support that you have offered me.  I also appreciate the good food and the good drink that brings us to a circle.  Grateful…always!

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And…because it’s the first anniversary of his passing and I really like this song…this.

Love Art in Calgary: Lunch Shared at the Danish Canadian Club

I think one of the great times shared during the Love Art in Calgary tours comes at lunch time when we combine food, drink and warm conversation. We have a chance to react to the morning happenings and learn about one another’s interests apart from the tours.

Tour #7 allowed for the convenient lunch stop at the Danish Canadian Club, the Mermaid Inn. 

P1140840 Off of the lunch menu, I selected Roast Pork and Red Cabbage (Flæskesteg med Rødkål) and enjoyed it immensely.

P1140841 P1140843 P1140849There is always a sense of camaraderie as these groups gather around a shared table to discover common ground.  One thing’s for certain…there is much laughter and fun!  Some of our group members departed after lunch and five of us continued on to the final stop of the day.

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Blue Cheese Platter…we discovered that all participants in Tour #7 like blue cheese! Unusual?

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Mermaid Platter…a selection of prepared herring, shrimp and salad items.

Elma’s Hands

Festive Turnip, Carrot and Apple: A Tradition

Coat these in cinnamon and sugar and bake. Yum!

Festive Turnip 

1 large turnip and buckets of carrots
A bag of cooking apples peeled, cored and chunked
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
Dash of cinnamon

Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp melted butter

Cook turnip and carrots until tender.  Amounts may vary depending on the gaggle of people you invite. Mash with butter. Slice apples and mix with brown sugar and cinnamon. In a large casserole dish, layer the  turnip/carrots and apples. Combine the topping ingredients and put on top of turnip, carrots and apples. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour.

Having lived in Milano, Italy; Diana and Umberto’s contribution to dinner was Strawberry Tiramisu.  It was a heavenly dessert and you can see why!  I consider this couple to be one of the most well-read and ‘smart’ couples I know.  I found their stories at our feast table in good humour and so amazing!  I am grateful for Diana and Umberto!

Tiramisu