When we spotted some light on the horizon in the form of a forecast indicating that Saturday was going to be nice, we decided it would be a good day to cook and eat outside. Our friend Andrea joined us, and true to the meteorologist’s word, it was lovely out for this last Saturday of summer based on the calendar.
(What’s more about the weather, is that while summer might be officially over, we are now expecting a spell of very good days ahead.)
We began with drinks on the patio … white wine, nice and cold, and Mojitos made with the fresh Orange Mint that is plentiful in our herb garden.
The Orange Mint was a new variety for us this year, previously discussed here. It ended up growing really really well and I’d recommend it those looking to grow mint next year.
How about those colouful coasters? Those are the ones I crocheted and added a waterproof backing to, shown in this post.
Speaking of gardening, my Cherry Tomato plant finally has some fruit. It was my first time trying to grow tomatoes and I really thought my plant was a dud because all it did all summer long was grow and grow and grow, reaching a floppy height taller than me and needing to be tied to the fence with twine. But there was no sign of flowers until well into the season, after other tomato growers were already eating what they had grown. I’m going to try again next year, but will look for a low growing variety.
For an appetizer Nick whipped up one of my favourite things. Following a technique of his father’s he made melted cheese toast on the barbeque. To quote Andrea, ‘I could eat just this today and I’d be happy’. The smokey flavour that the charcoal grill adds to this simple snack makes it more delicious than its parts.
Here’s what he did : Put some bread (any kind will do but he used Rye) on a hot grill, trying to avoid putting it directly above the coals. Cover and turn it halfway, until it’s lightly toasted. Then remove it, butter it and lay on some cheese. Again, any kind that melts will do but we had some old cheddar. Return to the grill, cover and wait until it just begins to melt. The only things that can go wrong with this dish is that the toast might burn, so watch out for that.
↑ A shot of my groovy footwear. I’m still healing after having an operation in August … everything is fine but it’s taking time. Nick and Andrea have a joke about these Croc sandals, ‘the holes are where my dignity leaks out’! I promise these have never left the yard, except that one time I ran outside in a rush to catch sight of this hawk. ↑
↑ There are some of the flowers in pots that are still blooming. As mentioned in this post that blue frothy one (called a Lobelia) is still going strong. It has been in full flower for the nearly three months that it’s been out there. ↑
At this point Andrea nipped indoors to quickly fry some Potato Pancakes she was making, using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. She had grated the potatoes an onions and prepared the batter soon after arriving and it had been resting in the fridge.
While she was doing that I set the table …
… and put some ribs on the hot grill, (that we had previously been par-boiled in a pot of water inside), and lightly coated them with a barbecue sauce made by mixing together Soy Sauce, Ketchup, Red Wine Vinegar, Hoisen Sauce, Dijon Mustard and Garlic and Onion Powders.
Ribs are a rare treat for us … Nick had picked up some nice ones at European Meats during the week. We don’t eat meat often but when we do we buy it there. -> Damn, I just read that they are closing for good.
In case you’re wondering about it, we were also planning to cook some mushrooms which is why that barbeque bowl is out there on the white table, but we didn’t end up making them.
On the side we had some Red Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw that Nick had made, following this recipe.
The Potato Pancakes were topped with sour cream and green onions from the garden.
↑ Since ribs are finger food, Nick put out some finger bowls with warm water and pieces of lemon!↑
Everything turned out very nicely!
Following the meal we retired to the sitting room, aka the Muskoka lounge chairs. We had to ask Eddie to please make some room, which he begrudgingly did.
Later we had dessert … I’ll tell you about what that was on Friday.
Thank you very much for taking at look.
[For fellow thrift-store shoppers who like to see Thrifted Things in action : Eddie’s towel is the one I got during this thrifting trip. The red napkins were from this thrifting trip. The vintage glass dish with the cheese in it is from this thrifting trip. And the Fire King custard bowls used as finger-bowls were from this thrifting trip. We also used the milk glass bowl with a handle to serve the sour cream, from this thrifting trip but it didn’t make it into the pictures.]