Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cottage Food

This past weekend we spent at the cottage with friends. We've done this particular 'friends weekend' at Limestone Lake for five years now, and every year we seem to have great weather and great food. This year was no exception.

I try to keep food simple at the cottage, since we're meant to be relaxing not slaving over a complicated meal. This year I reached for a recipe I had torn out of an LCBO flyer in early Spring for Mini Burgers when it came time for Saturday lunch. These burgers came together in a snap - combine ground beef and pork with chili sauce, mustard, wooster, egg, and bread crumbs, shape into small patties and you're off to the races. All that's left to do is grill 'em and top 'em.

My favourite sous-chef, James, had the honour of forming and grilling our meat patties. He did an excellent job as they came off the grill perfectly cooked and needing very little in the way of condiments. You know you have a good burger on your hands when toppings are optional. We offered grated cheddar and some grilled mushrooms and onions to our crowd. We served the burgers on some lovely mini whole-grain dinner rolls with a side of coleslaw, potato chips and some iced tea lemondade.

I was pleasantly suprised by how yummy the coleslaw was since I found the recipe in one of the cookbooks that lives at the cottage. It's an old Better Homes and Gardens title: The Meat Cookbook. Despite appearances, this cookbook does have recipes for more than just meat and includes a number of different coleslaw recipes. I tried the mayonaise based dressing that was super quick to make: 1/2 cup mayo, 2 tbsp prepared mustard, 1 tbsp wooster sauce, 1/2 tsp paprika. I mixed this up and added to a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix and let it sit for a few hours before serving.

Later that evening after dinner we enjoyed a great key-lime pie courtesy of James. I missed some of the prep but it looked pretty basic. I know I saw egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and keylime juice go into the filling, and it was served up in a graham cracker crust. The pie was fantastic, even if we cheated and didn't use real whipping cream for the top. We used Dream Whip, which I'm sure isn't even food but it was fast and actually pretty tasty.

Sue also brought joy to the masses with her homemade chocolate chip cookies and marble-walnut brownies. I didn't get pictures of these treats; understandable in a cottage featuring six children under the age of 7! We ate well, played hard and laughed often. The recipe for a great weekend.

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