UNniversary Garden Party

GardenParty.jpg

A belated Happy BC Day, everyone! I had a two day work week this week – waiting for my next assignment now – so I have no excuse not to post the photos from our wonderful long weekend. There are fewer than usual, as I was either run off my feet or completely relaxed, and therefore hardly ever picked up the camera.

The preparations were exhausting, and overall we didn’t get much sleep, but this was definitely one of the quieter, more relaxing UNniversary weekends we’ve done. We missed all the children, though! Their excitement and laughter brings something special to our event – it was like not having children around at Christmas. Next year should be back to normal, and then some! But we had fun, and the weather, finally, was nearly perfect.

Our local guests who joined us Saturday night included a 2-year-old cherub named Elle, and she had learned some new words for the occasion: “Garden Party”. It definitely had more of a garden party feel this year, a little less rough around the edges. I’m especially pleased with my decorating splurge, the colourful paper lanterns with LED lights. After work on Tuesday, I went back and bought a few more for next year. I’m hopeful that by next July, when party prep gears up again, we’ll have much less to do in the yard because so much work got done this year to make our space as welcoming as possible. Three of our visitors weren’t here last year to see the major landscaping changes from last spring, and they were all very impressed. Thanks for that, we’re so glad you enjoyed our place – and of course, the food. If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed.

Hats.jpgI think we were talking about straw hats. Photo by Dagny.

Hangin.jpgWe spent most of our time just sittin’ around.

Roll.jpgDan insisted he didn’t need to try the satay dipping sauce.

Satay.jpgI loved the salad rolls, in spite of the cilantro.

Beans.jpgNew with the pork, scratch-made baked beans.

Corn.jpgSmoky, yummy pulled pork and brisket.

PorkPlated.jpg

One of the big changes to the plan this year was the new “International” menu, and I tried to get my camera out at every meal to capture the food, but as you can see I missed half of them. Friday night we had the most mouth-watering dinner: freshly made kalamari with Richard’s Greek yoghurt tzatziki, Greek-style ribs with oregano, garlic and lemon, and his Mediterranean pasta salad with rotini and feta. We all voted for larger servings of the kalamari next year.

Saturday morning Richard made his delectable corned beef hash, and Chris made two kinds of eggs: scrambled shiny, and scrambled almost to green. I am as particular about my eggs not being cooked too much as Dagny is about them not being cooked too little. We were all well stuffed, so it was a good thing Richard planned for a light lunch: Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls and grilled ginger chicken, both with homemade Indonesian satay sauce. That was a hit, but next year we may skip lunches entirely, which is what happened on Sunday – we never ate the Indian butter chicken, one of Richard’s new favourites, because we were still stuffed from Saturday night’s pulled pork and sundae bar, and Sunday morning bennies.

Sundaes.jpg

Some of us had leftover salads – including Richard’s awesome grilled veggie and tortellini salad in my case – for lunch on Sunday instead, and everyone did their part to make sure the last of the ice cream in the soft serve machine didn’t go to waste as we enjoyed the breezy, sunny afternoon. The neighbour’s grandson came by to help too.

Sunday night was Mexican, and I’d be hard pressed to say which of the three dinners was best. We had tortillas warmed on the grill with chicken barbecued in our homemade blend of Tex-Mex spices, smoked paprika-spiced black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, yellow peppers, and canned jalapenos, my guacamole, and store-bought pico de gallo because Richard didn’t have the hours it takes to make his from scratch and the Lunds weren’t here this year to appreciate it. And of course all the cheese and sour cream you could want, not to mention more ice cream sundaes for dessert.

Monday morning we had blueberry pancakes and I think Richard said we polished off 5 pounds of bacon, which considering by then we had only 8 of us around the table, is a lot of bacon. Mmm. And then everyone helped take down all the canopies and pack up leftovers to take home, so Richard and I still had energy to debrief and make notes after everyone left before we collapsed for a nap as usual. Such a short holiday, but so much fun! See you next year!

Cookin.jpgPoached eggs for Sunday am bennies.

Bennies.jpgEggs benedict with ham and hash browns.

UncleRichard.jpgRichard trades his chef hat for his uncle hat.

Cheers.jpgCheers!

Categories: UNEvents

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