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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A Few Easter Goodies

One thing is always for certain whenever we get together as a family and that is an abundance of good food!  Last Saturday was no different when eleven of us celebrated Easter and two of the little ones turning a year older.  The weather was warm and sunny, perfect for the little ones' Easter egg hunt.  Our meal consisted of spiral cut ham, homemade baked beans, homemade creamy coleslaw, home canned green beans,baked potatoes, home canned pickles, a vegetable tray and fresh baked bread.  Appetizers were deviled eggs and seafood.  Dessert was birthday cake.  It was a wonderful gathering!

Barrie's Asparagus gift basket
A couple of our kids (parents to oldest and youngest grandkids) surprised us with a gift basket from Barrie's Asparagus Farm. They have shopped there on several occasions so the farm is on our list of places to visit the next time we are in the Cambridge area.  Barrie's Asparagus Farm is located at 1236 Kings Road in Cambridge, Ontario.  They are fourth generation food producers on Cedardale Farm.  There is a farm market on site where they sell their own produce and products as well as fresh local produce, meats, cheese, honey, maple syrup, grains, baking, preserves, eggs, dairy and much more.  The gift basket was packed with some of their products made with asparagus.  Asparagus will soon be in season here which means I will be doing a bit of canning.  I'm always looking for new ways to use a long time favourite vegetable!

contents of Barrie's Asparagus gift basket
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that we don't get very creative with even though we eat a lot of it.  We prefer fresh asparagus either steamed or grilled.  I can just enough asparagus to use for making cream of asparagus soup.  The products in the gift basket included: vegetable crackers, kettle chips, stone wheat crackers, fusilli pasta with asparagus, asparagus tortilla chips, asparagus salsa and tomato asparagus parmesan pasta sauce.  All of the products in the gift basket except the vegetable crackers and kettle chips had asparagus as an ingredient.  The salsa, pasta sauce a pasta with asparagus are all products I could make as new products for the pantry at home.  I could like make the stone wheat crackers with asparagus as well.  The tortilla chips use asparagus flour which can be made at home from dried asparagus.  Oh the possibilities!

seafood platter
The kids that brought the gift basket also brought a shrimp and crab claw platter.  Our kid would actually like to give up their current profession in favour of becoming a chef.  Although that likely will not happen, she has been taking culinary courses.  She is currently learning how to make trays for entertaining including this beautiful seafood tray.  The presentation is stunning although the little ones did not quite appreciate the crab claws.  They were having no part of the claws at all but ate the crab as long as they could not see the claws.  The adults, on the other hand loved the shrimp and crab.  I thought it was a wonderful and unique presentation!

Lego birthday cake
A couple of our other kids (parents to middle grandkid), brought the birthday cake.  Their little one was turning five while youngest was turning four.  They chose a birthday cake to highlight one of the toys all of our grandkids and in fact the kids still play with, Lego.  The grandkids love playing with Grandma and Papa's huge Lego bin and Lego is their favourite toy at home.  Their birthday cake was made to look like Lego pieces.  Isn't it precious?

The cake was chocolate with a marshmallow icing covered with fondant.  The top connectors were made from rice crispies.  Happy Birthday with the grandkids' names were written in cake decorating icing.  The presentation was really cute!  We took a lot of pictures of them enjoying their birthday treat.

Every holiday and some special days have traditional dishes but that doesn't mean you can't break from tradition or even create your own traditions.  Crab in some form, usually as an appetizer,  has been a long tradition in our family for most special meals.  Shrimp is usually served as well.  That's the beauty of these types of gatherings.  They evolve over time, forming new traditions but kept together through good company, lots of laughter and good food.

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