Monday, July 15, 2013

grand bender weekend 2013

This past weekend we had our annual family reunion cottage weekend in Grand Bend. Every year seems to be getting better and better because one more baby joins the ranks. The cousin total now stands at 7 with even another on the way!

All the cousins with Avo.

Not only that, there was also the bonus of having gorgeous sunny weather the entire time (and this hasn’t happened since we started).

We used to joke that it was expected to rain on that weekend exclusively. But as you can see it was just clear and gorgeous, perfect for the beach which is where we spent our days.

We had a really nice arrangement of chairs, beach blankets, beach umbrella and a tent/canopy which came in handy when the sun was just blazing and the kids needed their water and sunscreen reap.

 Or just a place to play hide and seek.

We packed bottles of water, sandwiches, chips and watermelon for lunches (along with a couple ciders for the parents).
Owen really connected with his cousin Paige (who’s 3 months older than him) over the weekend. Her and her family flew in from Calgary! Both kids stuck together, made up silly words & songs... and bickered. They’d tattle on each other and one would always want what the other had. Of course this was all innocent enough and us parents, after settling the squabbles, found ourselves chuckling at the antics when the kids were out of ear shot. Of course, most of the time things were pretty copasetic between the two.

Seeing as how this is a food blog, I’ve got to mention some of the treats we enjoyed. This was the first year our cottage hosts arrived with the arsenal of food (every previous year each family has taken responsibility for preparing one meal). This worked out great because there wasn’t too much food, avoided a crammed fridge full of doubles and triples of the similar items and allowed us parents a little more freedom to watch the kiddos. Naturally our dinners included barbeque – steak and salmon along with delicious salads and vegetables. For dessert I made Dirt Cake!

Have you heard/tried it before? This is a chocolate cookie crumb / pudding concoction layered similar to a trifle.

But the fun part (other than tasting great) are all the gummy worms hidden inside and insects on top all served in a beach pail.

This is something my mom made us kids in the summer when we had large groups of friends or cousins over. She was so into it she had a designated pail and serving shovel along with 4 mini shovels specific for her Dirt Cakes. A while ago my mom asked if I’d be interested in it and of course, jumped on the opportunity to make one!

This went over really big with the kids and adults alike. The other really great thing is that it serves a crowd – all 19 of us had our fair share.

The kids got dirty. Max - totally dirty. But it was really a lot of fun – thanks mom!

Did you notice how we are all in dressed in yellow? Some families who use cottages in Grand Bend for reunions wear custom t-shirts to the beach. Our hosts Steven and Linda thought this was a neat idea, so this year my husband designed and printed the most amazing custom shirts for us all. Yes, bright yellow is very difficult to miss on a pile of munchkins on the beach.

We ate our meals outside on the deck, it was just amazing. Including our Sunday breakfast which was like something out of a nice hotel, the spread was something I wish I’d grabbed a photo of. Among the items were some Blueberry Muffins I made.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and it’s an excellent recipe. I doubled the batch aiming for 24 muffins but ended up with so much excess batter that I was also able to bring 24 mini muffins. Great for kids and snacking. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, I’ll definitely stick to this muffin recipe down the road.


Marcie said...

What an awesome entry! We love doing this every year. And you're right, every year gets better and better!

Erin said...

I totally agree Marcie! It’s such a great tradition we’ve got going on with getting together in the summers for a weekend. You, your mom & Steven are such wonderful hosts to as all!

Anonymous said...
Boys :
Use the plums in my tree