Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Canada Day, eh?

This past weekend was filled with lots of great, summery enjoyment! On Saturday it was just the boys and I since hubby was off helping a friend do some roofing. I didn't want it to simply be just any other day, so we partook in some garage saleing! Our searching landed us in Sylvan Lake, and after a hot morning driving around in the car, I figured it would be cruel to not let the boys out at the beach for a bit. We took a walk down to the water, dipped our toes in, popped in at a few shops and headed home before things got too busy! That evening we had dinner with my parents before a nice overnight storm rolled in to cool things down.
Sunday was mostly an indoors day since everyone was super tired. We managed to get a lot done though, and after church that evening we ended up back over at my parents' house for a campfire to roast some marshmallows.
Monday was Canada Day. Traditionally we will go with Matt's family to some local Canada Day celebrations, where we indulge in some international cuisine: pancit and Filipino pork satay, perogies, bratwurst...
But this year, thanks to the recent flooding, the events were relocated to a field fairly close to our house. The upside: it was walking distance. The downside: there would be no shade. No shade, hot sun, big crowd... Ugh. And, Matt's parents were unable to attend this year, so it'd be tougher to keep the kids in line on our own.
So instead of braving the heat and the crowds, we opted to make it all ourselves!

A couple of months ago I gave pancit a try in my kitchen and was thoroughly pleased with the results. I knew I had that recipe down, and this time I'd make the only adjustment I would need: making it ahead so it has a chance to sit in the flavor more. Cold pancit is just as good as hot pancit!
The pork satay is everyone's favorite dish at the Canada Day festivities, but it costs about $5 for 3 skewers. I knew that the pressure was on to present a great flavor-match, but I thought I knew how to, and for considerably cheaper, too! Enter a recipe that I use for Pho. I found this wonderful little tidbit through Pinterest a couple years ago, and it's become a bit of a traditional meal for us on family vacation. The pork marinade tastes just like restaurant quality pork. But it also tastes just like those Filipino satays my family enjoys so much. I used the recipe verbatim and let it marinate for a few hours. I had bought a pork tenderloin since they were on sale, used my sharpest knife, and sliced as thinly as I could. Once it was go-time, I skewered them, leaving ample space between each coil of meat, then BBQed them on a fairly hot grill to make sure that the sugar in the marinade would caramelize a bit. And it was perfect!

I also whipped up a non-traditional dessert: Frozen Strawberry Squares. These are dreamy when they start melting just a little bit so that the cream gets a foamy texture!

Our company brought more pork skewers, some smokies, drinks, and a watermelon and we had a great feast that evening!

It was so fun, we may opt to do it this way again next year!

Hope you had a Happy Canada Day!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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