Saturday, July 2, 2011

Canada Day 2011

 It was a busy day on and off Cavell Avenue as friends and neighbours prepared to celebrate Canada's 144th birthday.  We were up a little earlier than usual, with Aija popping in just after 7am to see what was going on.  It was a good thing, as there was lots left to do to get ready for company in the afternoon.  Our first stop of the day was a treat; breakfast at Rahier, Toronto's finest french bakery.  I don't give that praise lightly, we've tried them all, and there's every reason to sing the praises of the quality of the food and service at this popular Bayview and Moore destination.  Aija had a pain au chocolate, Suzy a tortillion, and there was a bichon for me to set us up for the day. Delicious!

We also popped into Badali's Fruit Market (which is right across the street from the bakery) to pick up some local strawberries and some asparagus for a planned appetizer (that was later cancelled).

Next we popped up to Markham's Victory Fireworks, as how better to celebrate the birth of our nation than by blowing up a small piece of it?  Victory makes it all the more affordable by having all of your pyrotechnical needs on had at the best prices in the city.  A crate of barrages and cakes were soon loaded into the car, and then it was back down the Don Valley to the Hotel Cavell to finish getting ready. 

Aija was eager to help, and between the two of us we had a lot of things to get ready.  First we hulled the strawberries and made strawberry ice cubes to add a little of the old red and white to the drinks, and then it was time for a specialty of the house: guacamole.  Aija particularly loves avocados, and is always keen to have a hand in the making of a big bowl. 

By the time that was done we had a surprise visit from Suzy's dad, and then it was time for lunch, and the left over strawberries became strawberries and cream by adding some of the leftover cream for last weekend's soup.  Not long afterword Aija, Nyls, and Suzy all went off for a nap, and I carried on, whipping up a green salad and dressing, and set up the back yard and prepared the grill.

By five we had fourteen people from the ages of four weeks to forty-something in the back yard celebrating the hundred and forty-fourth.  The format was a potluck, and when all was said  all shaped up the menu looked like this:

Guacamole with red and white tortilla chips
Crostini with goat's cheese, roasted garlic, and arugala (courtesy of Jen and Doug Tooley)

A selection of sausages from the Friendly Butcher with home-made Tewkesbury mustard and Sauerkraut.
Thai noodle salad (coourtesy of my cousin Lee)
Green Salad

Mini cherry cheesecakes
Strawberry-rhubarb crumble (All deserts courtesy of Lisa Mallia)

Drinks were iced tea and lemonade and a selection of Canadian beverages courtesy of the LCBO:  Steam Whistle, Mill Street Organic, and William Cider.  The sole import was Innis and Gunn's, as this Scottish brewery produced a special Canada Day 2011 brew that was lovely.

Plenty of good conversation, eating, drinking, baby cuddling, and playing ensued, including emergency repairs of the play structure, trips to the park by the kids, and general merriment.  As the sun went down we repaired to Withrow Park, which was a beehive of activty as dozens of families and groups set off fireworks displays.  All in all it was a blast!


  1. Thanks for sharing - it was a lovely day :)

  2. It was a very lovely day ... thanks for inviting us to spend it with you!

    Jenn, Doug, Graeme and Catriona.