Every year on the closest Saturday to July 1st, we celebrate Canada Day with a barbecue party in our garden. The tradition started (appropriately enough) when we lived in Canada between 2007-2009 and it’s become a great excuse to order in Canadian beer and try out a few North American recipes.
This year the closest Saturday was 4th July, so we rolled Canada Day and Independence Day into one and enjoyed the opportunity for some combined maple leaf and stars and stripes themeing! Our party also provided an opportunity to christen our amazing Debenhams garden furniture which we won a few months ago and to try out the Be Bop water slide which we had been loaned for the weekend.
The weather wasn’t entirely perfect as it was rather windy, but it was dry and the sun shone for most of the day, which is good enough for me!
This year events conspired to mean none of our friends who we actually lived in Canada with could actually make it to be with us on the day (and two of them are actually emigrating back there at Christmas!) however we did have our Alberta-born dog and our friends Toronto-born daughter as our token Canadian representation!
Jim who is a bit of a barbecue legend researched, shopped for and cooked the main course, picking up some beautiful Beef Flank at Borough market in London on Friday morning which he cooked with mango salsa, brined chicken kebabs, sausages, burgers and salads.
Meanwhile I was able to devote my time to playing with puddings which is a huge amount of fun when you haven’t got the pressure of savoury food to worry about! The American flag was something I spotted on Pinterest which looked amazing and simple to do. What I hadn’t anticipated is that kids also loved the skewers and getting the chance to make their own mix with the leftovers.
By far the biggest hit with the puddings was the triple layer Nanaimo Bars which I made (which weren’t the most beautiful, but were the most tasty!) Everyone loved them and we ate the very small amount of leftovers with a cup of tea on Sunday afternoon. They will definitely be cooked again!
I also made a large custard and strawberry “Tim” Tart, triple layer Canadian flag jellies (the middle layer was made with evaporated milk and was a bit solid and flavourless, so I need to work on that) and finally with the leftover eggs there were some meringue nests filled with creme fraiche and blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
Of course it wasn’t entirely about the food, there was also our Be Bop water slide which was on loan to us for the weekend and was a massive hit with all the kids.
Of course bouncy castles in any shape or form are always popular, but none of the kids we invited had ever experienced anything like a 16ft inflatable water slide so the novelty factor was huge.
They played on it all day. We used it both with and without the water turned on and Theo had another really joyful session on it on Sunday afternoon on his own, before we broke the news that it had to be put back in its box and returned to Toyz World, at which point there were real hysterical three year-old tears and I felt really mean!
If you are wondering about recipes. They are all on my Canada Day Pinterest board, along with a couple which we didn’t get round to making this year, but might try next year.
If you fancy trying one think, make it the Nanaimo bars, which were (I may have mentioned more than once) amazing.
Linking up with Em, Aby and Hayley…