We hosted a BBQ for family and friends the other evening to bid farewell to my son, Jonathan, who is leaving today for a training program in another province, in pursuit of his career goals. I think as a mother I’ve been spoiled because all three of my children have gone to school near home and chosen to live nearby. Jon’s my first to leave town, let alone Ontario! It feels strange that he won’t be just a few minutes away, but I’m happy to see him have this opportunity.
To help make the BBQ a memorable sendoff for him, I made his favourite dishes, including:
- these Tasty Beef Burgers
- back ribs with a sweet and sticky sauce
- sausages on a bun (no recipe required for those!)
- baked potato wedges seasoned with paprika, chili powder, cumin & oregano
Another family member brought the kids’ favourite Caesar salad, and I also made coleslaw with a creamy dressing (Jon prefers that over a vinegar-based one) and a black bean and mango salad (this one, without the quinoa). I knew Jon wouldn’t touch it, but it’s always good to have something for vegetarian variety.
For dessert, nothing would do but my Manly Chocolate Cupcakes. Jon doesn’t like overly sweet frostings, so I decided to make a chocolate version of an Italian meringue icing. Of course, I was in a rush. The egg whites and syrup had combined and floofed up nicely, but somehow when I added the melted chocolate I managed to completely deflate the frosting. After consultation with my daughter, Meredith, who has worked as a cake decorator, we decided to go with the flow (an apt term, as it was pretty runny) and use it as a glaze. And it turned out chocolately-marshmallowy good and looked rather pleasing too.
It was a simple meal for a gathering where the emphasis was on family and friends, and celebrating my son’s good fortune. So, just a few quick snapshots to share, except for the cupcakes – there were a few of those left for a photoshoot the next day.
Best wishes and may all your dreams come true, Jonathan — I’m so proud of you!