After just returning from a week at a cottage that we rented with my sister and her family, I feel a little bit sad to be back in the city. Lapping up cool water under the hot sun, sipping on white wine from a plastic wine glass, watching the kids run naked on the dock, shoddy wifi, playing LCR instead staring into a television screen, late night walks with headlamps; it’s why, to me, being at a cottage in the summertime feels a little bit like heaven.
Beyond all of that though, is the real crux of why I love this lifestyle. Without structure, schedules and timing, it means that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Chips at 11 am, salami and cheese at 3. Whatever. Anything goes. It’s kind of like being pregnant. Well, for me anyway.
Creating menus that may usually only be reserved for ‘special dinners’ back in the city, become daily ventures. Spaghetti Bolognese (my bro-in-law makes the best spag bol ever) one day, fried chicken and homemade fries the next. Burgers and coleslaw for lunch, BBQ salmon for dinner. Ribs and BBQ corn. I love the planning, the thoughts about it, and the action of standing in that kitchen with Billie Holiday playing in the background. Throw in a few bottles of Pinot Grigio and some lemonade for the kids and you have what I call: a rockin cottage life.
It’s not just about food though. There is a sense of timelessness as good convos unfold and six kids run around naked, giggling. It’s sitting in the shade leafing through Bon Appetit as the smell of last night’s bonfire wafts past. It’s heading into town to the farmer’s market to pick up fresh veggies for lunch. And yes, we’re right back to food.
On this particular day, we weren’t feeling like anything too heavy for lunch. We had done steak, ribs, and burgers the few days before, so we were looking for something a tad lighter. And what we came up with felt very special, far from boring and really quite amazing.
I started by sautéing rosemary and thyme in two tablespoons of butter. After seasoning the salmon with salt and pepper, I brushed the herb butter on both sides. The red onion was tossed in olive oil and seasoned. Both went on the barbecue. Yum.
While I was cutting the ends off of yellow beans (fresh from the farmer’s market in town) my sister sautéd her scallops in garlic and butter.
The beans and quartered potatoes went into salted boiling water until the potatoes could easily be pierced and the beans still a bit firm.
We shaved off corn from the night before that had been barbecued in their husks and scattered fresh lettuce from the market on the plate.
For a dressing, I did 2-1 olive oil to fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and some salad cream (tangy mayo) and wow, did it ever add flavour.
Other things that went down, other than food.
Please let me know if you have any favourite meals that you make at a cottage. I would LOVE to hear about it 🙂