We went to Evan’s cottage again this past weekend, likely the last time until next summer for me, although you never know.
Evan and I arrived Friday night, and sadly all of Saturday pretty much looked like this:
Overcast and quite a lot of rain. But that is A-okay, it was pretty relaxing just hanging out inside. Evan’s friends Ian and Dorothy were with us, so the four of us decided to go out for brunch on Saturday morning at a local Chinese restaurant, the Rice Lake Harwood Restaurant.
It was an interesting brunch choice but there was not really anywhere else to go in the area. We went to a more touristy spot first and found that the restaurant was closed for the season, so that was disappointing. But only disappointing until I saw the menu at this place, because where else can you get chicken balls with your breakfast?
I really love chicken balls and I have eaten many of them over the years. I need to say that those were the BEST chicken balls that I have ever eaten. EVER. I mean it. They actually had real chicken breast inside, were more chicken than ball (a problem I find with many chicken balls) and were just deep fried to golden perfection. I could not get enough. Best brunch I have had in a long time, and I excitedly told our server this as we were leaving. Dorothy actually grew up in Hong Kong so we were asking her about all the North Americanized Chinese dishes. Chicken balls are not a traditional Chinese dish in case anyone was wondering. Nor are spring rolls. But chicken feet sure are, and Dorothy says they’re actually really good!
Anyway, next time we are at the cottage we are going there for dinner. I need to try out the best of the Americanized Chinese deliciousness.
I have been excited for this cottage weekend for a while because my friends Dawn and Emily were coming up with their lovers Mark and Corey and they had never been to the cottage before. I had also not seen the girls since our sushi/Pravda night and that is just way too long, so I was anxious for a catch-up session. Emily and Corey had just spent a week on the east coast and were driving back from Nova Scotia on Saturday morning, so they weren’t arriving until later in the evening, but Dawn and Mark got there in the early afternoon. Just in time for a hat party.
There are a lot of good hats at the cottage…
So we all tried them on.
Sometimes several at once.
Dorothy brought out the best snack plate ever while we sat around chatting.
And Dawn was all “Lindsey, this is blog material!” And it was. There are few things in life I enjoy more than good cheese and crackers. And fruit I guess. And that was hot pepper raspberry jam, which sounds like an odd combination, but it was really good. Especially with a little brie on your cracker. I appreciate people who are snack-oriented so I loved Dorothy for busting this out.
For dinner Evan made us all vegetable and pork skewers on the barbecue. And he gets extra points because he cut both the pork and the vegetables up himself (and you can see all the other reasons why he is awesome here).
He also toasted the pitas with butter and picked up three different kinds of hummus and Helluva Good Dip (the dip was my request). I loved all the selections. Such a good dinner! We were all praising Chef Evan.
Since this was only a few days before Evan’s birthday we had a mini celebration for him. Dawn and Mark brought him this “special rum” from Jamaica that apparently everyone has to have a shot of on (or near) their birthday.
We all decided to try it, and at first I wasn’t sure about it…
But then it was pretty clear that I did not like it.
And I really regretted drinking any rum the next day. Beer! I need to stick to beer all the way! It is bad news when I forget this.
Evan took his shot much more gracefully than I did.
I think he might have liked it.
The six of us played Cards Against Humanity for about four hours while we waited for Corey and Emily to arrive (and no one had to go lie down because they were laughing too hard, so that is a success). Serious kudos to Em and Cork for even coming at all, because they had been driving all day long after a week’s vacation and I’m pretty sure if it were me I would have wanted to just go home and dive right into my bed. But they made it and they were in good spirits!
I was so excited to see them and hear about their trip.
And I was waiting for them to get there so I could bring out Evan’s birthday cake!
I don’t have any good pictures of the cake but it was so good! I picked it up at a bakery near my work and it was a Dufflet (apparently they are well-known) vanilla with buttercream icing. Seriously so moist and so good. Everyone was going on about it and there was none leftover, which I was very disappointed about in the morning. I think it would have cured my hangover.
Dawn and Mark also got this sweet party game for Evan.
Stick the pterodactyl on the pterodactyl spot. Sounds like a party and a half. We didn’t end up playing, which is sad because it looks like a fun time. But Evan saved it and we may have to bring it out in the future. And Emily and Corey brought Evan moonshine. It was quite the array of birthday presents. Looking back I wish we had combined the moonshine with the stick the pterodactyl on the pterodactyl spot, because that would have been pretty interesting.
When we woke up on Sunday morning it was just BEAUTIFUL. The entire day looked like this:
Sunny and clear skies!
We made a quick bacon and egg breakfast (I was on toast duty and I mentioned that there is no glory in it and toast duty is a thankless job and everyone started clapping and yelling “YEAHHH TOAST!” when I sat down, so that was nice) and then we spent the rest of the day outside. Emily discovered how amazing the hammock is…
We did a lot of fishing (well, the boys did) and tube leisuring…
And poor Dawnald got stung by a wasp on her pinky finger. Poor muffin. I hope that doesn’t make her associate Evan’s cottage with bad things because I believe this was a rare occurrence. I think they all had a great time, and I had a fun day with my beautiful friends.
Evan and I ended up staying all day and didn’t get home until about 10pm Sunday evening. I really just wanted enjoy it I knew it was going to be the last cottage day and winter is coming and city winters suck. So I achieved my goal and spent the entire day in the sunshine. Yes yes. It was a good weekend.