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Family Gathering

June 20, 2012

Memorial Day weekend has always been known as the unofficial start of summer.  It’s a time for outdoor activities, parties, bbq’s, celebrations and family gatherings.  This past Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I were in Minnesota visiting with his family.  So what better way to celebrate than to have a bbq and family gathering.  It’s a great way to get together a lot of people in a fun and relaxed environment.  Ok, I admit that perhaps it wasn’t the most relaxed environment because up until a few hours before the bbq, neither myself, my husband, or my brother- and sister-in-law, at whose house we were having the bbq knew of any of the plans – how much food would we need, who was coming, how many people were coming, etc.  Like things usually do, everything worked itself out in the end and we all had a great time.

My mother-in-law prepared some food ahead of time and brought it over before the bbq.  She made some pasta salad which everyone enjoyed.  She actually made 2 bowls of pasta salad, one with onions and one without, since she knew that one of the invited guests was not a fan of onions.  Doesn’t that just look so colorful and yummy and healthy!

She also took the time to make deviled eggs.  She had made the filling in advance, and brought the eggs with her and assembled them everything at my sister-in-laws house.  One of my sister-in-laws dogs was so excited to get to sample a deviled egg; though we’re not really sure the egg agreed with his digestive system later on in the evening!

There was also a terrific cabbage salad.  The salad was colorful and delicious, filled with shredded red cabbage, green cabbage, carrots and green onions.  Throw in some ramen noodles, sesame seeds and slivered almonds and toss with a homemade dressing made from a combination of the seasoning in the ramen noodle package, canola oil, vinegar, and sugar.  It was a terrific and really refreshing salad!

And of course, since this was a bbq, we had beer brats and hot dogs on the grill!  My brother-in-law was responsible for manning the grill.  He started off by boiling the dogs and brats in beer and then throwing them on a smoking hot grill.  The dogs were delicious and juicy and perfectly done.  Exactly what you’re looking for from a bbq!

Finally, to finish off the meal, my husband’s aunt brought over some desserts that she had made.  The previous year, when we were in Minnesota and had another family gathering she had made these incredible key lime bars that were so amazingly good!  We were all hoping she would be bringing those along this time as well.  And she didn’t disappoint as she brought key lime bars to satisfy the crowd.

But it wasn’t only key lime bars that she brought with her.  She also made 2 different kinds of brownies.  The first was a set of chocolatey brownies with chocolate chips in them.  These were so moist and yummy.

And finally, she made butterscotch brownies with pecans in them.  You can’t really go wrong with butterscotch, and in a yummy flaky brownie, its divine.

Unfortunately, when we all sat down to eat, true to unpredictable Minnesota weather, it started raining.  It had rained overnight, but the weather had held out all day long until we decided to eat outside on the back patio.  No worries, we brought our celebration indoors instead.  We enjoyed an evening of relaxation, good conversation and laughs, mixed in with a little discussion of the state of the Minnesota Twins baseball team as we watched them play the Detroit Tigers on TV followed by the end of the New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers Eastern Conference Stanley Cup game.  I’m certainly looking forward to the next family shindig.

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