It takes Pender Harbour, in rain

On Saturday, we hosted a party near home to celebrate Forrest and Manon’s recent wedding. Our west coast friends and family weren’t able to travel to Ottawa and we wanted them to share some food, a glass of sparkling wine (Sumac Ridge’s lovely Stellers Jay brut), and to meet Manon and her parents. We invited around 60 people — almost all of them people who’ve known Forrest since he was a little boy, who attended Pender Harbour schools with him or else were classmates of his at Lester Pearson College of the Pacific where he did the International Baccalaureate programme in the late 1990s. 40 of them were able to come — some from Vancouver or Gibsons or Sechelt. Angie came from Victoria. And Manon’s parents Gerry and Nicole Labelle came all the way from Casselman, near Ottawa.

Our friends Jeffrey and Shana from Powell River prepared the most wonderful food for the event. (Jeffrey ran a small bistro there for a few years, Bemused, which was where we met him in the first place!) Here they are, putting out the appetizers (smoked sablefish on cucumbers, topped with borage flowers, prawns and aioli, heavenly wild mushroom terrine, and a delicious chanterelle cream for dipping), while Manon and I talk:

And here’s the room at the Pender Harbour School of Music, waiting for our guests:

There were a few speeches, all of them loving. Here are some friends listening while Forrest welcomes everyone and says he can’t imagine being married without a celebration in Pender Harbour, in rain:

Afterwards everyone feasted on brilliant little tourtieres topped with tiny potatoes, each holding a fresh cheese curd (homage to Manon’s Francophone roots), little paella cakes topped with prawns, salads of roasted squash and beets and micro-greens harvested by Jeffrey before dawn (he said he wore a headlight), platters of cheeses (applewood smoked cheddar and a beautiful Naramata Bench Blue from Poplar Grove), and glasses of wine (more of that Stellers Jay brut or else Okanagan merlot and Pinot blanc). For dessert, there were homemade truffles and macarons.

The young’uns have gone south, to San Francisco. Our fridge is still stuffed with leftovers and there’s an entire mushroom terrine in the freezer for a winter meal.

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