Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Annual Chesley Coffeehouse

Without Mom that is.
She kept the tradition running for 35 years in a row.  
As torch bearers, unwilling to let such a fine tradition die an ignoble death, we held our first Sunday Coffeehouse in her honour.  Two precious family friends, Uncle Bert & Aunt Arien from Owen Sound  (who know our Mom better and longer than anyone of us) happily*bravely accepted our invitation to submerge themselves in our mass gathering & share in our time of remembrance.
It started the week before the wagon train set out, a simple mass e-mail suggestion.
Sunday Gathering moves from Crooked Cottage 26 
to Cottage 68 down from the Chapel.  
Coffee and Juice are on the house.  
Bring smiles and baked goods to share.  
If everyone brings a bit we'll have a lot.  

This was the Understatement of the Week.
Within 24 hours, the RSVP's were sailing thru cyber space at lightning speed, everyone spurring sparring each other on with the promise of a dessert 
more elaborate and sinful than the last.  
Citrus Cheesecake, Strawberry Trifle, Oven Fresh Cinnamon Buns, Mom's Famous Mocha Bars...
It was getting serious.  
As one nephew observed, "My inbox hurts".
The whole thing somehow spun itself into a bona fide Bake-Off Competition with official prize ribbons (designed by Cathy) and awarded by self-appointed family 'dignitary'  Sir William Casey the 5th and his faithful, taste-tester man-servant, Atchoo... 
??? ...yep.  
Clearly this family of ours was over-due for a reunion.
The next competition will follow a rule book 
(now in draft mode if you can believe it) 
and the one impeachable offence sadly but swiftly disqualified these contributions 
sans discussion OR apology.  
Hard core competitive. tsk. tsk.
Contributions in serious contention however....

Brittany said she'd bake three things and bring the best out of three or the least burnt.  She scored honourable mention despite her lack of confidence...   

Meanwhile, a thing of MAJOR attraction 
was going down on the dock below...
Uncle Case was offering personal guided tours 
of Chesley Lake in his motorboat.
The line-up was long and endless and
have the undeniable makings of a great Chesley memory.
A break for station identification while I pause for a 
gander at some of the most highly esteemed little peeps 
of my life:
*sigh*  - have enjoyed several quiet conversations with our sweetpea JB, 
the newest lamb-chop in the flock.
And now - the moment we've all gorged for.
Votes were tallied.  Sir William Casey stood -- a hush went thru the crowd.
Third place goes to Andrea for the recipe Mom's Mocha Whatchamecallit
Second place is awarded to Sarah for the 
instantly devoured Oven Fresh Cinnamon Buns
First place to (surprise, surprise) Michelle, 
whose reputation for home baking is legendary and 
whose Strawberry Trifle Delight was (yes indeed) incredibly awesome!
But wait!
What's this?  
Michelle carelessly leaves her first place ribbon behind?
Lying neglected in the crumbs?
Not to worry.  
It was promptly scooped up by Susie - 
purveyor of no less than TWO 
(albeit untouched) store-bought 
(i.e. ruthlessly scorned) desserts.  
Her very wide smile proves the proverb:
He who laughs last, laughs best!
You gotta love it.
I'm quite sure Mom would have approved.


  1. Sounds like it was fun. I gained 10 lbs. just by looking at the pictures!
    Henriette VanHof

  2. Oh you VanderKruk's do have a good time when you are together! Something like the Faber's. Being with family is so awesome. We do this competition thing with spare ribs. Our annual contest this year is August 20. No one wants to share their "secret"recipes until the judging has been done!( Usually by some neighboring cottage folk)
    P.S. I so enjoy your blog, Joanne
    Hugs, Joanne


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