Foodbuzz 24 x 24: Weekend at the Lake

Foodbuzz 24×24 is a monthly event in which 24 featured publishers are selected to create a meal sponsored by Foodbuzz, all within 24 hours of each other, and then write a blogpost documenting it. This month I was happy to find out that my proposal was accepted. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Memorial Day weekend than to showcase a family get together at Lake Erie

Ohio isn’t known to be a vacation hotspot. We have long and gray winters, lots of flat terrain, and horrible sports teams (except those Buckeyes)! However, there are a few precious months between May and early September when the sun stays shining and several members of my mom’s side of the family flock to Port Clinton, OH. This seasonal town is right along Lake Erie and about a twenty minute drive from Cedar Point. Sure, Lake Erie is a little bit murky at times and the algae bloom can get on your nerves, but we view it as our personal paradise.

I think my great aunt Rosemary and uncle Loren were the first to get a vacation spot at the lake several decades ago; and we all loved it so much that we just couldn’t stay away. Today the O’Neill clan seems to have taken over the area- just like the zebra mussels that have infiltrated Lake Erie (though, I like to think of us as slightly less invasive- but the jury is still out). 😉

We usually get together on the 3 big holidays of the summer- Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. This year, my parents hosted the first big soiree of the season at their cottage.

With this meal I wanted to honor our rich family tradition with several family-favorite recipes. I also wanted to showcase some of the delicious local Ohio produce that is starting to come into season. Most of all, I wanted to document how wonderful of a family I have; and, although we are far from perfect, I couldn’t be more thankful for these wonderful people.

The dinner menu included:

  • Uncle Don’s Lake Erie perch and walleye with Aunt Molly’s tartar sauce and lemon aioli sauce
  • Cousin Becky’s barbecued pulled pork sliders
  • Hot dogs on the grill
  • Mom’s baked beans
  • Grammy’s cole slaw
  • Aunt Dodo’s deviled eggs
  • Cousin Meg’s German potato salad
  • Robert’s hot carrots
  • My canned pickles (from last summer)
  • Cousin Becky’s potato salad
  • Cousin Jean’s buffalo chicken dip
  • Pasta salad (not sure who brought that, but it was great!)
  • Cousin Julie’s fruit kabobs
  • Bootstrap cousin Mary’s guacamole

The dessert menu included:

  • Mom’s mile-high strawberry pie
  • Grammy’s strawberry rhubarb pie
  • Mom’s rhubarb pie
  • Mom’s Coconut cream pie
  • Mom’s Butterscotch cream pie
  • Chocolate cream puffs
  • Robert’s homemade ice cream with homemade hot fudge and caramel sauce
  • Cousin Carrie’s crayon cookies
  • Rice Krispie treat pops

Specialty drinks included:

My Aunt Khaki found our cute old picnic basket and some flowering chives

MUncle Don was the fish fryer for the evening

Aunt Molly brought Grammy’s cole slaw

The dinner spread and our Ohio pride

Mom’s lemon aioli and Molly’s tartar sauce

The dessert table

Mom and her cream puffs

The Rice Krispie treat pops were a hit with Paige 🙂

Robert’s family’s ice cream was scrumptious and universally devoured

It’s not a party without some bean bag

Aunt Molly’s mojitos- delicious and deceivingly powerful

Our dog, Athena, was exhausted after playing nonstop fetch in the lake. It was great! 🙂

It was a beautiful day and a fantastic way to kick off summer 2012. A huge thanks to my parents and my Aunt Khaki for all of their hard work and help and thanks to all the O’Neills for coming over! Recipes to come in the coming weeks.