Canada day with Italians… I’m still full.

Road to the cottage – Lake Simcoe

Time well spent at the cottage includes homemade wine, sunny days, a lake, good company, and COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF FOOD… Who could be better company than your family and better than eating homemade favourites?






When your grandparents are European immigrants – Italians – you will never run out of food, or not have enough to eat. You are stuffed until your stomach hurts at every meal. Wednesday to Thursday all my Nonna and I did was cook – read – cook – nap – relax – cook – and cook outside on the barbecue instead of in the kitchen…

We started with rolling the meatballs – frying them – when we came across an egg that broke during the car ride up. My Nonna decided to make an Italian toast (commonly known as French toast). She cooked it alongside the meatballs as if we needed a snack after breakfast, and before a fast approaching lunch…

No butter needed! All we used was the left-over oil from the meatballs. In preparation for lunch and dinner my Nonna decided that we should make some fried red peppers.


Soon enough it was lunch, and what do you get when you add meatballs & roasted red peppers?

The freshest, yummiest, and most satisfying sandwich you could have on a hot day at the Italian cottage…

Nom nom nom…

This was only day one. On day two no one thought that we would go hungry, but just in case my Nonna made three personal pizza’s, and so one for each of us. My parents and Val had yet to arrive, but we needed those three medium-sized pizza’s. I can’t complain because pizza is my favourite food, and I love making it.

If you think that there is enough food to feed more than the three people here… you are right – Italians don’t see it that way – and you probably don’t have a good appetite. By the end of the weekend all this food was devoured.

Of course when my Nonna knew that Val was coming – Friday with my parents – she had to make her favourite. Next on the menu was  melanzane  (eggplant parmesan).

You start by taking the skin off the eggplant – cutting it into thin slices – coating it with flour – and dipping it in egg (with a little bit of salt). Last you fry it in a pan with olive oil. We took the cooking outside…








It might look like we made a lot, and we did but Val like myself can eat.

We had some egg left over – you can’t throw that out – my Nonna whipped out some zucchini and made frittata (omelette) that we ate for dinner that evening.

No words can describe food as well as a catalogue of photos. Everything was delicious, and I’m happy that my grandparents live down the street because she always has my favourites on hand. The only downside is that Italian grandparents aren’t satisfied until your plate is clean, and you’ve had a seconds… or inhaled the bottom bits of the salad bowl – which I have no trouble doing – but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Val has been around our family long enough to know how to handle herself in these situations… it’s all about your pace.

Orillia has a lot to offer such as Lake Simcoe, the local Canada day parade, eagles, the Farmer’s market, and tons of hospitality. Here are some of the best moments from my past week up at the cottage…

Mother Eagle

Val & I waiting the Canada day parade to start – w/home fries & gravy!

One of the booths had reptiles, and mom was brave enough to hold it.

The Canadians!

Flower Anchor

These are a few snapshots from the beach and dock on Lake Couchiching!

They had these iron sail boats all over town. Different artists took part in designing the sails making each design different.

The farmer’s market is always fun on the weekends. You might as well skip lunch because there are so many samples of baked goods, deli meats, dips, butters, homemade granola, and sweets that you don’t even need to make any of the above meals. The mixture of foods isn’t always easy on your tummy, but you can’t help tasting everything along the way… especially if you’re part of the Holmes family.

You know someone loves food when they back track in order to taste the samples they’ve missed. It took us nearly an hour to get through two rows of farmer’s market tents.

You’d think we had never seen food before.

I love spending time with my family… to a certain extent. When it comes to food we can’t help but stop, and eat it. Chip trucks are our specialty, and it takes a lot for my dad to pass one up. There will never be a day when there isn’t enough to eat… at least not in this household. Food is a social thing, and it allows our family to come together easily. We think a lot about our next meals, and are creative when it comes to cooking.

My home cooked meals will never taste as good as my mom’s, and her’s will never taste as mouth watering as her mother’s… It’s just a fact of life.

Happy Canada Day from the Varone’s and the Holmes’!


About Dee

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