This past Sunday what was supposed to be a relaxing day at the lake with my family turned out to be anything but. At least in the beginning.
It was my birthday weekend so I was looking forward to a day of eating grilled food,sipping ice-cold fruity drinks and laying out on my blanket while hubby grilled and the kids swam in the pool. I had carefully planned everything out down to the time I would leave, which wouldn’t be until the park rangers asked me to and only because the park would be closing.
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans; they often go astray. I had carefully marinated,labeled and packaged chicken the night before,meticulously shaped out more than a dozen burger patties,but didn’t plan on leaving the hot dogs in the freezer.
On the way to the lake I made a quick (planned) stop at the grocery store to pick up ice,onions and charcoal fluid, but didn’t plan on the cashier forgetting to pack the charcoal fluid,which wasn’t discovered until after we unpacked at the lake.
I was up at 6am making sure towels and blankets were clean and folded. Checking off items on my list and preparing for a 10am departure in order to arrive at the lake no later than 10:30 to ensure a spot close to the pool that came with its own built-in grill. Well, I most certainly did not plan for half of New York State to beat me to the lake hours before and take up every inch of prime space within viewing distance of the pool.
So not only was I forced into what can only be described as Siberia of the lake, I had no grill, no charcoal fluid and no hot dogs!
Now I’m an optimistic kind of person, always seeing the glass as half full, so I immediately began to think how I could fix the situation so the day would be saved. It was,after all,my birthday weekend.
After leaving the park and returning with a portable grill I made sure the kids were safe in the pool and left hubby to set up our spot-which turned out to be not so bad-while I went to retrieve items forgotten and left behind. I was in and out of the park so many times the parking attendant eventually stopped asking to see the parking ticket and just kept waiving me through. I’m sure she was wondering who this crazy woman was that kept leaving and coming back and wasn’t relaxing or swimming in over 90 degree weather. I know I was.
All was not lost,because I had planned everything out and left the house early enough,these mini disasters,though annoying, were remedied rather quickly and I was actually relaxing and sipping my icy drink by noon. Everything worked out and I got my day at the lake. Good times were had by all and we’ll do it again soon.
Here is one of my favorite dishes. I can’t really call it a recipe because it’s things I just put together. It combines the flavors of salty,smoky bacon with earthy sweet peas and cooked down onions.
I take comfort in eating this dish from a bowl with a big old spoon. If there are leftovers I toss it with cooked pasta and grated parmesan cheese. A different sort of comfort food that my mother never made but is a favorite in my home. And is exactly the kind of comfort I crave.
Sweet peas with bacon and caramelized onions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sweet butter
5 slices(or more) of your favorite bacon or pancetta chopped
1 medium onion,sliced thinly
1 package frozen sweet peas
In a large saute pan,over medium heat,add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted add the bacon and cook the bacon until done but not really crispy.
Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Add the sliced onion and cook about 10 minutes,stirring occasionally,until the onions have turned a nice golden brown and are soft and sweet.Add the bacon back to the pan with the onion mixture and mix to combine.
Pour in the bag of frozen peas and about a 1/4 cup of water, stir to combine. Cover the saute pan and cook the peas for a few minutes. Remove the lid and cook about 2 or 3 minutes more until the peas are done and the water has evaporated. Give a good stir to coat everything with the pan juices.
Add salt and pepper if you like.