For Stephen Harper and his family, Canada Day is a time of work and play. After the Prime Minister delivers a speech on Parliament Hill and shakes a few hundred hands, the Harpers head to their Harrington Lake residence to celebrate with family, friends and, of course, fireworks. Laureen Harper emphasizes fun, not fuss, with her holiday menu.
Because I love to have fun with my family on this day I want to make the menu as simple - and involve the least amount of work - as possible.
We always have lots of people over so I just buy hot dogs and sausages. I love to go the grocery store or a deli ahead of time and buy all sorts of mustards and relishes. It makes life so easy. My husband loves hot sauces so I always like to have five or six different ones out for the sausages. I make a yearly pilgrimage to Chilly Chiles in Navan, Ont., to buy sauces. An impromptu chili sauce tasting is always fun.
Dessert is marshmallows, of course. But instead of the usual s'mores I bring out bowls of Skor bits, mini M&Ms, coconut and mini chocolate chips to roll your cooked marshmallows into.
Salsa and Chips Appetizer
6 large tomatoes
1 small can of green chilies
1 white or yellow medium-sized onion
1 clove of garlic (more or less), or powdered garlic
jalapenos (President's Choice has a pepper jalapeno mix that I love)
For the salsa, cut the tomatoes (using a knife or food processor) to the consistency you like and add the can of chilies. (You can roast some tomatoes under the broiler if you want the consistency to be more like a bottled salsa, but I like the fresh stuff best.)
Chop the onion in a food processor and add it to the tomatoes. Add the garlic (lots if you like garlic, less if you don't). Squeeze the juice of one lime into mix and then add jalapenos to taste. You may like to garnish with cilantro.
For the chips, cut tortillas into nacho shapes and arrange on cookie sheet. Spray with oil and add spices (I love a good pepper mixer) and salt. Bake at 250 degrees for a few minutes. Do not walk away. Turn them over and bake for another few minutes.
As told to Amélie Crosson