When I lived in Paris, one of my favourite guilty pleasures used to be going to Marks and Spencer’s food hall and buying myself dinner (oh and possibly a treat or two). I was devastated moving to Canada to hear that M+S no longer existed here. What was I to do?
Neil told me not to worry because there was President’s Choice, the Loblaw’s supermarket private label. It became apparent to me that many of our friends LOVED “the president” too. It seemed everyone had their favourite products. Over the past 10 years (since I have been in Canada), the brand range has expanded into all areas of the supermarket to the point where if you need it, the President probably makes it. It’s also very affordable. Gotta love that.
A few years ago, Neil and I had the brilliant idea of a “PC party” whereby we would invite people to celebrate the Winter Solstice (because God forbid that we should be so conventional as to have a Christmas Party…) and everyone would bring their favourite PC product. We would supply mulled wine. Win-win for everyone – we all eat what we like and I don’t have to cook!
I don’t have pictures of the first year but the second year, the aftermath looked something like this:
Let’s backtrack a little, shall we? Earlier in the day, I started the big pot of mulled wine. I had seen some great recipes over the past week, including Megan’s and Jamie Oliver’s. I based our mulled wine on these.
We added some Mandarine Napoleon and some brandy to this.
We used plastic cups even though I am aware it’s not environmentally friendly.
There was also some of Neil’s newly brewed beer, from Fermentations:
This was “Leffe-like” and it was actually not bad.
I sipped from both throughout the afternoon.
We had drinks for the kids too:
Right then. Onto the food. As I was pretty much standing by the stove for the whole afternoon, my shots are of each product people bought but not necessarily of the plated items. Sometimes the plates didn’t even make it out of the kitchen (yes, the stuff is THAT good!)…
In no particular order…
and the aftermath of the fondue:
Yes, yes, there is a cheese “imposter” but since it’s called “President” we thought we would allow it!
(these were sooooo good they never left MY side!)
These meatballs came already warmed in a crock pot so no package pic…
I know there are probably some items I did not photograph. It got a little.. ummm.. hectic in the kitchen at the peak of the party as I juggled one oven and about four trays of food at a time at varying temperatures and for verying amounts of time. I am impressed I got so many photos as it was. Thanks to my kitchen elves, Edite and Yvonne for all your help!
And I KNOW you must be thinking “OMG – all that FOOD!” but to be truthful, I hardly ate or drank anything. A bit of this here, a bite of that there, a sip of mulled wine and some beer maybe but Neil and I were starving when everyone left. How ironic! People left groaning that they were “stuffed” ! Which, in my book is always the sign of a great party! And guess what… there are leftovers (not a lot but still…) so that’s excit
ing for a grey Sunday.
Just a word here – President’s Choice did not sponsor this event (though we would love it if they would!) – as I said we’ve been running it for a number of years. We were hoping Foodbuzz would name this weekend the December 24,24,24 date but no luck there either. Although actually, this time next week, I will be blogging about our December 24,24,24 experience from Paris!
I hope your holidays are filled with good food and drinks, great company and much laughter. Because that’s what it’s all about!