We recently merged our two families at the cottage on the Bruce Peninsula, and for a treat, we all went to Sunday lunch at a lodge just up the lake. This resort has been owned by the same family since 1950. There are scattered cabins, shallow waterfronts, a little marina that sells pop and ice cream sandwiches. Inside are pool tables and shuffleboard, shelves of books and stacks of jigsaw puzzles. Everything shows its age, but the worn edges are soft and friendly.
If you want to go back in time, if you want to experience some old-fashioned community in our solitary age of tweets and texts, this does the trick.
Children from different families are running around. Adults are nodding hellos at each other and settling into sofas with the newspaper, or looking at the TV and exchanging a little casual tennis talk. The young servers are preparing the dining room, and just after noon, the big bell is rung for Sunday lunch.
Today it’s a fish fry. You grab an old china plate, and move along the table-lengths set up with the kind of nostalgic food that catapults you and your sister into remembrances of vacations long past. There are plates of pickles, both thick briny dills and bread-and-butters with crimped edges. There are bowls of creamy macaroni salad. There are baskets of hot squishy rolls that the little boys like; one comments with wonder that “the bread tastes of sugar.” It does. Everything does. It is nothing like how we eat now, as a rule.
It is all delicious.
Below is a slightly more modern coleslaw, tart with vinaigrette. Serve with lots of lemonade at a picnic table.
Mix cabbage, carrots and chives in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Blend dressing in a food processor until very smooth.
Combine slaw and a few tablespoons of dressing and toss well. Season with salt, pepper and additional roasted sunflower seeds, if desired. For an extra kick, top with chopped pickled hot peppers.