Add Fat. Add Salt. Turn Up the Heat!

This summer we had a party for my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. Quite a few members of the family finally came to see what the Yukon was all about (after 30 years!!). At one point in time, I think there was seventeen people staying on or using my parent’s property.

Mum and Dad moved themselves into their camping trailer. They borrowed a tent trailer from Betrand and Therese and Nat, Darryl, and Chantel slept in that. Jorden and Jesse slept outside in a tent. Aunt Phyl, Aunt Barb, Aunt Midge, and myself all slept on the second floor of my parent’s two-story cabin. Uncle Bob and Aunt Ann slept in Mum and Dad’s room (downstairs). Redd, Jim, and Jim’s folks slept at the Flemming’s for the first few days.

We all ate together though. It was a big family affair. If you know my family–when we all get together–it’s all about food and feeding everybody. When one meal is over, we just start making the next. We even kicked Mum out of her own kitchen and took it over. Initially, she wasn’t too happy, but she got over it.

Mum wanted to have a special family meal the Friday everybody arrived. That Friday during the day, we sent Dad off on an errand and Mum off with her relatives to show them the town. Nat and I stayed home and cooked for the party the next day as well as the big family meal that night.

All day long. Chop. Cook. Clean. Chop. Cook. Clean. Chop. Cook. Clean. When it came to making dinner, I wanted to make my famous roasted potatoes. I started off by scrubbing all the dirt off each one. I think there were twenty in total. Then, chop, chop, chop into wedges. Toss in olive oil. Liberally sprinkle on some Montreal Steak Spice. Add freshly chopped rosemary. Bake in the oven. Incredibley simple. Really tasty.

I normally only do this recipe for one or two potatoes–never twenty. They weren’t baking fast enough. Everything else was ready: the BBQ, the salads, the desserts. We were all hungry but still waiting for the potatoes. And waiting. And waiting. I asked my aunts what I could do to make them cook faster. They said: Turn up the heat. I laughed and told them about how our German roommate made really incredibly tasty meals. His secret was add fat and salt. So. I told them, the secret to cooking for 17 or more people was: Add fat. Add salt. Turn up the heat!!

This phrase became the tag line for the whole holiday and, now, I think it is the secret recipe for a happy life:

How do you cook for 17 or more people? Add fat. Add salt. Turn up the heat.

If you are asked to comment on your holiday in the guest book at the visitor’s information centre in Dawson City, Yukon on a rather blustery, cloudy, misty day, what would you say? Add fat. Add salt. Turn up the heat!

How do you make a 40-year marriage work? Add fat. Add salt. Turn up the heat!

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