I have written before about our annual Labor Day weekend at Fallen Leaf Lake, a small alpine lake nestled in the Sierras, right next to and feeding into the big blue one, Lake Tahoe. We are fortunate to have good friends who own a wonderful mountain cabin that we get to enjoy for the long weekend and especially at the end of the summer. The weather is still warm but there is a crisp coldness in the mornings reminding us that fall is just around the corner. We usually use this weekend as a chance to celebrate what a great summer we have had and to over indulge (one last time) with eating, drinking, boating, numerous games and lots of laughter.
This year there were six of us, which meant everyone had a bed and no one had to sleep on the floor or outside on the deck, as in previous years. In addition to the activities previously cited, we attended the annual cardboard boat races (we have built and competed in years past, but had no children around to captain this year) held at Baby Beach at the Stanford Alumni Camp and made decisions throughout the weekend as to whether we should go boating, paddle boarding, hiking, golfing, floating or napping. We did it all!!!
Floating was new to the schedule this year, as we purchased really spiffy river raft that holds two people, one on each side and has an ice cooler attached in between to hold drinks (beer). Yeah, it only took twenty- five minutes to blow up with an electric compressor and required a pick-up truck to haul down the mountain to the lake, but hey, we are adventure seekers and seem to be too old to water ski anymore.
Now the part about the food! We started Friday night off with shish kabobs, consisting of beef, grilled fresh pineapple, red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and this was served along with a side of cheese tortellini’s with DL’s famous homemade fresh marinara sauce. Several bottles of wine were consumed (or should I say sampled) with lots of good music and anticipation for what the weekend could bring. Eight or so hours later, the movement in the cabin was minimal with only the sound of the coffee pot. After the coffee and as everyone began to wake, we leisurely made our way through the morning with some fresh squeezed grapefruit Mimosa’s. MO, my husband, fired up the bar-b-que and proceeded to fry about two pounds of applewood smoked bacon, most to be eaten with breakfast but some set aside to be used in a broccoli salad that DL was making for dinner that evening.
I was in the kitchen preparing a really easy Baked French Toast Blueberry Casserole that I got from Giada DeLaurentis. It was terrific and you can use frozen blueberries. As you can see from our photo, we toasted our first morning with BACON!!! Yep, it was going to be a great day.
Next, was a group nap, rallying at 1 pm to go the Fallen Leaf Fire Dept. fundraiser and cardboard boat races at Baby Beach, then on to the boat for an afternoon cruise, and a 30 minute delay so that we could listen to the last seven minutes of the Nevada vs Cal (Berkeley) game in the parking lot. Yep, the score was tied at 24-24 and Nevada went on to win 31-24. Go Wolfpack!!! After a cruise around the lake, we headed back to fire up the grill for Beer Can Chicken, which turned out perfect, just make sure that you put the birds over an aluminum pan to catch the drippings and this was served with grilled corn on the cob ( we smother in a mixture of mayo, soft butter, tabasco sauce, parmesan cheese, wrap in foil and put on grill to roast) and DL’s broccoli salad. Sweet.
Sunday morning the guys got up early and headed for the Lake Tahoe golf course, leaving the girl’s to do whatever we liked……….LC made chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, seemed reasonable, and we read books and watched the excitement on the hill, as the cabin across from ours left a pan on the stove, and it burned up when the power came on after a two hour outage. The owners had gone hiking and forgot, needless to say we were very happy we made donations to the Fallen Leaf Volunteer Fire Dept. as they arrived in full force and took care of the situation!!! It provided quite the excitement but did not deter us from our rummy tiles game. Then back to the boat for more cruising and swimming….the clearest water in the world. Tonight’s dinner was grilled porkchops, use thin bone in, rub with your favorite spices, when crispy, baste with a sauce of maple syrup, mustard and bourbon, experiment with how much of each according to your preference. I made the Potato Nests, (adding scallions to the mixture) that KC Gravy recently posted and filled them with apple sauce and served with a spinach salad. Think really cute latkes. Stayed up too late, playing a new game called Oh, Heck, S**t, He** and another call Loaded Questions where we laughed so hard it brought tears to our eyes.
Last morning, was our famous champagne brunch, really nice bottles to sample, Schramsburg, “ J”, Roederer, Chandon, Louis Boulard and served with herbed scrambled eggs served in the leftover Potato Nests, a spectacular fruit salad with fresh berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes , croissants and of course BACON. I hope the picture does justice to the food, the scenery and the fabulous weekend we shared with special friends. Until next year….The Sister.
The oh so happy hosts. Bacon and champagne will do that to a person!