We have a great community here on Thetis. Our hub of activity is the well-used Community Centre, Forbes Hall. The kitchen is used often, with a super group of volunteers offering up great meals, and events.
Currently we hold “Soup’s On” lunches on Wednesdays from early fall until early spring.And for the past six years in August we’ve held the annual “Summer Soiree & Art Auction”, the biggest fundraiser of the year. We also hold smaller fundraisers and events just for the fun of it. Occasionally we put on a “Supper’s On”, just a casual, comfort food meal, people love to “come as they are”, and sit down to some hearty food.
August 6 2016 Summer Soiree ~ This year’s fundraising event was the best yet! With a threatening sky, we decided to just go for it, and even though a small sprinkling of raindrops graced the event, it wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits. A few umbrellas popped up, but somehow it all added to the charm.
The tennis court was filled with tables, and a huge display of silent auction items. Tables were full, and when a new islander arrived by bike an hour before the start asking for a ticket, we were able to tuck him into a table due to a last minute cancellation. He joined in helping us with set up for that hour. A great way to introduce oneself to the community!
With 140 people being fed, it was all hands on deck in the kitchen, with an additional team of volunteers from Pioneer Pacific Camp joining in for service and clean-up, an absolute blessing! The night was our most important fundraiser for two key organizations on the island, the Thetis Island Community Fund, and the Thetis Island Community Association, who both share equally in the proceeds.
We started the evening with a Crostini Bar with 3 available toppings; tomato-basil, white bean-herb & feta, and black olive tapenade. Dinner was a choice of Sockeye Salmon with dill, fennel & lemon, or a Grilled Strip Loin Steak with herbed butter. Family style servings of Black Bean Quinoa Salad, New Potato Salad with herbs & buttermilk dressing, Kale & Snap Pea Salad, Tomato-Cucumber-Edamame Salad, and big baskets of Farmhouse Bread were happily shared by the dinner guests. We finished off the meal with slices of Lemon Buttermilk Pie served with basil infused whip cream and fresh blueberries.
January 11, 2015 Seniors Dinner ~ Greens & Greens Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, Farmhouse Bread, Slow-Roasted Chicken with Lemon & Garlic, Orzo with Fresh Herbs, Carrots & Broccoli with Caramel Glazed Apple Cake for dessert.
August 9 2014 ~ Annual Summer Soiree & Art Auction ~ This is the fourth year for this event, and each year we try to outdo the past years. We went with a Moroccan theme this year, which shaped the menu, and allowed for our island’s Gypsy Dancers of the Salish Sea to do a performance. The event starts off with appetizers and beverage sales, with folks mingling and starting the bidding of hundreds of donated art pieces. This year, we moved the appetizer sales out of the kitchen and into a festive tent.
Chicken Kebabs, Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini, Persian Potato Cakes with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce & Dried Rose Petals, Baked Falafel with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce & Dried Rose Petals, Sweet & Spicy Almonds with Honey and Ras El Hanout, Flat Bread with Spicy Carrot Dip, & Phyllo with Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Filling
The dinner was served under a late summer’s sky on crisp white linen draped tables on the tennis court. Lots of room for the 130 guests as well as the dancers and musician.
Dinner Menu: Glazed Harissa Spiced Ribs with Roasted Oranges, Potato Salad with Red Onion & Parsley Vinaigrette, Tabouleh, Oasis Salad with Chickpeas, Carrots & Raw Beet Garnish, Gingered Tomato & Watermelon Salad on Greens, Farmhouse Bread with Pistachios & Dried Apricots, & Warmed Moroccan Olives
Dessert: Summer Berry & Orange Slice with Pistachio Crumb
It was a great evening with lots of volunteers to make sure every thing ran smoothly. Is it time to start thinking of next year’s event?
Soup’s On ~ April 2nd ~ needing to use up some of last year’s blackberry bounty, I decided to do many Blackberry Crisps using the topping from Fruit Crisp, served after a lunch of Senegalese Soup & Cheese Scones. There were also trays of pretty cookies from my sister. When we served the crisp everyone seemed to say, “no, I mustn’t? okay maybe a little….”. I had made enough crisp for 60, it all got eaten. Happy guests!
Supper’s On ~ March 1st ~ Slow Braised BBQ Ribs, Coleslaw, Potato Wedges with all the fixings, Focaccia Bread, finishing with a Chocolate Brownie Sundaes sprinkled with Spanish Peanuts. It started to snow as we were setting up, my car had about 2″ all over it by the time we were heading home. It snowed all night. I guess March did come in like a lion!
Seniors’ Dinner ~ February 16th ~ Orange & Beet Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, Guinness Braised Steak with Shallots & Mushrooms served with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus & Heidi Rolls. Dessert was Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with Sauce & Cream.
Soup’s On ~ January 29th ~ busy day, hay delivery, but had enough time to drop off a batch of Pistachio & Cranberry Freezer Cookies for the treat trays.
Soup’s On ~ January 15th~ dropped off some Bourbon Pecan Bites & Rumballs to go on the treat plates. The kitchen smelled fabulous! Moros Y Cristianos Soup (Black Beans & Rice), Cheese Quesadillas, and plenty of wonderful treats!
Christmas & New Year’s are behind us ~ ready to start serving soup again! January 8th, a group of us cobbled together lunch, with Potato Leek Soup, Cheese Scones, and mixture of treats, including Bourbon Pecan Bites.
Seniors’ Dinner November 17th ~ Served up a traditional meal of Fruit Stuffed Pork Loin with Herb Crust, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Butternut Squash Gratin with Baby Kale & Pecans, a Butternut Wellington for the vegetarians with Broccoli as a side, Farmhouse Bread, and Trifle.
Made a whole whack of cookies for the Hallowe’en version of Soup’s on ~ Soft Sugar Cookies, and Basic Freezer Cookies with Blueberries & Pumpkin Seeds.
We held the 2013 Summer Soiree & Art Auction on August 10th. The community raised over $10,000 from this event! What did we serve? Pulled Pork on Ciabatta, Roasted Corn Salad, Coleslaw, Quinoa & Black Bean Salad, with a pineapple spear. Dessert was a delicious Raspberry & Lemon Tiramisu. We served little platters of appetizers, all with fresh Japanese pickles, and an assortment of Farmhouse Chicken Wings, Asparagus & Ricotta Phyllo, Tortilla Bites, and Yam Rounds with Black Bean Cream.
July 20th – Saturday Community Fair – served up Glazed Cinnamon Buns, Glazed Raspberry Scones and Cheese Scones. Made a couple of batches of Hearth Bread and Almond Butter Cookies for my table to sell, along with several dozen of our free-range eggs.
July 13th – Saturday Community Fair – served up Butterhorns, Blueberry Muffins and Raspberry Scones from the kitchen and more Farmhouse Bread along with giant Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies on my “for sale” table. Lots of happy munching going on!
July 6th – Opening of our Saturday Community Fair – we offered fresh coffee, teas, cold drinks, Cappuccino Muffins and Fresh Raspberry Scones. On my “for sale” table, Farmhouse Bread, and Glazed Sugar Cookies.
July 1st – Canada Day Community Breakfast – with an energetic group of volunteers braving the extreme heat wave – we prepped on Sunday afternoon and then got up bright and early (and already hot) to get the ovens running to make fresh Cheese Scones, Parmesan & Bacon Strata with Spinach, sausages, & coffee, lots of coffee! We also served, huge platters of fresh fruits, dozens of yummy muffins and litres of cold orange juice.
April 17th – last Soup’s On of the season – Gloria was looking after the soup end of things and a batch of molasses cookies, so I did the rest of the baking, Farmhouse Bread, Salted Toffee Chocolate Bars, and Lemon Bundt Cake.
December 1st – Supper’s On – served about 35 people (including a small birthday gathering) Pasta al Forno with Roasted Butternut Squash and Bocconcini, with a Crisp & Crunchy Winter Salad, Farmhouse Bread and Ginger-cake with Transparent Applesauce. The charge for this is $12 per person, with $3 from every ticket going to help maintain the community hall.
November 28th – served up Soup’s On for about 55 folks, from farm workers to a Trefoil Guild meeting. I made 5 gallons of Mushroom Barley Soup and Cream Scones with bacon or cheese. My sister brought 3 delightful types of sugar cookies. Price is by a suggested donation of $5. This much loved event was designed to get folks from all walks and ages together weekly for conversation and food.
November 18th – cooked for the monthly Seniors’ Dinner. This event is looked forward to by our island’s seniors. Volunteers decorate the hall, a wine bar is set-up, and a plated dinner is served to the guests. For this dinner, I served 32 guests a menu of Beet Soup with Chinese Spices, Chinese Style Glazed Pork, Coconut Rice with Fragrant Onion Sauce, Ginger Glazed Carrots, Green Beans, Sweet Milk Buns, and for dessert, Pear & Ginger Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.
The Annual Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department held their appreciation dinner on November 10th. This is a big event for all the First Responders, awards are given out and it gives them a chance to mingle with the 911 operators, the management board, family and friends. I was asked to do a cake to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the department. The chief asked for it to have a Firetruck on it, as they all love their trucks. I was glad to oblige her request. Here’s a photo:
Hallowe’en’s Soup’s On ~ baked some Glazed Sugar Cookies for the event.
I’ll be serving up Midwest Chowder with Pumpkin Cardamom bread, along with a frosted Lemon Hot-Milk Cake with Lemon Curd, this week’s Soup’s On will be a farewell party for a couple who’s moving away. Other volunteers will be bringing cookies and bars. Our island’s coffee roaster, Pot of Gold Coffee, donates freshly roasted coffee each week.