bruschetta: commemorative chow for a celebration


It was a celebratory weekend these past couple of days. My mom turned, well, let just say 39 years of age - and dang, she looks good. We decided to let loose and venture into the mountains. Whistler is not only a great place to ski (yes, ski, not snowboard, ski!) but is lovely in the summer. The views are stunning, and make you realize that the license plate 'Beautiful British Columbia' isn't lying. 
The photos are enough to explain our adventurous Saturday. However, please note, that taking photos of my mother and godmother is like catching a glimpse of a rare wild bird - they are quite elusive (I find this is true of anyone over the age of 39). So the following photographs are absolutely precious.
Being with Auntie Jen and Mom is similar to living in a sitcom, it's a constant 'laugh-out-loud'. The banter is inevitable and I revel in it. 
Our stomachs were vocally protesting their emptiness as we trooped back to the condo. What was a quick, easy meal that would quickly satisfy us (and our demanding stomachs)? Bruschetta, or as they would prounce it in Italy, brusketta.
Bruschetta comes from the word 'bruscare', which means 'to roast over hot coals'. Its generally served as an appetizer (or, as in our case, to subdue our stomachs until the main course!). It was a means of rescuing bread (in a tasty fashion) before it went stale. 

Actually the best bruchetta that I have ever had was made by the father of someone I know - Elwood would just throw a bunch of things in a bowl, drizzle olive oil on it, and generously (and often boisterously) offer it to anyone and everyone (if I had been able to decipher his recipe, I would have shared it here). Haphazard seems to be the best technique for making bruschetta - remember that it is a simple dish, made out of rustic (yet flavorful) ingredients. It is the uncomplicated nature of the dish that makes it great: don't elaborate on it, just enjoy it as is with the hints of aromatic basil and the bite of garlic.
It was a girls weekend, a singles weekend, and a birthday weekend. There was good food, good wine, and lots of laughter. What more could I ever ask for. I appreciate these women so much, they are steadfast in my life, and bring me so much joy. They are 'beautiful souls'.
I can't imagine wanting to be anywhere else, with anyone else, or with any other kind of food.
Fresh Bruschetta

3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 sweet small onion (vidalia preferably), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced (most recipes call for garlic to be rubbed on top of the bread, I like to mix mine in)
3 tbs. good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. basil leaves (always tear basil by hand, because if you cut it, the edges that touched the blade will go black), chopped (by hand)
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

bread (preferrably french), cut into slices 1/4 inch thick

grated parmesan (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place bread in warm oven about 5 minutes, or until brown.

2. Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Spoon over the toast.

3. You can place the toast back in the oven (with an extra drizzle of olive oil over each) with some parmesan to have it warm, or have it cold (probably depends on what time of year it is, how warm you are, what way the wind is blowing, etc.).

4. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Drive up to Whistler and do the Peak to Peak.