lemon-rosemary chicken bbq skewers. fete du canada: celebrating the birth of mounties, the loonie, and hockey.

Oh Canada. How we adore thee. And the celebrations that take place on your name-day. And the tax that makes the tea that I adore 20 cents more expensive (!).
It was the advent of the HST and the darkest clouds I had seen in a while yesterday. And yet, it was one of the busiest and best Canada-Day celebrations I've been to. I think the after-affects of the olympics made it so lively. That and people could re-use their clothing.
There were so many cute kids, and really annoying blow horns. It was honestly just, plain, busy.
We meandered around, observed some goings-ons, and waited for Stelna to get off her Canada Day booze cruise. Yes, you heard me, booze cruise. And it was worth having her part our company for several hours, just to have her come back to us so . . . enlivened (see the first photo).
Canada gave me a kiss on the neck to take away the sting of the dreary weather.
Nothing yells 'summer in Canada' more to me than having a BBQ near a lake, with of course many bubbly, wheat-y, alcoholic beverages (instead of hot tea because of the cold weather - aka what Anne is holding). The smokey veggies and meat, roasted to perfection, should have been what we were enjoying that very Canadian evening. Unfortunately we had to opt for Afghan food at the best Afghan restaurant in the city (not really that much of a travesty because it is great food . . . but still!) In my research of this phenomenal way of cooking, I came across some interesting tidbits. The least surprising one was that beer can chicken was invented by some guys sitting around a BBQ in Michigan with a few brewskies. I can just imagine how that one went, and the guy-laughter (you know exactly what I mean) about shoving a beer up a chicken's butt. Who would have thought it tasted good? Supposedly the word 'barbeque' comes from the comes from Taino (I think that's how you would say it) word which translates to “sacred fire pit.” I'm not going to argue with that one - its my favorite means of cooking. And if you want someone totally dedicated to the art of the BBQ, check out this man. Wow.

I may not have done this recipe last night, but if I had been able to (aka if I had a BBQ and it wasn't horrible weather outside), I would have cooked this.
Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skewers 
(adapted from Canadian Living)

* Be generous when measuring out all these ingredients - if you add extra, its good!

2 chicken breasts
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. green onions, minced   
4 bay leaves, crushed
4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
1 pint mushrooms
*Proschutto would also be a nice addition; just skewer with everything else.

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1. Cut chicken into skewer-size chunks (I can't think of another way to describe this). Mix the first 10 ingredients (but before including the chicken, reserve about 1/4 c. of it to mix later with the mayo). Let marinade 24 hours, or at least overnight. Retain the rosemary sprigs (sticks) as the skewers for later.

2. Let BBQ heat to 425F - ish. Skewer chicken on rosemary, alternating with veggies. If there is marinade left, brush a bit on the veggies and chicken before placing on the grill. Cook until chicken is done, about 8 minutes.

3. Take the reserve marinade, and in a small saucepan, let it simmer for a minute, until reduced. Let cool, about 15 minutes. Mix with mayo. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over chicken when they have been removed from skewers.

4. Pray. Eat. Enjoy.