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A Picnic with Wee Jamie

A Picnic with Wee Jamie

Beyond the Books

“Hallo the house!”

I barely heard the soft, deep voice call from the driveway over the clang of the dishes as I stacked the last of them in the cupboard. I nervously wiped my hands on the front of my apron, took a deep breath, a last inspecting look at my kitchen, and crossed to the front door.

I flung it open wide, my smile nearly cracking my flushing face in two. I was nervous, I’ll admit.  It’s not everyday you meet an Internet friend from afar, who just also happens to be a bit of an internet sensation, and the closest thing to a duine uasal that this island girl will ever meet.

Except that no one was there. I looked around; my head tracked left, then right.

“Mmmph.”

My cheeks flaming even hotter, I looked down (he’s not called Wee Jamie for nothing) to find a man of great worth and small stature waving up at me.

“Nae worries, lass. It happens. I should be most obliged, and forgiving, mind, if ye could take this shopping bag off my back. Wee Claire never stints on a hostess gift, as ye can see, and it’s been a long walk through the trees after an even longer ferry journey. You would have to live on an island,” he shook his head ruefully, then cocked an eyebrow. “Come to think of it, a sup of ale wouldn’t go amiss either, aye?”

skewered spot prawns

After a quick drink, we unpacked Wee Claire’s bag full of goodies, including a couple of bottles of wine, beer (and cider!), crackers, a selection of fine cheeses, white and black truffle oil, jellies and some insanely tasty venison jerky that Wee Young Ian sent along with his compliments.

Then I invited WJ & WC into my Outlander Kitchen, where they helped me roll some local seafood into sushi to add to our picnic. Raw fish wasn’t big outside of Japan in the 18th Century, so I kept it safe and filled our rolls with cooked Spot Prawns, avocado,  green onions and BACON. (Want a guy to try something new? Include bacon.)

To keep shrimp/prawns straight during cooking, thread them onto skewers starting at the head end, just under the feet, without piercing the flesh.  Sear them on the grill or steam them in a tall pot with an inch or boiling water in the bottom. WJ seemed to really like that tip, so I thought I’d pass it along.

picnic wee jamie

And then to the beach! We headed down to the southern tip of Pender, where we all kicked back for an afternoon of food, sun worship and awed appreciation of the world around us. Ten thousand words could never do justice to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest on a sunny day, but I think WJ did a good job of capturing the majesty of Mt Baker in Washington State in the pic below.

We ended our day with a long evening at the pub. Dinner and many drinks sealed tight a friendship that goes back to WJ’s very birth. I’m proud to boast that I’ve been with him from the very beginning.

I guess that makes me Murtagh.

Mt Baker from South Pender

In all seriousness, I’d like to thank my friend and WJ creator, Kay, as well as our friend, Cee, for coming to visit me on little ol’ Pender – and for that crazy-big bag full of goodies…we’ll be enjoying that for weeks to come – we’ve been hanging out online for YEARS now, and it always makes a virtual connection that much sweeter and more solid when you get to meet in person. We had a glorious day at the beach, and a long, fun evening at the pub.

And despite what appears to be photographic evidence to the contrary, we hardly played with dolls at all. Promise.

21 Comments

  1. Lori
    May 20, 2014 at 5:46 am

    I wish I could have been there! Looks like everyone had a blast. I love WJ and WC!

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 6:52 am

      The only thing that would have made the afternoon better is having you there!

  2. deniz
    May 20, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Wonderful day! I’ve always loved that “hello the house!” greeting.

  3. Shannon L.
    May 20, 2014 at 6:05 am

    I love that WJ and WC made an appearance on OK (including a visit to Pender). The picnic looks amazing (and love the tip for straight shrimp – I didn’t know that).

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 6:51 am

      I love it when I can teach a Louisianian something about cooking seafood. 😉

  4. Christiane
    May 20, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Sorry…! Love today’s blog “A picnic with Wee Jamie” and the goodies on the pic (and the pic of you too !). I use the salt “fleur de sel de Camargue” all the time (vegs, tomato salad, etc…).

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 6:50 am

      I’ll be using my bag of goodies for a good long time!

  5. Karen Buchele
    May 20, 2014 at 6:18 am

    “Want a guy to try something new? Include bacon” …Love that tip! So glad you two “online buddies” got to meet and have a good time. Love those “Wee Frasers”!

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 6:50 am

      We waited a long time for that day, when we could finally meet in person! It was such a great visit.

  6. Coralie
    May 20, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Incredible!!!! Couldn’t of summed it up better myself! It was a truly wonderful day and experience. I catch myself thinking about it often.

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 6:48 am

      You’re welcome back anytime, lass.

  7. Mary
    May 20, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Please advise on the truffle oil?
    What do you do with it?

  8. Carolyn
    May 20, 2014 at 7:58 am

    That was great! Next time come over to Salt Spring with your wee friends. We can have a picnic here,too.

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

      That ferry schedule from Pender to Salt Spring is killer, Carolyn! Maybe you can come here?

  9. Kate
    May 20, 2014 at 9:30 am

    You so elequently described everything to perfection! And captured WJ’s voice perfectly! 😉
    My heart warms at the memories of our time on Pender and in the Outlander Kitchen, and our awesome hosts. Thanks again, it was amazing.

    • Theresa
      May 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      You are welcome back any time, my friend. Any time.

  10. Meg
    May 21, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I love WJ and WC — especially their picnic picture! So cute (and ruggedly handsome)!

  11. Rachel Sanger
    May 24, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Theresa, try white pepper and mace in your bridies and lose the peppers. I was born in Scotland and grew up eating Scotch pies, bridies and sausage rolls and this is what I found is closest to the taste of traditional scottish meat pies.

    • Theresa
      May 24, 2014 at 8:12 am

      I use white pepper in my bridies. I tried mace in a batch of Scotch Pies, but was not happy with how they turned out. Maybe I’ll try it again one day. 🙂 As for the peppers, if you read the bridie recipe you’ll see that those were only in the vegetarian bridies, which are hardly authentic, but somewhat necessary in this 21st C, populated by a lot of non-meat eating peeps.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Cheri Fry
    May 31, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    What a delightful synopsis of your day and picnic spent with internet friends both animate and well…not!
    The food sounded lovely, the scenery divine and the friendships made stronger simply irreplaceable.

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