We spent Father’s Day today in Medford Lakes, New Jersey with The Cousins.

It was a family reunion with the Peditto Boys – the four sons of Victor’s mom’s older sister, Emma.  Emma was the 4th of 11 kids and Victor’s mom was 10th.  A mere 11 years separated them.

It was the first time in years that all 4 brothers were in the same spot at the same time – and the first time I had met the youngest of the brothers – another Victor – and his family. It was great fun.

From canoeing

to swimming in the lake

to just shooting the breeze, there was plenty to do.

And in typical Italian Family Style, there was way too much food.

OMG was there food!

There were cheese trays and antipasti…

The cheeses were excellent – including a French Gourmandise with Kirsch that was really fun.

The antipasti had everything – from the typical prosciutto and salami and pepperoni to roasted eggplant wrapped around pecorino romano and soaked in balsamic vinegar.  And cherry peppers stuffed with three cheeses.  And roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, and every kind of olive imaginable.  And breads.  And crackers.

I could have just filled up on this.

Actually…  I did fill up on this.  And then I started some serious eating.

In this crock was Dom’s Sausage and Peppers.  There was so much flavor it was almo0st scary.  I had two sausages and peppers on a sesame Italian roll and was in gastronomic heaven.    They simmered for hours with the flavors intensifying with every minute. You just  can’t buy food like this at the store.

Kristi made a pulled pork that was stellar! (We brought some home!) She baked it low and slow for about 6 hours and the following day shredded it and added the sauce.  It was tender.  It was meaty.  It was perfect in another Italian roll.  She does a rub with Old Bay and brown sugar to start.  Two things I’d never think to put together – but it’s a rockin’ combination, for sure.  As I said – we brought some home with us!

And there were ribs finished with Blues Hog Kansas City BBQ Sauce.  It was pretty good.  Sweeter than I generally like but not bad.

Then there were the salads… Caesar, pasta, potato…I did mention there was a lot of food, didn’t I?!?

I didn’t always have a plate of food in front of me.  Really.  Sometimes I actually walked around and socialized.  But it does seem as if I ate an inordinate amount of food over the course of 5 or 6 hours.

The company was so good, the food was so good. I went for it.

And then we started on desserts.  Yes.  Plural.  Many plurals.

There were the fancy bakery desserts.

Apple pie…

Peach pie…

And my two favorites…

My first favorite was mascarpone and strawberries on a crust that was almost like a shortbread cookie.  It was thick, flaky, and buttery with perfect body without being the least bit heavy.  It was the perfect vehicle for getting the strawberries and mascarpone into my mouth.  I loved every bite.

My other favorite was a trifle of sorts.  Pound cake, strawberries, blueberries, vanilla custard, whipped cream… One of those desserts I could literally eat until I was sick.  I went from indoors to outdoors and didn’t check the camera settings, so the picture has a lovely blue tint that does not even begin to do justice to the fabulous dessert in the bowl.

It was good.

The whole day was good.