Summer Barbecue

Recipe Notes (by Alexia Moyer)

You are cordially invited to a cook-out at the Whitney residence in Rowanwood, Toronto (roughly 1950-late).


That this event is privately referred to by hosts Karen and Rick Whitney as “that bloody barbecue” should not deter you from enjoying a menu of steaks (the best that can be had), special rolls (only from the Patisserie Francaise), tossed salad with oil and vinegar dressing. And for dessert, “marvelous little rum cakes” (159).




salad and vinaigrette

Dress: “sports clothes.” The lady of the house will be wearing “Dark blue slim gabardine jeans and a full-sleeved blue silk shirt” (157), and for her husband, nothing but a Jaeger shirt will do. If you’re unsure, might we propose a slacks suit?

the meal

Please do not use the guest bedroom for intimate encounters with other peoples’ husbands. Even if such other people are insufferable. It musses the sheets. Also, you will not find the packaging for the little rum cakes (ordered by mail from that store in Stratford) in the kitchen garbage. Ahem, Betsey and Millicent . . . They are cleverly hidden elsewhere.

rum cakes

Do, however, enjoy your taste of “Gracious Outdoor Living” (170). And make note of these “tribal customs” (141) for your own summer barbecue (or winter cocktail party).

gracious outdoor living


Young, Phyllis B. The Torontonians: A Novel. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007. Print.

Photo Credit: Alexia Moyer

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