Saturday, June 22, 2013

When a One-Word Answer Becomes a Post

You want to know how the canoe camping went, huh? Well, I could just say, "great," but then you wouldn't get to hear about how A. and Jodi had to lift the canoe over a six-foot-tall beaver dam and one of the packs fell into the water.

Or how they had to slog through a hundred feet of brush in the water, pushing the canoe through murky muck to get to the shoreline.

Or how A. made doughnuts to bring along*, which resulted in him telling me the trip could be summed up for the kids as, "A hatchet in one hand and a doughnut in the other."

In other words . . . great.

* Yup, A. has started making doughnuts. He makes them from buckwheat flour and fries them in tallow, which you would think would be the worst thing ever, but it somehow works. We shan't talk about how much tallow is absorbed into the doughnuts, but it's certainly enough to keep hunger at bay for a good long time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Serious Oversight

I can't believe I took this picture a month ago and never posted it:

Baby eating watermelon, omnipresent dog, and chickens. Picture perfect, indeed.

Thank God I found it and finally posted it. The world needed that photo. Obviously.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A.P.D.: The Reluctant Herbalist Edition

I made something* for dinner tonight involving Italian sausage and tomatoes, so I figured some herbs would be nice in there. Oregano seemed appropriate, and we have some in a pot right outside the dining room door. So I used the fresh oregano.

And that is really, really unusual for me. Because I HATE dealing with fresh herbs. In fact, more often than not, I use the dried ones in the kitchen rather than go out to the garden to cut oregano or thyme or whatever.

I'm sure every foodie/gardener/locavore in the world just gasped collectively and started shrieking in their heads about THE FRESH HERBS! And their incomparable taste! And THE FRESHNESS AIEEEE!!!

No? I imagined that? Well, if I did, it is an imagination based in reality, because I cannot tell you how many chefs I've seen online or on TV or whatever waxing rhapsodic about fresh herbs.

I just do not have the patience. First they have to be cut, then washed. Then they have to be stripped off the branches. And yes, I have heard that very helpful tip about just pull down the stem in the opposite direction the leaves grow and they'll all just get stripped off! So easy!

My stems always break. Not so easy. Screw that.

And then they have to chopped up and by the time I've dealt with two or more different herbs, I'm sick of the whole thing and just want to dump in some dried stuff. Dinner is enough of a time-challenge as it is without spending ten minutes on a minuscule portion of the final product.

So where do you stand on the herb divide? Are you a fresh-herb evangelist, or do you shake your herbs from a bottle?

* "Something" is the correct word here, since I find myself more and more frequently mixing a bunch of shit in a pot and calling it dinner. The one-pot meal is my best friend. Luckily, I'm an experienced-enough cook that this does not end up tasting like shit. It's a far cry from haute cuisine, though, for sure.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Celebrating Fatherhood

A. seemed to think the best way to start his Father's Day celebration would be to take Cubby camping in a nearby wilderness area with Jodi and his older son.

But not just any camping:

Canoe camping. The best kind, obviously.

When A. asked Cubby if he wanted to go camping, Cubby said he wanted to go on a canoe adventure. Okay, said A., a canoe adventure and camping. We can do that. So the plan is to park the car on a road near this lake/swamp area and canoe to a campsite somewhere. This apparently involves pulling the canoe, laden with the two children and all the supplies, over several beaver dams. A. does not find this to be a daunting prospect at all. 

Cubby has no idea how lucky he is to have a father like A. But he'll realize it one day.

And for today, there's canoeing and fishing and camping and s'mores.

Happy Father's Day, indeed.

P.S. I must obviously also wish another very special father of my acquaintance a happy Father's Day. Last I heard from him, he was sitting on the porch of his rented cottage in Wales with my mother, smoking a cigar and enjoying day five or so of their two-week vacation. So I think it's a given that's he's having a pretty happy day. But I'll say it anyway: Happy Father's Day, Dad. You took me camping too, and believe me, I haven't forgotten it.