Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Update Fourth of July 2010

Hello readers! I hope you all had a lovely vacation weekend if you celebrated for the Fourth of July.

I took the time to unplug and visit Skaneateles Lake in upstate New York. Apologies for the absence, but it was worth it!

There was much grilling, music, canoeing, swimming, fishing, shooting, and general relaxation.

I even got to use a composting toilet for the first time! Which turned into a bit of a disaster with a dozen people and beer... Staying in a protected watershed with no plumbing certainly makes you aware of the amount of waste humans create!

But that's a story for another time...

(By the way, a waste-reducing party tip I thought of was to bring miniature kegs instead of lots of separate bottles and cans. The large glass containers known as Growlers are also great to bring to a summertime barbeque or party instead of a case of cans or bottles. There are always little ways to reduce your waste stream!)

For now I'll just post a few photos and write about some of the DIY-related highlights of the trip.

DIY highlight #1: the cabin itself.

The cabin belongs to the aforementioned Chicken-Man's family, with multiple generations working on different parts. It was originally a barn, which was knocked down to become the cabin. This boathouse has stood the test of time over freezing upstate NY winters, and I was equally impressed by these stairs coming down a vertical cliff. Serious carpentry. Also, I feel like knowing the history and hard work that went into the cabin made the visit feel even more special.

Also, we got to go to a 100 acre farm in nearby Cortland. There was much ATV riding, archery, and even some shooting of clay pigeons.

I held the unloaded shotgun but it was way too big for lil' ol' me to even think about shooting. Someday I still hope to learn how to shoot a gun, but I do have to admit I'm a little nervous.

And the food?

Quite a bit of food came from the grocery store (yay, s'mores!) but since many of the folks on the trip are fellow Remington gardeners, there were some veggies from Maryland farms as well as some food we had grown or foraged ourselves.

I brought kale and beets from the Remington garden.

Somewhere online I found a recipe that called for marinating kale in coconut milk and then grilling it. Yum!

This blog has a nice description of this recipe. My leaves were too tiny to put right on the grill so I cooked the kale on the sheet of tinfoil. If you're wondering how long to cook the leaves, I like to wait until they get really wilted.

The beets were coated in olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, then wrapped up in a foil packet and roasted.

John Rowley (holding the gun in the above photo) caught a few fish which we also grilled.

Pancakes are a great breakfast for a big group. We put some bananas, chocolate, and other goodies in there along with wild raspberries that were growing in the woods.

Leftover grilled veggies (some of the squash was homegrown) were thrown into an egg scramble.

Thanks for the good time, Nature and friends!
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