Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hello Mudder, Hello Fahder...

Camping trip number one for the summer was a success. Forgot a few little things; realized the batteries from last year were lacking oomph; packed too much food; didn't need the bug spray; no sunburns. Not too bad for a "first run." Had a few minutes where I couldn't remember which stakes went down first, and a couple of tries to get things folded back up at the end. But it's been almost two years since putting the pavilion up and some amount of a re-learning curve was to be expected. Had a pretty good time though. Arrived with just enough daylight left to get the tent up and everything inside and set up. The weather Saturday was just lovely. Not too warm and just sunny enough. Spent most of the day hanging out with some of my girls. Even enjoyed a couple of midday mimosas. Most everyone brought food for the evening grill and table spread. Ate more than my share of chicken and hummous and other goodies. There was a rather good bardic circle in the evening that several of us attended. And of course a late night party at the "pirate" ship where I might have had a "wee draught" too many. But I woke up chipper at 7ish in the morning and made quick work of packing up the tent. The rain that was possibly going to hit us during tear down decided not to happen. And it was a lovely not-too-sunny day for driving home.

I'm heading out again for another camping adventure on Thursday. So it feels like quite a short week around here. Utilized yesterday as an R&R day to catch up from the weekend. And spent most of today prepping for all the madness of this weekend. Last weekend was just north of Chicago in Wisconsin and I didn't have too many responsibilities. This weekend is much closer to home in Ionia and I'm more involved in a few things. Participating in a weekend long potluck (breakfasts and dinners) and helping out with a snow-cone and bake sale fundraiser. Made half a dozen bottles of snow-cone syrup today (hibiscus and rose - yum!), with enough leftover from each to keep a couple of small bottles for myself and summer cocktails. I'm thinking a white sangria with hibiscus syrup sounds positively amazing (peaches, lemon slices, cointreau, sparkling water).

Spent most of the day in the kitchen today. Made a compote of the last of the rhubarb hanging out in the fridge and made some small rustic tarts out of it. Eastern inspired dinner of chutney baked chicken with peppered brown rice and stir-fried cabbage. Tomorrow I'll be baking and packaging up some cherry chocolate chip blondies for the bake sale. It may take a lot of dishwashing and extra heat, but I find it very satisfying to spend my time in the kitchen and making tasty things. Especially when I know that I'll be sharing that food with many others. Cooking is one of the few things I truly consider myself good at, and that I enjoy it as well just makes it that much better.

Since I'm heading out a day early for this weekend's camping event, I'm looking forward to a casual, laid-back, listen to the birds, lay in the grass kind of day on Friday. There is something I find so compelling and pleasing about waking up in a canvas tent. They warm up more slowly than a nylon tent, and the ten-foot height of our pavilion makes it feel quite spacious. So there is this filtered light as the sun shines down in the morning, the sounds of nature all around, a slow warming of the air about you. It is a pretty fantastic start to your day. I'll get up at my leisure, enjoy a shared breakfast with friends, lounge and walk about for the day, and welcome more friends as the evening wears on. Sounds like a pretty grand start to the weekend. And now you all understand why I missed the camping so much last year.


  1. ok, you need to share the hibiscus syrup recipe...

  2. I am so excited about Pennsic....I look forward to spending time in MY canvas tent, and with you.


  3. Jen, did a 2:1 syrup because we wanted it thick for snow cones. I made a huge batch of it, so size it down from this. 4 oz dried hibiscus flowers, 12 c sugar, 6 c water. Made 4 wine bottles worth. Just stir all together, med high heat until the sugar is melted and about 10 or so minutes after that to really get good color and flavor from the hibiscus. Two years ago I did a hibiscus ginger syrup (1:1 ratio) that was fantastic in drinks and tea. Just added fresh sliced ginger root to the mix.

    Xen, also really looking forward to Pennsic. Will definitely be coming by to visit and check out your new snazzy tent!