Trendy Veggies

With so many pictures of Pinterest Fails out there, I sometimes wonder how many people actually succeed with Pinterest creations. I’d see many posts of recipes using one of the two trendy diet veggies we grow at my work- cauliflower and spaghetti squash, and figured I may was well try it out. I just kind of guessed as far as which of these recipes might be the most worthwhile – I wasn’t cooking these veggies for a diet so it had better taste good.

My boss, the farm owner, thinks spaghetti squash doesn’t even qualify as food as far as his taste buds are concerned, but he happily grows it for the taste buds of others. My memories of my mom cooking spaghetti squash with pasta sauce seemed alright, but barley worth the extra work of cooking the squash instead of pasta (remember, I’m not on a diet).

So, to make something different, I found a spaghetti squash and greens gratin recipe. At first I found the recipe annoyingly time consuming, and just like many (tasty) Moosewood Cookbook dishes. And I was thinking yeah, right, maybe spaghetti squash really isn’t food if it takes this much time and dairy product (what isn’t good with melted cheese!) to make it palatable.

But then it was so good I would make it again! And really, worth the effort. This buffalo cauliflower recipe was great, too. And, I tried some peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread recipe which obviously was worth it.

There you have it, not everyone who makes Pinterest creations fails, who knows, you might not either!

Camping Hack- For Couples in the Frontcountry

This is good enough for Pinterest, right?

Featured image

Instead of buying a double size sleeping pads (you might sometimes want to camp solo) or a fancy “coupler” from Thermarest…use an old sheet to stay close to your partner!

We use a jersey knit twin or full size FITTED sheet over our sleeping pads. One of us has a super thick pad (thank you ex-boyfriend),  so one of us doubles up on pads to be at the same height.

Also pictured- 4mil thick painter’s drop cloth from hardware store cut into a ground cloth. Oftern cheaper and lighter than a tarp. We use it inside the tent and cut it big enough to “bathtub” up the sides so the edges of our tent can’t leak on us. Sure, it doesn’t protect our tent from abrasion like a traditional ground cloth but it keeps us pretty darn dry.

Camp on!

Another Summer, Another Song

The other morning, I heard “Uncle John’s Band” (Grateful Dead) on the radio on my commute to Burnt Rock Farm. The tune brought me back to a crowded and hot, loving and joyful building on Cragged Mountain in Freedom, New Hampshire. Yes folks, this is another post about summer camp.

And yet, Cragged Mountain Farm is not just another summer camp. If it were, perhaps “Girl Crush” (Little Big Town) would be stuck in my head as the song that brings me back to my time there, July 2015. And sure, there were plenty of moments when pop music would be played on the radio on the van ride to or from a hiking trip. “Girl Crush” certainly takes a close second for the song of the summer.

What stands out about my time at Cragged Mountain Farm was this incredible sense of community that comes from having 8 year olds sing the very same Grateful Dead songs in the very same building where their parents did. This was my first time working at a legacy camp and the difference is palpable. And to see kids, even if only for a moment or a few weeks, caught up in something other than pop culture is a breath of fresh air.

Of course, these kid got lots of fresh air as I took them hiking and canoeing. To see 9 year olds with oversize packs bagging a peak many adults would struggle up was exhilarating, if not exhausting for all involved. The magnitude of the accomplishment was over the head of most of these kids, but I hope in time they will see how incredible they are.

We ran into someone I knew in a trailhead parking lot in Maine, and the kids all loved petting her dog. Later that night, reflecting on the day, one camper said the best part of the day (a day of beautiful views, not seeing another person on the trail, that kind of day) was the dog.

Whatever we all took away from July 2015, I think it was a blast and a half.