Monday, August 25, 2008

Going Camping!


Enough with the domestic gardening and canning! For the next five days, we will be camping in the wilderness and foraging for our own food in order to eat.

Just kidding. We will actually be camping at Nickerson State Park, parts of which are only a five minute walk from our house. It is an annual tradition, and sadly, it is usually the one week of the summer that we actually enjoy this gorgeous place we live.

Those mushrooms aren’t a joke though. We have had a particularly damp season on the Cape and mushrooms have sprouted everywhere. We have so many mushrooms in our yard that the hubby and grandchild have spent half the summer walking around after dinner kicking them for fun. Then the hubby had a better idea. He actually wants to EAT them. He bought a book titled, Mushrooms of Cape Cod and the National Seashore, and went out last week and picked all the specimens he could find in the yard. If you don’t believe me, look at the photo.

After laying them on our counter, he tried to identify them. He thinks the ones with the greenish tops are edible and the tiny white one that looks like a brain is edible “when the spore mass is white.” Yeah, okay. But the big orange ones that he thought had to be edible because they smelled so good are highly poisonous.

All I can think of is that 1971 movie The Beguiled with Clint Eastwood. He plays an injured Union solder deserter who lands at a private girl’s school. They heal him, but when he plays one off the other, they ultimately poison him with mushrooms.

Scary stuff so I won’t be trying any of those mushrooms, and I’m shopping for some life insurance policies on the hubby.

But back to camping - For the past 10 or 12 years, we have camped in our 1969 Starcraft Pop-Up camper, but this year even I had to admit it was time to let it go. When Steve opened it up, the mice had eaten a HUGE hole in the canvas and nibbled the corner off our bed mattress. The canvas was already being held together with duct tape, and that hole was just the last straw.

I thought. Until I tearfully went back inside the house and heard Steve yelp. When I ran back out he pointed to a cute little mother mouse with wide bead shaped eyes scurrying around amidst the rope in a drawer he had pulled out. Two of her babies were still attached for their morning feeding.

Steve set the drawer in the woods so the upscale mama who was looking for a condo for her babies could go live in the wild where they belonged. But really, that sealed it. So now we are going to try to be tenters! The exclamation point is Steve’s as he has been trying to sell me on this fact for a week. I’m not convinced and every argument discussion we’ve had makes me less sure.

I love camping. I even adore camping. BUT, I like to be comfortable too. Every time Steve tries to tell me that tent camping is more honed down, with less stuff, I balk. I want to sleep in a bed that is not right on the ground and I like to cook nice dinners and eat off real plates when I camp. I always make campfire pot roast in my cast iron Dutch oven and Steve makes campfire steaks. I don’t even mind washing the dishes, even though it takes about 45 minutes to heat the water.

So there will be good food, but as for the rest, I’ll let you know how I make out.

I might not post any entries to the blog this week, but then again I just might. I have to get in my car to drive to the public shower, so I’ve always figured why not drive a few more minutes (like ten) and shower at home. My older daughters used to balk at this as cheating, but my younger two kids have no such compulsions. They will probably welcome the electronics (MySpace and Wii) treat.

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