Cousins, Love and The Outdoor Epicurean

Wow!  The Outdoor Epicurean is getting ready for feasting out of doors.  Ok translation… Getting ready for vacation is a lot of work.  Our trip to Maine was not like our trip to the Hilton in January.  HA!  Our chocolate lab, Decoy, senses that something is going on.  Gosh,  it amazes me how smart our pets are.  Could they be alien creatures living among  us to keep us loved and attentive.  I am truly smitten with our dogs.

Captain Rick informed me 20 minutes prior to leaving for a fishing trip that his July fishing reports are due.  OK… let me explain…20 minutes before he is to leave for 2 days and it takes more than 20 minutes to fill out the paperwork.  Well,  you would be so proud of me because I took it with a grain of salt, so to speak.  I think he was amazed and I know appreciative of the fact that we did not have negative energy around us before he heads out to sea.  I could have xeroxed  his journal and done it without him BUT I cannot make head or tails out of his well, for lack of a better word, cryptic shorthand.  Nicely stated, don’t you think?

We have 9 cousins going to the beach with us.  yes, it read it correctly.  Not 6 but the up side down 6, 9.  I must be out of my bird but the enthusiasm and joyful squeals that I hear as the 9 plan everything from breakfast, teaching the twins, Abbie and Jocelyn to read, and beach fun is heart warming.

I am generally an earthy kind of camper who doesn’t use much paper.  Think again folks.  I have 500 paper plates in my trailer as I type.  Better yet, I am also going to use the 4 th of July napkins that I had stashed in a dresser in the basement for future use.  Waste not want not is my motto.

So, we are heading to an island for 2 weeks to relax, yes relax.  The age span of the children are 18 months to 12.  I have home schooling planned after our sunrise walk on the beach and breakfast.

I will let you in on a little secret!  When Captain Rick and I did research on trailers prior to purchasing one, we found the Forest Glen company offer a trailer with an outdoor kitchen.  Yes, a chuck wagon sort of set up that Captain Rick is so proud of.  I have just completed rigging the outdoor kitchen for Chef Captain Rick.  He does most of the cooking on trips.  He loves the attention he receives from the ladies who spy the unit and want to ask questions.  I think it is a hoot.  Guess what?  I rarely cook while camping.  Gotcha!  Not bad for a NJ girl.

I get teased a lot of being from NJ.  People just think it consists of the turnpike and garden state parkway.  Wrong!  I must state that it is an absolutely beautiful place with mountains, oceans, valley, art, close to NY.   I loved growing up there.

The heat of the day has passed so I am now preparing to make some tomato sauce from the haul that Captain Rick brought in this morning.

Last night’s dinner for his mother was a success but the cake’s frosting do not set well.  I used dream whip because we live far from a grocery store and I did not have the time to trek out and be back in time for Captain Rick to remove his delicious chicken from the grill.  We have a Big Green Egg. It was a present to myself after I completed my first Masters degree.  He uses it all the time.  Once again… creative thinking. I feel it has paid for itself 10 times over because it keeps my kitchen cool and there is no mess.  Additional yeahs  because I am not involved at all.  Except for eating the delicious food that is.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day because 6 of the cousins who are vacationing with us are coming over to help.  Yes, I said help.  I laughed as I typed this.  Who am I kidding?  I will plan a sketchy menu because I am flexible in my approach to my husband’s cooking.  We will eat a lot of sandwiches on the beach.  Easy going… laid back… family is all that matters.  It is what life is all about and cousins are special because they are the only ones who know how crazy a family can be and not be embarrassed by it.  Cousins are there for one another through thick and thin.  I am blessed to have a lot of cousins for our daughters and granddaughters to connect with.

I will talk to you later.  The tomatoes are calling!


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