A Little Slice of Heaven

August 25, 2016

My cousin Claudia’s in-laws own a summer cottage in Enfield, NH, and have generously shared it with their kids who in turn have shared it with us. Lake Mascoma is their back yard, and the house has a dock with kayaks and canoes and a bunch of rafts perfect for floating on a hot summer day. There were eight of us in tow, nine if you count Gunner, the chocolate lab.

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The pork products from the Pepperell pig farm were so good we’re considering buying a share of pig from the next slaughter. I can eat ‘em if I don’t meet ‘em.

Our trips usually consist of a hike or two, fishing from the dock, swimming, kayaking and a fire in the fire pit at night, complete with s’mores. This time we hiked Mount Cardigan, elevation 3,100 feet. Sounds like a great accomplishment if I don’t mention the parking lot was at 2,000 feet. It still kicked my ass. We pushed on through to the fire tower on the bald, granite top and the views were stunning. And the evidence of long ago hikers was well preserved. The only one who didn’t need a rest at that point was the dog.

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On the way down John said he’d like to hike up before dawn with a headlamp to watch the sunrise. I told him to enjoy himself.

We, of course, eat really well on these weekends. Claudia’s brother in law has a pig farm in Pepperell, MA, and supplied the weekend with bacon, sausage and pork tenderloin. Claudia and John brought eggs from their chickens and vegetables from their garden, her brother Matt brought venison tenderloin from his freezer and his wife Melissa brought the vegetables from their CSA. We picked up the makings of the rum pums, which is what rum punch turns into when you’ve had a few of them. On the hike up Mt. Cardigan we joked about how good the rum pums would taste when we were done. I mentioned I might have a beer while I was making the rum pums, along with a handful of Advil. Matt said I’d be munching them like Skittles.

It’s always fun figuring out what we can come up with from the contents of someone else’s kitchen cabinet. Blanched green beans and snow peas got a peanut-soy sauce. We wanted to make a pork tenderloin appetizer, so Matt threw it on the grill while I mixed up a glaze of apricot jam, soy sauce and crushed red pepper. Very tasty. The pork products from the Pepperell pig farm were so good we’re considering buying a share of pig from the next slaughter. I can eat ‘em if I don’t meet ‘em.

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Steve and John entertained us with their guitars; Gunner entertained us by learning to jump off the dock and with his random run-by lickings. Bare skin? Gunner will lick it. Need dog toys? Empty juice cartons and beer cans work just fine.

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Rustic charm, good friends and family, the loons and even the beautiful spiders made it a great weekend. And eight adults shared one bathroom with nary a complaint.

They need to put us in charge of world peace.



Longing for a Taste of Greece

August 12, 2016

I’m missing the flavors of Greece. We’ve had lots of company in July and August and eaten some tasty summer concoctions along with fresh corn and real, unwaxed cucumbers, but I’m having taste memories about the dishes we like most from the tavernas in Athens and the islands. I’ve been indulging in real, full fat […]

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My Favorite Things

August 3, 2016

Metaxa For the uninitiated the Greeks make a wonderful brandy called Metaxa. Steve and I had a nightcap at the rooftop bar of the Electra Palace, our hotel while in Athens, and I noticed the bottle on the shelf. Actually, two bottles, 5 and 7, denoting how long that particular bottle had been aged. I […]

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Athens and The Benakis Museum

August 2, 2016

This post should have appeared last week, but we found ourselves in the 8th circle of hell while we dealt with Verizon over our total inability to access the Internet. We’re back, but for how long is anyone’s guess. We certainly took things in stride and were an easy bunch to manage, although I think […]

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Santorini and Poros

July 27, 2016

Truth be told, we didn’t care if we got to Santorini or not. There was certainly a question as to whether or not we would as the wind and mechanical issues made it a difficult voyage, but so many people on this trip had never been to Greece and it was on their must-see list, […]

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Syros, Poros and Santorini

July 25, 2016

No, I am not referring to the Three Musketeers. These were our last three stops on the cruise, and aside from Santorini were not on the original itinerary. The wind and mechanical issues really did wreak havoc with the schedule, but we didn’t care. Syros and Poros were new to Steve and me and were […]

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The Beauty of Tinos

July 22, 2016

The fast ferry from Mykonos to Tinos introduced us to the Greek ferry system. This particular ship was upscale, with a first class section and no chickens or goats. The ferry captain backed the ship into port and let down the car ramp while an officer stood on it to tell the bridge when to […]

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Stuck in Mykonos

July 20, 2016

I know, I know, what a terrible place to be “stuck”. Summer winds can be very strong in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. While we were in Greece they were actually gale force, and even without the mechanical problems our ship experienced we still wouldn’t have been able to go as far south as Crete […]

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Dinner in Mykonos

July 18, 2016

We were 6 days into the trip and luckily I hadn’t exploded yet. The food on the ship continued to be outstanding. A barbeque lunch on Mykonos wasn’t the typical burgers and hot dogs. There was slouvaki, sausage, Greek burgers, chicken, seven different salads, stuffed grape leaves, olives, assorted cheeses and three different desserts. Click […]

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Athens, Delphi and Bad Karma

July 15, 2016

Touring the Acropolis and seeing the Parthenon is magnificent no matter how you do it. When you have an exceptional tour guide it’s even better. Our Odysseys Unlimited tour guide, Lina, was a marvel. Greek tour guides have to be schooled for 3 years in order to be licensed. Lina was able to lead a […]

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