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.

Deborah

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