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Still in the North Woods

Still in the North woods.  No, not still as in moonshine.  Dashing your hopes for a moonshine recipe? Merely still on vacation.  Still “up north”, as we say in the Midwest.   We are among the fortunate to be owners of what we fondly call “the cottage”, a beautiful, old summer home built around 1889 and later purchased by my great grandmother.  (See photo in my post, “Risky Business”) No doubt, she was a feminist in her time.  A single parent, her husband having left her, she became an osteopath around the turn of the nineteenth century. Imagine a woman in medical school in those times!  Now, five generations later, it is shared by four families, which, in reality, are thirteen families.  My grandmother, an only child, had four of her own, and then it went on from there.  Now my cousins and siblings take loving care of this grand old place to preserve it for us and the next generation.  I have no horror stories of rivalry over time-of-use, mistreatment of the property, or any other nonsense.  The system runs quite perfectly.  This is usually the only time of year that myself, my siblings, and our families get to see each other, and this is a wonderful place to reunite.

What a hectic week with a grand project for the summer.  The walkway to the back door, made of flagstone, had heaved over the years and had actually become dangerous for my aunts and uncle, all in their eighties.  So, our fourth of the family offered to replace the walkway with a brick pathway.  Not as in pay someone to do it, but do it ourselves.  It is now done and is quite beautiful.  It was a labor of love, emphasis on the labor, with most of the crew in their sixties.  I know the aunties and uncle will be quite pleased.

As a result, I tried to keep the crew well-nourished with tasty things to eat.  One morning cherry-orange scones, another morning Irish soda bread. and yesterday I had a request for a breakfast of fried rice, using the left-over brown rice from the night before.  The sizeable skillet-full was gone in no time.  Tonight it was our turn to cook.  There are twelve of us, three who are vegetarians, so we decided on polenta with a mushroom ragu, barbecued pork tenderloin, actually tasty turkey burgers, broccoli (cooked to perfection, as in bright green, not army green), and a crisp, green salad.  All seemed to find something to please the palate.

Below find two I Phone photos of the nearly completed project.


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