Monday, September 01, 2008
Armed with way too much wine and beer for two people on a short-ish long weekend, Jesse and I drove to the Kittenskills, our nickname for the foothills of New York’s Catskills mountains.
The plan was to hunt & gather, kill with our bare hands if necessary, and camp next to a roaring fire (ignited not with those new-age things called matches, but by rubbing two sticks together). Fortunately for the squirrels residing near our tent, there was a supermarket not far from our campsite.
After we put up the tent – by “we” I mean “he” – I took on the important task of chilling our beers, wine, and non-squirrel meats. Jesse rubbed two sticks together for the longest time, nearly gave himself blisters, and settled on using a lighter to start our fire. Settled in, we began a two-day outdoor Monopoly championship match between America and New Zealand. But not before we began to roast cubed steak and corn on the cob over an open fire.
Sound romantic? It is. Except that the cob that sheathes corn is flammable. Which is to say that it burns brightly and quickly when put over an open fire. Oops, did I say “put over”? That’s not quite what happened. When Jesse and I planned our trip, we weren’t too sure how it would all turn out. We’d only met a few months ago, and had never camped together before. Rather than invest in luxurious accessories such as cooking utensils, we borrowed a tent from a friend, and planned to make do with the rest of the equipment by being resourceful.
In so doing, Jesse built for us a small and highly flammable grill made of wood. On it, we deposited our corn. The grill went up in flames (as wood is prone to do); the corn went with it. To avoid the same mistake with our steaks, we held them over the fire. After cooking our hands and our steaks, we tucked in. But not before we realized that between the two of us, we had only one spoon. Again, we had just one spoon – to eat two tough cuts of cubed steak. We suibstituted knives and forks with our hands and teeth.
Two bottles of wine later, Jesse offered his Pennsylvania and North Carolina Aves for my Boardwalk. The trade would be a fatal mistake for one of us. Possibly more fatal was breakfast the next morning.
To be continued...(let me know you're reading, even just one of you!)