Fall Camping

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Our first fall camping trip got off to a slow start, cure we accidentally boarded the wrong train! But luckily it was a happy accident. By the time we made it to Tuxedo and Harrimon Park the slight rain that was plaguing us all morning had stopped. We bought our final supplies and headed to the trail, visit this arriving just in time to collect firewood, make camp and start dinner before sunset. Steak, baked potatoes and cilantro pesto corn were the evening meal and a lovely moon to gaze at. Later with the fire and moon in full force we just sat back and took it all in, before heading of to sleep.

The next day we awoke to a beautiful misty fog rolling over the hills and exposing Lake Skenonto in all its fall foliage beauty. The birds sang hello while we made coffee and breakfast. The sky cleared up and it was a glorious fall day to be in the woods. So naturally we pulled out the ukuleles and serenaded the animals with our songs. After some more quiet time it was time to head back to the city. So we packed up, said goodbye to our animal friends and headed for the train and Chinese food. This may have been our first fall camping trip but it won’t be our last.


Chicken Barley and Vegetable Soup

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I wasn’t going to do another chicken soup post, diagnosis but after requests for this recipe and some thought, diagnosis I realized that this is different then the last chicken soup I wrote about.  While I was writing, for sale I wondered how many versions of chicken soup must be out there?  I have at least 3 to 4 myself.   I will post more as they get remade or made for the first time.  Until then, here is another addition to the cannon of probably the most American soup out there.  I give you, my other chicken soup, which I will officially call; Chicken, barley and vegetable soup.

Chicken, Barley and Vegetable Soup
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lg onion or 3 small
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 ribs of celery
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 2-3 bay leafs (1 or 2 if big)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Couple sprigs of Savory
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic chives chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Chop onion, separate into thirds or if you have three small onions keep separated
  2. Peel and chop carrots
  3. Chop celery and zucchini.
  4. Open corn and drain liquid
  5. Sautée ⅓ or one of the small onions in olive oil, salt and pepper
  6. Salt and pepper both breasts in same pan as onions, on medium high heat place breasts skin side down
  7. Cook for a couple minutes, or until you get a good sear.
  8. Flip breasts over cover and cook on low till done.
  9. Check every once in a while to make sure they don't burn
  10. Meanwhile cook barley according to directions, minus 5-10 minutes - it will fully cook later when you add it to the rest of the soup.
  11. Once chicken is done set on a plate to cool
  12. You should have some good drippings left in the pan.
  13. Add another third of onions and a handful of carrots and celery and sautée
  14. When onion is translucent add this to your stock pot, along with broth and veggies
  15. When chicken has cooled off tear from bones (using the skin is up to you, I love it).
  16. Add chicken and barley to soup.
  17. Add savory and garlic chives to soup
  18. Bring to boil then lower to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes or until veggies are how you like and barley is done.


Goodbye City Life! At Least For The Weekend Anyway

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We began our adventure in a car we rented for the weekend, buy information pills driving 14 hours each way. I’m talking about our recent adventure to Tennessee, symptoms where we hoped to soak up nature and live as one with the land.  As much as one can get staying in a cabin.     Of course we were roughing it, so to speak. The shower was outdoors, the stove was of the a camping variety, our water came from large jugs, the bathroom was an out house, the light was kerosene lamps and it was heated by a wood burning stove.  What else do you want from a cabin in the woods?  As it turned out, nothing.  It was perfect, peaceful and quiet.  Mother Nature graced us with wonderful warm weather.  It may have been November but it could easily had been late September.  We walked the land, marveled at streams that when it rains become dangerous rivers, chopped wood, went to bed early and rose with the sunrise, saw old friends and made some new ones, all while preparing and eating some amazing food.  We even drove into town to the local Piggly Wiggly to get supplies.

There’s something amazing about the mountains in Tennessee.  I grew up in a few different environments, one of them was the mountains in California and to this day, I don’t get the same feeling of peace as I do when I’m here.   It’s a place that you want to sit back take it slow do some chores and cook till you have filled your pantry with goodies and your belly with food.  Lucky for us we arrived just in time for a late lunch and a stroll around the property.  Our guide led us around and showed us some old homestead from early settlers and gave us a history lesson on who would have lived there before and what they would have farmed.  To me seeing history is always more fascinating then reading it.  When we were done getting the tour we took in the incredible sunset on top of the tool shed, and then it was back to the cabin to burn some wood and get cracking on dinner.   Grilled corn with sausages and a warm salad with a honey vinegar dressing.

The next day we were left to our own devices.  With our guide driving back to his home in Colorado we started the morning with breakfast  and a leisurely stroll.  We visited friends who lived nearby, catching up on their latest projects, chopped wood and  traveled into town for more supplies.  That night we slow cooked some beans on the wood stove, drank whiskey, listened to the radio and played cards.  Not bad for a Saturday night!!

Our last day we started it off with left over beans and eggs steamed over grilled onions and of course bacon.  After our hearty breakfast we took one last stroll said our goodbyes to the neighbors and headed back to NYC and our city lives.