Unwilling to let go of summer without a fight, we managed one last trip: my birthday weekend in a rustic cabin on the edge of Cayuga Lake.
On the day of departure, I made a "just in case they've never heard of food where we are going" stop at the market to fill a cooler with road snacks and staples to get us through our first night. Then, I took half a dozen trips from apartment to car with camping supplies. By the time I reached Jordan's door, I was an exhausted crankmeister.
As we settled into the drive, I noticed that the patient and tolerant Jordan sitting beside me had a miserable cold. Guilt set in. I had spent the first part of our journey trying to convince him and myself that he was the cause of my misery. All the while, I was dragging him, clammy and congested, on a 5 hour drive to a shack without heat on a cold, wet September weekend. Hmm.
What kind of wretched woman takes her ailing boyfriend on the road under these conditions?
Then again, what's a girl to do? The plan was made. We had to go through with it, even if both parties were miserable. We could make this work.
Dinner was a huge success. Flounder fillets on a bed of curried quinoa with cranberries and crushed pecans. I was thoroughly impressed with myself, until I realized Jordan could not taste it. Although he assured me he was certain it was delicious, it just wasn't the same. How linked the joy of cooking is to the joy it brings!
On our second day, I thought of a way I might be able to salvage the weekend.
On one of those trips to the car that tuckered me out the day before, I lugged a 12-inch cast iron dutch oven and two bags of charcoal to the back seat. For our previous and only other camping trip, I had purchased the oven to amuse myself. When I finally worked myself up to use it, I wound up baking cookies in a thunderstorm, running back and forth from the tent to the grill stand with an umbrella and spatula in tow. I was hoping to do some more baking this weekend, but under the circumstances a different use came to mind.
On Saturday morning, we found all the necessary ingredients at the Ithaca Farmer's Market for Mom's homemade chicken soup. That'll fix you right up!
By the end of the weekend, we had managed a few nice breakfasts, a little Fingerlake winetasting (fun, but not terribly successful), and a beautiful hike through Taughannock Falls State Park.