We do a lot of cookouts. Sometimes as often as several times a week if the weather is right, not to dry, windy, wet or cold. Hot-dogs, stew, corn in season and, of course, marsh-mellows and smores. The bonfire piles are a result of clearing the fields, cleaning up along the stone walls for fencing, etc. It seems there is never a shortage of bonfire materials. Good wood goes to the house but there is still a lot of other stuff that isn’t really good enough to be worth saving for winter heating so we collect it together and burn it over stumps in the field. Usually that kills off the stump although amazingly, not always.
During the fall Will and Ben build extra bonfire piles and tarp them for the winter. Then we burn them at sledding parties with friends and family. In this photo it was just us and the dogs. Cinnamon, the elder of our dogs at nine, is off on the far left. Little white lady Lili is to his right. Kia and Napoleon are with Ben as Will stokes the fire in the south field.
While Ben is partial to the hot-dogs I really love the stew which is a mix of fresh veggies, pork or chicken and either potatoes and rice with cheese and spices. We used to cook this on the beach when we went down to Cape Cod years ago and it made the transition to our bonfires up here on the mountain. Originally we did it in tin foil packets – sort of a home-made ready to eat meal. This past year I picked up a deep skillet at the recycling center and that has become the official stew pot.
This leads me to a totally unrelated story that happened another day…
Holly, my very significant other, and I were driving down to the general store. As we passed our neighbor I looked out at his bees and commented to her that “I guess Brian isn’t planning to have more than two hives.”
She gave me a strange look and said, “I don’t think so. What makes you say that?”
“Well, there’s not room in the enclosure he just built for a third,” I replied.
“What enclosure?!?” she asked rather incredulously.
“The fenced one in the field,” I explained.
“I think he keeps his wife in the house, not the field!” she said, giving me another very odd look.
“Wife? No, I said hives, not wives!” She cracked up laughing and almost had to pull the car over to the side of the road. Talk about misunderstandings. :)