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. :)

31째F/22째F, Sunny


About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Bonfires

  1. abe/happy says:

    Imagine marrying someone to find out you live in an enclosure *lol*

    But then again most husbands live in the Dog House ;)

    Walter what are smores?

  2. pablo says:

    When my twin sons (now 21) first went to college and were away for a month or so, they finally came home for the weekend and they sat us down to have a talk. They started by telling us what wonderful parents we are! It seems that when they got to college and were living with others, they got to hear the kinds of lives and upbringing other students had had. They compared these to their own and concluded that we had provided them with a good childhood.

    Anyway, I think your kids are going to have that same experience. They look like they are leading idyllic lives, full of fun and achievement and family warmth. I won’t be surprised when you blog a similar comment in about ten years, saying how your childen have come to realize what a good life you have given them.

  3. rj says:

    I dunno, Walter. Even though she’s not heavy, my wife would give me quite a glare if I called her my VERY significant other! ;)

  4. ctroutma says:

    nice story, it certainly cracked me up!

  5. Abe/Happy, a Smore is a sandwich of chocolate and hot toasted marshmallow between two graham crackers. To make one, toast a marshmallow over hot coals (open flame not advised). Then place the toasted marshmallow on a graham cracker. Add a piece of chocolate and top it off with another graham cracker. Very decadent. :)

    Pablo, thank you and I hope that you are right!

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