Wildwood


Dead Shirts
August 21, 2012, 7:19 am
Filed under: Wearables | Tags: , , ,

 

Just to good not to re-post this. Vince Dugar’s collection of Grateful Dead Parking lot t-shirts. Just a small sampling shown here, I recommend viewing the whole collection.



Pocket Protection

The Wilderness Pocket n’ Pak Library is a set of 5 small books containing essential wilderness survival skills created by Dennis Bleything and Ron Dawson. The collection of books was first published in 1972 by what was then the authors’ company Life Support Technology. The set of books comes in a fold-up plastic sleeve that protects them while stuffed in a backpack or back pocket while out in the woods.

If you want a set of these excellent books you could probably find them used online or something, or instead you could try to order them from this 1974 issue of Backpacker. Its your choice but either way you should probably have these pocket sized lifesavers with you next time you hit the trail.



Pickling
July 24, 2012, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Eats | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This past weekend my brother and I did a little pickling with the bumper crop of cucumbers we have grown in our garden this year. We like to keep our pickles pretty simple both in the ingredients and in the process. We skip the whole canning thing and instead opt for refrigerator pickles since we would prefer to eat them in a weeks time not sometime next year. The end result is a crisp half-sour style pickle.

The recipe is pretty simple. Layer in dill and crushed garlic cloves followed by several cucumbers. Build up several layers of the ingredients until you get to the top of the jar  and then add a bunch of whole pepper corns, a few table spoons of salt, and then fill the jar up with boiling water.  Of course you can also add other spices, with this batch I threw in a few dried cayenne peppers we grew in last summer’s garden for some extra spice. Close the top of the jar and give it a good couple shakes and turns to make sure the salt dissolves well. Then the tough part comes, stick them in the fridge and wait a few days. Start tasting them over the next few days until the reach the desired flavor. You’ll find the longer they sit in the brine the stronger the flavor gets…however chances are they wont be sitting in the brine for that long.



Independence
July 4, 2012, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Hope you all are having a good 4th of July, drinking plenty of beer and eating grilled meats. Happy 4th from Cape Cod!



Smoked Greens
May 30, 2012, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Eats | Tags: , , , , ,

One of my favorite ways to prepare greens during these warm months is on the grill. The smokiness from the fire is a flavor you can’t get when the skillet is on your range top.  After you have finished cooking your meats on the grill remove it entirely so you can get at the coals. Take a cast iron skillet and put it right on top of your coals which should still have plenty of heat to cook up some greens.

 

Let the skillet get nice and hot then throw in some smoked bacon. Let that cook awhile and get nice and crispy before adding any greens. As for the greens themselves and what you should use you really can’t go wrong. I happened to have a lot of leftover kale and mustards from our spring garden this year so I took what was left and put it in the pan.

You’ll want to start with what seems like an obscene amount of greens because as they cook they will reduce in size. Start by filling the pan up and continually stirring until the cook down a bit and then repeat. You will probably looks a few pieces to the fire during the cooking process but consider it a small sacrifice for some of the best greens you will ever eat.

 



RIP – Doc Watson
May 30, 2012, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Listen | Tags: , ,

Thank you Doc, you will be greatly missed.



Anybody’s Bike Book
May 20, 2012, 8:46 pm
Filed under: Bicycles | Tags: , , , , ,

Recently while cleaning out our wood shop at work a friend found this old copy of Anybody’s Bike Book and he kindly dropped it on my desk as a gift. This classic bike book written by the late Tom Chuthbertson and illustrated most excellently by Rick Morrall was originally published by 10 Speed Press in 1971. This book was actually the first book published by 10 Speed Press out of Berkley CA and was the inspiration for the press’s name.

Despite the cover being pretty rough and smelling like a wet oak barrel from being around cut wood too long the pages inside are in pretty good shape. Written as a guide for fixing bike, its intent was to demystify for the average Joe the art of maintaining and repairing one’s own bike, “Bicycles are not monstrous machines which only wizards can understand.” The book pretty much covers all one needs to know about bikes, at least at the time which it was written, everything from advice on what type of bike to buy to how to service your rear derailleur.

Great book , if you find a copy pick it up. Rest of the images can be found here.



Annual Retreat

In search of some much needed respite and escape I headed to the hills this past week to a favorite blue line of mine for some Spring brook trout. The redbuds, which came out early this year along with every other blossom, still occupied the understory with their fuchsia blossoms and the hyper-green of the leaves had just started poking out. Classic early springtime in the Shenandoah.

There hasn’t yet been enough rain but there was still plenty of water holding hungry trout. The day started off slow with  grey skies and a light rain essentially killing any dry fly action. I switch to a dry and dropper rig. By afternoon the grey  gave way to pockets of sun, the temperature rose enough, and the parachute blue winged olive was back at the end of my number 7 tippet.

Not sure what it was about the day, but not long after the sun shined through the clouds I hooked into several of the largest brook trout I have caught on this stream. They don’t get very big in the small waters of Virginia, anything at or over 12″ is considered large for a native…these we monsters…the tip of my 4wt. full flex rod bent like a willow’s branch under the fight of these beautiful fish. I can only hope to have another day like this one again this Spring.  After a few hours of great fishing I quit while I was ahead, I smoked my cheap cigar, drank a little bourbon, and headed for home.



RIP Earl Scruggs
March 29, 2012, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Listen | Tags: , , , , ,
Earl Scruggs (right) with Lester Flatt

If you haven’t yet taken a moment today to honor the loss of the world’s premier banjo player I am providing that here. Take a moment and listen to just a bit of the musical genius that was Earl Scruggs. A pioneering banjo player, Scruggs transformed not just bluegrass but all of music.

Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt with the Foggy Mountain Boys

Earl Scruggs with Doc Watson



Stalking Euell Gibbons

“Now is the time to stop writing about nature and get out into it. It is the season for research and exploration, a time of taking in, not putting out, and I revel in it.”

Euell Gibbons, Spring, Spring, Spring!

The Spring Equinox may still be a few days away, but around here the season changed weeks ago. Spring has sprung. Spring is the best season for gathering wild foods, and while there may be many experts and many book on the subject if you have any inclination to consider gathering wild things to eat this spring then you should probably consider Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons. A seminal piece of writing on the subject, the book discusses not just how to search and collect wild asparagus but a whole range of other things to eat.

An avid outdoor man, naturalist, and forager,  Gibbons wrote articles for both for National Geographic and Organic Gardening and Farming magazines. He is widely considered the father of the wild food movement and while his books are informative as he continued to write his writing became a bit more philosophical then instructive. Anyways it is spring and you probably shouldn’t actually be reading you should gathering wild ramps by a stream somewhere, but but if you need some information and inspiration on the matter Gibbons is your guy.

 

Its spri