Monday, October 3, 2011

Favorite Getaways: The Cabin

Last weekend I headed to the cabin for lots of foraging, surprise discoveries, and time with friends and family around the bonfire.  Malomar and I headed down on our road trip...he always gets so excited when we get closer to turning the corner to cabin.  When we used to go up to a cabin in the Berkshires, I always had him wear a red bandana and as soon as I take out that bandana, I swear that Malomar knows that it is time to head out to the woods!  

I arrived to the cabin in Maryland while Honza and my sister were out running errands and I noticed that my sister had found a small animal skull and had it out on display.  I used to work at the Nature Lab at RISD when I went there for undergrad, so I love to look at and draw animals bones and skulls.  
When my sister and Honza arrived we went out mushroom hunting to look for food to add to our pizza for dinner.  We found some edible mushrooms, and also some crazy poisonous ones...including the craziest smelling mushroom ever!  Honestly this mushroom smelled like chlorine and had the brightest colors ever, it was crazy!
Old Man of the Woods, a very tasty edible mushroom.  We found a lot of these!
Creepy smelly mushroom! Not edible!
While on the mushroom trip, I found a full animal skeleton completely in tact.  I took the tail and also the skull home.  It is so beautiful I am excited to have it on display and also draw and paint from it in my studio. 
When we were looking for mushrooms I found a strange fruit on the ground that looked almost like a cucumber.  The fruit had a really fragrant smell, almost like a really strong grandma perfume.  My sister and I were trying to figure out if we should go ahead and just try the fruit (probably not the best choice) or try to look it up.  Our SmartPhones came in handy and we googled "tropical type fruit tree in Maryland" and up came the Paw Paw!  We were so excited and went looking for more trees and then decided we could go ahead and taste them.  The Paw Paw has SUCH a sweet taste, almost like a mango!  It was so exciting to find such an exotic tasting fruit for free!  We harvested as many as we could find!  
Since the Paw Paw season is short, we collected as many ripe fruits as we could find.  We even made PawPaw curry, and Paw Paw bread and found some songs about Paw Paws online!  Then, the other day, NPR had an article about foraging for Paw Paws.  So exciting! 

We got back from our hike with our bounty and Honza chopped up fire wood for us, and at night we had a bonfire after eating our foraged wild mushroom pizza! I honestly think that food tastes so much better when you dig it up yourself!  
The next morning we woke up and my sister made us homemade tofu scramble which we ate outside with the sound of birds around us.  Tofu scramble is great because it is so simple.  We added tomatoes from the farmer's market, more wild mushrooms, onions and garlic.  So easy, quick and delicious!

Then we headed out on the canoe to explore and to catch some sun.  It is always so peaceful on the Susquehanna River.  
Hope you have been enjoying these wonderful weekends too!  It is starting to get a little chilly out up here....Fall is fast approaching!



  1. oh my gosh, this sounds like the greatest escape-to-the-woods trip ever! when i lived near the smokey's we would go foraging for wild edibles. it was so much fun. i've never found an animal skeleton though. it's gorgeous. it must be considered a great deal of luck to discover that.

  2. Thanks! I couldn't believe that my sister and I BOTH found such beautiful skeletons! I love foraging for mushrooms now...although I feel like I won't do it solo until I really get an understanding for what is safe and not safe! Honza grew up mushroom hunting in Czech Republic, and with his know-how I wasn't too worried!

  3. What fun weekend! Love that you found all that delish food.