I am going out of town this weekend, which means that at the moment, I should definitely be packing instead of typing, but apparently I am doing that thing where I say, "Oh, packing won't take any time at all. I just need to throw a few things in a bag... no problem! Fifteen minutes, tops!" I am telling myself this despite knowing full well what happened the last time I said that before packing for a trip... and the time before that... and, hell, EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAVE PACKED FOR A TRIP IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. I'm a quick study, I tell you. Isn't there some phrase about a river in Egypt that I could use here? Like everything else in my life, packing takes at least three times as long as I think it will. I know this and yet... la, la, la... all the time in the world. Anyone care to place bets on what time I get to bed tonight?
So where am I going? Ah. Glad you asked. I am going camping, in the woods along the North Shore. I am going to the woods because I want to live deliberately. Or possibly because I want to drink wine around a campfire. You decide. And yes, I used that same joke last fall, but I don't care. As you may know, nerd humor is my favorite kind of humor, and Thoreau doesn't get nearly enough laughs.
The fact that I'm going camping when it's still only May is excellent news, because it means I have plenty of summertime ahead of me during which to forget how much work prepping for, packing for, and unpacking from camping is, so that I can decide it's a good idea to go at least one more time again before fall. This is important because I somehow made it through all of last summer without camping even once, and although I would never claim to be any sort of avid, hard-core outdoorswoman, a full year without one night in a tent still feels in some way wrong, like a cosmic imbalance I need to resolve. So. Perhaps this weekend's trip makes up for no camping last year. If any of my real-life, local friends want to help me check the camping trip off my list for this summer as well, do let me know.
This weekend's trip didn't actually involve any daunting amount of prepping on my part (says the girl who still hasn't even removed her decades-old green duffel bag from its storage spot beneath her bed, much less put anything inside of it). I'm going with a couple of good friends and a gaggle of their friends, and with all the planning in their hands, my own list was pretty brief. Most of the participants I do not know, but I'm sure by association they must be friendly and fabulous, and yet, I'm feeling uncharacteristically insecure about ridiculous things. Like, will the hippies and artists look down on me because the ground beef I bought does not say "grass fed" and "antibiotic free"? And must I remove the zucchini and yellow squash from their plastic wrappers before I go, because zucchini and yellow squash are not supposed to come in plastic wrappers (oh, and also are not supposed to come from Florida, when we have perfectly good zucchini and yellow squash right here)? This is probably more about my own social conscience than the imagined judgment of the hippies and artists I'm going camping with. A little knowledge is a powerful thing, but not as powerful as laziness, and when I want to make one stop on my way home instead of three, factory farm beef and plastic-wrapped veggies is what I get. Horrors. Damn you, SuperTarget, with your low prices and conveniently inclusive array of products and your near-total disregard for the "eat local" movement.
Of course, you might understand my paranoia, given that I heard a friend from this same circle say, at a potluck party recently, "Ooh. Do we really want to put cheese on the same plate as the raw food cookies?" I thought she was kidding. She was not. If the person who brought the offensive dairy items returned to the food table later and wondered (like the mouse in that overrated best seller) who moved her cheese, I have the answer to that. And if the raw food cookie lady is on this weekend's camping trip, well, then I guess that's just more sodium-heavy buttermilk ranch pretzels and sugar-loaded layer bars for me.
Yes, I made layer bars tonight, as well as a batch of cookie dough that I will have to turn into cookies at some point before I leave tomorrow mid-day. That adds two more hash marks in my list of culinary endeavors for the week, bringing my total up to one tiramisu, five baked goods, and one lasagna. Oh, and eighteen eggs. If the cooking tally isn't a new record for me, the egg thing surely is. And only one of those efforts was a total failure. On the up side, it was a failure that helped guarantee no leftover eggs in my fridge. So there is that, anyway.
And with that, I really should think about packing, or at least tossing a few things into a pile near a bag to inspire the idea of packing and get that ball rolling. Happy last days of May, everyone. Can it really be June so soon?