A cold spell hit Wichita this week. On Wednesday I biked to work. I knew it would be cold, but wasn't really thinking and I just went for it. Oh man, was it frigid and windy! I heard later that the wind chill was at -1 degree. I took a long, hot shower afterwards to warm up and then drank a cup of steaming hot tea. Today I woke up and saw pure white as I glanced at the window. I can't deny the beauty and peacefulness of snowflakes drifting down from the sky, but I am so glad that all this cold weather hit our area after our annual cabin trip with my parents.
Over veteran’s day weekend Josh and I met up with my parents in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. We had beautiful, sunny weather, which made the hiking just glorious. This was pretty much a repeat of last year’s trip; same cabin, more hiking, more good food, and definitely quality time together. We had a prayer service on Sunday morning and sang Taize songs and hymns together. This year we even went to a movie; we saw Interstellar. It was interesting and aroused a lot of discussion. Have you seen it?
A highlight of the trip for me (other than hanging out with my parents and Josh) was our hike on Sunday. We were walking past open fields of tall grass and up and down rocky hills. We stopped at a natural spring to cook our quesedillas and eat on the flat rocks. Somewhere along the trail I was filled with awe and peace. I felt so refreshed, energized, and grateful for the beauty of creation.
Another highlight, oddly enough was discovering wild persimmon trees along the road that runs through the State Park. One morning while walking, I noticed the orange fruit hanging on a bare tree. We saw evidence of a deer nibbling on the fruit and we decided to try it too. We were hit with instant cotton mouth! I love persimmons, but it seems hard to get them at the exact right ripeness when they won’t attach your mouth with dryness. Nevertheless, I was delighted to identify the plant and to see that fruit is growing in the forest.
I tried some new recipes I found through the internet and wanted to share them with you. Sometimes I need a little inspiration for camping cooking and I’ve found good recipes at dirtygourment.com.
Lunch: quinoa and kale salad with quesedillas-- We bought pre-made guacamole to add to our quesedillas. If you have backpacking stove and skillet these are easy to make on the trail.
Dinner: skillet lasagna--We started with homemade marinara sauce, which was delicious! Make sure to cook all the veggies first. We skipped that step and it was a mistake. Cooking a lasagna in a skillet works well when the vegetables are hot; the cooking is really just to melt the cheese.
Snack: banana granola bars-- These didn’t really stay together like bars, but ended up more like granola. Still, this was delicious and I recommend the recipe.
I love those parents of mine and am always thankful to spend time with them.