The cute guy and I spent the past four days camping with four of his six kids, three with wives, one with a girlfriend, seven of their friends, eight of their friend's children and nine of his twelve grandchildren, seven of them under five. There were one of the kid's two dogs, the cute guy's brother and their dad, their dad's brother, a cousin and one large bear with her two baby cubs. And we still came home with leftovers.

This is what Saturday morning breakfast looked like. The oldest son contributed two flats of two and a half dozen eggs each that he had transported without one getting broken along with his four kids, one niece, six bikes, as many helmets, a pop-up trailer, an eight person tent for his eighty six year old, hundred pound granddad and a sleeping crib for Alice who is two today and can say everyone's name. He also made juice for breakfast from a powder concentrate in a two and a half gallon cooler with a handy pull spigot he set on the bear box. "I want to do it," the short children mimicked after the first one got picked up to fill their cup.

The next son heated three of the four Costco size packages of flour tortillas while listing the contents of his cooler which the bear and her cubs ate from the back of his truck the previous night. "Not the chocolate chip cookies!", I heard and mouth watering, repeated. The next son cooked four pounds of wild boar sausage. "I killed this," he said patting it with the spatula.

The youngest son cracked the eggs two at a time and the cute guy scrambled them. I made farmers market salsa in the biggest bowl I own and the girlfriend quartered a flat of Marin County strawberries. "Let's put some sugar on them," I told her nodding to a baggie on the table. "They're beautiful," I said right before I popped one in my mouth and spit it out. Doubled over laughing we spooned off the salty top layer. "Don't tell anyone," we whispered and then we told everyone anyway.

The four year olds, Canyon, Derek and Dylan were fed first. Canyon only wanted strawberries, Derek dropped as much food as he ate and Dylan left the table with hands as sanitized as when he sat down. The two year olds, Libby, Jack and Alice were next. Libby stirred her strawberries into the eggs, Jack fed his to the dog and Alice ate each one with her thumb and forefinger. Stanford bound Lily, still seven, must have got a salty strawberry and wouldn't eat them. "I'll take them," her older cousin, Kaia, shouted and then had another helping of everything else too.

The adults weren't much different. Granddad said, "no thank you," to everything but strawberries. His daughter-in-law scraped the kids leftovers into a used bowl with salsa and ate all of it. One of the friends gave every second bite to the dog and the third son's wife that came late asked, "What's wrong with these strawberries?".

"I'll take them," granddad said.

I began to tell someone that the salsa was locally grown and organic but the baby I was holding broke into a stage stealing smile, a friends oldest son that I had given newspaper and a lighter to earlier for the camp fire discovered the magic of starter fluid and the hammock full of kids came untied in full swing scattering them into the dust. I dropped the conversaton as we moved out of the smoke to kiss bumped heads and elbows while someone else retied the hammock and then I posed for a picture with that cute baby I had in my arms. The local food conversation better left for another day.


Emily said...

Was the reason why no one was eating the strawberries because they had mistakenly been sprinkled with salt instead of sugar. I'm curious, also as to the logistics of such a camping trip...that wife with the four children (under seven, the last two 18 months apart and the baby only five months old) was able to do it all, and still have energy to chase the mama bear and cubs. Curious....just wondering.

Katrini...if found your blog. You're busted.

trieste said...

way busted!

Kale for Sale said...

Okay. Yes. I'm busted and delighted that you found me. I would have told you when the time was right. I'm embarrassed I didn't even think to write that the reason the Big D. was able to move his small army was because of the help of his super wife who chases wild animals in her sleep or did you really chase them and I was sleeping?!

Thanks for the notes you two.