Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy birthday, DocDufresne!

DocDufresne always wants to do more outdoor activities together and loves hiking, so on Saturday morning we headed out bright and early to the New Jersey side of the Delaware Water Gap, part of the Appalachian Trail. On the way to the summit, we passed a lovely stream and waterfall, the peaceful sounds of which followed us for a segment of the trip.

At the beginning of the hike we saw several wineberry bushes, named for the color of their stalks. We happily carried out our environmental duty and muched on a few delisiously tart berries. Wineberry is an invasive-exotic plant, you see. So the more fruit you eat, the fewer shrubs will repopulate.

As we gained altitude, we started seeing sparse low-bush blueberries, great native plants. We didn't want to take the food of the native wildlife, so we merely sampled a few berries. Further along the hike, however, it was high- and low- bush blueberries galore, so we sampled some here and there! They were the tastiest blueberries!

We spent a few moments at the top, appreciating the view of the Delaware River below and the mountains surrounding us. A hawk soared across the mountain adjacent to ours. Picturesque.

For lunch I packed subs with sauteed mushrooms, green bell peppers, onions, spinach, and tofu in a lemony wine sauce. We were too full to eat the mojo potato salad and gingersnap cookies that I packed.

Just as we were finishing up our lunch, a fellow hiker came up the trail, upsetting a rattle snake just six feet from where we sat! I've never seen or heard a rattle snake before, but I sure did on Saturday! It slithered across the trail into the bramble on the other side. We kept our distance.

As a sweet reward after finishing up the strenuous hike, we headed to Vegan Treats, which was on our way home! DocDufresne and I each got a peanut butter soft-serve cone with rainbow sprinkles. Divine! We also took home a Boston cream donut for later.

For dinner I made Kale and Potato Enchiladas from Veganomicon. (Not the best photo ever, sorry!)

The next day, Doc's actual birthday, DocDufresne's family came into town. I made a lunch consisting of a few Veganomicon dishes including Chickpea Cutlets with Mushroom Gravy, BBQ Black-Eyed Pea Collard Rolls with Backyard BBQ Sauce, and Apple Galettes. I also threw together a salad of steamed (later chilled) collards, kale, and beets in a lemon dressing, and Yerba Mate sun tea. Everything was made to be diabetic-friendly and without artificial sweetners.

As I'm sure you can imagine, we'll be dining on left-overs for a few days. We're not complaining!


  1. What'd I tell ya, PB soft serve! I think the day we went was just a fluke :P It looks like you guys had a wonderful day. Tell the doc I said happy birthday!

  2. That looks like such a great day, that walk looks beautiful and I'm super jealous of your Vegan Treats donut!

  3. Beautiful pictures and beautiful berries! Justin, Jamie, and I found blackberries at the arboretum. I was so excited. :)

    <3 Amanda R