What I Ate Wednesday: In Maryland

September 30th, 2014 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

picnic by the lake

So hello, I’m sick. It’s the first week of school and I am sick as a dog, sore-throated and stuffed all up and achy and exhausted. Jeremy tried to convince me to take a sick day and skip this post, but I am not so easily deterred.

And thusly I present to you: What I Ate Wednesday (it’s been a long time!), the western Maryland addition. Featuring Jeremy, his family, and autumn on the very eastern edge of the Appalachian mountains.

In honor of my ailing body, and to appease my sweet boyfriend who thinks I should be resting instead of working (bah!), this will be a post of many pictures and few words. Here we go . . .

gluten free vegan english muffin

Breakfast! Sorry for the crappy cell pic and bad lighting. Jeremy and I split a gluten-free english muffin with melted Daiya cheddar, fresh garden tomato slices and avocado with salt and pepper.

Also coffee. Lots of coffee.

After breakfasting and showering and all that jazz, we set out on an adventure.

view from dan's rock

Jeremy took me to Dan’s Rock, this amazing spot at the top of the mountain that overlooks the house that he grew up in. I have mad respect for graffiti artists, but I don’t usually like seeing graffiti in nature. This place, however . . . this place was so over the top, so completely bursting with color and so strangely juxtaposed against the gorgeous landscape.

It was eerie and brilliant all at once – like Rainbow Bright meets Mad Max.

dans rock maryland
dan's rock maryland
star wars back pack

Star Wars backpack dug out of his parent’s basement, ha!

dans rock
mad max meets rainbow bright
maryland dan's rock

After hiking around the rock, we began to make our way back down the mountain.

Suja green juice
Green juice refresher.

And set about looking for the perfect place to picnic.

Which we found.

leaves changing at lake


vegan picnic

The last of a wheel of homemade vegan brie, a salad with mixed baby greens and steamed beets, two kinds of hummus, and fancy olives (my weakness!). Kombucha to wash it all down.

It was so beautiful there.

And after lunch, I promptly sprang into biology mode, because I literally cannot help myself. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but the whole reason I went back to college (the first time) was because of an epiphany I had during a 9-month stint of living in a van and traveling around America. I was 20 years old, and found myself in Massachusetts in early fall. And it had just rained, and there were these vernal pools that had sprung up all over the forest, and my epiphany came when I realized that I had been sitting at the edge of one of these little ponds for almost an hour, just . . . peering into the depths, looking for creatures. Frogs mostly. I’ve always had a love connection with amphibians. And it was this lightbulb moment of epiphany that flashed bright ~


And that’s how a once-upon-a-time high school dropout decided to go back to college and become a scientist. And now it’s over a decade later, and I am in grad school, and nothing has changed. Because if I am in any sort of close proximity with any body of fresh water, I am drawn like a moth to the flame. Compelled to peer into that water, looking for creatures. Always was, always will be. I just can’t help myself.

pond gazing


But you guys!! Look what I found!!!

newt from maryland

A beautiful, sweet little newt! Isn’t he precious? And look at him just showing off for the camera. He was a good sport, and so pretty.

letting newt go

Buh-bye little friend!

It was an amazing afternoon, but by early evening we were due back at Jeremy’s mom’s house. We had a soccer game to get to! Jeremy’s niece, star goalie, had a game, and the whole family would be there to cheer her on.

allegany soccer field
high school soccer

There have been multiple generations that have gone to this same high school, which is why we were able to dig up this vintage cap – “Go Big Blue!” – stuffed in an old box. Jeremy’s mom poked fun of me for wearing it, but I think it was freaking awesome!

allegany field

The boring life of a soccer goalie.

at a high school soccer game

Bundled up and hollerin’ loud! Alas, our team was defeated that night. Still a good game though!

Afterwards, we all came back to the house for a late night family-style dinner, all around the big kitchen table, and featuring more of my very favorite Maryland food: CORN!

big family dinner
family supper

southern vegan dinner

Clockwise from top left: cheezy lentils, skillet potatoes, fresh tomatoes, corn on the cob, boiled green beans (a new love affair I never expected), and steamed brussels sprouts. Now THAT is a country dinner!

After dinner everybody was pretty beat. It was late, but not too late for Jeremy to challenge his nephew to a board game duel. I have to admit, I can’t remember who won. Don’t tell him!

all the kings men

♥ ♥ ♥

  • http://howtofeedawookie.blogspot.com/ WookieWifey

    Awww, I adore the little newt!! I lived right smack-dab ON a mountain in the Appalachians a few years back during that 100-year-flood. I spent almost the entire flood out in the woods taking photos because there was water, waterfalls, and neat little creatures all over. I didn’t blog most of them, but I’ll shoot you a guest password for the photobucket I dumped them in if you’d like.

  • http://www.theveganchickpea.com theveganchickpea

    i had no idea you dropped out of high school. and look where you are now! so inspirational. also, the country dinner looks damnnnn good.

  • Lisa B.

    Hi! I was MIA for a while on my own trip, and I’m happy to see that you, too, were on a trip! I’m intrigued by the homemade vegan brie. Apologies if you linked the recipe earlier, but if not, mind hooking a sista up?

    Ugh, week one of classes is such a wretched time to be sick. If you’re anything like me, you spend that first week thinking of the summer past and silently feeling terrified about the semester ahead. I hope you can at least take the weekend for some much needed R&R. Listen to Jeremy!

  • Sarah G.

    Looks like fun! You should check out Great Sage and The Land of Kush next time you’re in MD. Delicious all vegan restaurants!

  • Jessica Minguez

    Mmmm. Cheezy lentils may have to become a part of my repertoire. Are they just lentils mixed with Daiya or another vegan cheese?

  • Sarah J

    Aaaah this post makes me so happy as a proud (north)western Marylander! And yes, our corn is the bomb. :) Glad you enjoyed our beautiful state!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yay! I love your beautiful state and I love love LOVE your corn. =D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yeah, so super easy. Just pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s heated and mixed with our homemade cheeze (any soft cheese, like a simple homemade nut cheese, would be great) and then topped with chives. So easy!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh man, soooo many people told us about Great Sage. Next time for sure!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    No prob Lisa, I don’t actually have a link but it’s from the book Non-Dairy Formulary, which I reviewed here: http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2013/12/2013-was-my-epic-year-of-vegan-cheese-making-and-now-the-vegan-cheese-book-showdown-its-artisan-vegan-cheese-v-the-non-dairy-formulary/

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes ma’am, I am indeed a high school dropout. I did go back actually, I did a bunch of makeup and actually graduated in the end. Crazy life. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    That would be awesome, I’d love to see them! I love that feeling of being in the woods, all smelling like petrichor, discovering wee wild creatures. The best!

  • http://www.the-applekat.tumblr.com Amy Applekät

    I’m from Australia and I spent 3 months traveling around your magnificent country in a van at the end of last year and I can honestly say that it is full to the brim with the most incredible, magical landscapes. I get emotional just thinking about it and if I’ll get to come back or even move there one day. You are so lucky that it is all at your feet!
    And how sweet is that wee little newt! Glad you enjoyed your trip :)

  • Jenn

    Hey Seyward, I was interested in “hiking” Dan’s Rock this weekand with my kids and I can’t find any info about whether it really is a hike or not and if it’s suitable for kids because what I’ve read so far is that it’s merely a steep scramble to the outlook. We live two and a half hours east and don’t want to make the trip if it’s not really a hike. thanks

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Jenn,

    So no, it is definitely not a “hike”. There are rails and a few carved steps, but the trek itself is very short. Also, I would be pretty cautious taking kids there – ideally one adult per kiddo (but I am SUPER paranoid)

    I’d say it’s a pretty cool spot though and if you don’t mind the extra drive I’m sure you could find a hike nearby (there are tons around there, I’m told). There’s also the park with that lake, a playground, picnic area, etc.

    Let me now if you go, yeah?? I’d love to hear!

  • jenn

    k. THanks Sayward, if I end up going I’ll take a pic… Maybe it will say “Sayward was here” :)

  • Reese

    I know of one in Clarkesville – but, is there a Great Sage in Western MD?