Anniversary & Camino Packing

I remembered to get a Rose!
Look at what a good husband I am.
Monday was our 1 year wedding anniversary! There were many exchanges of niceties and flowers and cards in addition to light supping and sipping of homemade foods and wines. We chose not to do anything too over the top, and instead focused on our final packing for the Camino.

Of course, Lauren's parents did take us to Fogo de Chao on Sunday for dinner where I proceeded to stuff myself so full of beef and pork and chicken and various cured meats and cheeses that I nearly got to taste it all a second time after dinner. I'm starting to believe that Brazilian steak houses are instruments of the devil; however, I'm sure I will be going back as soon as the after-dinner memory fades and all that I can remember is how awesome it all was when I was still eating the steaks. So needless to say, we weren't really in the mood for another feast. Of course, Lauren still made the perfect dinner of pasta with venison sauce.

2 year old homemade riesling and venison pasta sauce.
My last bottle of riesling that I made 2 years ago in the fall. And damn was it good, if I do say so myself.
Anyways, speaking of our packing, we've nearly got our final list together. We're sitting about 25 lbs on my back (including food & water), and about 23 lbs for Lauren. This is about where we were aiming for at the beginning, but we're only able to get our weight down this far by taking our our tent and sleeping pads. We wanted to take our tent and camp as much as possible, but the more we hear from other pilgrims, it sounds like we would only be able to realistically camp 4 or 5 nights of the 35 night trip. Most of the land around the Camino is private or protected wilderness where camping is not allowed. So we figured that a couple more nights in albergues was a fair trade for 4 lbs of gear.

If you're interested, we've got a spreadsheet of our packing list that includes every bit of stuff we're taking with us. Only 2 pairs of underwear for 42 days! Going to be a lot of clothes washing happening on the trail...

Anyone see anything that we left off the list? Or things that we could probably do without?


General Tso's Venison

I still need to work on the cook time for the venison but this turned out pretty tasty and cooked up really quickly.  We're going to try and eat a lot of venison during the sabbatical so I'm experimenting with a variety of new recipes.

1 pound venison tenderloin
2 tbsp oil (I used canola)
2/3 cup General Tso's Wok Sauce (From Aldi)
1 yellow squash
1 package of Asian style frozen veggies (snap peas, red pepper, onion)
A dash of red pepper flakes
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Chop the venison into 1/2 inch cubes and cook it in oil for about 3 minutes.  Strain off the oil and remove meat from the heat.  In a separate pan steam the frozen veggies and squash until tender.  Lastly, stir the meat, a dash of red pepper flakes, wok sauce, and sesame seeds into the veggies and bring to a simmer.  Be careful not to overcook the venison as it can get rubbery and chewy. 



I gave my resignation notice at work on Monday. This is the first time I've ever really quit something come to think of it. And my bosses were even pretty cool about it. Both my project manager and the president gave me a solid 3 seconds of confused stare when I told them, "I'm handing in my resignation so that my wife and I can take a year long sabbatical." I'm glad that once I explained the plan a little further their reaction was that our plan is awesome, and that they wish they had done/could do the same thing. Its just a good thing Lauren convinced me that we need to live our life by our own schedule and do things like this while we still can. She's the best wife ever.