My Favorite Summer Vacation

by nonameharbor / Aug 15, 2008 / 0 comments

Twelve of us celebrate in a vacation rental cabin on the Middlefork River in north central West Virginia, children arriving from the north and the south. I didn't know we had this wonderful get-away cabin practically in our back yard until a daughter spotted it in an internet search.


  Let me begin by saying ours is a family of foodies. Celebration = Food! So the daughters strut their stuff for Dad's birthday celebration weekend: char-grilled salmon with pastrami rub, cucumber cream mold, coconut jasmine rice, Passover brisket, summer's garden bounty. Did I mention fresh peach cobbler. And touches from the outside world: Carmelized tea, a merlot named French Rabbit, pomagranite water, a rare flower tea. Around the campfire, smores, marshmellows falling off hotdog sticks, campfire pies, simple pleasures.

my favorite summer vacation

Gathering 'round, the first night.

my favorite summer vacation

Birthday supper, served.*

my favorite summer vacation

The teens have a tie dye contest. Grandpa observes.


my favorite summer vacation

Evening sun on the river. Nightime, we see a beaver take a young sapling across the road down to the river, a phenomenal end to the birthday celebration.






Grilled Wild Salmon with Pastrami Rub


Combine rub mixture:

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Brush center-cut salmon fillet with olive oil.

Sprinkle rub mixture onto salmon, rubbing it in.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 20 minutes.

Spray grill with cooking spray.

Grill salmon skin side down for about 10 minutes.

Test with a fork to see if it flakes easily.


Cucumber Cream Mold

Mix these ingredients:

1 package Lime Jello

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion juice

Chill until mixture starts to thicken.

Fold in:

1 cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonaise

Peel, chop and dry 1 cucumber and carefully add.

Place into oiled mold or any bowl and thoroughly chill.



Jasmine Coconut Rice


Prepare jasmine rice according to directions on the package.

Substitute some of the liquid with tinned coconut milk,

Adding a bit of garlic to taste.


The vacation rental cabin in West Virginia can be viewed at this site:




Please visit to read about Barbary's new book, Estuary.