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Friday
Dec192014

Destin, Florida

Comfort people; a lot like comfort food, I think. They are just what you need after a long, hard day. They know you, they understand you, they warm your soul, they make you feel as if where they are is where you belong.

These people are yours. They allow you to come as you are. They know the good, the bad, the ugly, and more often than not have known you for years. But what about those people who somehow make your soul feel at home upon an initial name exchange? Those people who hardly know anything but your name and your face, but somehow have the ability to make you feel welcomed, accepted, and loved. Kristen Blanton and Matt Jazowiak are two of those people.

Two months ago Jeremy and I pulled up to a dark campsite in his newly owned (but perfectly worn) pick-up truck after exploring a Pedernales Falls sunset. Grill in one hand, bottle of champagne in the other, we walked up and there we shook the hands of Kristen and Matt; him for the second time, me for the first.

What followed was a night of delightful conversation, huevos, moonlight chuckles, and a light-hearted “you guys should come visit Florida.” A look exchange and a shrug later, our tickets were booked.

Fast-forward three weeks and there we were, feet on the ground in the not-so-sunshiny state. The weekend was cold, rainy, and windy; but no matter how hard it tried, the crummy weather couldn’t keep the sunshine of Kristen & Matt & co. from reaching us.  Art pop-ups, local food, beaches, laughs, quality conversation, a hilarious younger brother, boat rides, dolphins, and hearts sprinkled with gold made the weekend one to remember.

Looking back on the trip, I can’t help but think of the quote “Genuinely good people are like that. The sun shines out of them. They warm you right through.” (Michael Morpurgo Alone on a Wide Wide Sea).  The weather was cold, the sky was dark, but these people my goodness THESE PEOPLE. They were kind and warm and the sun was shining out of them right through us.

I keep that weekend in my back pocket and occasionally pull it out to remind myself of the power I have to affect others. A reminder that the good I do today will not be forgotten tomorrow. A reminder that, although life can be hard and broken and crummy and dark, maybe I have the ability to create a little sunshine here. Maybe my soul really DOES have the capacity to create lasting affect on the person next to me.

Maybe yours does, too.

Big thanks to Lauren Simpson for taking the time to write this post.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Preorder - Red, White and Blue Buffalo Sweatshirt

going to let this preorder run through january 1st!

designs by joshua minnich, small white print on the front, large white buffalo on the back. printed on a unisex navy/red american apparel flex fleece (50% polyester / 50% cotton fleece) zip up hoodie. also available in a dark heather grey if colors aren't your thing.

$46.00 (free shipping, usa only).

sizes

Tuesday
Dec162014

Preorder - Dark Heather Grey Buffalo Hoodie

 

going to let this preorder run through january 1st!

designs by joshua minnich, small white print on the front, large white buffalo on the back. printed on a unisex dark heather grey american apparel flex fleece (50% polyester / 50% cotton fleece) zip up hoodie. also available in red white and blue for all you patriots out there.

$46.00 (free shipping, usa only).

sizes

 

 

Tuesday
Dec162014

Coahuila, Mexico 

"...and i also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head..." primo levi 1961

i spent this last weekend alone, completely alone, an alone like i've never felt before. there i was setting up my tent on the edge of a limestone cliff in mexico. no cell phone service, no passport, my truck parked three hours upstream and not a single soul in sight. the only human being i saw the entire weekend was the cowboy boot clad gentleman at the ramp i launched from, but he was too busy shooting vultures with his rifle to give me much more than a nod and an "enjoy your trip." it felt good, i felt good, knowing i had no one to rely on other than myself.

upon my return lauren said something that made me think for a second about when i had originally planned on doing this trip five months ago, my birthday. "you know not a lot of people can do that." she wasn't speaking to the physical aspect of it, but the mental. could i have handled the complete isolation? i'd like to think so, but i probably couldn't have.

but there i was almost a half year later, sitting in a different country completely alone, i let out a howl of excitement to the barren land that lay before me. this weekend was my test and i think i passed.

the next morning as i paddled upstream against a headwind (i checked the weather, but forgot to check the winds) i couldn't help but laugh at how metaphorical it all was. much like life if i stopped moving forward, even for a second, i was whisked back down stream. my only option, keep moving forward; no matter how exhausting it was.  

Sunday
Dec072014

Camp Cookery - Thanksgiving Feast

thanksgiving dinner

4 lbs. boneless turkey breast
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick of butter
onion
rosemry
garlic
garlic powder
bay leaves
dead rooster co. black gold rub
1 acorn squash
4 sweet potatoes 
honey, cinnamon, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (for sweet potatoes & acorn squash)
stuffing
boxed mushroom bisque
white mushrooms

 other items needed

cast iron dutch oven
meat thermometer
aluminum foil
aluminum pie tin

as always, you'll want to start you fire are early as possible. the coals are key to this meal and are needed for the dutch oven along with the foil packets for the sweet potatoes and acron squash. 

i have traditionally cooked a turkey breast in a slow cooker for past thanksgivings, i wanted to try my hand at recreating the same thing while out in the woods and followed what i normally would have done at home; the only difference being the cooking time.

using a thawed turkey breast start by poking holes throughout, i try to jam as much garlic and onion into the actual turkey as i can, the long cooking time allows the flavors to permeate the meat. the netting that these come in are actually perfect for the next step so i always leave that on during the cooking process. take the rosemary sprigs and onion slivers and weave them through the netting, this will allow them to stay right on the meat during the cook.

the folks over at dead rooster co. (click to check them out) were nice enough to send me some of their black gold coffee based rub, i generously coated the turkey with it and then topped it off with a couple of spoonfuls of minced garlic.

now that the turkey prep is done take an aluminum pie tin, flip it upside down, cut a bunch of slits in it and place it in the bottom of the dutch oven. pour in the chicken broth add some more onions and the half a stick of butter and place the turkey on top of the pie tin. a four pound breast raised above the coals on a cooking rack took approximately three hours, so we had plenty of time to explore caddo lake before starting the sides. every half hour or so we would spin the dutch oven just to even out the heat.  

of course you'll need some snacks while ya cook! cheese plate with candied pecans.

turns out four sweet potatoes is a ton when all cubed up. along with the sliced acorn squash we decided to try out a couple different flavors for these.

a few with just olive oil and pepper, one with butter and onions, one with olive oil and cayenne and a sweet one with butter, honey and cinnamon. we used three layers of aluminum foil and just made sure packets were folded tight before throwing them directly in the coal. there was no real science behind these, just make sure you have some sort of oil or butter in each one so they don't get dried out during the cooking process. we left these on the fire for about an hour until they felt tender.

for other sides we just had a box of stove stop stuffing with added onions and some mushroom bisque to which we added more of our own mushrooms. straight forward, simple, just cooked these on the coleman stove.

i started checking the temperature of the meat every half hour or so after the first hour. you'll want to pull this off the fire when it reaches an internal temp. of 160 degrees. it will continue to cook as you let it rest (fifteen minutes).

thats it! a lot of ingredients but with a few people helping we pulled everything off without a hitch.

a huge thank you to my friends folklorica and fortuna monsoon for all their help and for making this thanksgiving an amazing experience. 

Tuesday
Dec022014

Developed - Destin, Florida

shot on : fuji superia 400

Wednesday
Nov262014

Shop Rags

white cotton shop rag designed by joshua minnich and printed right here in austin texas by ramona press. throw it in your pocket, clean that grease of your bike or hang it on your wall.

$6 (free shipping, usa only).

Tuesday
Nov182014

Camp Cookery - Jambalaya

jambalaya

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pounds sliced sausage

1 pound shrimp

1/2 onion diced

1 cup diced bell pepper

1 cup diced celery

1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning

1 cup rice

14.5 once can diced tomato

1/4 teaspoon diced thyme

2 cups chicken broth

bay leaves

first things first, i totally disregarded the portioning i had planned on using. this is one pot meal cooked in a cast iron dutch oven, it is very forgiving, and when cooking for a big group; the more food the better.

start your fire well before you plan on cooking, you'll need a solid bed of hot coals to get this dish cooked. it'll take a while for the fire to get to this point so i used that time to start chopping the veggies and slicing the sausage. when the coals are ready place the dutch oven on a stable portion and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom. 

once the oil is good and hot throw in your sliced sausage and let that cook for two minutes or so. next up, toss in celery, onion, bell pepper and cajun seasoning.

cook until the vegetables become tender. then goes the rice, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and chicken broth.

the only issue i ran into was at this point was needing to constantly add more chicken broth while the dish cooked. whether it was because i payed no attention to the amount of ingredients i threw in or because the fire was hotter than it should have been, i'm not sure. either way, constant stirring and tasting will let you know if more liquid is needed or not. at this point everything is cooked so i was just waiting on the rice. 

when the rice seems just about done (ten minutes for me) throw in the shrimp, cover and let cook for an additional two minutes. that's it, pull that sucker off the fire, remove the bay leaves and serve!

lessons learned: wash the oven immediately, with the libations flowing i neglected to clean it right after cooking. i spent a fun hour the next evening scraping caked on jambalaya off the bottom of the cast iron.

 

*sure is nice being on the other side of the camera sometimes. big thanks to lauren simpson for the bulk of these shots(click for portfolio)*

Thursday
Nov132014

Mustang Island State Park

"you can't be your best self until you find your tribe."

i have never felt more a part of something in my life than i have with this group of people. i have never felt more care come from people than i have with this group. i have never felt more concern come from people than i have with this group. i have never felt more enthusiasm come from people than i have with this group. i have never felt more love come from people than i have with this group. 

these folks took me in when i needed it the most and they didn't even know it. no questions. people who were genuinely interested in what i had to say, and more importantly what i didn't have to say. people who would sacrifice their own time to make sure i was having a good time.

people who would bear their souls to me with no expectation that i would do the same (even though i did). people who are always ready to have a good time, but understand the importance of embracing sorrow and heartache when it comes around. people who are nothing but sincere with their words and actions, sincere, so sincere. 

i have found my tribe in these people; and everyday they help me become my best self. 

 

*shot with the help of lauren simpson (click for portfolio)*

Tuesday
Nov042014

Arrowhead Patch

designed by joshua minnich and made right here in the usa. 3in. by 2.15in. iron on backing. $5 (free shipping, usa only).