Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Simple Living: Brats and Dogs at the Cabin

Way up north in the hinter regions, there resides a modest lake in good form. Two hundred acres plus, I should wager, and if you had a brat2mind to, you could see twelve feet down into it’s gin-clear waters – the aquatic homestead of umpteen bucket mouth bass, and northern pike. The shores there are delightful too, studded in Red and White Pines, with the occasional sturdy Oak thrown in for good measure. A walk amid these tall timbers invariably reveals beavers at work, and whitetails on the forage. Downy woodpeckers engaged in wild headbanging, and of course the customary sighting of Minnesota’s most beloved bird, the common loon. Oh how it’s otherworldly song echoes through the forest primeval, and likewise the tender recesses of your soul.

I had occasion earlier this Autumn, just before deer season in point of fact, to take my passion for loitering up way of this lake. There is a modest cabin there, topped by gray shingles clad with green moss, and an old, rickety outhouse outback, where you are to toss a scoop of lye down the hole after each use. No electricity, no plumbing, no worries. Simple arrangements to be sure. And if less is really more, then this was just what I was looking for. A little respite, if you will, from the ever-whirling urban machine. From sirens screaming and horns blaring. From a world sadly fraught with haste. To these tranquil shores I have come now, to tarry long under tall pines where the breeze gently murmurs. To brew a cup of tea, toss another log on the fire, and just gaze out over the water, in no hurry to do anything, or go anywhere…

Eventually tho, my tummy had other ideas, namely lunch!


There is an old kettle grill up there, mercifully. A Weber wanna-be, but good enough for my likes, for a patron of the pit is not picky under such remote conditions afield. We will gladly cook out of an old tin can plucked from a garbage pile, if there is nothing else. In point of fact, we have. So this old kettle grill was quite the luxury, you see. Crikies, the world was ours! So the coals where promptly fired and put to work down in it’s steely bosom, and I enjoyed the comforting heat radiating up out of the kettle into the cool, blue Minnesota sky. Life was good in northern Minnesota. But it was about to get better. Time to plop on the meat!


In a small hamlet no less than a half hours drive away, we procured from the local butcher shop there a mass quantity of hot dogs and some rather rotund bratwursts. Under the flag of simple living, we had simple food. I would wash no dishes this weekend. Nay, I would eat like a beast instead, and wipe my chin only with a sleeve. Likewise, if I wanted to burp, I’d burp. If I wanted to scratch, I’d scratch. You get the idea. And besides, some times a good dog, swirled in ketchup, mustard and onions just plain hits the spot. Such was the case today, on the shores of paradise. The simple life, people. No TV channels to flip. Now twits to tweet. We didn’t even have cell phone reception…And I reveled in every minute of it. It is good for us. It is medicine. From time to time, I concluded, it is well for a soul to unplug from the “Borg Collective”, and live simply. Or barring that, simply live. Star Trek fans will understand.

And in the distance, somewhere down the lake, the silence broke again with echoes of loon song. Amen.


Brats and Dogs and Whispering pines. Simple Living and good times, patron to the pit!

30 responses

  1. Love a whispering pine almost as good as a dog or brat… Have a great weekend and may your grill stay warm!

    December 12, 2014 at 10:51 am

  2. Pingback: Simple Living: Brats and Dogs at the Cabin - Best 2 Buy Outdoor

  3. Oh, how I long for it. Our vacation out at the ranch over the Thanksgiving week, while badly needed, was unfortunately cut short. As I read your vivid description, my pile of camping necessities sits nearby. We’re heading out again, this weekend. Fresh air, beautiful views, good food, good wine. I’m ready.

    December 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    • Ah yes, well said. You are a patron of the simple pleasures, and the good life by and by. Have a great trip, Mrs Deerslayer. I am decidedly jealous.

      December 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

  4. Nothing like a good brat – but man, what a view!!

    December 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    • Indeed, nothing like meat with a view! Merry Christmas, Kate!

      December 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm

  5. That sausage picture has made us so hungry.

    December 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

  6. Wow, we don’t get brats like that down here, wish we did…(SoFla)

    December 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm

  7. Looks like a wonderful (and right manly) homestead. I truly enjoyed your depiction in my minds eye – except for the scratching part. I blocked that out. Happy Holidays, fellas!

    December 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    • Haha, thank you kindly, Mr Quincho. Likewise, Happy Holidays to you and yours!

      December 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm

  8. Ron Duke

    G’day Patrons. There is nothing more satisfying than a brat and dog, on a piece of bread or roll, with your choice of condiments. It truly is a wonderful thing to check out of the rat race for a more simple, maybe even primal way of life. I call that good for the soul! as always a pleasure to here your verse of food and life. Many thanks good folk.



    December 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    • Thanks, Ron! As usual I appreciate your time and comment. Thank you kindly sir.

      December 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm

  9. AH! Tube steaks as folks back East cal them! HA!
    I would love to spend a week out there at your ‘cabin’.

    December 12, 2014 at 7:17 pm

  10. Of the many fond memories I hold dear regarding dear old Minnesota – one of my favorites is going to the local Rainbow Food store and having my pick of fifty or sixty different types of hot dogs, brats, and sausages! No where else I have ever lived in the United States have I found such a rich collection of sausage for the picking.

    Looks like you found one of the local butchers who knows how to do it right! Those brats look great.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    December 13, 2014 at 6:57 am

    • Ah yes, the sausages are in plentiful array here on the land of 10000 lakes. I didn’t know we had it that good tho. The rainbow we frequent recently closed its doors, I’m sad to say. Not sure if it is just that store or the franchise. They did have a cornucopia of selection for meats to grill.

      Merry Christmas John and Mary!

      December 13, 2014 at 11:11 am

  11. Those look great PotP. IMHO, brats deserve a top five in any conversation of the best sausages ever made. I even like the Cheddarwurst better.

    December 13, 2014 at 7:41 am

    • Thanks Bill! Yeah, brats are wonderful inventions to be sure. When you’re in the mood for simple meat, they sure seem to hit the spot. Cheddar wursts are great. Sort of the juicy Lucy of the sausage world!


      December 13, 2014 at 11:15 am

  12. Well said. Thanks for the wonderful imagery. I love the unplugging from the Borg Collective metaphor. I’ll have to use that at work. I also – as a metalhead – like the head banging woodpeckers. Cheers.

    December 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

  13. Looks like a great place to grill- thanks for sharing.

    December 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

    • Thanks Chef! Yes indeed, sometimes location makes a simple fare taste better. Such was the case here.

      December 14, 2014 at 10:59 am

  14. Damn nice steez right there!

    December 15, 2014 at 2:49 am

  15. Liz

    what fun! Will you head up to the cabin during the winter? Great photo.

    December 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    • Not likely. Mostly because I suppose the road to the cabin isn’t plowed in the winter. Thanks Liz!

      December 17, 2014 at 9:12 am

  16. Jay

    I love going up to the cottage in the winter!

    December 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

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