Help! I’m Trapped In The Basement!

November 17, 2010


What’s that? You don’t know what a camel cricket is? Only the scariest, hairiest, most unpredictable insect there is. I grew up with them in my parents’ historic house. They are terrifying because they jump AT you. And they are HUGE. [Although I will take them over the giant roaches of Charlotte any day!]

Since I can’t bear the thought of searching for a real photo, here’s my best likeness:


Recognize him now!?

What was I do doing in the basement? I went down to grab something and ended up getting stuck for 2 hours cleaning and sorting. As it is for most people, our basement is a catch-all for storage, and as a super-organizer, I can’t stand it down there.

Nothing looks that great, but it’s all sorted and contained now.

First I tackled the food storage [note the pyramid of pumpkin!] Feeling much better about this area that had gotten cluttered.


And then we sorted through all of our unopened moving boxes, mostly books, DVDs and overflow art we can’t hang. Plus a few more boxes of random never-used stuff. Looks much better [more organized] now. I am giving away a ton of stuff to Goodwill (cookbooks, cheap vases, etc) and it feels SO good.


As an FYI, here are the other parts of the basement:

Matt’s Lair and desk where he spends most of his days


The brewery where he spends the rest of his time (I am thankful this looks neat!)



And the laundry area  with winter coats (and food storage from the side)


Dinner production began after we loaded my trunk with stuff

Tempeh Stir-Fry with [Leftover Olive] + Lavender Quinoa



Matt is into reductions these days, and this one is a mix of soy sauce, Sailor Swagger, fresh ginger, Garlic Gold nuggets, Worcestershire, water and brown sugar.

Tempeh on the back burner – we sautéed up about 2/3 of a three grain slab.


Poured over broc + cauli + peas from our garden!



Quinoa on the side



My birthday present from Larbs finally arrived (it had gotten broken the first shipment through)


Two kinds of balsamic vinegar!!!

Wait for it…..zoom in….


Yes, pumpkin spice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it’s so good!! Tastes just like Matt’s pumpkin-beer-gone vinegar.


Somebody make me a salad!

And with that I have a dietetics webinar to attend as part of my continuing eds.

And then 40 pages left of Dragon Tattoo!

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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine November 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm

MMm I love fancy-pants balsamics! You know those specialty stores stores where they have the big dispensers with bread for tastings == heaven!!

I googled the bug — the face is kinda scary human! Eeek!


2 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Um, yeah, that thing would have scared the bejeezes out of me!!! YIKES! Tony catches that stuff and puts it out for me. Dang woman, your basement is so clean! I am really jealous of that! Dinner looks delicious. Enjoy your book!


3 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Um, I’m scared and I didn’t even see it!


4 Gina November 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Love the picture you drew! It made me giggle. Even though I probably would have died if one jumped out at me =X


5 Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) November 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm
6 Kath November 17, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Do I WANT to watch that!?


7 Kath November 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Ahhhhhhh I thought it was a movie but no, it was UP CLOSE with the HORROR!!!


8 [email protected] November 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm

haha, sometimes I get going on cleaning rampages too :-) I like everything to have a place where it belongs! Your dinner looks amazing.


9 Nicole November 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I love the nicely stacked pumpkin and more so on preparing your own tempeh, that’s something I’ve yet to try on my own!


10 [email protected] November 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Okay, yeah… the camel cricket totally gave me the willies on a google image search!


11 Kaci November 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm

EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am TERRIFIED of camel/cavecrickets!! They live in my basement too, but luckily my cats kill them sometimes. I will freeze if they get close to me though!

Great job organizing, and that pumpkin spice balsalmic looks divine!!


12 Amy K. @ onehealthypeanut November 17, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I have been to that olive oil shop in Boston and it is fabulous!!! But I have never heard of pumpkin spice vinegar, I can’t imagine what that tastes like but anything pumpkin spice gets my vote :)


13 Rae (Ravenous Rae) November 17, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I agree with you about the crickets! I am from TX but recently moved to NC – I had never seen one of those things and when I first saw them in the garage they freaked me out. No one at my office knew what to call them so we googled them! I akso agree I would rather have those than roaches!


14 Mary November 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Glad to see I’m not the only one with a pyamid of pumpkin in my basement!


15 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Oooooh those sound so interesting!! As does the lavender quinoa- such a creative idea.

You don’t want to see my parents’ basement…


16 Sara November 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Oh yes, I know of the crickets. Although I’ve always called them spider crickets. They are HUGE and they are NASTY!! They tend to flood my house this time of year (they are bad throughout the neighborhood, it’s not just me). My roommate and I kill at least 1 a day. We have found a spider killer spray that works excellent! It doesn’t kill them but it ‘freezes’ them so that you can then squash them or pick them up and dispose of them without them jumping at you!


17 Lauren November 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I WANT THOSE!!! What a fantastic gift!!!


18 ilana November 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Dinner looks good! And I have had the samew experience with the book!
Matt’s labels on the beers are so cute. :)


19 Kelly November 17, 2010 at 8:09 pm

There’s a little shop in Savannah that makes all kinds of different flavors of balsamic vinegar. I bought fig flavor when I was there last year and it is delicious on salads!


20 Estela @ Weekly Bite November 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I can’t stand crickets!!! We have them in our basement and they freak me out!


21 stacey-healthylife November 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm

The vinegar sounds interesting. Can’t wait to see it in use.


22 Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen November 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I just noticed Boston Olive Oil’s shop on Newbury St. the other day! They do olive oil and vinegar tastings all the time!


23 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I haaaate when I get sidetracked when things like that happen.


24 Alyson @ Nourished Fitness November 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Oh my.. you made me realize its been WAY too long since I’ve had tempeh.. must remedy that!


25 Krystina November 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

PUMPKIN BALSAMIC?! BLACK CHERRY BALSAMIC? ! Ahhh, I wish gourmet vinegars weren’t so expensive, or I’d be stocking up.


26 Molly November 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Hey Kath! This is more for Matt than for you…the Discovery Channel is starting a new TV series…Brew Masters! Starts November 21st…not sure of the time though.


27 Kath November 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I will tell him to DVR it!


28 Rachel November 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

And it’s Sam from Dogfish Head in DELAWARE! Woo-hoo!! Come visit us in Delaware.


29 Katie November 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Looks delicious!


30 Shannon November 17, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I love the Boston Olive Oil Company — I didn’t know they had Pumpkin Spice BV right now though. Must.get.on.that. The Persian Lime EVOO is incredible too!

And impressive work on the basement. Mine is so terrifying even the dog won’t go beyond the top of the stairs. Holy laundry piles everywhere.


31 Amy at TheSceneFromMe November 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Doesn’t it feel wonderous to purge stuff! Organizing, sorting and getting rid of unused stuff makes us organized people feel light doesn’t it! Good job!


32 Lauren November 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Absolutely no one has basements down here because we’re so close to sea level. It’s so hard for me to imagine that you have all of that extra space to do something with. It must be wonderful!


33 kelsey November 17, 2010 at 8:38 pm

i do do do do do NOT like those kinds of crickets!!!!!!!


34 Shannon (A Better Me) November 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I hate those things! We get them all in our garage during the summer (guess because the floor is cool?). They look like spiders to me…that jump! Gah! My hair is standing up just thinking about them…


35 Maria November 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm

O.M.G. I HATE THOSE THINGS! I had to look it up to confirm that it was what I thought it was and I still cringe just looking at a PHOTO. I usually call them spider crickets, but that by any other name is STILL creepy. *shudders*


36 Kimberly @ Servantless American Cook November 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I looked up the camel cricket! EW!


37 Camille November 17, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I definitely squinted my eyes because I thought you were going to a post a picture and I didn’t want to see it. Thank you so much for not posting a photo!


38 Rachel November 17, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I feel your camel cricket pain…. I have those nasty creatures in my basement and they are hideous!!! I thought I discovered a new bug when I first saw it – but the Co-Op Extension people laughed at me and just said “It’s a camel cricket…” we see them all the time.


39 Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker November 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Ah! Very fun seeing the beers you’ve brewed. Right now we have a Hop Nog and Celebration Ale clone downstairs. I love oatmeal stouts, though. So, I’ve told Stephen that we’re trying that next! <3


40 Kath November 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Does that have to do with egg nog?!!?!?


41 lynn (The Actors Diet) November 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

i’m scared of basements! luckily we don’t have them anymore in LA but when i lived on the east coast i was always scared someone would grab my ankles (or my ass) as i went up the stairs. who? a monster, of course!


42 Simply Life November 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

oooh that does not look like something I want jumping at me – I’d fly up those stairs in a second to get away!


43 AppGal November 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Um…I might have shrieked when I saw your post. See, I have a very intense fear of these creatures. I’ve been waging war against them lately (and by waging war, I mean shaking and screaming “it’s attacking my FACE!” and making hubby go in and kill it). I guess they are the bug of choice up here (we live in Boone, NC) and they love our house. Nice to see I am not alone here :)


44 Evyn November 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm

cave crickets are TERRIBLE. I feel your pain. I lived in an old house in Cville and I would find them around the house constantly. Don’t want to freak you out but…one time I found one in my underwear drawer. Most terrifying experience of my LIFE.


45 Kath November 17, 2010 at 9:21 pm

MORE on camel crickets: My friend in middle school [that’s YOU Hugh David!!] used to put them down my SHIRT as a joke!!!

And have you ever peered into the crawlspace of a historic house? They LINE the walls!!


46 Mom November 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm

And their legs have sticky stuff on them and they can cling to you.


47 Heather November 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm

That is a scary looking cricket.

I wish anything in my apartment looked as organized as your basement – I am a pretty organized person but my husband is not. I have gotten much more lax as we have been married.

Enjoy the rest of your book!


48 Alicia November 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Great looking dinner… and those balsamic vinegars look so unique. I didn’t realize they came in different flavors. Enjoy!


49 mariaeatsbeets November 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I have never in my life heard of a camel cricket, I hope I never see one, scary! I’ve always wondered what I’m supposed to do with cheap vases, I feel bad for getting rid of them but if your not careful they accumalate to the max. That pumpkin oil looks m-azing, have fun cooking with it.


50 Nelle @ Living Cliche November 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Enjoy the rest of Dragon Tattoo… I tried to get the sequels in the library today, but they were all checked out. You’re so lucky to have a garden! Jealous.


51 Heather (Heather's Dish) November 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm

oh my gosh i don’t know how you’re not throwing up from that bug jumping in your face…seriously, i think i would barf!


52 Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Ewww! I hate bugs, especially big ones. It must be so nice to have your own garden. I have a little spice garden and tried to grow spinach but it died on me :( Also pumpkin spice balsamic vinegar sounds amazing. It’s the perfect topper for fall salads.


53 Ella November 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Is it weird that seeing those photos of your basement is totally making me jealous and also totally making me fantasize about my own future storage-worthy basement someday? I guess being 27 and living in a 400 sq ft apartment with another full grown adult and just 2 closets will do that to you…


54 Cara Craves... November 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm

What a delicious dinner!
Look forward to seeing how you use that pumpkin vinegar.


55 Hannah November 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Ugh, a moth flew into my face the other day RIGHT when I was taking a cockroach outside in a glass. The world is mean sometimes!


56 kate November 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I love going to Olive Oil places and testing the balsamics. Coconut is my fave, followed by fig!


57 Lily's Health Pad November 17, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I’ve never heard of a caramel cricket. You pic makes it look like a daddy long legs?


58 Katie November 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I HATE camel crickets. I woke up to one on my pillow once! I still haven’t recovered. I was so freaked out I took a picture with my iphone! I’ll send it to you to prove it. I have also started wearing a sleep mask.


59 Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

ACCKK about the cricket!! Bleh! I think I know what you’re talking about. Any bug jumping on you isn’t fun..but especially gross looking ones!! Uhh makes me shivver just thinking about it.


60 rebecca lustig November 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

ive heard such good things about dragon tattoo– wish i had some free time to pick up a novel for fun!


61 Beth (kitchenminions) November 17, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I used to live in Maryland and we had camel crickets. The worst experience was when one jumped on my leg when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Gross! Glad you are enjoying Dragon Tattoo it’s such a good book!


62 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 17, 2010 at 10:40 pm

You have THE most organized basement I have ever seen. And quite the pumpkin can pyramid! :) Awesome.


63 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) November 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Pumpkin spice vinegar sounds awesome! So does cherry! Lovely gifts :)


64 Jillian@ Reshape Your Life November 17, 2010 at 11:20 pm

So I had to google what a camel cricket was, because your drawing made me giggle. But they do look very scary! Especially in a basement (everything is scarier in a basement!) Good thing you made it out alive!!

And I’m jealous of how neat your basement is… er… I actually don’t have a basement. But my garage and spare room are disasters.


65 Dee November 17, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Oh wow, your basement is so NEAT! I got stuck organizing and cleaning too. Sigh. It never ends, does it?


66 Alaina November 17, 2010 at 11:55 pm

I love the Conan brew :-)

My dad brews – I think he’s on his 4th brew – and his best was a winter ale-type drink. Kitchen doesn’t smell good, but the beer is good!


67 RJ November 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

ok I just had to look up the cricket and MEEEEEP I would run a mile if that thing jumped out at me. I used to tackle coachroaches on a daily basis during the summer when I lived in Asia. The day there were 3 in the kitchen, and then they started FLYING… I just shut the door and went to bed.


68 Laura (Starloz) November 18, 2010 at 5:23 am

can i steal your basement? its incredible. makes me want to buy a house


69 j November 18, 2010 at 5:53 am

There’s a similar olive oil place in Scottsdale, AZ called Outrageous Olive Oils. I had never seen anything like it! I just ordered oils and vinegars for the cooks on my gift list! So different and delicious, shout out to Blood Orange EVOO:)


70 Laura November 18, 2010 at 7:24 am

LOL about the crickets. We had them in the house I grew up in AND they lived in the laundry area. I call them “laundry bugs”


71 Melissa November 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

Ugly bugs! I don’t know about pumpkin spice vinegar, sounds interesting though.


72 Honey B. November 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

Hahaha I see many many cans of pureed pumpkin on that basement shelf! You are making me want salad with tofu. Perfect, that’s lunch planned!


73 Mom November 18, 2010 at 7:38 am

The oddest thing hapened. I stepped into you room last night after reading this post, and right away, a camel cricket hopped out. I haven’t seen one in there in ions!


74 Kath November 18, 2010 at 8:47 am

That does not make me want to come home for Christmas. Esp. because I crushed a roach with my foot when I walked in this summer…


75 Mom November 18, 2010 at 8:58 am

All the bugs are waiting for you. “Come on home, Kath,” they say. “It’s almost Christmas!”


76 Lauren November 18, 2010 at 7:47 am

I admit that I searched Google images for camel crickets… shouldn’t have done that. They are awful!

What isn’t awful – and is actually quite awesome – is that pumpkin spice balsamic! I live in the Boston area and would love to find some. I will have to hunt down Boston Olive Oil Company (sounds like a place I could blow a whole lot of cash).

Enjoy your day, Kath :)


77 Lori November 18, 2010 at 7:52 am

Our bedroom is in the basement and we have one of those lovely creatures. Have been trying since Monday to catch him. I’m so afraid I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night with him in my face. ugggg. We’re going cricket hunting this week-end. Have got to find that thing.!!


78 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 18, 2010 at 8:02 am

There are all sorts of gross insects in my basement too! Once I saw a huge centipede in our storage room, and now I refuse to ever go in there again! 😛


79 Suzanne @ Continuing My Education November 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

pumpkin spice balsamic!?!? Just in time for thanksgiving! I see a yummy thanksgiving salad in your future, or greens reduced in the pumpkin spic balsamic!


80 Peggy November 18, 2010 at 8:11 am

Wow! Can you come over and clean my basement too?


81 Caitie November 18, 2010 at 8:17 am

If this makes you feel better, freshman year in my dorm- I was sleeping and thought I felt something on my face but just kind of swatted it away because I thought my hair had just fallen in front of my face. BUT, then I felt it again, swatted at it again, jumped out bed and turned the lights on and it was HUUUUGE cockroach. I was the only one home and proceeded to try to kill it (on my bed!!!) and it took forever because everytime I would whack at it, the bed would just dip with it (as opposed to if it was being smooshed on a hard surface). Did not sleep that night and my then my roommates thought it was hilarious. UGH!


82 Kath November 18, 2010 at 8:47 am



83 jen November 18, 2010 at 8:37 am

Hey Kath,

Is making tempeh in a stir fry the same as tofu? What’s the easiest way to cook it?



84 Kath November 18, 2010 at 8:48 am

No! They are two totally different foods. Just similar because they are made from soy (among other things with tempeh).


85 lauren November 18, 2010 at 9:41 am

i could not stop laughing at the drawing. too funny. But why do you keep Matt in the basement most of the day?


86 Kath November 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

I don’t keep him in there – it’s his man cave and he likes it


87 laine @ beets, butter and mountaintops November 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I was going to ask the same thing. I thought the lap top screen was one of those old tv’s and that the lap was the antenna, and I was like “is he some crazy old man down in the basement watching his cathode ray tv with rabbit ear antenna?” Then I realized that it was a lap top and a lamp and I felt better.


88 Jen November 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

Oh my gosh I HATE those things! When it starts getting colder out they move on in to the basement and garage. My sister and I call them spider crickets (spickets for short). It’s awful trying to kill them b/c you have to have an escape route planned if you don’t get them the first time, cause you know they’re gonna jump straight at you! And is it just me, or do you feel extra hard core when you manage to kill one? Haha : )


89 Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey November 18, 2010 at 9:53 am

Love Matt’s post-it note of the Conan beer!



90 Judy November 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

Aww, you should have held a virtual garage sale and offered up your stuff for sale on the wrbsite! LOL


91 Rachel November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

Ugh I HATE insects of all kinds. I too live in an older house in the south (central Arkansas) and we get both the massive roaches AND massive jumping grasshoppers among other nasty critters. I think its because we are so rural even close to the capital city. Our grasshoppers are green so i doubt they are the same but nasty flying/jumping insects are terrifying no matter what….gross.


92 Allison K November 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

Yuck. We Do NOT have those crickets out west. But we do have Mormon Crickets. I know…terrible name..they probably have a more PC name, but that is what everyone calls them. When they migrate (?) they are EVERY WHERE! I pulled into a rest stop once and there were literally thousands of them.


93 Ashley November 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

We have those too in our basement! We call them spider crickets because they look like spiders but they can jump like crickets. And they are HUGE! I make my husband go to the basement to get things for me cause I’m a big scardy cat when it comes to spiders!! Yuck!


94 Halie November 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Your enthusiasm for vinegar is awesome.


95 Bree November 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Yuck! I had to google it because I had never heard of those before. We have a terrible, terrible bug called a house centipede every once in a while. I had never seen one until we bought our house. They are so scary! Don’t look them up if you don’t know because you will have nightmares. The only thing winter is good for – killing off bugs!

The red quinoa looks awesome. I have some waiting for me in the pantry – and just got a huge sample pack of Garlic Gold and can’t wait to sell it in my OS store :)


96 Jennifer November 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hi Kath,

I’m just wondering why you don’t like onions because of stank breath, but you enjoy garlic gold, which gives you bad breath as well? If you already answered this, I’m sorry! I’ve been wondering it for awhile! :)

Thank you!


97 Kath November 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I answered you other comment :)


98 Kiran November 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I hate creepy crawlies! Eww!!!


99 Samantha Bellinger November 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I hate cavecrickets. Growing up, I never wanted to go onto the patio at night because they would be waiting to jump on me. Gross. Hope that was the only one lurking in your basement!


100 Jill Will Run November 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Pumpkin spice balsamic vinegar sounds awesome! I went to a balsamic vinegar tasting a couple weeks ago in Phoenix when I was there for a half marathon. I tried a black cherry one that was awesome. Well… everyone I tried was amazing. I came home with a bottle of white peach balsamic and dark chocolate balsamic (drizzled on vanilla fro-yo… heaven!).


101 Samantha November 19, 2010 at 8:43 am

I see your microwave down in the basement on a shelf even…why don’t you plug that sucker in?


102 Kath November 19, 2010 at 8:56 am

What do you mean? It is plugged in?


103 Samantha November 19, 2010 at 9:16 am

Oh… I guess I thought it wasn’t since you melted you coconut butter in the oven…..whoop.


104 Kath November 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

We didn’t have one for a while, but then Emily gave me her old one. Maybe I didn’t mention it enough?!


105 Brittany November 21, 2010 at 2:30 am

AHHH!!!!!! I love you!! We’ve had those crickets in our basement for a few months and no one knew what they were. Now I can figure out how to get rid of them! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


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