Tag Archive | bulbing fennel


I’m grateful for egg salad. This has no turmeric or curry in it, it’s just this yellow from the deep yolks of local eggs. I don’t make egg salad as often as I’d like to because I always feel I need to hard boil six or eight eggs at a time, and then eat way too much egg salad. I was craving egg salad this morning, so I boiled just two eggs, thinking that would be enough for a sandwich on the last homemade hotdog bun. It was too much for a closed sandwich, so I made two open-face sandwiches, one with cheddar cheese and one with those delicious B&B pickles–both with mayonnaise!

I used seven eggs today. I’m grateful for eggs, and especially for eggs from the Bad Dog Ranch, where the chickens are happy and healthy. I’m grateful I’ve had the chance to reach into the nest box and pull out a warm egg. I like to know where my food comes from whenever possible. I’m grateful for the rich orange yolks of home-laid happy-hen eggs.

The other five eggs went into the batter for a 7-Up cake, which is apparently a summer cultural thing in the South. I’ve never had one to my knowledge, but it was pretty easy to make, first whipping butter and sugar til super fluffy, adding eggs one at a time, then lime juice and zest, and vanilla extract. After that, alternately adding cake flour and 7-Up til the batter is super light. Baking was almost a disaster, either from oven temp, altitude, or too small a pan, but ultimately I got a usable cake out of it. I had decided to prep most of Boyz Lunch tonight, since it involved a lot of oven time, and I didn’t want to overheat the house tomorrow morning. The timing was perfect, baking the cake just as I was able to open a door, and by the time the pizza was in the oven it was dusk and a cool breeze blew through the house from both doors and three windows.

I pulled the pizza out when it was just done, not quite as crispy as I like it, so that I can add a little more marinara and mozzarella tomorrow and reheat it for lunch. It’s an experiment and may not work out too well, but whatever happens it will be ok. The guys aren’t too picky, and they’ll get cake at the end. I used the King Arthur ‘crispy cheesy pizza crust,’ which is so simple, so delicious; and Epicurious skillet fennel and sausage pizza recipe for topping. It’s a joy to explore the many uses of fennel with my beautiful crop in the garden. I’m grateful for having fun in the kitchen.

Mon Dieu!

Speculoos breakfast cake for dessert

I fell asleep watching Drag Race France, even after a nap this afternoon. This oxygen thing is taking a toll. I’ll be grateful when it’s resolved and I have more energy in a day. Meanwhile, I’m grateful for Drag Race France, and for Boyz Lunch, and for all the fun I had in the kitchen this morning. Mon Dieu! It was 95 degrees outside and I slaved over a hot oven all morning, baking first that Speculoos breakfast cake at last, and then homemade hot dog buns. Both were delicious.

Lunch underway, a kitchen whirlwind this morning
I’m grateful for these herb scissors: boy, do I love having the right tool for the job! The Herby 3 Bean Salad recipe calls for ¾ cup fresh herbs, and this tool made short work of chopping the dill, fennel leaf, parsley, basil, and rosemary from the garden.
Herby Three Bean Salad, with garden fennel, last summer’s green beans, and fresh herbs, plus some canned beans, store-bought red onions, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
I’m grateful, as always, for the technology to find the right recipe for the job. I found hotdogs in the freezer this morning and decided that’s what’s for lunch, but had no buns. I searched ‘quick hotdog bun recipe,’ and pretty quickly found Bonnie’s 30-minute bun recipe. Amazing!
The last of the Homestead all-beef hotdogs from the freezer, saved after they weren’t needed at Michael’s memorial party almost exactly a year ago. I’m grateful for a chest freezer filled with wholesome local meats and garden produce, and also for this new Staub grill pan/lid that just happened to arrive yesterday with its cocotte bottom.
A perfect July luncheon.
And a restful nap afterwards for the chef and the tiny sous-chef.

Spotted Fawns

I’m grateful I was able to spend most of the morning in the garden, replenishing tattered prayer flags, potting up some seedlings, pulling a few weeds, and generally appreciating the beauty of the growing things. I am thrilled with the progress of the bulbing fennel, which grows more lush by the day. In the midst of this joy I took a short break for a phone call, and sat where I could see the south woods. A doe strolled by beyond the yarden fence, and a few seconds later I spotted a quick small creature well behind her. Coyote! I thought, but then came context: another doe followed by two tiny twins. I watched them cross the whole expanse of the south woods from the driveway until they disappeared behind the garden fence, trailing the first doe at a distance. I’m grateful for this minutes-long look at the first spotted fawns of the season. It’s rare to catch more than a fleeting glimpse: Once their mothers spot you the spotted fawns vanish.

We call them ‘spotted fawns’, I guess, because we still call them fawns their first year long after their spots have blended into their lightening coats. When they are newborn and for a month or so after, they have darker brown fur with white spots which makes them disappear into the forest floor like dappled light.

Wren did well with car training again this evening. Her new harness arrived, so even after tightening her strap, even if she could manage to dangle again, it would be by her shoulder girdle and not by her precious neck. With the aid of treats, we moved more quickly from the lap to the seat to driving, and she was a little more relaxed…

Still, when we returned from the mailbox, she was trembling to get out of the car, and let her relief be known with a happy yodel…

After car training, we took a mocktail and some cheese and crackers down to the pond. Wren pointed a doe outside the fence, and I whispered her over to sit beside me for a cheese treat. As we sat quietly, the doe jumped the fence and came to drink at the pond. I could see that she’s nursing. Maybe she is the mother of the twins. I’m grateful to have a water system that makes this pond possible to provide habitat, food, and water to wildlife in this high desert oasis. The deer, I know, are also grateful for this flowing fresh water.

A second doe soon joined the first. Note her swollen teats: she clearly also has a fawn or fawns laying low outside the fence somewhere. Perhaps she is the mother of the twins.
Like the does, I’m grateful for fresh flowing water. I came in for a shower and took a moment to appreciate the beauty of this hot cascade backlit by the setting sun. I am always and deeply grateful for hot running water, for a home with a shower, and a bed to sleep in afterward.