The Life and Times Of Grizzly Adams, or just me in my backyard.


Does anyone remember Grizzly Adams, the movie and tv show from the 1970s about that woodsman who was wrongfully accused of a crime and set off to live the life of a trapper somewhere in the mountains? Of course you do. All God’s creatures loved him and he ended up with that cute little bear companion named Ben.  I remember it too, and boy did I love it (this may explain a certainly affinity I have towards bears but this is so not the place to address this and besides, I’m married and all that happy stuff.)  I remember thinking how thrilling it must have been for Mr. Adams (played by Dan Haggerty) to do what he wanted to without being bothered by anyone. I also remember how hard it must have been for him to do without ZOOM (or any other TV show for that matter), Tang, Atari and Toughskin Jeans from Sears. But my biggest concern for Mr. Adams was food. What did he do? Did he have to learn to kill his own food? And what about foraging for nuts and berries? And how did he know what was safe and what was off limits? Did he have the internet? There wasn’t even an internet in the 70s so, what, did he have access to all those encyclopedias from the grocery store that you’d buy each time you went for milk and eggs? And whose bright idea was that, anyway? You don’t go to the Library for chuck steak, why would you buy books other than Mad Magazine at the grocery store? Huh, Mom? Someone answer me please I have been alone for 6 days and my dogs are starting to ignore me please anyone Grizzly Mr. Haggerty anyone please!!!!!!!!!!!

Now where was I? Oh yes, dinner.

As organized as I am, today I actually forgot to get dinner. And because you-know-who is gone I had to rely on myself. But the thought of heading to the store when I was already home didn’t sound appealing and neither did plucking pantry items to create some mix-matched meal. And while I was standing outside with my dogs in my backyard I remembered Grizzly Adams. Don’t ask me why but the mind is a powerful thing. All of a sudden I remembered I had leftover roasted beets in my fridge, a tree full of small colorful oranges, and one lone fennel plant sticking out of the ground that came out of nowhere. A salad! I’ll make a salad. And with that thought fresh in my mind, I loaded up the dogs in my sled, threw on a few pelts, grabbed my shotgun, scratched my beard and headed to the Lone Star*.


Beet, Orange and Fennel Salad

Please don’t hate me. I based this off a recipe from Epicurious and there really are no measurements. I doubt Grizzly Adams had measuring spoons. And while my beets were local and the fennel and oranges walked exactly 29.2 paces from yard-to-kitchen, my vinegar traveled 542 miles and my mustard was from France. Don’t worry, I bought offsets. Obsessive locavores, I’m only thinking of you…

A few roasted beets, sliced
A few orange segments
A few fennel slices, make it thin!
handful of hazelnuts

a touch of olive oil, extra virgin
a splash of champagne vinegar
some dijon mustard, not much, about a tablespoon or so
fennel seeds, crushed

Arrange the slices in a bowl. For the dressing combine all ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Top with a few hazelnuts and get ready to crunch.

*Grande points for you if you get this reference.


  1. says

    I loved Grizzly Adams! I’m sure it would be _awful_ if I watched it now, but at the time it was pretty awesome. Now I’m wishing I had an orange tree in my backyard…

  2. says

    Oh, see? I was all, yeah, yeah, OK, roasted beets, yeah, and then…fennel seeds! Gasp! That surprised and delighted me. See you Sunday?

  3. says

    beets? come on, man! ew…..

    beet me, whip me, make me write bad checks? sorry…..the pun was just up on that “golf tee” and I had to take a whack at it.

  4. Katie says

    That sounds like a dreamy solo dinner, the kind that would make me feel delightfully self-sufficient and sorta grateful to have a few days on my own, after all.

  5. says

    I don’t know Grizzly Adams, but I know that crazy documentary called Grizzly Man who had a bear friend called ‘Mr Chocolate’, does that count?

    Mmmmm, beets. I’d add some dill and greek yoghurt to this! Nice one, Matt.

  6. J Wade says

    i think i saw a guy with pelts at the lone star once, oh wait, he just didn’t have a shirt on.

  7. says

    …and TIMMY THE FOX!!! (Grizzly Man reference)

    OK, I am still laughing SO HARD at this post, I can barely type… the lone fennel that grew out of nowhere.

    I remember Grizzly, but what about Davy? Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier…

    Born on a Mountain Top in Tennessee

  8. says

    this is seriously one of my favorite summer salads! so simple, so flavorful, and the oranges & beets are bursting with summer-time refreshment. i adore your photographs!

  9. says

    Oh, I loved Grizzly Adams.

    Your salad sounds great! I especially like the idea of the hazelnuts. I’ve made a salad before with beets and oranges as well but instead of fennel, used goat cheese and red onion. Also very good.

  10. says

    Now, that’s someone I haven’t thought of in ages. I wonder how Grizzly Adams is doing. As for the salad, beets and oranges are a perfect pair. I make a similar salad with chickpeas and walnuts too.

  11. says

    Somehow missed Grizzly Adams. But can pretend if that’s what it takes to make this salad. Nothing like roasted beets.

  12. Matilda says

    Dear Matt,
    I love your blog! How wonderful to have lemon trees in the garden (not to be for me in New Jersey)–I just returned from Portugal, where our rented house had a small tree heavy with fruit in the back (and a fragrant jasmine plant, but that’s another story). One of my fondest memories is picking a lemon every day for our meals and our end-of-the-day hot lemon and honey to warm us up during the chilly evenings…

  13. says

    An affinity for bears, huh? You should meet some of my friends in New Orleans. They have their own little den down there.
    Oh, sorry…not the place to discuss…

    This is one of my favorite salads and I was thinking of taking a similar version to a friend’s on Sunday. Now I’m definitely taking it!

  14. Dancing Kitchen says

    Grizzly Adams was hot and so gentle with Ben…I also liked Hoss on Bonanza. I get my Hoss re-run fix, but it is such a shame Grizzly has disappeared.
    Good for you for foraging…there’s nothing quite as sweet as eating from your own land.

  15. says

    grizzly *man* annoys me beyond all reason – THE BEARS ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS, ASSHOLE. they’re fricking *bears*.

    sorry. he really, really annoys me.

    you know what doesn’t annoy me? this salad.

  16. says

    Awesome salad. I’m only 12, but I would love to eat that. Maybe my Mom will make it for me. I love your blog. I’m always checking in!! Cambria

  17. says

    Oh man, I loved that show – I also liked “Frank Buck – Bring em Back Alive” with Bruce Boxleitner. I guess I was an animal lover even back then! The salad sounds great – we’ve been making something similar with blood oranges and avocados lately – I bet fennel would be good with that too.

  18. says

    Wow, has it been that long since Grizzly Adams and ZOOM? Remember “The Electric Company”?
    Some people are afraid to experiment when it comes to cooking creations.
    You start with the tastes you like and start small and eventually you work up to many more ingredients and you will be amazed with the ultimate creation made by your hand.
    As a rule, I do not follow the norm when it comes to recipes and I modify them according to what I have on hand and what I feel like using for ingredients. Generally the final product is better then what the original recipe would have turned out to be.

  19. says

    grizzly adams was the first movie i ever saw.i had nightmares about mad jack (even though he was a nice critter)but i feel good to talk about this -thanks

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