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

by Matt on March 19, 2008

Treeandfennel

Grizzlyadams1974
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*.

Salad1

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…

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

Dressing
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.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim U March 19, 2008 at 7:09 am

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…

mari March 19, 2008 at 7:10 am

You make me laugh and laugh. Thank you.

Meg March 19, 2008 at 7:34 am

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

West March 19, 2008 at 8:22 am

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.

Katie March 19, 2008 at 9:33 am

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.

Rebecca March 19, 2008 at 9:55 am

Hey, grizz! This looks great! I was wondering what to do with that fennel bulb I have in the fridge!

Christie March 19, 2008 at 10:11 am

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.

J Wade March 19, 2008 at 12:04 pm

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

kitchenbeard March 19, 2008 at 12:30 pm

The only thing I’ve ever eaten at the Lone Star are scary peanuts and hot dogs.

kristina March 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm

…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…

Signed
Born on a Mountain Top in Tennessee

Linda March 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm

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!

Jennifer March 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm

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.

james March 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm
Susan from Food Blogga March 19, 2008 at 4:54 pm

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.

Cary March 19, 2008 at 11:51 pm

This is really similar to a salad Alice Waters made with Julia Child back in the day.

Kim March 20, 2008 at 6:06 am

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

Matilda March 20, 2008 at 8:11 am

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…

anticiplate March 20, 2008 at 8:19 am

Great flavors. I love that there is no “real” recipe. I like that kind of cooking anyway:)

loulou March 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm

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!

Dancing Kitchen March 20, 2008 at 5:34 pm

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.

michelle @ the smackdown March 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

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.

Cambria March 24, 2008 at 11:09 pm

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

Alice Q. Foodie March 25, 2008 at 11:40 pm

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.

Chou March 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Beautiful salad. I’m more of a bear from a long-distance away kind of person. :)

Hillary March 28, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Could that food look any more gorgeous?! Nice photos!

Colleen W May 7, 2008 at 5:25 am

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.

jean February 11, 2009 at 10:46 am

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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