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.