Tag Archive | beet greens and mushroom panisse

Crusty Snow

We discovered a new tree today, one I’ve never noticed before, or don’t remember if I ever did.

Today I’m grateful for crusty snow, allowing a different type of walk through the woods than usual. I skirt the trees, off trail, walking an uneven path along drip lines, where shallow crusty snow meets frozen juniper duff, picking my way carefully to avoid punching through unsupportive crust over deeper snow, aimlessly following the dog’s nose; the cat Topaz both follows and leads, intermittently running up trees. I’m always eyeing these trees: which can go altogether, and which can simply be trimmed, an ongoing fire mitigation and path pruning exercise.

Stepping along atop snow crust has its own peculiar charms, or there would rarely be reason to do it. The simplest way to explain it is to say it’s fun! How well can I gauge the crust’s strength step by step? How far can I walk without punching through with an uncomfortable jolt that sends snow down into the sides of my shoes? It’s a game of chance, and carries a similar allure to any other gamble; though the satisfaction is purely mental, and the risk of injury is real.

I’m grateful for Topaz who loves our off-trail rambles.
I love how she rockets up a tree, hangs out demurely for awhile, then flows down the trunk.

We explored until I was too hungry to continue then turned home, a well-earned hour of reality after a morning at the desk, a quotidian adventure with cat and dog, discovering new trees to climb and photograph, lifting our legs high to step over sticks and sagebrush, giving our hips and thighs good exercise. 

I’m grateful when I remember to do the things that bring home to me why I chose this place to be home.

I’m grateful for the first crocus tips up yesterday, and today other tiny bulb shoots as well. Spring is coming!
I’m grateful for lunch after our morning adventure: panisse on toast with avocado spread. So simple, so delicious! Grateful for avocados, and where they grew, and who grew them, and how they got to the store, and how from there to my kitchen, and how even those that aren’t ideal for slicing can be salvaged, mushed together with mayonnaise and a pinch of sriracha salt into a gourmet sandwich spread or salad dressing.

Senses: Smell

I’m grateful for the sense of smell. I know several people who have lost it to Covid, some temporarily, others for longer, going on six months. One friend is always hungry; another is gaining weight in constant search of flavor. Sautéing onions this evening for Mushroom & Beet Green Panisse, I savored their aroma, and thought with sadness of all those who have lost this vital sense for short or long term.

I know some other people who have lost their sense of smell for years at a time from other unusual ailments. It saps them. Scent is so essential in our nourishment, our sense of taste. So I’m grateful for the sense of smell, for frying onions, baking bread (saved by the scent from burning this morning as I dove again into Apple tech purgatory for a few more hours); grateful for all the aromas of cooking and the flavors they enhance. Once again grateful for recipes online: just type in what you’ve got and get some ideas. I’m grateful I had mushrooms, beet greens, and chickpea flour in fridge and pantry. Grateful for supportive friends and community.

Adding sliced portobellos gradually so as to not crowd them…
… then chopped beet greens with spices tossed on top til wilted…
…mixed well into panisse (chickpea flour and water) on the stove, then pressed into a pan to cool…
…cut into slices and fried: crispy and light outside, creamy and delicate inside, absolutely delicious. Such a simple food, served on top of romaine, with a dab of mayo and a sprinkle of spiced salt, scent and flavor like a five star restaurant, in about half an hour right here at home.
I’m grateful for Stellar’s sense of smell, too, which often leads the way.