A new delicious salad and a pie

I am bushed tonight, y'all, but it's been a productive, good week. We received several letters from the boys; Jack sounds positively ebullient, and Oliver does too, in his own understated way. No one who knows him will be surprised to find that with all manner of found object -stones, cobwebs, pine needles, etc- he has erected Tent 7 Town Hall underneath his tent (they're raised structures) at camp and is running it in his down time. We know not who else participates in T7TH but perhaps that doesn't matter. 

I am really starting to miss them and will be beside myself with anticipation one week from Sunday when I first get to lay eyes on them. Aah!

In the meantime, a beautiful pie and a new salad to share.


The pie is a strawberry rhubarb balsamic. Because yesterday was so humid, I could take great liberties with my oil-based crust. It's often quite finicky but is a snap on a wet day. So, fleurs.

And this salad arose from a burst of creativity and a need to use up some produce. I shaved a bulb of fennel and a nectarine, halved a few cherries, and chopped some fennel fronds and mint. I had some pepper-crusted goat cheese and roasted pistachios too, so those went on, and then I drizzled the whole thing with salt, freshly ground pepper, peppery olive oil, and some pear balsamic. Dreadful photo, scrumptious salad. Summer on a plate!

not the prettiest photo, but alas

not the prettiest photo, but alas


A real respite, a good meal, an early bedtime

After that epic nosebleed finally called it quits, I headed to school to put together the New Student Welcome Board. I love taking photos of the new kids- they just can't know what happiness and opportunity lie in store for them at this place (hopefully; I think so). And I like to see them as they venture off on this new educational journey. I got the board made, worked in the library for a while, took J to the orthodontist to get his spacers in (he gets a palate expander on Wednesday), and dropped the kids at home with a babysitter. Usually I run errands or exercise during these few hours that I have childcare, but today I packed up my computer, walked to a coffee shop with no WiFi (at least not that I can ever access), ordered a good pot of tea and just wrote. I can't tell you the last time I was able to do that, and it felt so restorative and good. I decided to keep things easy tonight and warm up my last two collard handpies for our entree. Our side was a shaved fennel salad drizzled generously with terrific olive oil and kosher salt and topped with sliced cherry tomatoes, fennel fronds, goat cheese and chopped marcona almonds. Lovely, lovely.


And now, T happily watching the Redskins game (not lookin' so good so far, RGIII), I'm off to bed with a good book and random sections of the past four days' newspapers.