Wednesday, July 14, 2010

what IS fennel?

I woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain, and decided there was no good reason to get out of bed at 6:20am just to sit inside the RV.  Unfortunately, what I intended to be another 1.5 hours of sleep turned into another 4 hours of sleep.  But, at least by 10:30 the rain had stopped and I was able to get some work done by the lake.  I did not, however, end up going for any sort of aerobic swim.  Instead, I spent 4 hours painting – which I totally think should count as exercise.  Either way, I’m worn out!

Tonight for dinner I made Lemon Chicken with Grilled Fennel and Onion.  I had never bought fennel before… or even seen fennel before (although I think I’ve used fennel seeds).  My initial thought at the grocery store was, “what am I going to do with this!?” and when I pulled it out of the fridge today, I felt pretty much the same.  Alas, I chopped up the bulb into slices as the recipe said.
 I made Scott try a piece of raw fennel with me, and neither of us were huge fans.  I don’t like licorice, and he hates vegetables / all healthy food.  I didn’t think it was bad, just… weird.  I crossed my fingers that between the marinade and the grilling, it would taste better.
 pre-grilling shot
The marinade called for grated lemon peel, but we have one tiny mini fridge in this RV and a limited budget for ourselves.  Knowing that I had no other use for the lemon, I determined that I would just use the lemon juice and nix the lemon peel.  Writing this now, I realize that I could have bought a lemon, used the peel and squeezed it for the juice, and that would have worked.  Hind sight is 20/20.  Anyway, I also didn’t have a brush or brush-like utensil, so after I marinated the chicken I had no way to continually brush the marinade over the chicken.  The result of these two things in combination was that the recipe was not very lemon-flavored.  Definitely would up the lemon flavor next time – more lemon juice in the marinade, actually using lemon peel, etc.
Other than the lack of lemon-y flavor, this turned out great!  I am becoming a grill MASTER, as Scott told me the chicken was cooked “perfectly.”  I was reminded how much I love the taste of grilled onions, and discovered that I also like grilled fennel quite a bit.  Scott does not like grilled fennel… he thinks it tastes “weird.”  Oh well.
Finished product! YUM!
Tomorrow I have a 1.5 mile run, and I’m praying that I can run a bit faster than Tuesday!  The weather right now is mild, so hopefully it will also be mild in 10 hours when I run!

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