weekend lookback, september 22

Oh my god. Are you guys sick of me yet? I'm sick of me. Whine, whine, whine. I feel like I've been sick for months. And now Cal. And now Lucy.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that we took our hang-dog hound to the vet on Friday. She'd been limping off and on all week (we all figured it was sympathy pain since Cal had been home sick), but she clearly wasn't getting better, and it seemed best to have her seen rather than not. We figured maybe a pulled muscle (she can play hard), but her diagnosis is a bit more complicated than that. Our vet showed us her x-rays, and it was, frankly, disheartening. She has degenerative bone disease. So where bone should look smooth, like polished wood, hers look like jagged mountain peaks. Both front legs. We didn't see the back.

She's been in tons of pain, apparently, (Our vet gave her a pat on the head, saying, "See? All this time they thought you were faking and you've been stoic.") so our goal right now is to get her as comfortable as possible. She's been pretty mopey all weekend, but maybe? Maybe, moving a little better. Poor little girl. She's missed her Violet desperately, and now this.

So we hunkered down. Out of town three weekends out of the last four was more than plenty for us, I think. We're all in various stages of recovery, so I brought out the big guns and made this soup. (I just picked one at random, and it worked.) It was a huge hit! Definitely moving it into the rotation. Perhaps on a daily basis.

And yet, my mind is active. Isn't that the funniest thing? I feel like my subconscious is filled with tiny bubbles, ideas that keep rising to the surface, like champagne effervescence. How do you know which ones to follow? How do you know which ones to let stream off into the air and when you should take a sip? Time will tell, I suppose.

blackberry salsa {still + life}

Somewhere along the way, I've developed a love of fruit and veggie salads. It's that combination of sweet and savory that gets me every time. This salad has been a go-to a lot this summer after I rediscovered it, and our produce-stand watermelon produced a wonderful watermelon and feta salad. (Get what I did there? The produce stand produced...). So when I saw a blueberry salsa, meant for fried catfish posted here by Patrick Evans-Hylton, a local, beloved chef, I was keen to try it.

Only we were having blueberries for dessert and we weren't having fried catfish.

Enter the blackberry. I figured if it sounded good with blueberries, it must also be pretty awesome with blackberries, right? And if it sounded good with fried catfish, it might also be good with grilled chicken right?

Here's what we did.

We marinated our chicken with Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Apple Grille Sauce. Then Neel took over the grilling part. (He did some corn on the cob too. I can't seem to get enough of it this summer.) And here's how we did the salsa:

Blackberry Salsa, adapted from Patrick Evans-Hylton's Blueberry Salsa

2 10 oz. packs of blackberries
1/2 of 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1 small red onion, chopped
2-3 small red and yellow sweet peppers, chopped
a handful of cilantro, chopped fine
juice of one lime
a couple glugs of olive oil (Evans-Hylton calls for 1/4 cup. I just glugged.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper

Divide the berries into thirds, chopping 2/3 and leaving 1/3 whole. Combine chopped berries with jalapeno, onion, peppers and cilantro. Add lime juice, olive oil and whole berries and gently stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste, chill and serve alongside chicken, fish or even pork or beef.

I just want to go on record that every time I try to type "fried" I type "friend," which feels appropriate.