From the Author

Nothing like that temperature and humidity drop after the heavens open and hammer down upon us. No more going outside first thing in the morning and taking a deep breath of water. No more red-face and sweat stains from a sixty-pace stroll to fetch the mail. 

And, lamentably, after the especially punishing torrent last Sunday, no more osprey nest.

My heart broke when I checked in the next morning to find their new nest dangling, in shreds, from a branch several feet lower. Having returned yesterday evening from a week away for work, the ospreys are still flying around and the wrecked nest still hangs on, but it’s tough to tell whether they’ll try to repair it. Or even where they’re staying at the moment. The old nest? An Aeriebnb nearby? Back to the binoculars for me…

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Blistered Tomatillo Jalapeño Salsa Verde

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

A salsa is only as good as its components, and our favorite green salsa is as good — and simple — as it gets.

Broiler (or grill) blistered tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic are blended with fresh cilantro. Then, minced raw onion gets stirred in just before serving to add texture. The result is bold, vibrant and almost fruity; not too spicy; perfect consistency to dunk into or spoon over.

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From the Author

I thought I had our osprey couple figured out. Just before we set off for the mountains, they were casually gathering large branches and placing them atop a different tree only a few wing-flaps away (fortunately still in perfect, if not better view, from the patio), always returning to their own tree. Upon our return, this nonchalant hobby collection had morphed into a fully outfitted osprey nest. The pair was officially moved in, leaving the other vacant and not looking back.

With my amateur knowledge of bird habits, and some help from experts online, I stated matter-of-factly to my husband that our couple’s digs must be a “frustration nest.” Usually the result of loss to a storm, a frustration nest may also come after loss of a single laid egg or a sole fledgling. I never spied evidence of such, but it seems to fit here, and I caught the pair in “action” yesterday morning. Though it’s highly unlikely the couple can successfully breed (again?) this late in the season, my hope is that what I intruded on takes.

[New osprey nest + the happy couple, through the looking glass, 7-14-17]
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Have You Met… Tomatillos

Eat Well Edibles Have You Met...

This post is part of a series meant to spotlight ingredients, providing nutritional background, a little culinary inspiration, and perhaps encourage you to take an adventure into new markets and cuisines.

Have you met… tomatillos?

Suspicious about why some pale green tomatoes are hidden inside a tiny crepe paper lantern? You should be. Tomatoes these are not; they’re tomatillos. Oh, and those green salsas at your local Mexican restaurant? Also tomatillo!

Although the literal translation from Spanish is “little tomato,” and another of its monikers is the Mexican husk tomato, the tomatillo (pronounced toe-muh-tee-oh), is only distant kin to that juicy red summertime favorite. Tomatillos are actually more closely related to the ground cherry, or cape gooseberry. These cousins are all members of the extensive and very ancient botanical family Solanaceae, or nightshades,* to which potato, eggplant, bell pepper and chili peppers also belong.

First cultivated by early mesoamerican civilizations, credit goes to the Aztecs for domestication. The tomatillo continues today to be a staple of Mexican and central American cuisines, and is spreading in popularity — for deliciously good reasons.

What’s so great about them?

Naturally low in calories (about 20 per 1/2-cup serving), tomatillos contain zero cholesterol, and negligible amounts of fat and sodium. This serving provides nearly 10% and 15% of your daily needs for vitamin K and vitamin C, respectively, plus about 5% of the DVs for potassiummanganesefiber and niacin (B3).

Tomatillos contain the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin — antioxidant carotenoids associated with improved eye health and reduced risk of age-related visual decline, including macular degeneration. Research is studying potentially anti-cancer compounds called anolides found in tomatillos, which may help protect men from the formation of colon cancer cells.

In small amounts (roughly 1% to 3% of your daily needs per serving), tomatillos provide magnesiumphosphorousiron and the trace mineral copper, plus vitamin A and several of the other B vitamins.

*Concerned about eating nightshade fruit + veg? Let us please debunk the myths.

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From the Author

Did everyone have a festive and fun Fourth of July? Ours was super chill — rollerblading, gardening, grilling, a bonfire… oh, and simultaneously lighting all of the sparklers leftover from our wedding send-off nearly seven (!!) years ago now.

Husband, 1; plastic planter staging area, 0. The simple things make us smile the widest.

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