Fennel pollen is the gift of summer here and now. Fine soft tender bright yellow pollen that I save in a small handful to scatter over pasta dishes.
All over the garden the fennel has bushed up, dark bronze fennel, wild sugary aniseedy green fennel, heavy-bulbed Florentine fennel, young self-seeding fennel. I keep the dill in quarantine on the far side of the garden because dill and fennel are cousins and merge with cloudy uncertain flavours.
Stood at the kitchen counter this morning, glass bowls filled with blue hydrangeas and hot pink roses all around, and patiently stuffed yellow banana peppers. Peeled off the charred and blackened skins (that shiny outer membrane), spooned in a mix of rice, spinach, onion, garlic tomato, basil yumyumyum, secured the stuffed peppers with tiny wooden toothpicks. Into a hot pan with a lid.
Sigh. Not worth the trouble though, the stuffing still good but the pepper a little sweetish and watery, not impressive.
At some point we stop trying to give ourselves treat and rewards and happy experiences each day. Let it fall where it falls.