Sunday afternoon

It was a nearly perfect afternoon at the Sabine Farm today.

I had a friend over to enjoy a leisurely late lunch of trouts, a fennel au gratin, sweet corn with a little garish of roasted red peppers.

I prepared the trout on a bed of the fennel greens with slices of orange.  For liquid I used fish stock, white wine and ginger.

It went into the 350F oven.

I made a sauce from the reduced cooking liquid which I rapidly cooked down with cream.

After, we had espresso and ice cold limoncello.

Birds and bees had lunch as well.

Blue Jay dines alone, as you can imagine.

And here… at a distance… is Mr. Bluebird.

I found another Robin in the act of pulling a worm.  The other pics, however, didn’t come out well.

The bees are really at the apple blossoms.


Penjing had nothing to say to lunch, but rather enjoyed sunshine and lots of water.  There were visitors, however.

A pair of scholars took some shade for a discussion, master and pupil.

As the shadows lengthened toward evening, some time in the chapel for vespers and rosary.

I look forward to the morrow.

The flag is ready to be hung in its accustomed place.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, Lighter fare, SESSIUNCULA, The Feeder Feed and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sam says:

    Justin Morneau’s grand slam probably puts an exclamation point on your evening as well. Glad to hear of your day. Blessings to you.

  2. John Michael says:

    Another topper to your day, Father, is that my eldest received her First Holy Communion today.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    How old is Penjing now?

  4. Sara says:

    Lovely photos..thanks so much for sharing.. it was dreary and overcast here (northern Utah).

    I catch a fair number of trout (rainbow and brown) in the local streams by my house and am always on the lookout for new recipes…I will definitely gives yours a try…any good wine suggestions??

  5. Sara: Try a Sauvignon Blanc.

  6. Geoffrey: How old? I have no idea. Penjing was a gift from a WDTPRSer some time ago.

  7. Matthew says:

    Father, did you get the limoncello at that shop between the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain in Rome? It is best served ice cold.

  8. Zippidy doo dah, zippidy day, my oh my, what a wonderful day!

    Good to see Mr. Bluebird looking so dapper.

  9. Dino says:

    Sweet corn with red peppers could be a little garish, I suppose, but un elote con chili, limón, sal, y mayonesa…mmmmmmm.

  10. Dr. Eric says:


    You would have loved the day we had. The birds were out singing, I think I heard about 20 distinctive calls and saw over 5 different species while we walked and picked cherries in my parents’ “orchard.”

    (My parents have 4 cherry trees, 2 apple trees, 1 pear tree, 1 pecan tree, and a few raspberry bushes in their yard by the ol’ pond.)

  11. Sharon says:

    Father, the comment section is closed on your eggplant parmesan section, but I made it today for son, who I figured would like it, and husband, who generally doesn’t like this sort of thing. He like it, too. I followed your pictures and description, and it turned out terrific. Thanks from all of us!!

  12. Glad to hear you had such a grand day, Father. I could use a fish-cookin’ lesson or two. No way would mine end up as good lookin’ as your fish. Looks moist too.

    Dead fish are easier to sneak up on and snap a picture of than those birds and bees. Way to go!

  13. Make me a Spark says:

    Father where did you learn to be such a world class cook? your food looks and sounds amazing!

  14. Jane says:

    The Sabine farm looks like a place of great serenity.

  15. Fr. Z, what kind of camera do you use to get such good closeups of birds and bugs and what not?

    I’ve got a marvellous digital Canon Power Shot A650 with 12.1 megapixels, and it is great on the extreme long shots, but I just can’t seem to get a good clear close-up and there is a lot of wonderful wildlife around here. Just last night, I was keeping the bedroom french doors open and a gekko wandered in, spent the night chasing mosquitoes. I’d have loved to get a good pic. There are also praying mantises which are wonderfully exotic and terrifying looking, but the camera just won’t focus that close up. V. frustrating.

  16. Janet McKeown says:

    You should seriously consider writing a cookbook – filled with pictures of your lovely food, Sabine Farm, and prayers.

  17. PaulJason says:


    If you visit us in Georgia I will happly take you fly fishing to catch a few trout.

  18. Andreas says:

    Quasi ad quoddam paradisi instar.

  19. little gal says:

    The shot with Mr. Bluebird staring right back at the photographer(Fr. Z.) is wonderful…I wonder what he is thinking?

  20. Janet says:

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures, Father. And I’m glad to see you’re finally past all the snow and winter darkness. Your spring up north is so beautiful, once it finally arrives.

  21. Supertradmom says:

    Where did you get the great china piece of the master and student? [A gift of many years ago from a friend.] Also, I agree that you should do a cookbook. I am sure that many of us would buy it.

    Also, I live in the “Bluebird State” and have yet to see one this year.
    Thanks for the amazing photos and Happy Feast Day of SS. Popes Urban, Gregory, the Venerable Bede, and St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi.

  22. Rose says:

    I did the mussels on Saturday and they turned out great. 2 lbs. of mussels came to
    five dollars Canadian, and it was too much for two! Great value meal!! [No kidding!] Think I will try the trout tonight, if it’s on sale. Thanks for the recipes!!

  23. Girgadis says:

    Trout cooked whole – WTG Father Z! It’s beer-can chicken roasted with
    Yukon Golds smothered in Vidalia onions on the grill for us later on today. [I, too, will put chicken on the grill and have it with a green salad.]
    (A proper kettle grill with wood coals fired in a chimney). The kitchen stove
    will see less action at dinner time from now until September.

  24. Regina says:

    Hmmm…fennel au gratin…very intriquing. Although we share a propensity for entrees without feet, I cannot enjoy a meal where I see the eyes. But to each his own. Since you alluded to sharing the leftovers with the birds, [I… I… I did?] I will share this with you and others on the board.If you ever have a Vietnamese priest at your table, offer him the head of the fish. An associate of mine did missionary work in Vietnam and brought home his third wife. As with his second Russian wife, he asked me to help his latest with her English. In gratitude, they invited me to dinner- deliciously seasoned
    ( for several days) fish and an interesting and tasty noodle concoction. Fortunately, he tipped me off that she would be offering me the head of the fish since I was the guest of honor. I graciously declined; the honorary head passed to her, and I have never seen such a conscientious consumption. This beautiful young woman sucked every morsel out of that head, but the most fascinating aspect was when she used her tongue and upper teeth to flip the eye out into her mouth. Her enjoyment more than abated my nausea. [Oh yes… I have seen the same thing among the Chinese. Yu tou!]

  25. jarhead462 says:

    Thank you for your Flag “props”
    FYI if anyone wants to know, On Memorial Day (Decoration Day) the Flag is to be flown at half-mast (If one has a flag-pole) until noon, then raised to full mast until colors.(sundown)

    Semper Fi!

  26. irishgirl says:

    Wonderful pictures of both nature and food!

    The bees are staring at you!

    What do you do with the fish heads? I don’t know if I’d want my dinner looking back at me!

  27. Girgadis says:

    Believe it or not, the flesh contained in the fish’s cheeks or jowls is,
    imo, the sweetest and most delicious part. I wouldn’t venture any further
    in the head than that – I’d leave the rest for the neighbor’s cat or the compost

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