Light at the End of the Fennel

This isn’t my usual cheerful, chipper blog post. Summer is over – or at least the holidays are. Helsinki enjoyed an almost record-breaking heatwave of 5 weeks. But no more (sort of). Today was the first day of school for the kids. And what do I wake up to this morning? The sad news of Robin Williams’ passing. That’s enough to make an English teacher stand on her desk and sound her barbaric yawp over the senselessness of it all.

Silly kiddos, several mugs of coffee, sweating it out at the gym after a day of setting up my new classroom… still the weight clung to me. Now, I know a few things about depression personally, and I was a real fan of the man, too. Maybe that’s why. But I know I’m not alone in feeling this today.

So, I went home and decided to do something cheerful and chipper with what I had. Mood enhancing food, if you like. This is how I deal with stuff these days.


Fennel, bell pepper and orange salad with walnuts

  • 1 fennel, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced (or in bits, however they want to land, basically)
  • half of a yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • half of a green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • a couple of handfuls of walnuts, crumbled
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • fresh mint leaves

+ dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil + a splash of sherry vinegar


Mix your thin slices of fennel, bell peppers and oranges in a lidded container. Add walnuts and seasoning, ripping the mint leaves on top. Drizzle the dressing on top, put a lid on the container and shake, so it all gets properly, evenly mixed in.


I had a bit of the salad with some leftover gravlax. More mood-enhancing goodness.


RIP RW. Thanks for the laughs. Thanks for moving us. Thanks for reminding me and others to keep fighting. Even with food. Food fight…




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