After weeks of intense heat and very little rain, I’m sitting here watching it pour absolute buckets. It’s a gorgeous summer sort of rainstorm, with lots of hazy golden evening light and just the mildest rumbles of thunder off in the distance. My plants need this. Maybe I need this, a restorative cleansing of sorts.
I can hear a bird peeping through the heavy rainfall and my guilt-ridden conscience swears it’s the catbird mama, still trying to find her missing baby so she can feed him dinner. I keep second-guessing our decision to bring him to the rehab center. We showed the rehab folks a video before bringing him in and they agreed, yes, something was wrong and he needed help, but still. Would it have been better to leave him, even if he might not have survived? Then his mom would’ve known where he was, at least. After we brought him to the rehab center, I saw the mama bird hopping around, beak stuffed with a juicy pokeweed berry, looking for her hungry baby. I could’ve sworn her little peeps were plaintive.
The rehab folks emailed back today and said he’s doing better — much more alert and active than he was on intake. But he’s still having trouble staying upright; he could’ve injured his spine when he first fledged. I’m holding out hope he recovers but I’m worried he won’t.
(For the curious, we brought him to Second Chance Wildlife Center and made a donation when we dropped him off. A sign in their office said it costs $75 to treat each patient, on average. If you feel moved to do any charitable giving this time of year, might I suggest Second Chance? Or a wildlife rehabber in your area?)
Anyway, on to the food. Tonight we had another simple dinner: baked potatoes, featuring jacket potatoes from the farmers market. I topped them with black beans cooked from scratch and this spicy nacho cheese sauce. They would’ve been excellent with roasted broccoli for something green, but alas, I didn’t have any. Steven prepped the potatoes while I was at work (he works from home) using my new favorite method: coating them with olive oil and kosher salt, then putting them directly onto the oven rack. No need to waste a piece of aluminum foil, and the skins turn out nice and crispy.
Question: What’s your favorite nacho cheese sauce recipe? This one was pretty good, but I’m always on the hunt for more. I do like the carrot- and potato-based ones, too!