When the World Feels Uncertain

Fennel and Watercress Salad with Citrus Dressing

Sometimes when the world around me feels frightening and uncertain, I want to gather up my chickens and my hubby and pile us all on a great big cozy bed. And I want to eat ice cream and watch movies and snuggle with my children – without them knowing that we’re snuggling.  And when the movie is over and they’ve fallen asleep, I want to gaze at their faces, and watch them sleep like I did when they were babies. When I waited with anticipation for every rise and fall of their chests.

Never mind that my two oldest are 13 and 15 now, and they would probably be “creeped out” to know I was watching them sleep.

But, just a few weeks ago during their spring vacation, I did just that.

We holed up together – the 5 of us – at our favorite little getaway in Old Town Scottsdale: FireSky Resort. A little desert oasis. Intimate. Bougainvillea everywhere.

I spent the mornings sipping coffee in the sun. Reading. While the kids slept.

Under umbrellas on the patio, I ordered and promptly devoured their Fennel and Watercress Salad with grilled shrimp for lunch. Like “spring for my body” after a long, heavy winter.

In the afternoon, the boys swam and pestered each other. My daughter and I soaked up some much-needed Vitamin D and the hubby came and went from the pool to SportsCenter depending on the March Madness schedule.

And in the late evening, when the in-room movie was over and my children were sound asleep, I gazed over at them. And watched them softly breathing. Comforted by knowing, in that moment, they were safe in our little makeshift nest.

Fennel and Watercress Salad with Citrus Dressing, x2

I am deeply saddened by what happened in Boston on Monday. My heart goes out to those families who lost a loved one. Words to try to make sense of why it happened escape me.

Hug your hubby, your wife, your partner, your kiddos, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, your best friend, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your nana, your papa, your neighbor, random strangers on the street.



Watercress (Arugula) and Fennel Salad with Citrus Dressing
Course: lunch, dinner
Cuisine: salad
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
I love the simplicity and the freshness of this salad. Watercress isn't quite in season, here in the northwest so I substituted arugula when I made this salad at home which is what you see in the photo. But, as soon as I find myself some watercress, I will be switching back. For those of you who aren't familiar with watercress, it is one of the oldest plants consumed by human beings. The peppery plant loves to make it's home in aquatic areas. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician so believed in the healing powers of watercress that he built his first hospital near a stream so he could grow it and use it to treat his patients' ailments. It is said that Captain James Cook was able to circle the globe three times without the curse of scurvy thanks to watercress being fed to his sailors. Watercress has more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk and three times as much Vitamin E as lettuce. And, Francis Bacon, a 17th century English philosopher said it would restore women's youth. Bring on the watercress!! But seriously, this little plant is an overlooked wonder plant. I encourage you to Google watercress and read up on it's amazing, healing properties. I'm thinking that perhaps I could get some growing in my front yard - that never ceases to be a swamp even in the dead of summer - so I can have this little miracle green on a daily basis. Enjoy!
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • a couple handfuls of watercress (or arugula)
  • a handful of thinly sliced fennel
  • a smattering of cherry tomatoes
  • a sprinkling of black pepper
  • a wedge of lemon on the side
  • optional: some grilled shrimp or diced chicken breast
  1. Combine the lemon and orange juice in a bowl with the shallot. Set aside and let macerate for 10 minutes or so.
  2. Whisk in the honey and the salt.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuously whisking.
  4. Arrange a couple handfuls of watercress on two plates. Top with the fennel and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  5. Drizzle on the dressing to your liking.
  6. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side as well as shrimp or chicken if you so desire.
  7. Enjoy!



  1. Love all of your posts, sweet pea. Every single one. You enunciate my own feelings in such a beautiful way. Thank you.

  2. Nicely put Carrie. It’s been a scary and unsettling week.

  3. Hi Carrie! I really wish we had connected at #BTP1 this weekend. It would have been wonderful to speak with you, as I once lived in Beaverton and still have family in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up eating Tillamook squeaky cheese every time we drove to the beach house in Rockaway.

    And thank you for the reminder to hold my kids tight. 🙂


    • Hi Kim, Oh, I agree!! We’ll have to make sure to connect at the next “food function.” Thank you for stopping by La Pomme. I look forward to following your beautiful blog.

  4. I look forward to the times ahead when my kids are a little older and can be less supervised…kinda. But I know for sure I’ll look back and wish they were still my babies, you just can’t win. It was great to meet you last weekend!