Planet of the Scapes

by Pearl Pirie

As winter closes in, or opens up the sky, depending on your take on winter, slow food and fast foods both increase their particular appeal for nesting and for comfort. Slow food cooks itself and homemade fast food is so fast, it’s almost like not cooking at all. Here are two ideas from our home to yours.


Main dish: A fennel course (30-40 minutes, serves 2)

1/2 fennel bulb
1 leek (white part) chopped
1 peach or nectarine, chopped or minced
drizzle of olive oil

Preheat a cast iron pan with oil. Cut stems off the fennel (I hear they work for soup stock). Cut the bulb into quarters. Add the other ingredients around. Put on low heat and cover. When tender, plate it. An excellent side dish.


Dessert fast: 90-second gluten-free lava cake

1 egg
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 mug or bowl
cherry pie filling (optional)

Beat egg in cup. Mix in next two ingredients (gently at first) until they combine into a batter.
Microwave for 50-60 seconds, until the cake is bubbled and firm (but not overcooked so you keep some lava).
Straight is excellent: for more decadence, add pie filling or cherry jam.


Pearl Pirie hosts Literary Landscape at CKCU. Sign up for her quarterly mailing list at:  Commission a poem for birthdays and anniversaries at where you can see all her books. At Tree Reading Series we’re seeking a co-director to keep poetry coming in Ottawa with