Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

The Turkey Hen, the Bobcat, and the Peanut Butter Toast


Each year, come spring, a turkey hen appears in our neighborhood. She browses and grazes with a calm demeanor and kind-of acts like she owns the place. Where does she live the rest of the year? Not telling. Come spring, she comes home. I’m worried about what she might find this year. 

In her absence, a bobcat has taken up residence in the area. Just last week, the fearsome bobcat was lounging under the little-used basketball goal in my driveway. It was practically wearing sunglasses and ordering a tropical drink. 

Pepper and Daisy noticed.

“BOBCAT!! BOBCAT!! BOBCAT!!” Pepper barked, lunging at the window in the kitchen that looks out onto the basketball goal.

“Bobcat!! Bobcat!” Daisy echoed in her tiny, fierce voice, making high vertical leaps into the air behind Pepper.

“Why isn’t that bobcat paying any attention to me?” Pepper finally asked, as it studiously ignored her fits, barks, lunges, and threats.

“Yeah, why isn’t that cat paying any attention to Pepper?” Daisy echoed, with worshipful glances at her big sister.

“I don’t know,” I answered. “It really is surprising. You girls are making a big fuss. I’m impressed it’s still there, just basking.” 

Pepper and Daisy considered. 

The bobcat felt the warm sunshine on her skin.

Pepper turned back to the window and redoubled her efforts.

“BOBCAT!! BOBCAT!! BOBCAT!!” she barked, with feeling, and more lunges, and seriouser threats.

Daisy did a few more vertical leaps, then sat on her haunches and watched the bobcat and Pepper. She made her way over to my lap. I was reading a most excellent book. 

“I think that bobcat has something important figured out,” she said.

“I do, too,” I answered, and we smiled.

*      *      *

From The Comfort Book, by Matt Haig:

Peanut butter on toast

You will need:

Two slices of bread
A jar of peanut butter


  1. Place the slices of bread in a toaster.
  2. Wait a minute or two. Remove the toasted bread from the toaster and transfer to a plate.
  3. With a knife, spread the peanut butter generously onto one side of the toast. Spread the peanut butter with the knife always traveling in the same direction over the toast. I don’t know why. It just feels better this way.
  4. Don’t rush it. Set the mood of appreciation by moving the knife at a steady, Tai Chi kind of pace. This moment should have the integrity of a religious ritual.
  5. Take the plate of toast to your favorite seat. Sit. Compose yourself. Be fully aware of how wondrous it is to be sentient. To be aware you are not only alive as a human being, but as a human being about to eat some peanut butter on toast.
  6. Close your eyes as you take the first bite. Let your worries float by, untethered from their hooks, as you appreciate this living moment of taste and pleasure.
  7. If you really don’t like peanut butter, this ritual of gratitude and attentiveness has also been proven to work with marmalade. 

*     *     *

Big sister

Lil sister


  1. Looooove catching up with these critters!

  2. Your peanut butter toast made me think about the toast points that Mr. Rogers talked about – as related in the book “The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers” by Amy Hollingsworth. Sometimes comfort and insight comes in the simple things that nourish us – and your posts often feel that way to me, too.

  3. A turkey hen, yes! One sat on our deck rail yesterday, eyeing our car. I thought maybe she would drive, but finally, she flew off.

  4. You are basically the Sir David Attenborough of Green Hills.

  5. I cannot believe you have a bobcat in your backyard! And yes, peanut butter toast is my favorite comfort food. Thank you for this delightful post.

  6. I saw that bobcat about two weeks ago and couldn’t believe my eyes. Yes, he/she gave me a royal look of “and who are you?”
    My go to peanut butter lunch is…
    1) get out one piece of bread
    2) put as much crunchy peanut butter on it as you can
    3) put it in a toaster oven until the peanut butter is melted (while you wait tear off pieces of an end piece, cover in peanut butter and eat)
    4) carefully lift it to some sort of rack so it won’t sweat on the plate
    5) it will drip and be messy, but glorious!

  7. Pepper and Daisy’s Adventures! Book 2 of goodness!

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