Harrison entered this world as a Harrison. One week into his sweet life and he quickly became Hare Bear—yummy, sweet and cuddly, it was a natural nickname for him. It spread like wildfire and soon even the mailman was calling my precious baby by his charming moniker. A mere 10 years later the name sticks, although it has devolved even more…now he is simply, “Bear.” It works for baseball games and other sporty things when shouting, “Go Hare Bear!” just takes to long, so we all just shout, “Go Bear!”
This weekend he earned that name. It all began innocently enough. We often insist on torturing ourselves with a bit of camping and this weekend we headed to Georgia’s Ft. Mountain State Park for some woodsy fun. Our site was a bit off the beaten path, but we like it that way. While eating our freshly prepared fajitas Harrison glided up to the table to get another serving when he spun around and pointed at the woods, mouthing the word, “Bear.”
My son is one cool customer. That bear was only 5 feet away and closing in on our little picnic. Harrison is legendary for his spotting ability, that kid can eyeball a praying mantis at 50 yards while the rest of us stumble around wondering what he’s looking at. Of course he’d be the one to notice a bear. We all took a collective intake of breath and then people started in with the inevitable, “oh isn’t it cute?” remarks. But, really, no, a black bear is just not cute. I’m more of the clamoring, stomping and yelling sort—all of which we did after it appeared that Harrison’s Bear was not interested in leaving.
Even after a few extra glasses of a fabulous Albeemarle Rosé from Virginia, sleep that night was elusive…I even made my daughter put her food stained shirt in the car; images of a bear clawing our tent in search of aromatic garmets fluttered through my slightly neurotc mind. Harrison? He slept like a baby, probably dreaming about his next wildlife encounter. And lest we forget…the fajitas were pretty darn good—good enough for a bear.
Harrison’s Black Bear Fajitas with Albemarle Rose
1 T. chili powder
1 t. ground coriander
1 -2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. each cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper
a dash of steak seasoning or cajun spice
dash of cayenne
Rub this all over sliced chicken, marinate for about 2 hours. Heat canola oil in a large cast iron skillet, toss in chicken and cook until done. Remove and add in sliced peppers and onions…continue to cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Throw it all back in the skillet and reheat. Squeeze a lime over the works and serve with warm tortillas, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Save some for the bear (no, kidding)
Albemarle Rose from Virginia, $12, 2007
Bring lots of it, if you see a bear you’re gonna need it.