I’m sitting on my couch, my purple couch(!!), drinking peach lemonade with ruby-red vodka and eating chips with salsa while trying to figure out what to make for dinner. The windows are all open and a sweet summer breeze is blowing through. The sun’s reflection is dazzling and dancing on the rippling surface of the lake. The sound of the wind chimes mingles with my iTunes. Summer finally arrived, not with some great announcement or spectacle but slowly, building until all of a sudden it’s here. Just in time for me to finally have time to enjoy it too. I really am just basking in the ability to relax and think about dinner options while enjoying a post-work drink. The last month has been, well I don’t think I have a good word for what the last month has been. It has been wonderful and in just the past few weeks I have met some lifelong friends, all the while it took every ounce of my being to get from one day to the next. My father spent the better part of the month in the hospital, he is home now and doing well. I traveled to the mid-west, twice. My brother is in the process of moving to the other side of the country. Work ate me alive and spit me out only slightly worse for wear. I found myself responsible for a large portion of my dad’s job for several weeks. A dear, dear friend died. Through out all of this, I grew. Hugely. Maybe I can tell you about it sometime.
This blog has become way more introspective this past 9 months than I ever intended it to be, but I have always said that food is intertwined throughout the lives we live. I am as inexorability linked to my food, and who I share it with than anything else in life. I have several recipe post bouncing around in my head waiting to be shared with you. When I can’t sleep I lay in bed and write blog posts in my head. Perhaps I should just get out a notebook and write them down, they would then be at least one step closer to appearing on here.
Tonight, I think I will make the summer’s first batch of basil pesto. I found a bounty of locally raised produce at the co-op this afternoon and I have several generous handfuls of basil leaves waiting patiently in the fridge for me to do something with them. Pestos of any kind are beautifully simple. You really don’t need a recipe, but because I always forget the ratio since I make it so infrequently between each summer I turn to Alice Waters for guidance. I hope summer is treating you well and you are finding time to enjoy the luxuriously long days.
Adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food.
1 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts which are cheaper)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil (the recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but I was more that satisfied with half that and would use even less next time)
In a food processor (or a mortar and pestle in true Alice Water fashion) finely chop garlic and nuts to a rough paste. Add Parmesan and continue to process. Coarsely chop basil leaves, add them to the food processor. Once the leaves have started to break down to a paste, with the food processor running, slowly add olive oil. Salt to taste. Makes about 1 1/2 cups pesto.
Serve over warm pasta noodles with vegetables, as a spread for crostinis, or even with scrambled eggs and toast.