Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fruit of the Harvest

Welcome to my kitchen! Today it's time to harvest the basil! Here's my little basil garden (and one calla lily towering in the background). I cut the basil down to about 1/3 of the height you see here. It should grow back to yield another crop later this summer.

The best part of harvesting basil - fresh pesto! Our family loves pesto over pasta, drizzled with a bit of EVOO. The only downside is that a lot of basil....

gives you such a little bit of pesto.
One little 4 oz. jar and a couple tablespoons (for grilled paninis for lunch).

Next year I need to plant twice as much basil and parsley. I start the basil from seed - what you see is up top is about 3/4 of a seed packet. I have a couple other pots that hold the rest, along with 2 parsleys I bought from Lowes. I haven't had as much luck starting that from seed so I just buy the plants. ;) Our deck is the only consistently sunny spot to grow anything, so I just do some small container gardening. This keeps the bunnies away, too! I love sitting on our deck and brushing my hand through the plants to fill the air with their aroma. It takes my mind out of the city for a few moments.

If you want to try your hand at making pesto, here's my recipe given to me by a good friend.

1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
1/2 cup firmly packed parsley leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, can be toasted
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp lemon  juice
1 garlic clove, quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put everything except the olive oil into a blender. Buzz it up until a paste forms. While the blender runs on low speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto has a consistency of soft butter (I didn't use the full 1/4 cup....maybe only half that). Pesto can be stored in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for later use.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Art journal - camping

Thinking about an upcoming campout today. This started as a failed attempt at a crayon resist with watercolor, so I continued to fill the page with color, letting it run and generally being messy. Then my daughter accidentally leaned her arms across the wet page! No matter. I let it dry then the Sharpies and white-out pen joined in for a bit of a doodling and journaling session.

Monday, June 11, 2012

on fish and birds - again and again

Have you ever let yourself just doodle without really thinking? Basically just draw by gut instinct without worrying about the outcome? That's how this doodle developed. Our family was chilling out watching the "Andy Griffith Show" while my pen carried me away. There is something really satisfying about drawing a beautiful, curvy, thick/thin line! I know that sounds weird, right? I really got into those lines in the center of this drawing. They led me on a thought journey - the lines reminded me of waves, which reminded me of sea critters, which made me ponder how God might've felt while creating the myriad of sea creatures and birds on the fifth day of our little world's existence. And why did he choose fish and birds on the same day?? Why not fish and bugs? or birds and reptiles? I have no answer to that, but after drawing this, I see some related shapes and forms between them. Perhaps God was reveling in making those lovely organic curves. He didn't just make trout, but did the same thing over and over with countless variations on a theme. Minnows. Tuna. Salmon that turn colors. Clown fish. Moon jellies. Narwhals. Angler fish that light up. Flounders with eyes that move across their bodies.

That joy of repetition in something simple and sweet is best understood by little kids. Think about the last time your toddler begged you to push her on the swings at the playground. Over and over and over. Don't stop Daddy! We adults have forgotten the joy of beautiful repetition, instead we're often annoyed by it. Ugh, sin robs us of our joy again. Not today - those dish soap bubbles will be marveled over, the simple ingenuity of t-shirts appreciated while folding laundry. Thank you God for the joy of repetition - help me not get bogged down in it.