Come in! Sit down. I’ll put on some Edith Piaf, and we can talk! I just came in from the back garden. Let’s chop up some basil for the pizza. Let’s also gather some pineapple sage, stir it into a pitcher of water. Let’s have summer dinner.
Food is helping me get through summer, the roughest part of the year for me. Because while it is so hot, and the bugs are so bad, the garden is also going crazy— and its a paradise of whatever you’d like to eat. It’s all ready and all fresh. Pass the olive oil!
Since I confided to you last week about my weakness for French living, music, food and all that lovely Frenchy stuff (especially inspired by this blog and its accompanying podcast), I’ve been trying to be more mindful about life and food and my day.
My granny asked me the other day if I loved to cook. I supposed I like it, if I’m in the mood— but what I really love is eating. And since this winter I’ve been trying to be smarter about what I’m eating– eating fresh real things, and reaping the health benefits from that (since the end of january, I’m hovering around about a 30 pound weight loss, and I think I’m the better for it in many aspects of my life)
However, my favorite times to cook seem to be during the colder months, when things feel cozy. In the summer, I seem to lose all inspiration. But the books I’ve been reading– especially In A French Kitchen-— have really inspired me to try new things and to realize that cooking amazing things doesnt have to be complicated. The dish above is a few chicken breasts with green beans, red bell pepper, asparagus, a jar of olive mix from World Market (the Italian blend, don’t tell the French!) and a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Then I made a small amount of paste with a mix of pesto (also from World Market…I am currently pretty obsessed with that place), heated a baguette in the oven and voila, dinner!
The interesting thing about this dinner is….you could basically do the same thing every night, but it would always be a different meal depending on the meat and veggies you chose. That is the beauty of old fashioned cooking— even the medieval pottage soup that people would eat for each meal in the ‘really old, olden days.’ They just literally through in what was growing, butchered or available at the time, and it constantly changed due to what they had on hand. So while the method of cooking remained the same, the contents of the meal was always changing. Perhaps we modern folks forget that we also have that option— and that we dont have to eat the same old standard meals with the same ingredients every month, all year.
So that is what is on my mind a lot these days 😉 Trying to look for simple, good things. Even when the world seems hard and dark and out of control, I have learned that there are some things I can control….and things I can do for my family to bring them a little bit of joy. Sometimes I have to protect my heart and mind, and a favorite way to do that is a walk through the garden…
Look at the little faces of the zenias, peek in at the squash that are about ready to come in and be eaten, being pleasantly surprised by the little humming bird that didnt even notice me standing there, and sampled all the flowers around me.
I will soak this in, and bring it out again through painting, and pass it on to you. Sometimes it seems silly that a paint brush, or a nice dinner, might do any good in this world. But its one step in many, I think. If I take care of myself, I am able to go out into the world and be more kind and compassionate. If I make things that make feel people feel rested, inspired or closer to their faith, I think that is very good too.
So lets go out– and spread joy one little smile or painting or morsel at a time. Please remember to take care of yourself, too. If you are not nurtured, you have nothing with which you can nurture others.
Ah, and one more thing! A little gift I promised, right? Last post I shared that I would select a giveaway winner for my print, The Bee Keeper’s Garden! The winner for this giveaway is….
Who entered by replying through my newsletter. Congrats to you, Lucy! Hope you love your new little print 😀
And in closing, I remind you—
Til next time,