Pesto @ The Ranch

November 9, 2009

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The Makings of a Fine Pesto

Ashley came by this past Sunday and we made a batch of pesto. Yummy. I started out by harvesting all five sweet basil plants from my garden, which was enough to yield about 10 cups of basil leaves. The recipe goes something like this:

2 cups basil leaves, packed

3 cloves garlic

2 T fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 c olive oil

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, or if you’re like me and you burned the pine nuts, toasted walnuts

salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in food processor and mix until they form a paste. Freeze by the 1/2 cup in plastic bags. (We used snack sized bags put the snack bag into another snack bag so they are double wrapped. Use on pasta, pizza, tofu, chicken or fish. I like to put the pesto on noodles and add chopped green olives, artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes. Good stuff.

We made five batches and will be eating summertime goodness through the winter. I’ll likely do another batch with purple basil before the end of the month.

Deathoughts

August 4, 2009

Five years ago, a young couple—friends of friends–died in a freak car accident while traveling to their 4th of July vacation spot in Asheville, NC.

Their three-year-old son lived. I remember being blood-curdlingly horrified by the story.

The woman had once been a teacher at The Redmont School, where Marley was attending preschool. That was the extent of our connection–two degrees of separation.

I worried for their son, bargained with fate to undo what had been done, obsessed about the unfairness of it all.

And finally, I spent several hours in bed, paralyzed with fear about what could befall my own children, seriously considering never taking my family out into the world in order to protect them. Then I realized that even at home, an airplane could fall from the sky and hit our house, or a meteorite could pulverize us anywhere on earth. The realization that I am not in control hit me hard that weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Hail to the Queen(s)

August 3, 2009

queen bee

So we found the queen today. Make that two queens. My friend Julie and I gingerly pulled frames out of our new beehives , looking for we weren’t quite sure what. But we did know enough to look for the queen in each hive.

We purchased the bees last week. At that point I knew nothing about raising bees. But since I try not to let lack of knowledge keep me away from a new adventure, I heartily agreed that we ought to put some hives in the back 40 at The Okey Dokey Ranch, since serendipity was nudging us in that direction anyway.

Julie had met this guy named Paul at Crestwood Coffee a few weeks back who was looking for a home for his bees due to an impending move to Houston. She and I had talked about raising bees in the past, with no real plan. But here they were, practically falling into our laps!

I figured it was time to take the plunge—kind of like getting pregnant. If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it. Read the rest of this entry »

Farewell, friends

July 31, 2009

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“I never thought this day would come,” said Marley, right. Her best friends Veronika and Yan packed up and moved to New York. Their family and ours along with other friends spent the morning in our kitchen packing food, eating, telling stories, while the kids watched a DVD together. Such a sad ending to a Mayberry-like relationship with our sweet neighbors Anton, Lena, Yan and Veronika. They were there during the worst time in my life and I’ll be forever grateful for their love and friendship over the past two years.

Read the rest of this entry »