Thursday, July 29, 2010

Basil Pesto

One of my favorite treats from our yearly garden is the basil that we grow. For me, basil is the perfect complement to any summer dish. I use it in everything from poultry to salads, and of course in pasta. I like to make fresh pesto for pastas, mayonnaise or even to add to pizza. Here is the recipe that I use. If you have your own basil, it will prove to be frugal.

3 cups basil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
handful of walnuts or pine nuts
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Put everything in a food processor, except the olive oil. When everything is chopped, pour a steady stream of olive oil while processor is running.

You can put the extra pesto in ice cube trays for future use. When frozen, pop them out and store in freezer bags. Perfect for mid winter blues when you want a taste of summer.

Another meal I like to make with our fresh basil is Caprese Salad. My recipe is easy, and if you have tomatoes in your garden, frugal as well!

Caprese Salad
Sliced Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Slice tomatoes, spread on a plate. Add mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Top off with salt and pepper to taste. Delicious!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Goodbyes are really hard

Today we had to say goodbye to the foreign exchange student that had become a part of our family for the last 4 weeks.

I guess I knew that we would eventually have to say goodbye, but it wasn't really on mind until the last week or so. We had been having so much fun, keeping busy and getting to know each other. The fact that his time with our family would be so short didn't seem to weigh down on us. That is until he brought me an evaluation form that I needed to fill out prior to his departure. Even then my answer to him was why worry about it now, you don't leave for 5 more days. Trying to put off the inevitable.

Then, this morning came and it was time to pack him up and take him to his group of peers from France who will fly back with him today. We made small talk at the place of departure, had a group photo taken, hugged him and said goodbye. I shed a few tears, selfishly thinking that I felt so sad to say goodbye. Then, I saw the look on my son's face and knew that I would have to be strong for him. My son fell apart in the car, he had really bonded with this boy over the last month. In a sense they had become brothers to one another, and if not that, best friends. I knew for the last week that for Alec, the goodbye would be hard, but I had no idea how bad it was going to be. Then I realized that my children have never had to say goodbye to anyone close to them. My daughter has had a couple of friends move away, but none of those friends had been all that close to her. My son has never had a friend move. He has the same best friend that he has had since 2nd grade and I doubt that particular friend will ever move, and neither will we. So for him, this is unchartered territory.

I guess I could call this day a teachable moment for all 3 of my children. That in life, we meet people, we say goodbye and we move on. I even tried that logic for about a minute with him. He wasn't buying it, and neither was I. When you really bond with someone, goodbye is really hard, no matter what. This is an example of the old cliche "time heals all wounds".

In response to my son's pain, I sent him to the soccer camp that he is signed up for. He will only be there for 90 minutes. I hope that time with some friends, doing the thing he loves the most will get his mind off of his pain. If not, I will remind myself that he will feel better tomorrow and even better the day after that. He will feel better, that I am sure of.

Thankfully, we live in a day and age where Facebook makes daily communication possible and video conferencing will make it possible for him to talk to his new friend. I am guessing that my husband will be busy setting that up for Alec in the upcoming days.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Perfect Summer Salad

Here is a picture of a Corn and Black Bean Salad that I made for dinner tonight. I love the fresh vegetables that are available this time of year that make salads like these perfect. Here is a link to the recipe.

Sunday, July 25, 2010