Thursday, August 20, 2009

Basil Loves Tomato - The Healing Power of Pesto

Yesterday was hard. My clothesline broke just as I was hanging up the last article of clothing. And as it turns out, wasps were nesting in the open end of the clothesline tubes, so when the struts broke, the angry wasps came out and blamed me for the disruption. Then Bronwyn got a tummy bug and was sick all day, and I couldn't hang the laundry out. Oh NOOOOOOO.....! Before I became an hysterical, disgruntled housewife, I sat down with Bronwyn and remembered what was important to me. I remembered that all of these little details are peripheral; my bee stings will heal, Brian will fix my clothesline, and I can use my clothes dryer. Really I'm lucky. And the luckiest bit of all? I have fresh basil and tomatoes to enjoy.

I made a little nest for Bronwyn to rest in, and I made pesto. All of the joy came back into my life from this simple, aromatic activity. I think the fragrance of the basil and garlic perked Bronwyn up, too! Here is my favorite recipe for Pesto:

3 packed cups of Basil Leaves (no stems, no flowers)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans, but pine-nuts are also popular)
4 fat firm cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups freshly grated parmesean cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse in your food processor or blender, then blend on high speed to the consistency that you like.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making Friends

Good morning, Friends! I am not quite finished with my hiatus, but I've been missing you, and needed to check in. Several of you have asked about my progress on becoming a chicken farmer after you read this post. Well, sadly, Brian and I decided not to raise chickens this year. We're big believers in being good pet owners, and it felt like we had too much else going on this spring and summer to really be able to pull it off. But our neighbors got chickens, and so we have been enjoying them very much. Above is Sasha. She's a little tiny Banty hen, of a variety that I cannot remember. But she is just incredibly sweet! She came over for a visit the other day, and I had to capture her beauty for you.

Sasha is still a youngster, and hasn't started laying eggs yet, but I can't wait to see them when she does. The literature says that the color of a hen's eggs matches the color of the flesh on her ear. And Sasha's ears ar a pinkish color! Those will be such beautiful eggs!

Life is busy, and we're harvesting tomatoes, basil, beans, carrots, and onions right now. I'm saving seeds for the first time this year, and so I'm letting my peas dry up on the vines at the moment. Sadly, it has been cloudy and rainy for a week, which makes me worry that my seeds will mold, but gardening is an adventure of trial and error, so we'll just have to see.

And before I forget, I want to thank all of you who voted for me in Etsy's voter contest a couple of weeks ago; I didn't win the BIG PRIZE, but I felt like such a Rock Star for coming in the top 6. And I still got featured in Etsy's Gift Guide and blog, so I've been taking lots of bag orders since then! So thanks for taking the time to cast your vote, it meant a lot to me!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Scrappy Chicks Lobby for BCharmer

I woke up this morning to the most amazing and heart warming demonstration! Look what was going on in my front yard this morning:

What the....? and Why the...? I know! That's what I was thinking, too! I stayed up late last night finishing these little cuties, and I thought this might be a little show of appreciation. It is a bit much, but hey, chickens are very kind folk. Well, I logged on to my e-mail and found out that BCharmer has been nominated for a very cool honor by Etsy Blog Readers! My heart was so happy reading that one of my messenger bags has been nominated in the category of "Outstanding Use of Fabric." WOW, I can't believe it!

The way this works is that Etsy puts up items for a vote to Etsy members. Each member (that's most of you) can vote for their favorite item one time. The winner gets extra exposure on Etsy! If you go there to vote, you will notice that there are many many cool artists there. SO cool are they, that I know you will be tempted to vote for one of them instead of me. That's okay. It's okay to be tempted. But you'll vote for me, right? Here's the link, now don't let these hard working chickens down! They're counting on you! And don't forget that you'll have to log in to Etsy in order for your vote to count.

Now here's a little extra bit that I wanted to say first, but I was bursting with news about myself, so I had to get that out. Those cute little chickens that I made: they're designed by the fabulous and talented Myrtle and Eunice, and you can get your free pattern to make your own adorable chickamajigs on her blog! But don't make these to sell without her permission. These are great for gift giving, and the pattern couldn't be easier to read.

Peace out, voters! It's an honor just being nominated.