A leaf in time saves your stomach

I woke up last night around 2 am with ‘that’ feeling…terribly thirsty but knowing from experience that what I wanted most, a huge glass of cool water, would be the wrong thing unless I wanted my dinner to have an out-of-body experience. Chilled, achy, feverish, nauseous…I hate this combination because it means that I can’t take and Advil for the first 3 because of the fourth; bummer.
But then I saw the light…or rather stumbled through the dark of my two a.m. living room to the window-box where I found…

Basil! the best anti-nausea herb I know. I chewed up a few leaves and stuck the other under my nose. This morning I got my sweetie to bring me a thermos of warm water and kept sipping water and chewing basil until my stomach was in shape to eat a slice of bread (followed by the long awaited Advil!) I still feel lousy but at least one of my symptoms is off the list for good.
Next time you’re feeling woozy, grab a leaf. In a pinch smelling lemon rind scratched with a fingernail, crushed French Lavander or orange peel will help too.
Stay well!

More views from a rainy garden…

Lemon Thyme, Dwarf Marigolds, Basil

First let me say that I am from Texas, July is supposed to be hot. The warmest it’s been here since the summer started is the upper 80’s. I miss my summer, the one where you start to bead up in sweat when sitting outside in the shade.
My Texas friends and family are all suffering in the rainless heat of their summer…the grass always looks greener/more parched on the other side of the Atlantic.
I will say that despite the chill and damp of the weather, there’s been just enough sun to keep the garden happy and interesting. I suppose I should just put on another sweater and be happy with what I have.

My coriander (cilantro) went quickly to seed.
Don’t know what the flower
spike is?
perhaps ‘Catalognia’?
Another mystery plant, I like the way
the leaves look like a swirling

Greater Celendine

Has an orange sap that an Italian friend explained could
cure warts and it’s true. Apparently it’s also used as a dye.

I’m not surprised! I quickly found that this orange sap WILL stain clothes a DARK olive
green. You can also use it as ink and it gets
darker in the sun rather than fading!

New adventures in pesto…something summery

Sundried Tomato, Lemon Zest, Mint, Walnuts

There is a lot of fresh mint growing in the garden this year and the basil is a bit thin…we figured out what to do; this is the stuff! Matthew has been bugging me for about a week now to try a pesto of Sundried tomatoes, Lemon Zest and Mint. Little Robin is not so crazy about things with lemon peel (though she is happy to lick sliced lemons), so, we decided to try it today at lunch while she is enjoying her last few days of school food.

2 abundant servings or 4 side servings :

For the pesto:
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh mint
Grated Zest of one small lemon (appx. 1 scant lightly packed Tbs.)
Scant 1/4 cup walnuts, pecans or pinenuts (pinoli)
Extra Virgin olive oil

To make pasta salad:
160 grams – about 1/3 lb ( of pasta, cooked in boiling, salted water then drained and well-rinsed in cool water and drained again)
1/2 cup of whole milk ricotta, crumbled (use low-fat if you want but it’s just not the same!)

To make the pesto, put all the stuff in a pile (see picture), mince fine with a mezzaluna or chef’s knife. Take roughly chopped stuff and run through a small food-processor (or use an immersion blender) with additional olive oil (up to 1/2 cup but start with less – maybe a few tablespoons) turn it into a paste with the consistency of well…pesto ;)!

Place cooled pasta in a large bowl and coat with pesto. Add crumbled ricotta and stir in gently.

It should look something like this and taste wonderful!

Suggested wine: Oriveto classico (chilled) or light Beaujolais (chilled).

Happy eating!

Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the garden’s rose.

This morning while I was trimming the grass around the roses with a pair of scissors I looked up at the white ones and saw the most magnificent white spider! She had just a few pink stripes on her body so that she matched the rose perfectly. I wish that I had a steadier hand or that she hadn’t been so quick on her feet…

Pesto: It’s not just a recipe, it’s an adventure!

My daughter has been asking for Pasta con Pesto for 2 days now. It’s her steady dinner request second only to Pasta al pomodoro. Our basil isn’t big enough yet so today we just decided to play with what we had:

Summer Savory
Lemon rind
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