Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm Back, or Here we go again!

Well, as I look out my studio window and notice that the raindrops outside mirror the raindrops on my blog page, it can only mean one thing - Summer is over and the rainy season here in Oregon is back.  What that translates to is that less time will be spent outdoors tending the daily chores around the property - mowing the yard, weed-whacking, tending to the vegetable and flower gardens, various and sundry touch-up paint  jobs, organizing the pole-barn, cleaning out the other barn, etc., etc, etc.  Consequently, more time will be spent indoors, and while there are a fair amount of indoor chores to tend to, I'll have more time to focus on artwork, my blog-posts, the website and other web galleries and storefronts, and whatever other endeavors I am involved with.  Of course, I'm still clinging to a small ray of hope that since we had such a lousy summer for the most part, we can make up for it with a nice Indian Summer.  Just a couple of weeks ago, we actually had temps in the 90's for a couple of days, fairly unusual around here.  But since we didn't get our first 90 degree day until late August, I guess we were owed a few.  And since we'll be in Sunriver, Oregon in a couple of weeks for a conference that Fran is attending,  I'm hoping for some nice weather, especially since I already have a tee-time booked for one of the days.

This is a great time of year for fresh produce. We had quite a good crop in our small vegetable/herb garden.  Actually, we didn't plant as much as the last couple of years, but what we did plant was gang-busters.  Lots of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and green beans on the vegetable side, and plenty of oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, chives, lemon balm and orange mint on the herb side.  I've already made my pesto for the year and here's a little tip.  Pesto is so easy to make. All you need is 1 cup of olive oil, 2 cups of loosely packed basil leaves,  1 cup of Parmesan cheese, 2 garlic cloves, and 1/2 cup of pine nuts or walnuts.   Run it through the food processor or blender, and oi la - deliciosa!  If you are going to make a lot of it, rather than jar it, pour it into those plastic ice cube trays and freeze it.  This recipe will just about fill one ice cube tray. Then whenever you want a pasta dish with pesto, you just pop out a "cube" of pesto - one cube per dish is a perfect amount, and bingo! you have a quick and easy meal in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  I have three trays frozen, so that should last til next growing season.  In my next post, I'll include some other recipe tips for all of the chefs out there.