Thursday, March 14, 2013

so what kind of blog is it, anyway?

my daughter has made it perfectly clear:  i am no longer allowed to write posts about the weather.  apparently i have overwritten on that particular subject.  "for heaven's sake, mom, it's not a weather blog!"  and she's right, of course.  it isn't.  but it is a blog about life's lessons.  and sometimes weather is the thing which just happens to teach or illustrate or explain the lessons.  like it or not, emily.  it just is.

so whether or not (pun intended) she wants me to write on the weather, i am going to go right ahead and do so.  because i feel the need to tell you, today it hit 40 degrees in minnesota. i am pretty sure we haven't come anywhere close to that temperature since halloween.  and the thing i wanted to comment on is how different 40 degrees feels in minneapolis, minnesota than it does in atlanta, georgia.   i mean if it is 40 degrees outside in atlanta you would be frantically searching for a coat, extra gallons of milk and firewood.  not quite so in minnesota.  today i noticed people out and about in t-shirts and no coats.  there was minimal fur being worn and i even noticed a guy with his car window rolled all the way down.  i'm sure if i had really looked, i probably would have found some crazy soul in flip-flops.  my own son was just, moments ago, in the front yard kicking around his soccer ball in shorts.  his legs were bare. seriously, i haven't seen my son's bare legs in months.  and there he was, right outside my kitchen window kicking -- practically naked, that boy.

this is my pink shirt.
i have seen fashion bloggers take pictures like this.
i copied their technique.  (notice the snow).
i hope i don't offend anyone.  i promise i won't
photograph my outfits on a regular basis.
and with this unexpected heat wave, i boldly went right ahead and wore a pink shirt today.  a bright pink shirt.  everyone, including the young man ringing up my groceries, commented on it.  "aren't you just looking all springy now!"  that's what i heard.  nothing more than a bright, pink shirt and i was rocking the minnesotans world.  when another mom at the kids' school commented on the color, i replied, "it's my spring fact, i almost wore ballet flats today."  i didn't wear the ballet flats and, after trudging through the massive piles of snow on our way to the car, i'm sure glad.  but i was tempted.  okay, so maybe this isn't a weather blog, maybe it's a fashion blog! my 17 year old might not want me to blog about spring, but i'm pretty sure she'd be cool with me blogging about spring clothes.

and then there's dinner tonight.  that's really why i sat down at my computer to write this post.  dinner.  i had no idea we'd have such a warming trend, but i had already planned to make one of our very favorite summertime meals:  ruth's pesto pasta and chicken.  seriously, it is a huge favorite in my house.  i know you are all wondering who in the world ruth is. i haven't mentioned her before in my weather blog or  in my fashion blog.  but, honestly, that's what i really wanted to write about this evening.  though ruth is a friend who lives back in (warm) atlanta, i first met her when we were in college.  we were both camp counselors one summer at christian, athletic camp in pennsylvania (summer's best two weeks).  i'm sure i can come up with a picture...i'll go look right now.

found one! that's ruth and me (oh, and becky, another friend - i don't have any of her recipes though). we were something like 19 years old. college students. camp counselors.  it was an amazing summer. more fun than i can even describe. fast forward many years later when rick and i moved from ohio to georgia (travel blog?)...ruth and her husband, walt, lived there also.  they were pretty much the only people we knew in georgia and they invited us over for dinner.  we had a bunch of little-bitty kids between us.  their son, ben, and our daughter, emily, are the same age.  we sat them up on the couch...a couple of cute two year olds and ruth made this pesto for dinner, and we felt like we knew someone in our brand new state.  we loved the pesto that evening.  we loved, even more, the connection with friends.
ben and emily (and emily's "bun-bun.") i'm
including that because she told me i couldn't
write about the weather anymore.  paybacks sister.

so, that's the recipe.  and i have been making it for my family for the past 15 years.  i love when recipes come with a story.  i mean, i know it's not a grand tale of great adventure. it was just a simple dinner with a couple of friends and a couple of their cute kids.  but still, it was a connection.  ruth and i are still friends.  she still lives in (warm) georgia, but we comment on each other's facebook posts and tonight, though i've made this dish a 100 times since our dinner together 15 years ago, i let her know i was still cooking her dish...and still calling it by her name.

and though tonight's post might have ended up sounding a lot like a cooking blog by the time i was finished (always wanted to write one of those, by the way)...i think, really, it isn't a blog about the weather or my fashion or ruth's cooking.  maybe it's just a blog about the little pieces of life which come along...

pieces of life which amuse us, teach us, inspire us, grow us.

pieces of life which, regardless of climate, clothes or cooking, make us who we are today...

ruth's pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch of fresh basil - chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of pine nuts --- you can use walnuts
1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup of liquid chicken broth -- bullion works great.
add a little bit of lemon juice and mix everything together in a blender.

in a pan, melt 8 oz. of cream cheese with a little bit of water.  when it gets creamy, add the basil mixture and wisk well together.  sometimes i put it back in the blender to get is really smooth.

in the meantime, cook a box or two of bow tie pasta and grill a few chicken breasts.

i drain the pasta and then cover it in the creamy pesto sauce.  finally, i chop up those chicken breasts and top the pasta with chicken and (a lot) of grated parmesan cheese. 

throw the whole thing in a beautiful bowl (don't skip that step...the beautiful bowl is really important)! 

that's it.  voila! you've got an amazing dinner.


Aus said...

Well - since you covered all those topics - does that make this and "eclectic" blog? ;)

Mostly I think it makes it about living - and that's what it's all about every day - how did that old saying go...

Dance like no one can see you - sing like no one can hear...

obviously written by a child about their parents! ;)

hugs - aus and co.

Jennifer said...

Such a cute post! Your writing and photography talents make any post a delight to read!