Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One-pot summer garden pasta, for August.



August made me very tired. There was a lot of running on the treadmill, and this three-day class I had to take for work that was so in-depth and at times overwhelming, I actually felt dumber by the end. My sister and her family moved to Las Vegas. I attended a bunch of meetings, and made a mistake on our mortgage payment. Laundry. There is so much laundry, always, and it never gets done. The vacuum cleaner is currently standing in the middle of the living room, where it's been since Saturday when I decided to clean and then decided to stop without really finishing.




But that's enough about that. Let's talk about tomatoes now. Because even after coming home from a long day and feeling kind of crappy, plucking tomatoes from my garden always makes me feel better. Like today, when I drove an hour in the opposite direction of home after work to pick up my just-repaired Minolta, and drove an hour back in rush hour traffic, and still had to stop at the store for this Labor Day weekend's groceries, and the only thing I wanted to do was go home and eat dinner, it was the tomatoes that brought me from feeling-all-wound-up to feeling-great-about-life.





Here's what I did when I got home: I went straight for the backyard and picked a handful of fresh basil from the garden. I put a pot of water on the stove to boil. I washed and dried the basil, pulled a zucchini from the fridge, and sliced it into rounds. I grabbed a couple of tomatoes from the counter, picked just a few days ago and getting redder and riper as they sat, and chopped them up so that their juices spilled onto the cutting board and their red flesh practically shined like jewels. Into the pot, a single serving of angel hair pasta. Next, the zucchini rounds. Cooked, drained and slid into a big white bowl. I topped the pasta with the tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese, and a generous handful of roughly chopped basil.

Easy, one-pot summer garden pasta, guys. I brought it to the backyard to take a few pictures, and then sat down under our tree and ate. And then August wasn't so tiring anymore, but instead, just slow and relaxing. August became this single moment, sitting outside while the warm breeze hit my face, looking out at the garden from which I had just picked my dinner. The tomatoes so worth the wait -- worth this whole never ending month, really.

And now, I don't want it to end, ever.

8 comments:

  1. : ) These pictures! This summer!

    PS - They moved! I am sad about that, even from over here.

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    1. I miss them already, but also already have our flights booked for Thanksgiving in Vegas. :)

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  2. This is just lovely, Jaqui! I go home from work every day and spend time in my garden, too. It's amazing how a ripe tomato can make all those little stresses dissolve away....

    Will you be planting a fall garden? I'm thinking kale and carrots...

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    1. I haven't even thought about planting for fall! You've got me thinking about kale now ... there's definitely space since we pulled our cilantro plants out.

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  3. I had a rather tired summer myself; I know just what you speak of. Life is hard! And so here's to ripe tomatoes, and all of the good things that bring our weary spirits up!

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    1. I'm so glad you're right there with me. I feel silly complaining about everyday stuff like laundry that everyone has to deal with, but still, just because it's everyday doesn't make it any less tiring, right? Here's to the tomatoes!

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  4. I stopped a lot this summer; stopped the endless whirring, the constant to and from, the need to be and do everything under the sun, and I just.... stopped. I took in quiet mornings on the deck. I sat in the sunshine with breakfast in my lap. I biked around a sparkling lake more times than I could count. I turned the calendar page and didn't feel sad. Because I stopped. And I was present.

    And it was really hard.

    But now it's September, and I know how to stop, to appreciate and to be present. And it's easier. Life still clicks along, and I capture moments, but I also stop, and look at those moments, instead of whirring along, robotically, to the next moment. And the next after that. I love the stopping. I love the garden gazing, the picking of tomatoes and washing the green plant film off your arms and hands afterwards, and the counter top of ripening tomato love and the waves of tomato juicy-ness all over the cutting board.

    And the tomatoes, in our garden this year, well, it's been an abundance that we've been over the moon about. Your dinner, and your stopping looks perfect. Please do this more often.

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    1. It's so important to pause every now and then, especially now, when summer is nearing its end (although it's 96 degrees out today so it sure doesn't seem like it!). Otherwise, all the little moments that make up our days are over just like that. Thanks for reminding me to do so more.

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