from the garden: pesto brain

after a slow, unmotivated day in the lab, i came home itchy to actually be productive with my hands. which meant it was time to finally whip the remnants of my summer basil plants into long overdue pesto. the basil had been sitting in ziploc bags in the fridge for about one week too long, and it came out looking almost unusable......but smelling ok. but just so you can imagine it, it basically looked like spinach in its last leg.


a miracle happened, and delicious bright pesto was born. beautiful greens! the darker basil is a combination of purple basil and the usual sweet basil. the other is lighter green, with smaller leaves and tastes more like tarragon. together they become the ultimate basil pesto brain. and thrown together with pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded parmesan, and pine nuts--a delicious pesto brain pasta-o-rama!

actually.......i recently had surgery and this goo was where my brain was supposed to be.
pesto brain bid!


little orphan paula OR mom in living poetry

a few weeks ago mom and dad and i ventured into the great metropolis of Delta, Utah in search of remnants of ghost towns and to explore what's left of Topaz, a Japanese internment camp from the 40s. mom discovered some old bed springs underneath an old piece of broken fence and proceeded to spend about five minutes bouncing around on it, reciting the old "Little Orphan Annie" jump rope rhyme from her childhood.

so, i said to mom later on, life is like a chiasmus,* and you and your little orphan annie-ing are living proof.

*the literary technique used sometimes in scriptures that presents a set of words or ideas in a certain order and then retraces them in the opposite order.


book thoughts: from Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle is one of the wisest people I know, and as it is sunday and I'm getting ready to go to yet another church conference of sorts (ward conference--blah), here is one of her beautiful thoughts on the subject of religion and the millenium-o-rama:

"The Second Coming. The Coming of the Kingdom.

What does that mean?

My son-in-law Alan was asked once by a pious woman if our feet would be wafted from the earth, at the time of the Second Coming, before Jesus’s feet touched ground. Ouch. That kind of literalism is not what it’s about.

For the simple fact is that we are not capable of knowing what it’s about. The Coming of the Kingdom is creation coming to be what it was meant to be, the joy and glory of all creation working together with the Creator. In literal language none of it makes much sense, and I can only go once again to my adolescent analogy of the planet on which all sentient life was sightless. If nobody could see, other sense would take over, and everybody would get along perfectly well. But if you tried to explain the joy of sight to anybody on that planet you couldn’t do it. Nobody could understand something so glorious and so totally out of an eyeless frame of reference. Multiply that gap between a blind planet and a seeing one a billion times and we’ll still be far from understanding the difference between creation, now, and creation in the fullness of the kingdom. But I am slowly learning that it is something to be awaited with joy and not terror. "

The Irrational Season, p. 3-4

(ps. some more thoughts on faith...)


log cabin, hard cider!

i was walking around a ghost town today when johnny appleseed came up to me and offered me a delicious mug of hot cider.


arboreal patriarchs' last gasps

what were once over thirty bushels of the most flavorful old fashioned red delicious from three grand old trees has shrunk to just these five little buddies from two .

from the kitchen: some fall pastries

all of my favorite fruits and veggies are available fresh and in season right now, which means when i'm not in the lab i can't stay out of the kitchen and all is well in the world!

this pears and cream tart is made with pears from the ground of the Jones's orchard (home of Magic the horse who also likes pears). Magic Pears and Cream Tart: crumbly butter crust with a touch of sugar filled with a light, creamy custard and fresh pears with peels!

cherry-rhubarb pie with sour cherries grown out back, grandma's rhubarb, and a new kind of crust. i can't take credit for inventing the layered-crust-circles look, but i like it. it's a great alternative for too-dry crust that's difficult to roll out. this pie was pretty delicious except for the unthickened juices that made everything soggy. piemaker's horror.

a family fave and a delicacy passed down through the ages--the danish pastry [puff] done Biddy style. traditionally this pastry is yellow, thanks to butter and eggs. i prefer pink and green.


from the lab: a triumphant rescue

BEFORE: the saddest rebinding attempt in all the world.

AFTER: all better