07 July 2008

Another nice summer day. Busy, as usual. My friend Deb and I spent a few hours at Panera's catching up. It was wonderful. I ran a bunch of errands afterwards, including buying more food, then came home and got a lot of stuff done around here. I changed Emily's sheets. Put up a Welcome Home banner. I bought a bunch of long-stemmed white daisies and added a lot of cut flowers from the garden. She'll like that. She called me from the airport in Costa Rica. She's supposed to spend the night at her dad's, but she wants to come home. I think they'll be getting in too late. She's ready to be here.

One of the things I did today was make pesto. My first time. I followed my friend Lisa's instructions, but it didn't come out like hers. She makes it in a blender. I thought to make it in my food processor, but I wanted it to be just like hers. Too bad the instructions said things like 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Everything was approximated.

Pretty, huh?

Too bad it tasted like wood

That's what happens when you need to prod the blender along. First it ate a chunk of my new Pampered Chef bamboo spoon. Then the cheapie one. At least I didn't let it get the rubber spatula. I went over the pesto very carefully and picked out the chunks of wood, but it just doesn't taste good. It tastes like old wood. I'll need to let the basil grow again and try another recipe. Lunch was great, though. The tomato and basil were from my garden. The roll was from my Chick-fil-A sandwich. I cut up the chicken to put in my salads for work.

I looked down at the floor of my woods this afternoon and noticed it was littered with clumps of branches. (You know I love to document stuff)

Then I looked up to see squirrel nests in two neighboring trees. Possibly the biggest nests I've ever seen. The picture doesn't do it justice. Just what I need...more squirrels. Maybe they're trying to make an army to attack my tomato plants. Like that's going to happen!

I went to the pool from 4-5:30. A man was swimming laps the whole time I was there. I thought of Happyone and her very long walks. I guess you just get into a 'zone'? I thought I was doing great swimming for 15 minutes. It's all relative, right?

I'm writing this out on my deck. The sultry hot weather we had during the day has been replaced by lower temperatures, lower humidity and a wonderful breeze. I'd be so happy if I could make this time last for a few more hours...

Oh, one last thing. I just heard a loud rustle in the trees. I looked up to see one of the nests fall apart. Half of it is hanging from a lower branch. Two very shocked-looking squirrels scurried away from the upper part. All that work for naught. Kind of like me and the pesto. I sure hope they recycle those branches or I'll have denuded trees.


Summer said...

Woody pesto. Yum. You made me laugh and I needed that.

Martha said...

Bummer about the pesto. There are some things I'm not willing to try to make and pesto is one of them. I don't know why. With my luck, if I made it, it would taste like rotten wood instead of just wood. That's terrible about your spoons, but I still laughed...sorry! Your pictures are lovely!

Ilene said...

Is that the blender that was highly rated on Cook's Illustrated? Where did you get it? Do you like it? I hate my Cusinart blendar and need a new one. Wouldn't it grind the basil w/out a wooden spoon?

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Sorry about your pesto.

You know, this is the second post I've read in a week about squirrels denuding trees to make nests. There must be something in the air right now.

Brad said...

Ah sweets, you make me smile. I'll send you my pesto recipe when i have my wits about me.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Literally woody pesto! Maybe sticking spatulas into the blender is not such a good idea.:)

Jamie said...

What a great post Cheryl! I love the photos, and I too, have lost many a wooden spoon to the blender. I'm sorry your pesto wasn't right, next time-you'll have a better idea of what to do. I hate recipes that are vague.

Is Emily home yet? I'm sure the flights from there are horribly long and tiring.

Have a wonderful day today. :)

Jenny said...

Our squirrels are doing that too! My nephew in Ohio who reads my blog emailed me to say they are cleaning their teeth! LOL! From the number of branches they've sent crashing down (and the number still in the tree, dead, because they got gnawed off but are stuck up there), I'm surprised the squirrels still have any teeth!

Your sandwich looked really good.

Gin said...

I have loads of basil and have been looking for a good pesto recipe! I don't think I want one with wood in it tho...lol! Maybe Brad will share his with me too? (wink wink) So sorry yours didn't turn out like you'd hoped.

Squirrels can be such a pest. But I'll trade you a few chipmunks for a few squirrels! I have corn growing everywhere because the neighbors feed the chipmunks and squirrels corn...they plant it in my flower beds, veggie beds, flower pots...I have it everywhere!!! AArrrgggggg

I'll bet you're excited to have Emily coming home! You were thoughtful to make a pretty bouquet and get a balloon. She's love it!

Mary said...

Em's homecoming will be welcome by both you and her. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Sorry I laughed about the wooden spoons. In turn you can laugh at me for dropping one of mine into the sink's drain while the disposal was running. Old fumble fingers me.

There was a time I thought squirrels and chipmunks were cute now I only see them as pests. They are chewing their way through the trees, shrubs, and everything they can get their teeth into.

Portia said...

You've had a busy few days! It's just awesome that you get to spend the time with your mom that you do. I had to laugh at your poor wooden spoons... I have lost a couple of spatulas that way myself:( It's always a learning experience, and I'm sure you will make some primo pesto next time around. Enjoy settling back into the normal routine when Emily gets home. I love that you decorated to welcome her back! Very sweet:)

Moohaa said...

Not the bamboo spoon! I love my PC bamboo utensils. That's too bad about the pesto.

You are so sweet to have the welcome home stuff for Emily! I didn't even think about that stuff for my Darik after camp, he would have loved that. Now I know!!

Tory said...

Emily will love all the things you have done for her homecoming. You're a very thoughtful Mom.
By the way, we all have spoons like that...at least any of us who owns a blender.
Enjoy your beautiful summer days, they don't last long.

Happyone said...

What a nice welcome home for Em!!

Oh too bad about the pesto.

I have branches like you all over my deck from squirrel nests. We have way too many squirrels in our yard. I just don't like them!!

I know what you mean. I would love a couple more hours of evening too!!

Golden To Silver Val said...

What a lovely welcome home for Em! Speaking of recipes...I posted one that I bet you'll like...check it out. You can spice it up by adding a small jalepeno, finely chopped, if you desire.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet way to welcome Miss Emily back home.

As for your pesto...I'm laughing *with* you!

Mo said...

Happy homecoming to both of you.

I've never made homemade pesto before so I applaud you for the effort and am sad it didn't work out for you and spoons were beaten up in the process.

When I figure out the twitter thing, I'll reply via there but until then, come on for a visit and we'll have you eating sushi in no time!

bonnie said...

Bravo Cheryl for trying the pesto. I think I make mine in a food processor. I think some people like less garlicky pesto and some like less oil. You don't need much oil at all. You can start with a little and see how it holds together. I never know how to measure herbs anyway. What is "loosely packed?"

Billy said...

I love homemade pesto. And I make mine in the food processor!

Esmerelda said...

Even after hearing hte wooden spoon story in person...the pictures are priceless. I have squirrel nests and one who likes to play in my gutters.


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