Friday, June 20, 2014

Ramblings and Arugula Pesto

     Little is going on and a lot is going ended last Friday and we are either enjoying or hating the first week off...depends on who you speak to and what time of the day it is.  Dear Daughter is realizing that while it is great going to an International School, during the holidays, they all go back to their home countries!  This week, instead of going into one story, here are bits and pieces of what is going on right now.

Last weekend at the Wachenheim Wine Festival in Germany

     My cats are registered noncombatants.  I am convinced after yesterday that they somehow have some sort of secret society and have decided that other than flies or other pesky insects, they will abstain from the normal household cat duties.  Several occurrences over the past several years have led me to that possibility but given what happened last night, I am now convinced - they are noncombatants.  "What happened," you ask.  During the late afternoon, I had the back door open in order to catch the breeze.  The cats were enjoying entering and exiting at their leisure.  I was doing some research in the office when I heard this chirping noise.  I thought perhaps a bird had entered the house but that seemed unlikely.  Around the same time, our youngest cat planted herself in the doorway of the odd place for her.  Later that evening, we heard an explicative from Dear Husband and..."How did that rodent get into the house?"  At the word rodent, I, without hesitation,  went to the nearest chair and stood on it.  How was I supposed to know the size of this creature?  Dear Husband and Dear Daughter caught it and promptly took it out to the pasture and let the little field mouse go its merry way.  A mouse...seriously?  Isn't that my cats' job?

I bet that mouse could scamper right past her right now...

     Here is a secret... I am not a big fan of soccer (or football as they call it here).  While these players are phenomenal athletes, the sport just doesn't seem that exciting to me.  We never watch matches at home nor have we been to one.  But in the last week, we have become FIFA CRAZY!!!  Today, Dear Daughter purchased her fourth jersey so she is truly international.  She has been known over the last week, to change her jersey several times a day.  In the mornings, it may be Croatia or Germany while in the afternoon, it could be Brazil or Belgium.  We have our own family pool going and we at least watch the first match each evening.  Surprisingly, it is providing a lot of family fun and I wonder what we will do once it is all over.  Dear Daughter is already hoping that she wins and can add her winnings to what she already won during the NFL regular season!

     She now stays up later than her parents.  We have reached that stage in life.  Given that school is out and the fact that the second FIFA match each night does not end until close to midnight, she has been staying up  while we go to bed.  I am not sure how to feel about this.

Football Mania!

      I hate peas and yet I am growing them this year.  I was known for sneaking them under furniture during dinner time in order to not have to eat them.  Now, the peas are paying me back.  They are my best crop thus far this summer.  Since I am growing them, they taste different to me.  I pull a pod off the vine, shell it and gobble up the small, sweet peas - no cooking necessary.  What do you think about that, Dad?

     We also have so much arugula that I no longer have to buy lettuce at the store.  We have been having arugula salads for lunch almost every day.  I love the peppery taste and it pairs very well with so many things:  blue cheese, prosciutto, pears...lovely salads.  Knowing that we would be gone a week, I harvested the crop yesterday and turned all those glorious leaves into arugula pesto - same process as making regular basil pesto but substituting arugula for basil.  One batch I made with pine nuts and the other with walnuts.  Dear Husband liked the pine nut version better.  Dear Daughter liked the walnut version better.  After sampling it, she asked me if we had any fresh bread.  A few minutes later, she was slathering it all over a slice.  That is the best compliment in the world.

So doesn't need pasta

     Today, she and I suffered from Chocolate Shock.  We headed up to the outskirts of Brussels for a chocolate adventure.  Neuhaus, one of Belgium's famous chocolate producers, has an outlet store at its corporate headquarters.  While you can purchase the same items that are sold in the retail stores for the same price, the real bargain is purchasing one kilo boxes of chocolate.  Did I mention that each flavor sold is available to sample?  We were only there about 15 minutes and probably sampled most of what was available.  We walked out the door with THREE boxes of chocolate...over six pounds of three varieties and a stomach ache.  Chocolate for everyone!

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto

I have actually never had pesto on pasta (say that ten times fast!).  I prefer to have pesto with grilled chicken or summer ripe tomatoes.  A family to serve it on bread.  Yummy!

2 cups packed arugula
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 cup olive oil (good quality)

Place everything in a food processor and process until smooth.

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