Mendocino Mint

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I’ve just been informed that I will be having lunch in Mendocino tomorrow.  What a great surprise!  I’ve been toying with posting a favorite recipe of mine and while I was making it this week, I decided that I should share it with you, so here goes.  (ingredients are underlined for easy shopping.)

Mint Pasta

In fry pan, brown 2 shallots, 2 minced garlic, and chopped mushrooms.(The variety of mushrooms is up to you but I also like to add some porcini mushrooms as well.)  Heat this in EVOO, (Calivirgin is my favorite California olive oil) Irish butter, and a touch of sesame oil (for a nutty flavor).  Add one pound pork or chicken sausage (mild or spicy).  Cook until browned and add fresh ground white pepper, crushed red pepper, and white wine and allow to simmer awhile.  Chop a bunch of fresh mint and set aside.  Add the chopped mint to the sausage about 5 minutes before your choice of one pound of pasta is done cooking. (just to heat)  Once your pasta is done, toss together with the sausage mixture.  Serve with fresh shredded parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper, and toasted pine nuts.

I know that this recipe sounds strange but it is really good and a great change of pace from the usual pasta sauces.  It’s easy to make and you can grow the mint in a container in your own backyard.  I was given the recipe a few years ago and I’ve altered a couple of things but it took me 2 or 3 years to try it because it sounded absurd to me.  There’s nothing absurd about it.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  Oh, don’t forget to set a timer while toasting those pine nuts.  We did once and they locked down my oven and we could see them burning inside for 20 minutes!  That was scary.  Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you will enjoy my photo of the sunflower and bug from a dinner we attended in an orchard. 

Sunflower from the Farm to Fork Orchard Dinner

Sunflower from the Farm to Fork Orchard Dinner

Fading Away

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Awhile ago you voted on capturing, in photos, the lilies on the granite pond that my grandmother loved to see as a child.  I was short on travel time.  An acquaintance graciously offered to go to the spot in Connecticut and check out the developement of the lilies for me.

Old Sawmill Rd

Old Sawmill Rd

Reflection on Lily Pond

Reflection on Lily Pond

As you can see, there are thousands of lily pads at this location.  It is no wonder that my grandmother longed to see them once again.  There were lots of lily pads by the time these photos were taken and they went back with the hope that there would be more flowers at a later date.  It was only about a week later and the lily pads were fading away into the water.  The weather could have been a factor, but I think it best if I go next year in July.  I will share them with you then, in the meantime, here are a few glimpses of the lilies that I have found in my travels.

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These lilies are from Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sonoma, and Hess Winery.  Some of them live in a controlled environment while most of them live outside.  I haven’t been appreciating them the way I should.  Now that I realize how fast they come and go, I’ll take a bit more time with them, next time I see them.  They are  magnificent flowers, aren’t they?

Whisperings

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There are times when I haven’t any ideas about what to write, and then, out of the blue, it comes to me in a whisper.  I would have been quite content for this whisper to never have passed my ears, but that is not how life works.  Our extended family has had another sudden loss.  You are never ready for life’s twists and turns that are completely unexpected.  I am filling this blog with images of roses.  I believe they were a favorite.  The poem was written for the  passing of a friend’s mother a few years ago.  It fits this situation.  My final thought is one that we should all consider daily…..

Dear Mother of Mine

We started together

Heart to heart

But over the years

Grew discretely apart

Me, I was head-strong

And wanted to fly

You were so sweet

But refused to try

I wished you would want

To give life a fight

Yet you only wanted

To reach toward the light

Now you have gone

Away on a wing

To play only songs

That angels do sing

So hold, me a place

Dear mother of mine

For I’ll be along

But in my sweet time

We’ll touch once again

For our love always knew

The life that we shared

Induced spirits that grew

written by:  Bonnie DiMichele

Here is my final thought for today; reach out to someone today.  Someone where you have left something undone or unsaid.  Be honest, swallow your pride, and let them know how very special they are to you.  Do today, what you should have done long ago.  None of us knows how much time we have.

A Rose Garden From Around The World

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Dragons and Damsels

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In my prior blog, I was lucky enough to find a dragonfly larva.  I had only seen pictures of them in books.  I was so hoping that I would find a big dragonfly that would allow me to see what the larva was going to become.  At Big Springs Gardens there were only little blue damselflies and I knew that the larva was much too large to end up being something so small.  

Each time I return home, after going someplace beautiful and taking lots of pictures, I take a closer look at what I have captured.  Returning back from Big Springs Gardens reminded me of photography class assignments that I might have done in black and white, a million years ago.  It also caused me to remember, going last May to, Hakone Garden in Saratoga, California and the vast array of plants and animals that I had photographed there.  They also had a very small moon bridge, as did Big Springs Gardens, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last April.  We took our grand-daughter to see The Japanese Tea Gardens there and have lunch.  She was all consumed with the large moon bridge, while I was joyously taking photographs of everything else while waiting for the bridge to clear enough so I could get shots of her as well.  It reminded me too of my grandma and her black and white photos and the descriptions she would write on the back of her photographs to help her remember the colors.  

Dragonfly in black and white.

Dragonfly in black and white at Hakone Garden.

This is very possibly what I may have tried to shoot for a photography class.  I would have taken it on film and developed it myself.  I would have been limited, in so many ways, with what my ultimate result would end up being.  It’s lovely, but look at the next photo…..

First Attempt

First attempt

The detail you can see in this one is amazing.  It makes it come to life for me.  What I really like best is what comes next……..

Dragonfly, coming in a little closer.

Coming a little closer

I think this dragonfly was smiling at me, well and maybe at you too.  It seems they know they are amazing creatures.  This dragonfly is just about perfect in every way.  How can something so delicate be so perfect?