I saw the movie again last night, for the second time, Julie and Julia. And here is what I know: I will never be Julia Child, for I truly am one of those people who, though loving the fine meal, the meal that takes hours to prepare, will not use her time for that.
But I defy anyone to improve upon my lunch today.
From my garden: tender, young green beans, stir-fried with crushed garlic and barely salted, the savory flavor of them rivaling a fillet mignon. A purple bell pepper sizzled into submission in extra-virgin olive oil. Thick, perfectly round slices of zucchini browned to a caramelized sweetness, and seasoned just-so, so delectable it is hard to believe it is not a sin.
Accented by imported Greek Kalamata Olives, which have been soaking in olive oil and red wine vinegar just long enough, and a thick, soft chunk of cave-aged blue cheese cut from a hand-made wedge, which has been cured to its full potential, the blue veining a work of tongue-tingling art (and some sort of chemical reaction to the penicillin they use in its’ creation).
You would be hard-pressed to find a meal anywhere as delicious and beautiful as this for any price. And done in 10 minutes, start to finish.
Had I added tomato, I fear it might have been too muchheaven.
Favorite quote from Julie & Julia:I could blog. I have thoughts.
You carefully sketch and design your gardens and borders. You plan for height and variety, texture and color. You create walkways and growing areas, a border here, a berm there.
Early spring finds you growing seedlings on the window sill. It takes such effort and exact science to make the small plants whole and healthy enough to finally be transplanted into the garden where they will grow to bring you joy and food for the season.
But for all the careful planning, for the pages of written plans saying eggplant will go in this square and a Japanese cucumber will go in that square and hmmm, let’s plant Nasturtiums here, there are the unexpected plants for which I did not account, the “volunteers.”
From out of nowhere.
There was a day I’d have pulled them all at first sighting, but now I don’t. Now I see a Zinnia or a Marigold that has decided to grow in a crevice or between bricks or have just plopped themselves right in the middle of a walkway, and I give them their space. Now I am glad they have upset my carefully laid plans and have just shown up, out of nowhere ~ a gift, a happy surprise.
The volunteers, sometimes flowers, sometimes a vegetable of some sort, while often getting a late start compared to the seedlings, ultimately catch up and are stronger and more established than the plants I’ve been coaxing, fawning over, encouraging to grow. They are just there. They just showed up, no work or toil. Just there for the enjoyment. They are divine blessings – an infusion of favor that I didn’t have to work hard to get, which makes them all the more delightful. And cherished.
pictured: some “volunteer” zinnias I keep getting to cut and enjoy inside; they just keep producing blooms and I did not do one thing to deserve it…