6/17/12

Sometimes Matt Makes Dinner

It’s true. In fact, it happens a few times a week. On days we both work, I typically come home to a set table with an awesome dinner, which is very often the best part of my day. So when the other night I arrived to an apartment that smelled of basil and garlic, I knew Matt was up to something delicious.
*
There’s something fishy going on in the universe. Has anyone else noticed it? A curious string of coincidences has befallen me this past week. Too many to ignore. What kind of coincidences, you wonder? OK, I’ll give you a few examples. Remember last week when I was writing about the nature of habits? Well, this week I started reading Swann’s Way—it’s a summer reading goal/challenge—and the first chapter is all about habits. I offer this beautiful sentence as proof (and as a way of tempting you to join me in my Swann’s Way summer): 
    “Habit! That skillful but very slow housekeeper who begins by letting our mind suffer for weeks in a
     temporary arrangement; but whom we are nevertheless truly happy to discover, for without habit our
     mind, reduced to no more than its own resources, would be powerless to make a lodging habitable.”
Additionally, Mr. Charles Duhigg, who authored the book The Power of Habit, and whom I quoted in last week’s post, turned up on this most recent episode of This American Life, which I listened to shortly after reading the first chapter of Swann’s Way. Minor coincidences? Maybe for you!

Thirdly, (but not lastly, as there really were plenty of these strange little overlaps this week—just ask Matt about our recent game of Draw Something), as I’ve been packing, I’ve naturally been making tough decisions about which old magazines to keep and which to throw away. One in particular I’d held on to was the February issue of Harper’s. I remembered the reason I’d kept it. It included a short story by Yoko Ogawa, a writer whose novella I loved, and so, instead of adding it to either the throwaway or keep pile, I placed it by my bedside table to read. Well, first of all, I’m glad I held onto it. The story was great if not creepy—in the best sense of the word. Plus, there was this funny scene in the beginning where the protagonist sees her landlord, Mrs. J., shoo away a stray cat from the garden in the courtyard. The tenant opens her window to tell her that she should spread pine needles around the beds to keep them away, but Mrs. J. doesn’t acknowledge her and instead just keeps going on and on about how much she can’t stand cats in her garden. The tenant continues to recommend pine needles and Mrs. J. continues to go off about cats digging up her seeds and using the area for a litter box.

Fast forward to two days later: Matt and I have closed on our new house, but don’t move in for another week. So, we’re having our first takeout dinner on the picnic table in the backyard, and I’m thinking about Mrs. J. while talking about my big garden plans, when I see not one, but two cats make a beeline for what is slated to be our garden area.
So where does pesto and fruit salad come into play in all of this? Who knows? Can it simply be my offering to the universe with the hope that it fits into your life in some meaningful way? I mean check out those strawbs and blubes!
As for now, I’m onward and boxward. Hope to see you soon from our new perch and our potentially-pine-needle-surrounded garden!

Matt’s Pesto via his Mom’s recipe:
1 cup toasted pine nuts
8 cups fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan
Salt
Pepper

Wash and clean the basil. Drop it in boiling water (less than a minute). Shock it in an ice-bath. Pull out and dry. Put clump of basil in the food processor.

Add toasted pine nuts, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese. Pulse. Slowly add oil. Season to taste!
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26 comments:

Matthew said...

Sounds like you've got an awesome husband! You know what will keep the wayward garden cats at bay? Our future dog, Mavis!

Louisa said...

Oh man! There's frozen tub of pesto that I've been meaning to eat for weeks in my freezer - what you say is true.

Mary Anne said...

8 cups of basil, Matt?? Ho-ly!

Mary Anne said...

This post rules! Those coincidences are weeeeird! But the best is the one about the cat and the story! You have to be a very present and thoughtful person to notice all the alignments in the universe like that. But what does it mean?? You are going to be a crazy landlady, that's what it means!

JennyLoLo said...

You absolutely must have a dog!

maggie said...

You're MOVING! Yay Ames:) Great post and now I'm hungry for pesto and a good book.

tannaz said...

blubes! so excited for the triumphant move to the eastside for you and matt and mavis!!

Eileen said...

Pesto pasta & fruit--a perfect dinner plan for hot summer nights. I may have to make some myself pretty soon. :)

Jen C. said...

Weird. I've been going through old magazines + deciding which to keep + which to toss this week too. AND I've got two cats who might be looking for a new home soon. Coincidence? ;) Congrats on the new house!

sg said...

Congratulations on your new home! How super exciting!!!

kale said...

Pesto always fits into my life in a meaningful way! ;)

Megan Taylor said...

Bon Appe-Matt! xo

Melanie said...

This meal looks gorgeous. A summer must-have.

Nicole said...

Oh man, I just love how summery pesto is. Sometimes we call work "the twilight zone" (just realized people will now think that has to do with vampires) because everyone in our small office experiences seemingly random things at the same time.

Ms.Nožisková said...

loooove synchronicity... and yes, it's been happening at rapid fire on my end. those recognizeable patterns within patterns seem to me to be that felicitous delight signaling we are en flow.

ps-i haven't read "swann's way" & need a good book... perhaps i shall join you!

jeana sohn said...

that looks delicious! i'd like to try the recipe!

Marsha and Mark said...

We're sure the pesto is as delicious as Matt's fantastic photographs. We're craving pesto and fruit salad now.

moonui.. said...

oh wow--- that looks amazing!! pesto & pasta is the perfect combination! So simple as well..

amelia said...

uhmm, I just got a new t-shirt/tote bag idea!! ;)

amelia said...

!! hahahha

amelia said...

thanks, stefani!!

amelia said...

we must and we will!!! :) :)

kelsey said...

The universe, and its coincidences, is pretty neat. Happy Moving :)

Heather Taylor said...

Hahaha love this! Pesto, summer, coincidence, cozy!

sara said...

I tried to read Swann's Way as my summer literary challenge a few years ago and it was a huge fail. I blame the neverending paragraphs! One day...

Can't wait to come see you guys in your new house and meet Mavis. I'll expect some pesto too.

Melissa N said...

omg! i was so sure me and my sister were the only ones who called them strawbs and blubes.. coincidence? xx

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