See this plant? It’s a basil plant from my local K-mart, bought on total impulse last week. Do you know what this means? Bruschetta! One of my favorite summer appetizers. Here is the recipe I adapted (compliments of my co-worker/buddy Kay):
1 long French bread or baguette
About ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil to brush on bread
2-3 tomatoes (Roma tomatoes work well)
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
8-10 basil leaves
½ tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded parmesan cheese, optional
Slice the bread thinly and brush with olive oil. Arrange on cookie sheet and bake at 475 until golden brown and crispy. (When I made this last night with my cousin, we used her Pizzazz Pizza cooker.) For the topping: Dice up tomatoes and throw into a bowl. Chiffonade basil and add to bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the mixture. Add garlic, salt and pepper and mix together. If you like, add some parmesan to the mix or sprinkle it on top of each slice after they are topped with bruschetta and stick it under the broiler again to melt. This is one of those things that tastes better after it has sit for a while and all the flavors have marinated and intensified.
To me, this is one of the most simple but satisfying pleasures of the summer season. I like to walk out barefoot on my deck (dirt-tracking mayhem be damned!) and pluck a few basil leaves from my plant to make a fresh batch of bruschetta. Now if only I could grow tomatoes, but alas, our ground squirrels tear the plants to pieces. They even dig up and eat the roots right out of the planter! Oh, well.
Today was a day of simple pleasures, a culmination of things that all came together to create a lovely day. I still have not stepped foot into a thrift store. Due to an upcoming garage sale, a general sense of discontent with my near-hoarding habits, and current family circumstances that daily remind me of what is truly important in life, I am cutting way back on my vintage shopping/collecting. I had to get real with myself and realize that much of what I was buying “for the shop” was ending up as permanent fixtures in my home. I am clearing out as much as I can this weekend at our sale and taking a hiatus from shopping for the time being. I still have my favorite things I am keeping and I will always be a collector of vintage but its time to appreciate the things I
have before acquiring new.
That being said, I appreciated my day off just as much as I would have had I been out thrifting and buying more stuff. I read a fascinating book with my morning cup of coffee. I saw my bestie and her mini-me. I had a delicious lunch of soup, salad and breadsticks (at, you guessed it, the Olive Garden). I organized heaps of sale stuff in my garage and probably lost about three pounds from how much sweating I did in all the oppressive midday heat. I cleaned out some junk drawers (yes, I have multiple junk drawers) and felt liberated. I ate a junky Red Baron pizza for dinner while I flipped through a diet book, which I then tossed onto a pile of other books in the garage. I took
an hour long nighttime walk with a pal and then came home and took a refreshing cold shower. I slipped into a super- lightweight vintage lavender nightgown and collapsed in front of the computer with leftover bruschetta and a chilled glass of moscato. I am feeling quite decadent right now and not the least bit unhappy, though there are plenty of reasons why I should feel that way. I guess even in the darkest times God sees fits to send a little sunshine our way…