Birthday girl with flowers and Vegetables

May I take you out to lunch for your birthday?

Fran, I’d rather just come over and have a good girl talk visit.

We talk about deep things — things that matter to us, our children, grandchildren, gardening, and spiritual things, about where we have come from, the sad times and the happy ones. How as we get older, we are each more content in our own skin. That is a gift of growing older. Not worrying so much what others think, but appreciating our own gifts, accepting the struggles and being more present in the present moment. After all, it is all any of us have. There is that saying, The past is gone, the future is yet to be and where I am is in the present.

Author arranging flowers

A friend related to me the other day about the book The Artist’s Way. I read the book years ago. This friend reminded me about how an artist should take an outing once a week by herself – An Artist’s Date With Herself. Whatever it is that turns her on. Going to an outdoor market, going antiquing, going browsing down a tree-lined street in the city. In this way we open ourselves up to the beauty in life and how we fit ourselves into it. When we age gracefully in a spiritual sense we are coming more into our own of who we really are and what gifts we give and have given to the world. Some of us are just coming into our own as we mature in years.

As Leanne and I talked I prepared leek vegetable soup, green salad from my garden and locally caught sea bass from the Del Mar Farmer’s Market bathed in lemon juice and cooked in a skillet.




 Lemon Lime-water with Sprigs of Mint
Fill two glasses with ice, add fresh slices of lime and lemon, squeeze juice of one slice of lemon and lime over the ice. Rim the glass with lemon and lime, add water. Garnish with sprigs of mint.

Vegetable Leek Soup
Slice four large fresh leeks into one-inch sections. Rinse several times in water to remove sand. Using your fingers peel back all layers of sliced leeks to remove any remaining sand. In a heavy cast-iron skillet saute four chopped cloves of garlic in 1 tablespoon Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Add to this one large chopped onion and leeks. Cook until color is translucent. Transfer to a soup pot. Dissolve 3 tablespoons Rapunzel Vegetable Broth concentrate in hot water. Add about a quart of water or enough to cover vegetables that have just been sautéed along with the vegetable broth.  Dice one to two Roma tomatoes and add to soup. Add pepper and salt to taste along with Garam Masala seasoning, Turmeric, a dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. (I also added mint, ¼ cup cilantro, chives, oregano and basil fresh from my garden). Simmer for half an hour to forty-five minutes. Spoon into bowls and top with a little grated Parmesan cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.



Fresh greens from the garden
Chopped mint, cilantro and basil
1-2 sliced Roma tomatoes

in a jar add two whole cloves garlic,
1/2 cup best organic olive oil,
to that add 1/3 cup good quality fruit
vinegar or vinegar with a little jam mixed in for flavor.
(I used fig and currant vinegar.)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
For people not sensitive to garlic, chop up
two cloves garlic and add to dressing. Shake well.

Rim the salad bowl with garlic; pour about 1/4 to 2/3 cup salad dressing in bottom of bowl. To this add your greens, tomatoes, top with toasted sunflower seeds, and feta cheese. Toss just before serving.

Sea Bass

Sea Bass

Sauté in coconut oil 1-2 cloves garlic, add to this the sea bass washed in the juice of two lemons. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté with chives from the garden, leeks, one sliced tomato, and lemons. I cooked the fish with some finely chopped lemon on top. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Sauté one side and about half way through turn it over to finish cooking. Serve on plates with Gloria’s Pico de Gallo and tomatillo salsa artfully spooned over the top of the fish and then sprinkle with fresh cilantro and sunflower seeds. (See my March 8th 2012 blog for the recipes)

We walked in the garden to collect the vegetables for the salad. We picked flowers for her birthday bouquet. It had rained yesterday morning so as we wandered through the garden and the air smelled fresh and the plants and flowers that we picked had little droplets of water caressing each leaf and petal.

We sipped lemon lime-water with sprigs of mint and feasted at the beautiful table. The food was delicious.

Here’s to having deep conversations speaking of the art of living a fulfilling life over delicious food in art filled environments.


Bye for now


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