Dear Sunday Letter friends~
My family recently spent several days in Santa Fe, and oh my goodness, what a wonderful time we had! For over a week I was unplugged from social media, consumed no news or Netflix, did zero yard work or dog-walking (missed both though), and accomplished no real writing either.
Instead, I plugged into nature and art and food and music and family. Mainly, I got to see my KIDS!
It was a fantastic few days and a much-needed break from routine.
True story: I returned home with 392 new photos on my iPhone.
Remember when we took pictures with a camera, dropped off the film at Big Star (or wherever), and waited with great anticipation for the photos to come back in a handy little envelope? But then, what a letdown to open the long-awaited package only to see unfocused faces, heads cut off, eyes shut—proof of our vacation forever marked by a poor picture-taker and/or a cheap camera.
What a time we live in.
Nasturtium and Basil Pesto
It’s been a while since I shared a recipe, but this Nasturtium and Basil Pesto I made a few days ago has me feeling pretty dang proud of myself. And I thought you might need a recipe to squawk about too.
Nasturtium is one of those tried and true, easy-to-grow plants. The pollinators love its large orange blossoms, and I love watching it spill over the sides of whatever container its planted inside. Since all parts of the plant are edible—the leaves, flowers, and seed pods—it’s really one of those perfect plants.
True story: Plants tend to go absolutely nuts while the gardener is away on vacation. It’s like they wait until no one is home and then—boom—they double overnight (weeds and all).
Yep, upon returning from Santa Fe, I spent an entire day weeding and cutting back rowdy plants. And I cut back one of my exuberant nasturtiums, placing the vines and blooms in a plastic bag in the refrigerator with the idea I would use the leaves in a salad.
Then I thought about making a pesto and found THIS recipe from My Tiny Laguna Kitchen.
OMG soooo good! Nasturtium is a bit peppery and spicy, and the basil balances the flavor perfectly. The recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, but I substituted a combination of pine nuts and pistachios to use what I had on hand.
What a great way to utilize a bumper crop of nasturtium.
True story: We have a deer problem in Fayetteville. They come down from Mt. Sequoyah, drop fawns in our yards, and make a feast out of a variety of plants. They especially love our hostas.
We love our hostas too.
Always before I’ve sprayed Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent on our hostas. It works pretty well, but the odor is like Aunt Virgie’s outhouse on an August afternoon. Luckily, the sewer smell dissipates quickly to humans (so that’s a plus), but frequent reapplication of the spray is necessary, especially after a rain.
I may have discovered a more pleasant solution.
At the recommendation of a few of my gardening friends, I recently purchased Safer Brand DeerOff Repellent Stations. A package of 6 for $16 will reportedly last all season. There’s zero smell, installation is easy as pie, and the weatherproof devices blend into the landscape.
I installed them right before we left for Santa Fe and still have hostas happily growing. I even saw a whole family of deer (with triplet babies!) walk up our driveway and ignore our hostas.
Never Would I Ever
Do you know the drinking game called Never Have I Ever. The first person says the thing they’ve never done—”Never have I ever gone skydiving”—and anyone who has done that thing (in this case, skydiving) has to take a drink.
True story: Never have I ever played this game. (Hard to believe but true.)
Anyway, today I offer a twist on the classic called Never Would I Ever.
I know it’s difficult to say what you would or wouldn’t do until you are in a particular situation, but this I know about myself: Never would I ever crawl into a tin can and willingly travel to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Period.
Sooooo, if I ever post this message—Yay, I’m going on an upcoming expedition with Caladan Oceanic to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean*—please know I’ve been kidnapped, hacked, or lost my ever-loving mind.
(*or Mount Everest, Deep Space, North Korea, and probably a few other places if I thought long enough about it.)
Also, I’m not making light of the Titan tragedy that dominated the news all last week. The whole story is horrifying and sad to me.
But the fact remains—had it been up to me to set sail for lands unknown, the world would be largely unexplored. Walk on the moon in 1969? Nope. Go down Niagara Falls in a barrel? NOPE. I will devour books about these adventures all day long, but if an ‘adventure’ doesn’t involve being able to breathe regular oxygen, I’m out.
Things Momma Says:
Everyone needs to leave the Titanic alone.
Later, friends. Thanks for indulging another Sunday Letter. Life has been full and my letters have been sporadic, but I appreciate you.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.