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Well here we are…

Finally (sort of)! Last November I started this project of creating a new web site and after 3 months of slow and frustrating ‘progress’, I set it aside. I just wasn’t getting the help that I needed and it was far more complicated than it needed to be so I retreated and licked my wounds for awhile.

Then Roy Sahali asked me about the progress (again) and when he saw my frustration he smiled a lovely, warm smile, and told me he could help. He set me up with a guy who took a look at what had been created and agreed with me that it was far more complicated than it needed to be. He told me what he could do for me, gave me some options, and I jumped in.

This new web site does not look like my original vision for it, and yet I think it attains all of my original goals, and I am really excited about it. I wanted it to be light and fresh, more modern and still very easy to navigate. I hope that you find those thing to be true, and if you have suggestions for what you would like to see on our site, I would love to hear them!

Of course our ‘go live’ day week has not gone smoothly. Among other things, due to lack of disk space on our server it was (as is the theme here) more complicated than it needed to be. I have cried a couple of tears of frustration and made the decision that, even though there are some glitches, I am presenting it to you today. You all pretty much know that we aren’t perfect already, so allowing you to see our imperfections is nothing new, and yet it is never comfortable. Now I know you are probably thinking ‘what? It looks fine to me..” and it does look fine. Tomorrow it will look better! And it will continue to evolve and we will always update the site, so it is never finished, anyway.

Isn’t that the way of the world? It is in my life… everything is always evolving, morphing, changing… my mom has been telling me for years about the buddhist saying: “life is suffering”, and while that is only a small part of the dogma, this year I have really begun to understand that process. To put it another way, my mentor Bill Marvin has talked at length about how ‘problems’ are opportunities for growth and learning, which is always a good thing. He says “if there is no solution possible, you don’t have a problem, you have a condition. Gravity and death are conditions, not problems. You may not like either of them but there’s nothing you can do to change them. Accept conditions as givens and move on.”

So I keep taking deep breaths and keeping in mind that, in the end, it will all come together and be exactly what it should be. (Breath.) Patience is not my strong suit, and yes, I do realize that is the point of my ‘suffering’. The journey is the point, not the destination (and in my head I say ‘blah blah blah, I just want it to be done!’) So there you have it.

And all of this is occurring whilst we are (trying) to perfect our new computer system at work, and of course that has not been the fun dream I thought it would be AT ALL. Plus a million other things are going on, and so it is life… just like for everyone else out there. Messy and fun, positive and negative, up and down, in and out, all because human nature, and the world we live in, are not perfect. So my challenge is this: acceptance. Doris Day said it best: “Que sera sera; whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see..’ (I love Pink Martini’s version of that song as well, but Doris is what I hear in my head with her sweet little trill…) 

So that peek into my busy brain gives you a little idea of how I make myself crazy. Along those lines, I will be revitalizing my blog, and it is just in time for the Italy trip so you can follow along while we are there (assuming, of course, that I can get internet as I plan to…) My old habit was to always end with a recipe and I am going to update that idea and always end with a recipe, or some other food-related information. It will be delicious and I hope you want to join the discussion!

Tomatoes are at their peak for us in the Pacific Northwest, and while (sadly) a blight has wiped out many Kitsap crops, you can still go to any farmer’s market and pick up the flavor of Summer. If you can get heirloom tomatoes I highly recommend them, though anything from a local grower will be delicious. There is nothing like the taste of fresh tomatoes! Fresh and warm from the sun, they bring me back to my childhood with every bite.

So grab as many fresh, local tomatoes as you can and keep it simple! There are many variations on the theme I am about to offer you, so do what you love, make it your own, and only eat delicious food!

 

If you have larger tomatoes slice or dice them up into big chunks, if you have cherry tomatoes you can cut them in half, or not…

Combine them with chunks of fresh goat cheese feta (also available at the markets) or fresh  mozzarella, some strands of fresh basil, and a drizzle of the finest olive oil you can find. Please do not use the bland, boring, mass-produced olive oils out there, find a great one, and if you want to try ours come  into the cafe and ask for a sample, you won’t be disappointed!

You can sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on, or not, as you wish. This is the perfect summer salad.

 

Now if you want to tumble that salad onto a delicious piece of bread, I prefer to grill the bread (dry), lightly rub it with a cut clove of garlic, top it with the tomatoes et al, and it is divine.

 

Another variation is to grill the bread, rub it with garlic, then rub it with the a tomato cut in half, so the tomato smears all over it. Top it with some pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of that fabulous olive oil!

 

You could also make a tart shell and bake the ‘salad’ for a heartier appetizer. No matter what you do, all of it or just eat the tomatoes, you will be so happy!