My family has a tradition of moving over Memorial Day Weekend, so every year, I’m grateful when Memorial Day comes and goes without boxes, bubble wrap and moving vans. When they don’t include moving, I have always been partial to holiday weekends. People kick back a little more than normal, comfortable in the knowledge that they have a full additional day into which they can relax. Over the last three days, I’ve felt like time has stretched out and expanded, to the point at which I’m having a hard time remembering what my life is like regularly.
Saturday morning, I took my mixer on its second spin around the block, this time with some maple pecan scones (I did them with all whole wheat pastry flour). They came together really easily and were terrific (although they did get increasingly dry as time passed. Toasting and buttering helped). Scott came over later that afternoon and we (he) did the previously mentioned work on my blog. Every time I look at it now, a little shiver of pleasure runs up my spine, I so love how it appears.
My cousin Melissa flew into town Saturday evening, and all of that night, as well as most of Sunday was spent with a collection of extended family. I often find myself craving family, and so having time to relax into the presence of those with whom I share blood is something I don’t take for granted.
This morning, I left my apartment at just after 9:30 am. The sun was already bright and hot as I walked through Rittenhouse Square towards the home of some friends (another friend was over there making pancakes). The square was surprisingly empty for a holiday morning when almost no one was working and there were so few people on the streets, that I felt like I should greet the individuals I passed with a cheerful word or two. I tried once, but the boundries of the Center City norms kept me strangling my voice.
There was a picnic this afternoon in a section of Fairmount Park nearby the Walnut Lane Circle. I sat on the ground with friends, eating, talking and watching the many little kids get dirtier and stickier as the afternoon became long. I brought a dip I make because I love to eat it, but I can’t make it often, or I’ll consume it all. When I first put it out, I stood next to it, explaining what it was to the first few folks who came by, because initially, it doesn’t look too appetizing. But one bite, and most are hooked. It gives me great pleasure to have people enjoy food that I’ve made, so that was a nice moment. For those of you who are interested, here’s the recipe. It came from the letters section of Gourmet, in July of 2003.
Tomato, Red Pepper, Basil and Feta Dip
2 garlic cloves
1 (7oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained
8oz sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1/4 C drained bottled, peperoncini, stemmed
1/2 lb crumbled feta
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 C loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 C loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Blend garlic, roasted peppers, tomatoes and peperoncini in a food processor until finely chopped. Add cheese, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. With motor running, gradually add oil and blend until incorporated. Ad basil and parsley and pulse until finely chopped.
Eat with veggies, chips, pita or anything else you want. I also imagine it would be terrific tossed with pasta or smeared on chicken prior to baking.