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Parsley Pesto Pasta and a confession


The last produce box that we purchased from Marvin's Produce had a large bunch of parsley in it. After several days it started to look a bit wilted and I remembered a recipe that I had found for Parsley Pesto and decided to try it. The reasons that I had been interested in the recipe initially are because we often have lots of parsley in the garden and because I must confess that I do not really care for either basil or cilantro. If a recipe calls for cilantro I usually substitute parsley and if it calls for basil I substitute dried Italian Seasoning.

Now don't get me wrong, if you invite me over and serve something with either cilantro or basil I will certainly eat it gratefully, but if I'm doing the cooking I will make the changes mentioned above. 🙂

This pesto calls for the green part of green onions which we also have pretty much year round in the garden and almonds which I try to keep in the freezer. Both Rob and I really liked this dish and I plan to try to make a supply of the pesto when parsley is abundant so we can enjoy this frequently.

Parsley Pesto Pasta

Approximately 1 pound of pasta
1/2 cup whole unsalted almonds
4 cups parsley leaves
3/4 cup chopped chives or the green part of green onions
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Process almonds in food processor until finely ground. Add parsley, green onions, oil and cheese and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until done and then drain, reserving a small amount of the cooking water to thin sauce if needed. (I did need some.)
Toss pasta with pesto adding cooking water as desired. Sprinkle with additional cheese.

You can refrigerate the pesto for up to 5 days after preparing it or it can be frozen.

Go ahead and be adventurous and give this recipe a try!


Final Installment of our Michigan Adventure

We stayed in Michigan for a few days after Megan's surgery and helped care for the children, prepared some meals ahead, and did some yard work. It was hard to leave not knowing the results of Megan's tests yet, but since she was feeling somewhat better we decided we'd better head for home.

Our anniversary is in April and we planned to celebrate it on one of our trips to Michigan this summer by spending the night in Berea, Kentucky. On our way home from this trip Rob made arrangements for us to stay there overnight and to tour a few of the many shops where the local artisans sell their wares. We didn't buy much but it was fun to see all the beautiful things that they have created. We were also able to eat a meal at the Boone Tavern Restaurant.

Here is a picture of one of the porches and some of the beautiful flowers:


We were the first to arrive for lunch and snapped a picture of the empty dining room:


My mother and I had eaten there thirty-eight years ago and I was able to order the same meal: Creamed Chicken in a Bird's Nest:


My meal was preceded with a salad with the house dressing which had an orange marmalade base:


Rob loves fish so he ordered this meal which also included Smoked Potato Salad:


All the meals are served with spoonbread, which was delicious.


We both had peach tea to drink. Each glass had a large slice of frozen peach to help keep it cool and to add to the taste.


On the way to Michigan I had seen a sign for The Quilt Patch quilt shop in Lafollette, Tennessee and we were able to stop there on the return trip. The shop is located a few miles off the interstate and is in a mall. There's not much on the website, but it does give you the address and phone number. 🙂 It is a really nice shop and the ladies who work there were extremely helpful. I saw a quilt in the shop which I liked and they actually looked through their stash of magazines and photocopied the directions for making it for me. I also purchased this pattern for the Church Lady Apron and some fabric to make it.


Here is the finished product, which is reversable:


Since arriving home we have tackled some cleaning and organizing projects, I've done some sewing and canned some fig jam, and now Rob is back at school. His classes start later this week. My daughter-in-law, Katie is still on maternity leave for a few more days but I soon will begin keeping Ryan and Avery. I'll be sure to add some current pictures in an upcoming post.


Another installment in our Michigan adventure

If you have been following the story of our daughter Megan's recent thyroidectomy she has posted a sequel detailing her surgery and the events following it.

After we arrived back in Michigan with Megan and the children we spent the night and then headed about five hours further north to visit our friends, Fred and Cheryl, who live in Cheboygan, Michigan for part of the year and here in Greenville for the other part of the year. On our way up we stopped at the Dawson and Stevens Restaurant in Graying, Michigan for lunch. It is like an old fashioned diner and it has the most Coca Cola memorabilia I have seen outside of the Coke Museum in Atlanta. The food was good too, and we will definitely remember to stop there again on future travels.

Here are a couple of pictures of the restaurant:



Fred and Cheryl have a beautiful home right on a lake far from the beaten path. Cell phone reception is a bit unpredictable. Our GPS was even a little confused as well and took us on a little adventure through the woods on an unpaved road until we turned back for fear of getting bogged down in the mud!

Rob helped Fred cut down some pine trees on the property in preparation for getting their driveway paved. After they were cut down it was discovered that several of the trees had severe damage from carpenter ants. I was relieved when the trees were cut down and all the men were safely back on the ground. Ladders and power saws always make me a bit nervous. All the twisting, lifting, and climbing did a number on Fred's back and he was in a lot of pain for quite a while afterwards.

Here are the lumberjacks:


Rob holding the rope:

Here is an example of the damage from the ants:


The Saturday we were visiting Fred and Cheryl took us up to Pickford, Michigan, which is in the Upper Peninsula. Cheryl's grandmother was from Pickford and she has quite a few cousins who live in the area. Every year on the first Saturday of August the town of Pickford has something called Hay Days. On this day they have a parade, special competitions, special eating opportunities, and many families have reunions. People come from all over every year to meet with their friends and loved ones. We attended the parade, ate lunch at one event and then had delicious strawberry sundaes at another venue. We also were able to meet some of Cheryl's extended family.

Here is a picture of Fred and Cheryl and some pictures of some of the Hay Days events:





The next day was Sunday and we were able to attend church with Fred and Cheryl and see some friends we have known for many years who also live in the area before heading back to the lower part of the state to help Megan during her surgery. I'll detail more about that the the conclusion of our trip in my next post.

Here is a recipe for a delicious salad which Cheryl served us during our visit. It is a pasta salad with a sweet and sour dressing rather than a mayonnaise type dressing. Both Rob and I really enjoyed it and I have made it for us since returning home.


Cheryl's Pasta Salad

8 oz. (1/2 box) of ruffled macaroni (Radiatore)
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar (you could probably use Splenda)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
couple shakes red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. celery seed (optional)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
About 1/2 cup of each of the following vegetables cut into bite size:
green onion
green pepper
cherry tomatoes
(about 2 1/2-3 cups total)
Cook pasta. Drain and while still warm combine with oil.
Mix sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, peppers, celery seed, and dry mustard.
Combine pasta, dressing, and vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.




A blessing to share

We have been in Michigan for a couple of weeks and I haven't had much opportunity to post anything here on the blog. I took a Kindle which was useful for reading and checking email. I tried to write a few brief replies to messages and found it to be a frustrating process. We did laugh very hard one evening at the substitutions which auto-correct came up with for some of the names which I was writing--Topher was changed to Gopher and Maddie was changed to Madrid and then to Fed-Ex! My resident IT guy had even turned off auto-correct, but it was still trying to change things up.

In mid-July Rob and I drove up to Sharonville, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati and met Megan, Jim, and the children there. We spent the night and then returned here to Greenville with Megan and the children for a little over a week. We kept busy during that week and were able to get together with Nora and Topher and Mark and Katie and the children several times as well. One thing that we did forget to do was to take a picture with all four of the grandchildren together--it will have to wait until Christmas now.

The following week we headed to Michigan. Megan needed to be home to get a few things done before her thyroid surgery which was scheduled for August 6th. Megan wrote a post about the need for her surgery on her blog if you would like to read the details. On the way up we stopped at the Museum of Appalachia just north of Knoxville where we saw these old-fashioned children:


After we took Megan and the children home we drove further north to visit friends for a few days--more about this in a later post. The day before her surgery Megan had some shopping excursions planned for us to help keep her mind off of the upcoming procedure.

I am very thankful to report that the surgery went very well and when the pathology report came back it determined that she did not have cancer. She was able to begin taking thyroid medication a week after her surgery and hopefully will regain energy and stamina quickly. I'm not going to go into great detail because I think Megan will want to write about this herself. She was particularly blessed by the ladies in her Sunday School class who planned something special for her a few days after she came home from the hospital. We are very thankful for the people of Faith Baptist Church of Warren who have been so kind and generous to our family.

I plan to post more about our trip to MI in my next few posts and also have a good recipe to share.


What’s been happening around here

We've been keeping very busy around here for the last week or so, so there hasn't been much time to post. Just in case you are interested in what we have been up to, I invite you to hop on over to DD Megan's blog where she has a delightful post which very nicely sums up the activities we have been involved in this week. You can find it here.

Hope your week has been just as delightful!


P.S. We discovered quite by accident that the Cradle of Forestry is free on Tuesdays this summer, so if you are looking for an inexpensive adventure and can go on a Tuesday you might want to consider driving up to the forest.