Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fresh Basil

Originally posted March 25, 2010

If you’ve never eaten fresh basil and don’t already know the sensuous aromatic flavor those tender green leaves hold - let me be the one to tell you it is delicious. 
My sister Danielle used to say it was “food of the Gods”. And every time I eat it, I think of her - and that she is right.  It is heavenly. Few things can hold up to the simple yet ethereal combination of toasted sourdough bread with a thin layer of cream cheese, fresh basil leaves, and sliced tomatoes - topped with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns.   If you have a better cheese than cream cheese -- by all means substitute that instead. 
Sandwiches aside, basil holds so many memories for me. Strange that a green leaf with a decadent aroma can be nearly as comforting as chocolate... but it is. It reminds me of cooking with friends, of eating meals with a huge extended family, of working side by side, and of learning.  And even though there are times when learning is painful, the work was stressful, relationships with extended family and friends are strained... basil brings me to a happy place. 
It also reminds me of going to the opera with Danielle. Walking side by side with my graceful, tall, and beautiful sister. Proud that she would invite me to go with her.  My heart was filled because she chose me as a friend to spend her season ticket with. Though the opera should have been a memory in itself, I don’t even remember the name of the opera we attended. I do remember the opening chorus of mens voices piercing my soul, but it is the stillness of the moment walking up main street by her side that I remember.
And that memory, is part of why basil is so sweet.
BTW... Jonnie Bear is the one in the picture.  It has nothing to do with this blog entry -- but since I’ve skipped for the past year I thought you might like to see what he looks like now. 

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