Deep thoughts and questions

By Mir
June 19, 2008

Or, This Is What Happens When Otto Isn’t Here For Me To Yammer At.

Or, Things I Thought About While Stretched Out Right In The Middle Of Our King-Sized Bed This Morning.

Or, If It Wasn’t Really My Life You’d Think It Was Crappy Fiction.

Hey, I’d come up with something more meaningful, here, but I’m too sore. I am the venetian plaster’s bitch, y’all. The walls have triumphed, and I no longer care what they look like, I just want to be DONE. Soon. I only have to prime and paint the area under the chair rail and trowel on the topcoat on the plaster and Oh, HI! Don’t mind me! I am just going to curl up underneath my desk for a while.

Anyway. I have a few questions, today.

On the work done yesterday:
* How is it possible that doors that cost as much as cars come without handles?
* How is it possible that the contractor doesn’t notice this (or think to mention it to me) until the installation is “done” and he needs to leave?
* Do you like my new door? Sorry it doesn’t actually open, unless you want to peel back the blue tape where the HANDLE SHOULD BE and put your fingers through the hole, there, to use it.
* When the contractor said they wanted to rip up the floor today, but that they’d go ahead and “clean it up afterwards,” was that a figure of speech I just didn’t understand? Because when I walked into the (now flooring-less) dining room and got half a dozen chunks of wood debris and a NAIL wedged into my foot I was sort of thinking it wasn’t very clean in there.

On the flooring company:
* I’m not complaining, you understand, but if I got a shipping notice from a company in Massachusetts on Tuesday and then 32 boxes of maple planks show up in Georgia for me ON WEDNESDAY, does that mean the company has a proprietary wormhole their truckers use?
* Why does a trucking company able to traverse 1000+ miles in less than a day send their poor delivery guy out with a bazillion pounds of cargo and no hand truck??
* It’s normal for some of those boxes to be munged at the ends and I should NOT be hyperventilating about damaged pieces, right? They will just cut those ones and I’ll still have an entire floor? RIGHT??
* Why did the nice delivery guy spend an hour walking those boxes ONE AT A TIME into my house and then try to REFUSE the tip I gave him? Was he the last nice guy on earth or does having money in his pocket mean he can’t go back through the wormhole?

On my garden:
* Yes, I vanquished the slugs eating my banana pepper plants, but it may have been too late. I have but two actual peppers growing on one of the plants, and none growing on the other. Technically this is not a question, just a sad observation.
* My jalapenos, on the other hand, are going to TOWN. I am going to have enough jalapenos for a small country. But I just realized this morning: How do I know when they’re ripe? They’re already green, so I can’t base it on color. Anyone?
* Why are my “Early Girls” barely producing fruit, whilst my Romas have far outrun them? Didn’t I buy the EARLY Girls so that I could have tomatoes before the Romas were ready? To whom shall I complain about this lack of truth in advertising??
* Why did I plant parsley? I don’t think I even LIKE parsley. And, um, I have a LOT of parsley. Anyone have a good recipe that uses parsley?
* After a week of wondering why my mint (MIIIIIINT!!) was looking strangely squashed, I caught a neighborhood cat sleeping in it. That solves that mystery, I guess. Can I still use mint that once served as a cat’s pillow?
* My basil runneth over. What should I make with it other than pesto?

On being all alone here in the house:
* Is it a sign that I really need to get out more when leaving the bathroom door open seems like a luxury? I’m… a little worried.


  1. All Adither

    You don’t normally leave the bathroom door open?

  2. Leanne

    Haha, an open bathroom door is common in my house. Its a luxury to have it closed actually. But that is ever so rare because I have a 3 year old that as soon as that door closes, he barges in to ask “what ya doin’??” Ahhhh the joys of having a toddler! :)

  3. jennielynn

    *The floor will work out. Do not hyperventilate. If it doesn’t, at least you know the replacements will come quickly via the wormhole.

    *Donate the parsley to an animal shelter. Turtles and rabbits LOVE parsley. And I don’t know why you planted parsley.

    *Go on for basil recipes. If you have dehydrator, dry some. If not, you can freeze pesto in an ice cube tray and use it in soups and sauces.

    *I always leave the bathroom door open. It’s the only way a mommy with small children can be sure chaos does not overtake. The bad part? Missy Hoohaw things that time of the month is strawberry poop. That was probably TMI. So, so sorry.

  4. Leandra

    Ummmm, you might have to worry just a teensy little bit about the bunged flooring boxes. Just a smidge. Just a tiny little corner of your brain. But hey, if you DO have to re-order, at least you know you can get it quickly!

    BTW, the kids are going to FREAK when they come home. They’re going to think they’ve walked into the wrong house! :)

  5. Veronica

    Basil oil? Tomato, boconcini and basil pizza? Uhmmmm, passata?

    There, 3 things to do with basil. Yep, I would still use the mint, I would just wash it well.

  6. Aimee

    Parsley is excellent in tabbouleh. Make some of that! And sprinkle it in with salad. I used to buy this great salad mix that had fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, etc.) mixed in with the other greens, and honestly, it was so good that dressing was unnecessary.

    As for the floor, all will be well. They will cut those ends. You will find handles for the door. And it’s a well-known fact that money cannot travel through wormholes.

  7. mommytherobot

    well. i am mourning MY banana pepper plant who didn’t survive the two weeks of heat in NC. now i’ve nuthin to show for all the hard work… well, all the buying i did. send me some jalapenos!

  8. RuthWells

    Basil butter. Freeze it in logs and use to flavor sauces, put a pat on a grilled piece of fish, stir into hot pasta…. etc.

    As for the jalapenos, pick ’em when they are about 3″ long. NOM!

  9. shannon

    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    Lots of julienned basil
    1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 – 2 cloves minced garlic

    Mix together.

    Make some frozen yeast rolls (or if you are a show off make them from scratch) spread this over the hot rolls. Go hide in the hall closet and eat them all. Oh wait, you are all alone, I guess you don’t have to lock yourself in the closet to avoid the shameful looks of your family members as you devour every last one them.

  10. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck

    White pizza with olive oil, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and at the end when there are only a few minutes of cooking left, add chopped (or whole) fresh basil. Heaven.

  11. Liza

    Mmmm, fresh basil. On sandwiches? Chopped and mixed into chicken salad? (You can tell I’m not an original Southerner; I’m not a chicken salad purist.) With tomatoes and fresh mozzarella (and coarse salt & olive oil)? Chopped and mixed with ricotta in a lasagna?

    I think, really, you can use fresh basil in any dish not involving chocolate.

  12. Ei

    The company shipping your flooring should cut a deal with the company that moved you last summer on that wormhole.

  13. Jill

    OK, it sounds a bit odd, I’ll grant you. But I promise it’s quite good.

    Chocolate Basil Cake

  14. Jill

    Oh, and clearly I have a slight disagreement with Liza. Chocolate and basil are surprisingly good together.

  15. Megan

    Jalapenos can be left until they’re red which makes ’em sweeter and a little more mellow. However it takes a long time for them to get to that point. If you don’t want to wait that long pick them when they first start to show a bit of color change. Keep in mind that if you leave loads on the plant there will be fewer new blossoms and pods. Oh, and use them right away if possible once picked.

    If you want to freeze them you can char the skins (roast them on the burner or out on the grill – grilling is great since it adds some smoky flavor), sweat them and skin them before freezing.

    There, all this time in the desert finally paid off with some genuine knowledge! Tune in next time for advice on stuffed peppers (cheese or sausage…. mmmmmm)

  16. dad

    How about Basil or Parsley Juleps?
    I understand they are excellent for dealing with HMOs and “the kindness of strangers.”

    And Liza might try a Chocolate Basil Julep.

  17. hannita

    Ooh, ooh! Watermelon basil lemonade! It’s yummy.
    Also, I make hummus with fresh basil. Chickpeas, basil, olive oil, salt. Soooo good.

    Wash your mint, it’ll be fine. Other than that, I can’t help.

  18. Kate

    add basil to tomatoes (whichever are ripe!) and fresh mozzerella and balsamic mmm mmm good alone as a sald or on a sammich!

    then you can just distribute the rest to any neighbors that might look like they need some. maybe with some peppers.

  19. Sara

    Got nothin’ on the basil recipes. My tiny mind can only think “pesto”. I do, however, have a question: Why did the carpet delivery people send ONE GUY to deliver TEN, (count em’ TEN) TWELVE-FOOT-LONG rolls of carpet? Seriously, how did they expect that to go? If my husband hadn’t been here to help, that man would’ve needed his own personal wormhole to carry both the front and back ends! BUT! They were oh-so-generous and knocked $10 off the delivery fee since my husband did the other delivery guy’s job. It’s a real chin-scratcher, that one.

  20. Kira

    Basil lemonaide. Yes, really.
    And I like to eat parsley. When I’m out in the garden, I grab handfuls of it and just…eat it. It tastes bright and herby and a little spicy. And it turns my tongue NEON GREEN, which is totally cool and sexy, even if Clay won’t admit it.
    If you roll the jalapenos between your fingers slightly they should feel firm and make a small crunchy sound. And when they’re ripe they get little lines in the skin. And then they start to turn red, if you leave them on the plant. So if all else fails, pick them when you see red on them. They’ll be a tad less spicy.

  21. Steph

    ooh, for the basil I love this one. slice tomatoes and spread them in a shallow dish. slice mozzarella cheese and spread over tomatoes. sprinkle fresh (or dried) basil on top, then put in the broiler till the cheese slightly browns. serve with pasta or fish. YUMMY! the cheese should brown without the tomatoes overcooking. mmmmmmm.

  22. Lori

    I’m chiming in with a recipe for the jalapeno’s. When ripe, wash and cut them in half. Scoop out the seeds, stuff the center with cream cheese and wrap 1/2 slice of BACON around the whole thing. Bake at 350 until the bacon is yummy. Heaven! I wouldn’t know what to do with the Basil except to put it in spaghetti sauce.

  23. The Other Leanne

    I planted parsley once, I don’t know why. Feed it to the rabbits.
    Basil in salad is delicious. Stuff a few leaves/branches in your next chicken or slide it under the skin. Chopped basil in spaghetti sauce or simply sprinkled over pasta with garlic and butter. Mmmmm basil!
    When my wood flooring arrived, the delivery guy didn’t have a hand truck either. I helped him carry the boxes in. And there were 13 boxes instead of 14 so they got to “acclimate” until the last box came.
    If any ends are dinged, don’t worry about it. Those pieces can be cut and used for the staggered sections (you know you don’t line them all up perfectly, right?).
    Everybody thinks textured and faux wall treatments are so wonderful until they actually have to perform the 40-step process to get it done.
    The doors don’t come with handles so you can choose your own finish and style. Shiny brass? Brushed nickel? Knob or lever?
    Hang in there, it will all be worth it.

  24. Jodi

    I like throwing basil on top of pizza…any kind of pizza. It makes it taste really good.

  25. Lisa- Domestic Accident

    Parsley in spaghetti sauce is very tasty. I use huge amounts in my grandmother’s recipe. If you have any neck bone about as well, I’ll email you the recipe.

    Going to the bathroom alone and with the door open? If that’s not one of life’s simple pleasures, I don’t know what is.

  26. Tootsie Farklepants

    For the parsley, just start serving it as a garnish with all meals. Even garnish the kids Fruit Loops.

    My favorite basil thingy is a sliced baguette, a fresh slice of mozzarella, roma tomato, and a sprig of basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Great snack on warm summer evenings.

  27. suburbancorrespondent

    Freeze the pesto for winter. It’s like having a little bit of summer in January…

    The flooring? I can’t help you with.

  28. Jamie AZ

    I planted and have a ton of parsley, too. And basil – yum! I’ll email you a few recipes that use both as they’re too long to post as a comment. As for the flooring and the door – ugh! But it will be beautiful when it’s all done, right?!

  29. Mother of Two


    Don’t worry about the floor it will work itself out.

    As for the parsley and basil… you’re on a diet, wash it and call it dinner…


  30. Anna Marie

    When you start cutting cutting up and de-seeding the jalapenos, MAKE SURE to wear gloves of some sort on your hands. If you don’t wear gloves then MAKE EXTRA SURE you don’t wipe your eyes or face. Just a tip. Not that I have any experience with that or anything…

  31. Mama Bear

    Orzo pasta with fresh basil and parmesan cheese added as it finishes up. Yum! Oh, and make it a meal, add some chickpeas for protein. Dinner is done!

  32. Vane

    Whether you believe it or not, you can make fried parsley tacos and they are really yummy (I have never cooked this myself but I’ve had them as an appetizer in a restaurant and they were great).

    If you are at all interested, let me know and I’ll translate the recipe and email it to you.

    And no, I have no idea how to tell jalapeños are ripe, as I have never planted any, I just go and buy them in the market :P

  33. Fold My Laundry Please

    Two words: JALAPENO JELLY! Make a few taquitos for dinner and dip them in the jelly and YUMYUMYUMYUMYUMYUM!!!1! I believe that’s what they serve in heaven, I truly do. Also, it makes for a rather interesting PB&J. Not bad, just different.

  34. mar

    Freeze the parsley too – and the pesto. For the parsley, chop it all up, spread it on a plate or cookie sheet in the freezer, and when frozen, put it in a plastic container (peanut butter jars work great). Voila – fresh parsley all winter. Same with the pesto – freeze it in small batches – even in ice cube trays. Lovely to have w/some homemade bread in the middle of those long, cold Georgia winters!

  35. LiteralDan

    Oh, leaving the bathroom door open is indeed a true luxury! Don’t question it or yourself, just enjoy it.

    Full Disclosure: I definitely need to get out more.

  36. Tina

    I’m sorry.

    Really I am. I just can’t stop laughing. I kinda scanned through the other comments and noticed everyone was being so helpful with their comments and suggestions.
    And here I am with laughter tears.
    Life is just so funny. It never works out the way we expect it to, but if it did I wonder if it might seem a bit boring. After all what would you write about. I kinda like the not knowing. However, I do have a wonderful uncle who does all of our major house renovations and the honey-do’s my husband has no time for. He, the uncle, is meticulous. It might take a little longer and cost a little more, but it will be perfect. So far I’ve not stepped on any nails so all is good. That said, one thing does always lead to another. Nothing is simple. Paint the house? Simple right? Sure. Not so simple. Paint the house turned into repair the house, paint the house, change the light fixtures by the garage, fix the garage door so it opens for the first time in 5 years, trim the trees (since the house looks so good now – don’t want the jungle messing that up) and figure out how to pay for all the added expenses. Maybe all of those things weren’t necessary, but they sure do look great and I know your house will soon look great too. By the way, don’t you have new projects waiting in the wings? Don’t we all. I’ll be waiting to read about them and hopefully laugh some more while totally understanding the pain.
    Okay, I’m done lauging now

  37. Heather

    I love basil in salad – especially in spinach and cherry tomatoes with a simple vinaigrette. Yum! :D

  38. Procrastamom

    I hear you on the Parsley issue. I planted some Curly Parsley which is bitter to taste and threatening to take over the entire flower box. I should have planted more Chives as I’m using them in a lot of recipes. As for the bitter Parsley, I’m not running a restaurant, so I have no use for it as decoration on the gourmet Hamburger Helper meals I serve my family. I wish the bad raccoons who sneak into my backyard at night would chew on the Parsley instead of our pool noodles and flip flops.

  39. prophet

    I grow parsley in with my flowers because I think it’s pretty. . . . that, and fennel, whose foliage looks a lot like asparagus fern. . . . (and comes back every year!)

  40. SoMo

    Basil+garlic+tomatoes=marinara sauce. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

  41. Astrogirl426

    Ok, get ready because I am going to go where no poster has yet gone: I am going to answer ALL YOUR QUESTIONS (you’re welcome). Yes, I am an inordinately brave woman. Here goes:

    On the work done yesterday:
    1. Allegedly, the doors come without handles because the manufacturers figure you’ll want to pick out your own handle. In reality, they do it to Drive You Crazy. Bastards.
    2. The contractor didn’t think to mention this because he probably just didn’t think of it, although I venture to say it shows a tad bit of scatterbrained-ness on his part.
    3. i LOVE your new door. No handles and all. You have BRILLIANT taste.
    4. I assume your contractor and his workers are all male – hon, you KNOW that the male definition of “clean” is a few yards off of the female definition (anyone doubting that can come see my kitchen after hubs has “cleaned” it). There ain’t a damn thing you can do, sorry. Now you know you need to sweep after they sweep, or at least make sure your tetanus shots are current.

    On the flooring company:
    1. They would have us think that the flooring company probably has a distribution center close by, that they actually shipped your floor from, ergo the quick delivery. But the truth is, no, it’s not a wormhole, it’s a transporter (you know, like in Star Trek).
    2. They are Morons. I will refrain from disparaging a delivery man who leaves for deliveries without said handtruck. Especially considering #4, below. (Although: Dude!)
    3. Just because the boxes are munged does not mean the floor is munged – they’re probably packed with some padding. Either way, a couple martinis will get rid of that nasty anxiety nicely. Make ’em doubles. Aw hell, just drink the gin straight.
    4. He was not the last nice guy on earth (my contractor friend is), but he does sound like a decent sort of bloke. It could also be against company policy, but I doubt it because that’s never stopped a delivery person from taking a tip in my experience. Although, perhaps they frisk him when he returns to make sure he’s followed policy.

    On your garden:
    1. Yay on the slugs, but boo on maybe losing a plant. Damn slugs. Why don’t they eat mint (have you tried encouraging that?)?
    2. Above posters are right – either pick when they’re 3-4 inches long, or wait until they turn red. Don’t stress about it.
    3. I have always had my Romas arrive before my Early Girls, oddly. It also could be another reason, like maybe the EG’s were not treated very well whilst in the greenhouse, and the shock set them back a few days/weeks. Either way, they’ll taste yummy. Complain to Mother Nature, but don’t blame me if you get a monsoon on your doorstep as a result.
    4. You planted parsley because you saw it and it looked lovely in its little pot, and you thought it smelled wonderful, and you figured you could use it Somewhere. At least, that’s how I make 90% of my decisions on what to plant. You didn’t mention if it’s flat or curly, but either way you can add it to bean salads, chop it up into a parsley pesto, freeze it (place a few pieces in empty ice cube trays, fill with water, and freeze. Pop them out when they’re solid and store in a ziplock. They’ll be nice in chicken soup in the winter). Or, pick them in big bunches (stalks and all) and place on racks in your oven; set to lowest setting, remove when they’re dry. Easy way to dry herbs without a food dehydrator (especially good for drying big batches). I would suggest hanging them in a dry place to dehydrate, but it being Georgia and all…..
    5. Yes, just rinse well.
    6. If the above posters’ recipes don’t use it up, dry the basil the same way in the oven, then place in ziplocks or glass jars for use in the winter in sauce, soup, etc. Fresh it’s also nice in salads. And you can always freeze pesto (make the same way, just don’t add the cheese; freeze in small freezer containers). Can be frozen the same way as the parsley, above. Alternately, you can always give away the herbs to garden-less neighbors. Trust me, the basil will be very popular.

    On being all alone (t)here in the house:
    1. No. It’s a sign that you need more time to yourself.

    Ok, I think I need a nap. Hope some of this helped/amused!

  42. Miriam

    An OPEN bathroom door…by YOURSELF! My husband came home from work the other day to find me in the bathroom, door wide open, with our three year old, two year old, and one year old ALL crowded around me. He has coined it “pooping by committee” and in my world, doing any other way is a definitely LUXURY!
    On a less gross note, I am SOOO loving having a garden this year, too! I can’t wait to have tomatoes- and throw some basil, fresh mozzarella and balsamic/olive oil and kosher salt on those bad boys…MMMMMM! I use my basil in everything- salads, on top of fancy seasoned burgers- (think bacon!) and as a garnish for anything Italianish. Yummo!
    My hardwoods go in next week- may the force be with us both!

  43. Flea

    Google some good Mediterranean recipes for that parsley. And my daughter loves a slice of fresh tomato on a biscuit, topped with basil leaves, salt and pepper. I put the basil and my rosemary in just about everything in the summertime.

    Yes. Doors some without handles. Allows you to pick out something really pretty and suited to the home. Sorry. Sucked the first time we discovered it as well.

  44. jennP

    feta cheese
    olive oil
    on italian bread
    slightly warmed if you prefer.

  45. heels

    Parsley Red Potatoes!

    There’s a “salad” that’s made with fresh pineapple and fresh basil that, despite how odd those sound like they would be together, is totally divine. And it does NOT include any jello products. I found it on epicurious.

  46. MomCat

    This is a post with a triple benefit. For, Lo! Here is a way to use both basil and (cat)mint, and an excuse to learn to use your ice cream maker.

    Basil Mint Sorbet Don’t laugh – it’s delicious! From Under the Tuscan Sun. (The book…not the movie, which didn’t have recipes.)

    serves 8

    For the sugar syrup, boil together 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar, then simmer it for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Chill.

    Purée 1/2 cup mint leaves and 1/2 cup basil leaves in 1 cup of water. Add another cup of water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and chill.

    Mix the sugar syrup and the herbal water well and process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into clear glass dishes and garnish with mint leaves.

    From: Mayes, Francis. 1997. Under the Tuscan Sun: At home in Italy. NY: Broadway Books, p. 129.

  47. alala

    Parsley’s good in chicken soup. Also with garlic and carrots.

  48. Lady M

    Thank God you have tomatoes since the rest of the country is doing without, due to the salmonella problems.

    Jalapenos? Who knows how you tell they’re ripe. I prefer them as decoration.

  49. hollygee

    Tabouli! Uses the parsley — lots of parsley — AND the mint. You need bulgar wheat, lots of green onions, lemon — and, uh, tomatoes.

    Basil leaves [and tomatoes, again] and fresh mozzerella salad. those same ingredients on a pizza base become a Margharita pizza.

  50. TC

    The number of comments you get makes me want to cry. I just get excited when I reach a number divisible by 3. But that’s not why I started to comment.

    I planted parsley AND dill this year. Because I use a HUGE amount of parsley and dill when I make chicken soup with matzoh balls. Except, um, HELLO? What was I thinking? It’s JUNE. In LOS ANGELES. I won’t even be TYPING the words chicken soup until at LEAST late September, and even then it will be because it’s the High Holy Days, and chicken soup is de rigeur, even if it is still in the high 90s here.

    So here I am, with a garden full of parsley and dill, which I am letting go to seed, so that maybe I can try planting some more later in the summer. What a waste.

  51. Cindy

    Girl, you had me laughing today! You inspired me to buy some herbs. Now I know what everyone was warning you about with the mint. It sure spreads quickly! Maybe I need a cat to sleep in it? Also, I’ve wondered what to do with the parsley also. I think the bathroom door thing is just a mom thing. You feel so free when you know you can leave the door open & NOBODY will disturb you. Enjoy your time alone & don’t work too hard.

  52. Brigitte

    I use parsley in all my summer pasta and potato salads, and on chicken piccata, ans a zillion other things.

    A non-pesto basil recipe I like: dice up some monterey jack, around each cube wrap a sundried tomato (the kind packed in oil) and a basil leaf, spear with a toothpick. Yummy appetizer!

  53. carmie

    It’s too bad you don’t have a dog. The only reason I grow parsley is to make him homemade dog biscuits. Lots of chopped fresh parsley, peanut butter, whole wheat flour, an egg or two, applesauce and some oats if it needs more dry ingredients. The dough looks and smells truly disgusting but the parsley does a great job freshening his awful, awful breath. I even bought a cat-shaped cookie cutter just for him.

    Basil? I dunno….last night I took a bath with a handful of cinnamon basil leaves in the water and then slept like a baby.

  54. becky

    basil: make garlic mashed (red) potatoes. when it’s all mixed, throw a bunch of basil in there (chop it up, of course). it makes AWESOME potatoes, i swear. lots of garlic, lots of butter and milk, salt, pepper, and the basil. you’ll be in heaven. promise.

  55. Damsel

    I saw the comment on the jalapeno jelly, and had to tell you about one of my very favorite appetizers, even though I have no idea how to make jalapeno jelly. Soften a block of cream cheese to room temperature, and pour jalapeno jelly over it (may need to nuke the jelly for a few seconds). Serve it with crackers. YUMMY. It’s also delicious with cocktail sauce in place of the jelly.

    Of course, I think you could spread cream cheese on a BUMPER and I’d eat it.

    Stop looking at me like that.

  56. Jill W.

    This is seriously the best recipe for tomatoes and basil ever:

    Tomato Tart

    Pillsbury pie crust (1)
    8 oz Shredded mozzarella cheese
    2 Tbsp fresh basil (or dry)
    4-5 Ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
    1 Bell peppers, sliced thin
    1 Onion, sliced thin
    Parmesan cheese
    Feta cheese
    Salt & Pepper
    Extra virgin olive oil

    Preheat oven to 375º. Saute peppers and onions. Spray tart pan with Pam and line with pastry dough. Spread pastry with shredded cheese (save some for top layer). Cover with tomato slices then sautéed bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Add chopped basil (save a little for top layer). Sprinkle parmesan and crumbled feta on top of tart. Cover with a light layer of mozzarella and a little more basil. Bake 30-45 minutes or until light brown on top.

  57. Chris

    Please, I’ll pay for shipping….send any leftovers here, to my home, I can’t grow a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g! Did you hear me? Nothing. I’ll take it! Cat napping and all. Thanks!

  58. sunny

    look here

    You will find a really yummy salad that goes well with grilled chicken or beef and it calls for lots of parsley:-)It is very spicy so it goes with just simple grilled meat, and we also had some jasmine rice.My family loved it.

  59. Carolyn

    Parsley + Tomatoes = Tabouleh. Yum!

    We use bulgar wheat (you have to soak it for hours), tomatoes (home-grown are SO delicious and I’m jealous because YOURS won’t have salmonella unless the cat slept on them too), parsley, red onions, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

    I’m sorry it isn’t a real recipe. We just sort of know approximately how much to use… it’s mostly green and red with flecks of tan, if that helps. ;)

  60. Carolyn

    Oh, and sorry to hear about the nail in your foot! Are you up-to-date on your tetanus shots?

  61. Cele

    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to work at home. Then I read your blog and become over joyed that I have an office.

  62. matinyoupi

    You can do garlic and parsley butter to go with grilled steak. You need a lot of parsley so it should rid you of some of your stock.
    I suppose you could also try to dessicate your parsley (I’ve never done it though, since I can’t never grow enough parsley to do so). You can store it and have it ready at hand whenever you need it. It will also save you trips to the garden when you’re in the middle of cooking something.

    I share your home improvement suffering. I probably have the rarest living-room walls on earth: I’m convinced they’re made of sponge since they needed not less that 5 coats of paint. A side-effect of it is that I get hives whenever I see a paint roller.
    However, the worst of all I’ve had to do so far, was stripping and then painting an old cast iron radiator. I’m almost apoplectic whenever I see my “delicate and careful” sons approaching it, because they could burn themselves of course… Ahem, it’s become a shrine to me you see, and I’m certainly not prepared to paint it ever again.

  63. sumo

    Catnip is in the mint family. We had mint in the flower bed of my childhood home and our cats would go nuts rolling around in it. I decided that mint was kitty marijuana. Of course, when I was older and met someone who used marijuana I never actually saw him roll around in it, so I guess it’s not quite the same experience.

  64. Laura

    For the basil, slice tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella, and layer them all (with the basil) on a plate (I actually use a pie plate) with fresh basil. Add a little olive oil and salt. Yum. Great “salad”, appetizer, or healthy afternoon snack!

  65. Melanie

    Oh Sister! Don’t worry at all about the bathroom door thing! I am so there. Hubby took the boys for a “Man-day” the other day.. (I’m not sure what that involves… hopefully not poker and strippers). I walked to the bathroom, shut the door and then in an act of solitary defiance opened the door again! On purpose. I think if anything, I should be worried at the feelings of genuine joy brought about by tinkling with an open door.

  66. Genevieve

    With your parsley and tomatoes, you have the base for a lovely Israeli vegetable salad. This is our go-to salad anytime we need to bring a dish somewhere, it’s different and tasty and super easy and high in fiber and vitamins and low in fat.

    Dice: about 6 small tomatoes, 1 or 2 cucumbers, 1 or 2 bell peppers (orange/yellow/red) — the balance of the veggies is a matter of preference, not vital
    Add chopped parsley and/or cilantro, mixed throughout.
    Make dressing: fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt.
    Mix dressing in.

    You’re done.

  67. Annie

    Dear Mir, cut parsley about 2 inches above ground with clean sharp kitchen shears.

    Throw the whole mess in the garbage.

  68. Zee

    RE: the basil, I’m with Jennielynn – I typically put my basil in the food processor, process it with a little bit of olive oil and then freeze that in ice cube trays. Then, in winter when I’m desperate for something “sunny,” I pull those cubes out and either mix ’em up with pine nuts and garlic and romano for some tastey and fresh pesto or use them in recipes that call for “fresh” basil. (This is always such a pleasure when you want to use fresh basil but are loathe to pay $3.99 for those little plastic boxes of basil they sell at the grocery stores. I hate those.)

    You could also use the basil to make that tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil salad – the kind w/ the olive oil drizzled all over the top. Caprese, it’s called, I think? Here is a recipe from Rachael Ray. I’m sure there are many, many others to be foudn on the innernets.

  69. Sandier Pastures

    My first visit here. I have to say you’re very clever with using the pseudonym “Otto” for your better half because it means “husband” in Japanese!

    Will be back for more reading!

  70. Lori

    We plant parsley in my yard in Minneapolis because 1) Spike the guinea pig LOVES it, and 2) it attracts beautiful swallowtail caterpillars–they look a lot like monarchs with a slightly different pattern. And, I’ve got to tell you that you’re wonderful and your blog is like a favorite book that never ends!! Thank you.

  71. M

    I’m with Shannon above — make herb butter! Mix chopped basil (though I just read in Newsweek that cutting ruins the flavor and basil should be TORN?) and parsley with some minced garlic and black pepper into butter with parmesan cheese. Spread on slices of French bread cut on a deep angle. Grill or cook under the broiler for a few minutes. You will end up eating more than you should. :)

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