It’s Friday, which in most cases means I post some recent images I’ve taken on film.
Here are other Film Fridays to peruse at your leisure.
All images were shot using Kodak Portra 400 using a Canon A1 50mm 1.4.
“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
Today I’m appreciating the simplicity of the garden. In theory it’s as simple as placing a single seed in the dirt, adding some water and sunshine then with a bit of patience you are able to unearth fruits and vegetables of every shape and size.
Now, I do realize that gardening is far from simple. I have found that out after months of watching some things flourish and others stay tiny seedlings in my small garden. Gardening often includes fighting the elements. Fending off the crows from eating the seeds before they have a chance to settle into the dirt and squawking while flapping my arms to keep the squirrels from snacking on the just ripe strawberries. I’m sure the neighbors are highly entertained with this practice.
In theory all it takes is dirt, water, and sun. But what happens when the sun decides to wait until August to show up? Or your dirt isn’t balanced? Or your watering is inconsistent and done by a 3 and 5 year old? Somehow, some things still manage to grow, even if it is only a handful of peas, two strawberries and a prolific sage bush.
Nothing is more simple with gardening than when you are able to walk into someone else’s patch and have permission to gather as much as you want. The hard work has already been done by the gardener and the season. All you have to do is get dirt under your fingernails as you gather a bounty.
It’s my dad’s garden and he’s incredibly proud of it and I’m certain you can see why.
Together we dug up potatoes, plucked beans from the vine, tugged on beets until they released their roots from the tight grip of the earth, cut lettuce from it’s core, and snapped basil from the stem creating a waft of summer’s scent to invade the warm air. All this while snacking on a few, tart raspberries.
Merely fifty steps away from the kitchen little was needed to be done to make such fresh produce taste simply wonderful. Imploring basic kitchen techniques of roasting, braising and sautéing we bit into the richness caused by the soil and tasted the sweetness of the sun. With great pride we enjoyed our dinner even though the complexity of actually growing the food was left up to divine biology. Our part in the process was simple. Plant, pick, and enjoy.
In most areas, if not all, I tend to overcomplicate things. I easily get distracted from the beauty of everyday simplicity because I am focused on the future, what’s to come. And while there is nothing wrong with planning, dreaming and making goals it’s just as important to see the joy in the less complicated. In the present. Marvel at the intricacies of an ear of corn, gasp in delight at the sweetness of a potato having just been dug up, laugh as you fall into the dirt wrestling with a stubborn carrot.
These uncomplicated moments are to be savored, remembered and abundant.
Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised with the satisfaction of something simple.
Potatoes with Peas, Onions and Olive Oil
adapted from Nigel Slater
You can use leftover potatoes here. Encourage your potatoes to break up and get smashed about. There is nothing fancy about this dish. Simplicity at its finest.
serves 4 as a side
2 1/4 pounds new potoates
4 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes in well salted water until tender. Drain and cut into rough bite size pieces. Set aside.
In a large saute pan add the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the parsley, peas, salt and pepper. Stir in the potatoes. Serve warm.