NEW CASTLE —
Mid-August is such a happy time of the year.
There are more tomato sandwiches, salsas and sauces than usual. Knowing people with gardens becomes a high note once again in the cycle of seasons.
I love gardening, but don’t have the time to dedicate to proper garden care.
In my case, I can gratefully enjoy the produce of other people’s gardens that are delivering a hardier abundance that they can use. I am a lucky recipient who happily greets family and friends with open arms as they offer me the benefits of their labors of love. This is a true delight.
Taste buds and hearts join in a celebration during the wealth of late summer. Autumn whispers, as the harvest begins.
We get the fresh summer flavors in many delicious whole foods that complement less nutritious choices. More cucumber salads, stuffed peppers or sweet and tender corn on the cob show up on family tables.
More than tradition, there is a agreement to enjoy these fresh gifts of the earth that are ripening and flowing out of gardens and into recipes, jars and freezers.
It is interesting that in life that we can have internal “seasons” as well. Although summer is at its peak right now, you may not feel abundant, overflowing and fulfilled inside.
According to experts, this is normal — to a point. The four seasons can act as a metaphor for different internals cycles that are occurring within you. These cycles, which don’t necessarily correlate with the traditional four seasons, may vary.
It is very good to recognize where you are in your cycles of living. It is important to tune-in to what you feel in order to determine where you are in your internal seasons.
You may be in a spring cycle of planting new seeds in one area of your life (such as seeking more education), while you are in the winter in another part of your life as you let go of what you’ve accomplished and reflect on all that has gone before.
Internal summer is a time of growing seeds that you may have planted weeks, months or even years before; staying focused on the goals you’ve set before you; weeding, watering and fertilizing become the activities to ensure a good harvest in the fruition of your goals and dreams.
If you are in the autumn phase of your life, you may be completing something that involves centering to gain clarity to see, appreciate and enjoy all that is around you as a results of your efforts.
If you remain open and creative, then you will find your way from the “turning under of the fields” (winter) in order to start anew which will become your new apringtime. Then you will again plant the seeds of pursing new interests or meeting new people as life changes.
If you get stuck in any one of these cycles, the results can lead to illness. For example, if you get stuck in the summer cycle, you may be considered a workaholic by your family and friends. This may be you if never appreciate or enjoy what is around you. Look to see if you are creating a balance and if you are able to relate to all of the seasons.
If you are always starting new projects, but never follow through or reach completion, you may be stuck in the cycle of spring. You may need to work more on staying focused to meet your goals. If you are a into fad diets, this may mean you.
If you are depressed, you may be caught up in the winter cycle where you’ve gotten stuck in the emptying process. It may be time for new growth. In this case, reach out to family, friends or counselors who can make a difference in helping you let go, and embrace planting the new.
Red Pepper Pasta
Serve this low fat pasta recipe with a crisp green side salad.
- 2 (two) 12 ounce jars, roasted red sweet pepper, drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 2⁄3 cup snipped fresh basil
- 1⁄2 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne or farfalle pasta
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Sauté garlic in olive oil (or vegetable broth if watching calories from fat) in non stick skillet over medium - high heat, stirring until light golden brown (about 3 to 4 minutes).
Place 1⁄2 of drained peppers and 1⁄2 of garlic in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth. Add half each of water, basil, tomato paste and vinegar. Cover and blend or process with pulses until basil is just chopped and mixture is nearly smooth. Transfer pepper mixture to a 2 quart saucepan. Repeat with remaining garlic, peppers, water, basil, tomato paste and vinegar. Transfer all to saucepan.
Cook and stir sauce over medium heat until heated through. Serve sauce over hot cooked pasta. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese if desired.