Il bel far niente means "the beauty of doing nothing" in Italian. That is where I am trying to find beauty this summer, in doing nothing. I am reading the book Eat Pray Love right now, and while I am slightly embarassed to admit that I am reading this, the author summed up what I am trying to accomplish in those four Italian words. The book really is not that bad; it is just not what I usually read, and the book seems a little too self-serving for me at times. At other times I whole-heartedly agree with things the author is saying.
I spent the past few days in my garden, not with a mission like usual, to get this done and that planted, but simply puttering around, enjoying the flowers, and the plants, the breeze and the sun. My garden this year is not as abundant, and my flowers not so riotous, but that is ok. I am trying to teach myself how to relax, little by little. Penny and Maggie certainly know how to relax, they are both currently napping in their spots- Maggie on the dining room chair, Penny on the couch. They do not have agendas or lists, they just live in the beauty of the moment, in the beauty of doing nothing. That the simple things are sometimes the best.
Yesterday I took Penny for a walk, eating a plum for my breakfast. It was a gorgeous day, a gorgeous moment, one of the pleasures of summer. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables everywhere, so many my refrigerator is bursting with them. Chrissy and I went to a farmers market Sunday morning, and bought a few of everything it seems. But Billy and I will eat well this week, I am actually excited to make dinners when we have these sort of ingredients. Tonight is one of my nights for the pound, so I am making a simple dinner, but a good dinner. We are having Panzanella, or Italian Bread Salad, with a fruit salad of nectarine, peach and blueberry. The basil in the salad will be from my very own basil plants. My favorite recipe is from Tuscan Recipes, it is the perfect summer dish. We will drink the rest of my gypsy wine, and follow it up with a few truffles. Tomorrow night we will have ratatouille, because I love Aubergines. (My friend Erik always calls eggplants aubergines, I like the way it sounds so much better than eggplant. Which would you rather eat, an aubergine or an eggplant?) We will have the leftover crusty bread that I did not use in the Panzanella to eat with our ratatouille - I am looking forward to dinner the next couple of nights!
These are the simple things that make me happy this summer - fresh food, nice weather with gentle breezes, good books, sweet wines and red wines, nights by a fire, time with my husband, my family, my Penny and Maggie.