Monday, February 22, 2010

Simple Things and Pesto Toasts

I have been somewhat absent from the blogosphere for a few days.

Last week, within 5 days of one another, I attended two funerals.

One funeral was for an elderly man who had been retired for 22 years. He had served heroically as a police officer in Jersey City for 25 years. His six children and wife of 50 years were all in attendance. Many police, fire and county officials were at his wake. It was a sad yet joyous affair in celebration of a life well lived and well loved.

The other funeral was for my oldest son's best friend's mother. She was tragically hit by a pickup truck last week while out shoveling snow. A seventeen year old boy was at the wheel of the truck. Police ruled it an accident. A horrible, sad, tragic accident that in an instant took a woman's life far too soon and changed a young man's life forever.

Both of these deaths made me stop and think of all the people, places and things that make up a life. And it made me realize that of all the people, places and things in my life I have always enjoyed the simple things the most. The beach. The mountains. My home. A good meal. A good friend. A day spent with my sisters. My family.

If you think about it there are very few things we really need in life. We need food. We need water. We need shelter. I believe we need love.

And maybe we need when the our time comes, for a few simple words of love and a small gathering of people to remember us.

What do you think? What do you really need in this life?

This is a simple meal. Salad. Fruit. Bread. It is enough, it is all that is really needed for a meal.

Pesto Toasts: (make 6 slices)

1/2 loaf of day old bakery bread, cut into thick slices
Store bought or home made pesto (I had some in the freezer that I had made this summer)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Garlic Cheese Toasts: (make 6 slices)

1/2 loaf day old bakery bread, cut into thick slices
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Mix butter, thyme, garlic and parmesan cheese together.

Preheat the broiler. Arrange bread on a cookie sheet and broil for 1 to 2 minutes to brown tops. Watch closely.

Turn and toast other side for one minutes.

Spread 6 pieces of the toasted bread with pesto, sprinkle with pine nuts and top with parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Spread remaining 6 toasts with butter mixture. Top with more parmesan cheese (sprinkled).

Place all the toasts back under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Serve hot with a salad and some fresh fruit.

Bon Appetite and remember to enjoy the simple things in life.


  1. Hummmm...What do I really need in this life?
    I know I have my Dream Home in the country I often think "I need".... but in reality.. My Husband and Daughter.My furry children..My wonderful group of friends..that we take turns making fun dinners at each others house...My Junking trips finding treasures I can reuse and turn into something wonderful..and of course the health to be able to enjoy all these things with..I guess when I really think about it..I really don't need that Dream house because I already have my dream life here...we all need to stop and think long and hard at our life from time to time..those 2 tragedies remind us of how little we really need don't they? Good Post.

  2. I'm so sorry. You know I share in your loss. Take care, my friend.

  3. we do need love, without it so much else is not important. I know I need my family, my friends, to feel safe and a place to call home. So much else really doesn't matter. As a Mother that loss hits home, to know a young man will miss that love that only a mother can give. To watch from a front row seat the grieving must be heartbreaking.


  4. Thats awful, two funerals in one week... What a tragic waste :0(

  5. Marlene - I agree, every now and then it is good to stop and be grateful for what we have in life.

    Kate - "What a long, strange week its been" but we move on, right?

    Tamis - Very sad events that are still weighing heavily on my mind.

    Eternally - the gentleman that died had been ill for some time. The woman that died was sudden, unexpected and just so, so sad....

  6. Those funerals were complete opposites, sharing only death. Read about your son's friends' mother really made me hurt... It shows us that life is so fleeting. We could be shoveling snow, raking leaves, washing our car. I hope her son heals well. I'm sure your son is right by his side.
    I like how you posted the simple things. :)
    I need to focus on this.
    I worry often about the BIG scheme of everything and lose sight of the way my little dogs love me when I come home.

  7. I have always believed we all have a certain time here..and then we go
    but what really bothers me is the pain for those we leave behind..its one of the hardest most painful expereinces we have is saying goodbye.

  8. Phoebe - yes, you are right, the funerals were complete opposites except for death being the common denominator. We all tend to focus on the BIG stuff, forgetting the small blessings along the way. Death and/or tragedy tend to remind us of what we should hold dear.

    Marlene - saying goodbye is always hard for those who are left behind. Like you, that is what I worry about - I also agree with you, I think the day we are born, the day we are to die is decided. Call it what you will; fate, the grim reaper, destiny.. who knows?


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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