As you know, I've been involved with the Sketchbook Challenge blog. The theme for January is Highly Prized, presented by Jill Berry. At first I was not sure what to make of this challenge, but now it seems to offer unlimited possibilities! Looking through the Flickr site, on which EVERYONE is invited to post their sketchbook pages, it's amazing to see the diversity of subject matter and approach to this theme. Very inspiring to see so many people taking up the challenge. Here are my pages so far:
On the left is a sketch/painting from a photo of my friend Gloria outside her store. She is a painter and lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia, where she collects beach treasures and makes bizarre but funny driftwood masks to hang all over the place. Gloria has been a family friend for almost my whole life, and she is definitely very highly prized!
This page on the right is about zhug, a Middle Eastern condiment I discovered recently at the farmers' market. I've been making it at home, keeping us in constant supply. We eat it on EVERYTHING, and it is so yummy, so highly prized in my household, not to mention very good for you! Here's my recipe.
Put in your food processor: one bunch of cilantro, one bunch of flat leaf parsley, at least one clove of garlic, and a mess of hot green peppers, whatever kind you like or are available. When I say a mess, I mean something like eight or ten, or fewer if you want it more mild. You could also use some sweet green pepper and some hot if you really want it mild.
OK. Buzz these ingredients until they are coarsely chopped. Then add a handful of sunflower seeds. Now add the olive oil: while you are pulsing the processor, pour a steady stream of olive oil into the mix until it is a good spreadable consistency. Sort of like pesto. Mix in more salt than you think you should. It should taste a bit too hot and a bit too salty, as these characteristics will mellow even over night.
Dump it out into jelly jars and store in the fridge, or the freezer for longer term. Eat it on rice, on burritos, crackers, a dollop on top of a stew or soup is good; eat it out of the jar! I love it so much I've contracted a farmer at Green Peak Farm to grow me a whole row each of cilantro, parsley, and hot peppers this summer! I'm growing the garlic.