On Life’s Canvas…

Things here above the Oroville Dam are moving along as usual, although our favorite “back road to town” is now and for the foreseeable future unavailable due to the continuing spillway retrofitting. I do miss it, it was so much more picturesque than the highway route — and a bit quicker.

In the garden things are changing. I’ve harvested the last tail ends of my broccoli, which did marvelously well — and so gratifying for a first try at that vegetable. Next in that spot will be the summer tomatoes I think. The sugar snap peas, which are in the same raised bed, are getting ready to pod. This will be another first for me, not sure how that harvest will go as they’ve been battered by wind and rain off and on lately.

Yes, this is really MY broccoli, not stock photo!! Much greener than grocery store equivalent!

New plantings in the other raised bed of garlic, onions, lettuce, parsley and cilantro are all looking promising. And my many 5 gallon pots of potatoes are all leafing out nicely, should be a huge harvest eventually. What I’m particularly proud of are my tiny Fuji Apple seedlings — I need to get a photo — from seeds of an apple purchased and eaten last summer. It will be interested to see how they do… if I’m here long enough to see it!

Here’s something I threw together for dinner the other night as I had almost a full jar of pasta sauce in the fridge…

Mushroom Pasta in Tomato Sauce

  • 2 C brown rice pasta (I used elbow), cooked separately
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 16 oz mini portabello mushrooms (or several large ones), cleaned and sliced
  • 2 C fresh baby spinach (slighly chopped)
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 t  Garlic powder
  • 1/2 t Herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 t Dried Basil
  • 1/2 t Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:  Sauté mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil or vegetable broth until softened, add seasonings and spinach. Sauté on medium heat until spinach is limp, add tomato sauce — lower heat, stir to combine and heat sauce. Add cooked pasta and combine. Serve with Vegan Parmesan on top. You could also throw in any other bits of cooked vegetables you need to use up!

Here are a couple of small oil paintings I’ve recently worked on, they were started outside “Plein Air” style and finished up in the studio — the location is Kelly Ridge state land, right behind our house:





And a drawing (30 min study from  live model, pastel) from the portrait group I attend: