Weekend Meditation: A Short List of Delights & Inspirations

Today I want to share with you a few things that have either made me smile or have inspired my kitchen this week. I hope you enjoy them. And please share with us what inspired you this week in the comments.

First up, a few words of wisdom from tea towels!

The Pantry Tea Towel by Christina Weber of Studiopaltro
There's not a thing on this list (pictured above) that I don't regularly keep in my pantry and keeping a well-stocked pantry is foundational for good cooking and easeful entertaining. With this list, you could whip together almost any meal at anytime, so unexpected guests can be welcomed with anxiety-free exuberance.
The Pantry Tea Towel, $24 from design/story

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Basil Storage
Forget those fancy-schmancy plastic storage thingies, skip the roll-in-a-tea-towel and shove into the refrigerator method. Simply bring your basil home from the market, trim its ends and plop it into a drinking glass full of water. Not even a plastic bag tented over the top! That's all you have to do to keep your bunch of basil fresh. Change the water and trim the ends on occasion, making sure none of the leaves are underwater. And then just pluck off leaves as needed. How long will it last? I brought the basil pictured above home from the market two weeks ago. That's right, friends. Two weeks.

On Lighting a Fire Under It
For some of us, cooking and writing are both passionate and engaging activities. This wonderful post from Tamar Adlar on Salon.com is about a writer who desperately wanted to cook so she asked a cook who wanted to be a writer if she could train in her kitchen. The cook, by the way, was Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune and Blood, Bones and Butter fame.
Bonus link: Molly Wizenberg's post about her writing process which is equally as passionate, only in a different way.

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The Devour Tea Towel by Christina Weber of Studiopatro.
A favorite quote from a favorite filmmaker! On a tea towel!
The Devour Tea Towel, $24 from design/story

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Flowers in the Kitchen
It's Dahlia season here in Northern California and I've brought a pretty bouquet of mixed colors into my kitchen for inspiration. Dahlias, as far as I know, server no culinary purpose whatsoever. So what are they doing on this list? Sometimes (often) inspiration takes a nonlinear path. It meanders about, touching this and that, biding its time, talking to honeybees and listening to old T-Rex albums. The bright, bold bursting forth of a bunch of Dahlias inspires my heart and an inspired heart is boundless and bows to no fear.

Salsa Verde
There is very very little in life that does not benefit from a spoonful or two of salsa verde. It's perfect with cold sliced chicken, steak grilled rare, and as a dip for raw vegetables. You can marinate stuff in it, slather it, dollop it, drizzle it on anything that graces your plate, especially in summer. Put it on tacos, serve it will grilled lamb, make it Mexican (tomatillos), make it Italian (capers). Just make it! Here's a recipe that I use, but the truth is, there are as many recipes for salsa verde as there are cooks. So get in the kitchen and claim one for yourself!

So now it's your turn. What did you discover this week? What has drawn you to get into the kitchen and pick up that knife with a fearless, passion-filled and boundless heart?

Related: Weekend Inspiration: Faye Hess, No-Tech and a Little Bit of Hippie

(Images: Studiopatro and Dana Velden)

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Weekend Meditation

Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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