We are in the midst of having the exterior of our house painted. A few years ago we painted the barn, checking that we liked the colours we’d chosen. We decided to change the door colour, yet we haven’t gone to the back of the barn to re-do the stall panels. The only time we see them is when we’re doing chores, and when we’re there, we can’t see any of the other outbuildings, so they’re not really a big priority. However, I will re-do them at some point. Last summer all of the other outbuildings were painted in the refigured colours. By doing them ahead of the house, we were able to watch how the colours worked throughout the year, and if they were truly the colours we wanted. On rainy or cloudy days the house in its old worn colour looked so drab, while all the other buildings now had a warm & happy glow.
Once the final decision on colours was made, a painter was hired. Someone who is willing to deal with all the detail we’d built into the house, as well as a bit of fearlessness to paint our 41’ roof peak.
Although I’m horrible about heights, and have had some anxiety issues while he’s up at the top of 40’ ladders, I am thrilled with how it’s looking. Of course, all this has been going on while we move through an extremely busy summer. I seem to be in the kitchen for a long spell each day, figuring out recipes, doing test batches and so on. Perhaps I’m being energized by the attitude of the painter. Let’s get it done!
Here’s my take on a Spicy Carrot Dip that we’ll be serving as part of the appetizer menu for this year’s Summer Soiree & Art Auction. It is a beautiful colour (this summer is all about colour!), with a rich, warm spiciness that is lovely with a bit of flat bread.
Makes about 3 cups
2 lbs. carrots, peeled & chopped
1 t salt
1 T brown sugar
2 cloves garlic – coarsely chopped
A thumb-sized knob of ginger – minced
½ c of brined olives, pitted and chopped – I used half green & half Kalamata, reserving about 1 tablespoon for a garnish.
A good-sized handful of cilantro, chopped
2 t Harissa spice mix or paste
2 t cumin
6 T olive oil
Flat bread to serve (I use naan)
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and scrape all of the carrots and little bits into a bowl to cool.
Add in the carrots, Harissa, cumin & the olive oil.
Pulse until uniformly chopped finely, but not puréed.
Transfer to a serving dish, garnishing with the reserved olives.
Serve with naan as an easy, healthy, delicious appetizer.