Notes For Summer

06 . 27 . 12

We have a backyard now, how cool is that? Shaun built me raised beds and I planted winter squash early last week, probably too many, but we’ll get there when we get there. Every morning I sit in the sun on an old red adirondack that the last tenant left behind and watch over blossoms and the beneficials as they do their good work. I’m bonding with the squash, seeing phases of my life in them. So eager, reaching their awkward arms to the sky. They want to grow up so fast. Every day I am astounded at their progress. So proud. Like a parent, I suppose. Worrying about the sun and the birds, trying not to smother them, let them just do their thing.

Just like the plants, I am reminded, the power within (within me, within us all) grows stronger with each new day. Keep watering. Keep nurturing. That’s it. I’ll be patient, trust that good things will come to fruit in the near future. In the meantime I will celebrate the small triumphs, fend off the bad bugs, and just soak up the time given to me. It’s summer, folks, let’s try not over think things too much. Take the time (make the time) to ride bikes, call your mom, take a hike, figure out the grill, play dominos, sing in the shower, drink beer at the ball game, laugh at yourself, be nice, and eat lots and lots of stone fruit.

Apricot Mint Couscous 

serves 2-4

  • 2 cups Israeli cous cous
  • 1 lb ripe apricots
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1 large handful italian parsley, chopped
  • 20+ mint leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 tsp minced fresh jalepeno
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt/pepper

Save energy and spare your kitchen from extra heat in the summer by preparing your cous cous using this method. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in dry cous cous. Cover and kill the flame. Let cook for 12-15 minutes. Strain, rinse with cold water, and let sit to dry while you prepare the rest.

In a large bowl, combine minced shallot, finely sliced green onion (white and light green parts only), parsley, and mint. Carefully remove the seeds  from the jalepeno and mince as fine as you can. I used 1/4 tsp, but add as much as you like to amp up the heat. WASH HANDS and surfaces, immediately. It only takes one time rubbing your nose without a wash to remember this tip. Add pepper to the mixture. Slice the apricots in crescents with a paring knife over the bowl (8-10 wedges per fruit). Squeeze lemon juice over the fruit before stirring. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Finally, mix in the cous cous to completely coat. Serve at room temperature.

  • So lovely, Kelsey. This is good advice, and a delicious-looking recipe! I hope your squash (and all they represent) continue growing up strong and happy and healthy and proud.

  • Trying not to think too much is something that I definitely struggle with so this resonates with me so much. I love the idea of taking some time out, embracing your surroundings and enjoying the summer.

  • Really lovely post, Kelsey. I am so enjoying hearing about your new home and your backyard and mornings in that red chair. This couscous looks so good, too!

  • The new light looks great! Hopefully you are safe from the wildfires.

  • Apricots! I love them. Needless to say, that couscous looks fabulous. :)

  • Looks delicious Kelsey. And you have a little garden growing already, ahh yay! Happy to hear. Your words are always so comforting and soulful. And your posts give us more light to our day, every time. Happy summer girl!

  • As I currently live in an apartment, I am always dreaming about having a house and garden to call my own. For now I’ll have to settle for living vicariously through your words. And in the meantime, maybe I can enjoy this cous cous and take some time out to just embrace summer :)

  • hurray for yards and gardens and summer!! hope to be building raised beds soooooon, but we’ll get there when we get there TOO. ;)

  • Yay for a garden! I was so sad when I moved and had to give up my community garden… it was always such a great stress relief and just so nice to be outside playing in the dirt.

    That couscous looks awesome! I made something sort of similar not too long ago with quinoa (with some toasted almonds on top for a little crunch) and it was so so good.

  • I love being inspired by a new home. So much untapped potential. Hope you have many more garden filled days to come.

  • Love this post today, and so glad you’re settling in. And I agree, let’s enjoy the moment and let the good things come when they come!

  • Looks good gunna have to try it!

  • Look at that pretty light. I’m going to have a garden, someday.

  • Lovely post, and I agree 100%. Sending good vibes to your squash, and hope you have many lovely moments in that backyard of yours. xo

  • Oh, we’re thinking alike….I am so intrigued by La Domestique’s “Moroccan Apricot Tangine” that I’m going to make it this weekend. And then I was thinking…I need to make couscous…and here you have it all pulled together. Welcome home and it all looks delicious!

  • Yes to slowing down this summer and taking things as they come, one step at a time. I’ll be rooting for your squash.

  • Oh how I look forward to sitting in that red adirondack and watching those beneficials w/ you doing their job:) Your words & your recipe makes me want find a swing set and squeal with delight! xo

  • It’s apricot week at la Domestique and I love this couscous! Here’s to a wonderful summer, living for the moment!

  • My garden is the place I flee to when I need to remember to just be here, present in the world, and let those things that are out of my control just pass. Tending the earth, sifting my fingers gently through the dirt to aerate the soil before planting some seeds, and gently raining water on my blossoming crops allows me to truly breathe. Remember to take only that which I need. To give more, because then you will receive more in return, and that answers, and nourishment will be provided to those who care for their lives, and the lives of those around them.

  • How nice to have a garden! I dream of having my own one day. For now, we have a small herb garden outside our apartment that works just fine. But I wish I had more.

    Such a lovely dish… a wonderful use of apricots (a favorite of mine).

  • Hello friends!
    I just started about a week ago to use israeli coucous (pittim). And a couple of days ago I found hand made one’s in a italian comestible as a speciality from sardegna. I’m so fascinated with this new discovery and totally happy to get a super deicious new recipe from you – thanks!
    kisses from switzerland,

  • This is so lovely, Kelsey. A perfect reminder to enjoy the small bits of life.

  • Beautiful couscous. I love Israeli couscous slightly toasted. As for garden squash, a requisite is to always plant too much.

  • I love Israeli cous cous, but haven’t seen it in US. This meal I can only imagine how good it is, brilliant! :)

  • What a delicious way to incorporate apricots – my favorite stone fruit – or maybe it’s cherries, which would also be great in this recipe. Anyway, beautiful musing on staying centered and taking time to enjoy the simple, but important things in life.

  • I adore apricots but never use them in savoury dishes. Your photos and words make this look and sound so wonderfully enticing though that I might just have to give it a go!

  • Always love your words Kelsey. I’ll try this salad soon – sweet/spicy/yum. Israeli couscous is delicious and a friend of mine just introduced me to hand made whole wheat couscous (made in Palestine and sold by Canaan Fair Trade). It was so good that I bought a case! :)

  • Honey dear! You are SO SO inspiring! Give those baby plants a hug from me, will ya?! <3

  • anna

    So delicious.

  • Jonny

    sounds refreshing and super easy to fix! let’s try it next time. :)

  • I normally add pesto to my Israeli couscous, so this looks like a great way to change it up! Glad you’re settling in. I hear ya, on learning how to work the grill :) Glad to have you back!

  • I’ve been enjoying my couscous with pesto lately, but this version sounds like I need to mix it up. Glad you’re settling in. I hear ya on learning how to work the grill! Glad to have you back :)

  • I’m so happy to hear that you’re settled and happy… and that you have a garden! I hope that Colorado is good to you (and your soul). It sounds like it’s wonderful thus far.

    In addition, I’d like to say that this recipe is stunning. I will make this in the new few days, no question. Looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  • This tastes soooo good! :)

  • I adore everything about this post, Kelsey. I am happy to hear you’re settling in to your new home xoxo

  • I hope I can have a little backyard of my own soon. Using your own produce would give me real accomplishment. I dont have much space at the moment but I am really praying that our plans push through so we can go ahead and transfer to a bigger lot and a bigger house.
    This looks like a real unique treat. Love couscous too, just tried cooking with couscous recently and I can say I am developing a love for it. Thanks for the recipe.

  • So apricots are my favorite fruit ever (except perhaps from greengages) but I would never have thought to use them like this – will definitely try it tomorrow!!

  • Laurie

    Ecstatic you are back to your magic…I love your posts. I can’t wait to try this — yum!

    Growing up and out and reaching always for “next” is wonder itself. Summertime IS to be enjoyed. Thanks for the reminder! Sending love….

  • those apricots look perfect! and the couscous salad looks divine!

  • This looks absolutely delicious.

  • Josephine

    I’m just making it a third time, it’s that great! :) I’m using millet this time but I really liked it with cous cous too.

  • wow that sounds amazing – mint and apricots in couscous. must try it out.

  • I bookmarked this recipe months ago and have been waiting oh so long for local apricots to come into season. Finally made it – and shared it at a local food team meeting–it is AMAZING.
    And re-reading your thoughts on growing squash, being patient, and embracing summer, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come in the last two years–and likely you too–and how when we are patient, and can wait for the way of things to happen naturally, in their own time, how awesome the results will be. :)


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