The past few months have been some of the most stressful my family has ever dealt with. I've mentioned before that I can be an irritatingly positive person and I can usually roll with the punches. Lately, it's just felt like the hits keep on coming. I refuse to be beaten but I do feel a little battered at this point.
I've been doing a lot of soul searching about my life and this blog. I miss blogging but I oftentimes allow things I love to become a huge stressor in my life. I've let that happen with this blog and I hate it because there are so many things I enjoy about food blogging. Cooking soothes my soul & I get so much joy cooking for my loved ones or hearing that someone tried a recipe I posted and loved it. I've also rediscovered my love for writing. I've gotten to the point where writing for the sake of writing has become very fulfilling. I'm also so grateful at the relationships I've formed because of this blog. Some of the nicest people I've met have been because of this blog. And I absolutely hate it that this blog has become another thing that I feel guilty about not getting done.
I'm an expert at perfectionistic procrastination – there are so many times in my life where I feel like I live by a quote from Voltaire "The perfect is the enemy of the good". I'm hesitant to post any post when it doesn't live up to my impossible standards. So what happens is I don't post. Which is a completely moronic way of dealing with it, but there you go.
I'm making things way too complicated <sarcasm>which comes as a HUGE shock to my husband </sarcasm> A lot of times I'll try 5 or 6 different recipes for a particular dish in order to get the best one. I also like posting original recipes but between running my own business, renovating a 100 year-old house and dealing with the latest events in our lives, I don't have time to do this very often right now.
I'm also hesitant to post the simpler dishes that my husband and I eat on a regular basis because I usually assume that everyone knows about them already. Every summer my husband and I live on watermelon and feta salad – I figured that everyone knew about this dish until I mentioned it to a few of my friends and they had never heard of it and were intrigued.
I also like posting more than just recipes – my favorite blogs are those that tell the story behind the recipe or those that share their lives along with their recipes. So many of my favorite blogs are favorites because of the writing behind them. And that gets into my biggest fear – my fear of writing poorly. To say I'm insecure about my writing would be putting it mildly. I know that the only way to get better is to write but there are so many times I feel like banging my head against the wall because what I want to write just doesn't get executed the way I want it to.
So the solution to all of this? I'm going to suck it up and just post. I may cringe before I publish something but the only way to get over my fear of writing poorly is to just freaking write. So that's what I'm going to do.
I've been drinking Sangria since my college days. I remember one memorable evening when I was in college in DC. Finals were over and I went out with a bunch of friends to celebrate at one of our favorite open patio restaurants. I learned a very important lesson that night – it's never a good idea to eat all the fruit out of a pitcher of sangria! Otherwise you end up in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue with your friends taking pictures of you looking like this:
I've also learned that I'm not a fan of boozy sangrias for other reasons – sangria seems like such a summery drink to me and lots of alcohol in it just seems to weigh it down. One of the reasons I love this Peach Basil Sangria so much is that it's so refreshing and light. It also celebrates summer without being cloying – don't leave the basil out. The basil is what makes this drink so delicious.
This recipe is dedicated to all of my friends who've laughed with me, cried with me and just let me be me over the last few months. When life handed me lemons, you all squeezed lemons and drank sangria with me – both virtually and in real life. You all are the best.
Basil Peach Sangria
I've had this recipe on my computer for years now and I have no idea where it came from. Thanks to wobbely at the message board I run, I think I may have found where it originally came from.
Note: Do not use a white wine that's overly sweet. It makes the sangria way too cloying.
1 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice(make sure to use freshly squeezed juice)
2 cans peach nectar (23 fluid ounces total)
1 (750-ml) bottle chilled dry white wine
2 peaches, peeled & diced
In a small saucepan, add basil, sugar and lemon juice. Mix together, bruising the leaves with a wooden spoon as much as possible to let out all the essential oils in the basil. Add one can of peach nectar and bring to a simmer. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit for at least five minutes. Pour mixture through a sieve into a heatproof container. Discard basil leaves. Stir in wine, peaches and other can of peach nectar. Chill for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. Serve with friends. Laugh lots.
For a different take on this drink, check out EatWisconsin's version!