Oh, what a beautiful morning!

59 degrees. Sunny Carolina blue sky with  a few cirrhus strands to the north. High of “only” 84 predicted. Air-conditioning off and windows open. Fall broccoli and cabbage plants set out. Mums unclenching their bright buds.

 Time to anticipate fall in the South, one of two seductive seasons (the other being spring) that keep us here through one summer after another; time to get the trailer ready for rides up the mountain at Moses Cone and across the Yadkin River at Pilot Mountain State Park. Magnum bonum and limbertwig apples. Crunchy pears. Butternut squash and pumpkin.

Think I’ll weed and feed for a couple hours, then freeze the two gallons of jalapenos sitting in the kitchen. And it’s past time to start making pepper relish. For supper a lovely, lean top sirloin propping up Sheila Lukins’ Better than Ketchup Chutney and for lunch, the last of the pasta…presto! adapted from the kraft food & family magazine (holiday 2010 issue). Good times, the kind of day where every glance out a window is a thank you lifted up and where being outdoors is itself a thank you.


8 ounces whole-grain tubular pasta (penne rigate, elbow macaroni, etc.)

1/2 cup pesto

1 red pepper the size of your two fists

1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles, reduced-fat is fine

Wash pepper. Cut in half and remove seeds and membranes. Put cut-side down on olive oil-sprayed tray in toaster oven preheated to 450 degrees. Roast until collapsed and charred, about 10 minutes. Turn off oven and let pepper cool enough to handle. Remove skin and chop pepper.

Cook pasta as directed, omitting salt. Drain, return to pan. Add pesto and chopped peppers. Stir to warm through. Add cheese. Serves 4 lucky people. As nearly as I can figure, one serving (with reduced-fat feta) has about 385 calories and 13.5 fat g. Well worth it.



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