15 August 2010

15 August - Assumption, herbs, and chocolate

Today we celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven, which you can read more about here.  This painting, attributed to Bartolome Murillo, is one of the most famous of this subject. 

"On St. Mary's Day, sunshine brings much good wine."
Which is especially enjoyed in my backyard on a lazy August day.  And the weather report says that tomorrow will be sunny and comfortable, with maybe showers late at night.  Hooray!  Looking forward to much good wine!

Today is the traditional day for blessing the herbs.   
Herbs, to my way of thinking, are a blessing in themselves, especially the herb of grace, Basil.  Not only does it add flavor to cooked dishes, the plants, set out next to tomatoes, protect those beautiful red globes from pests.

Tomatoes and basil together, ready to be picked - sliced tomatoes, still warm from the sun, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of chopped basil, a glass of good wine standing by...  How much better can an afternoon be?

But Wait!  There's More!

On this day in 1502, Columbus encountered cacao beans, a happy encounter for the chocoholics among us.  Let us indulge in chocolate in all its myriad lovely forms, in honor of those who first discovered the heavenly properties of cacao beans (pictured here), and those who (in 1502) discovered it from the discoverers.   

 I, myself, am very fond of the really, really DARK stuff, just barely sweet enough to eat.

This is a glorious day, all around!