I am the kind of person who leaves notes, lists, recipes, all over the place. Everywhere, on everything. On my legal pad, in my zillion notebooks, on the calendar, on the backs of letters, napkins, paper scraps, in my phone. I actually have a pretty good memory. But, like anyone I can forget things, which frustrates me to no end.
I find when I need to remember something, I either write it down, and relax, because I know the thought is safely preserved on a list somewhere. Or, I don’t write it down, and cycle through thinking about it again, and again, and again so I don’t forget it. I then feel like I am only partially paying attention to whatever I’m doing because I’m chanting my to do list in my head along with a running commentary on each list item: “clean bathroom, take photos of scones, mmmm those were yummy, but must find healthier breakfast, take boys to park, pick up super hero costume, call roofer, buy champagne yeast, maybe buy actual champagne?…” I find the latter option to be somewhat stressful, so I write preeetttty much everything down.
I’ve noticed since blogging my note habit has increased exponentially. There ideas for recipes I want to make. (kimchi, popovers, mango ice-cream, grilled stuffed tacos) Things I want to write about in my posts. (cute things my children have done, my recent shopping trip, why Apple is stupid sometimes, stupid phone video games) Ideas for how to stage photos. (newspaper, fresh flowers, craft paper, fruit splashing in water) To do lists for things I need to complete for the blog. (read new book to review, test thermometers, write next three posts, take photos, promote on pintrest) And of course recipes. It makes for a lot of notes.
So, yeah, endless notes, everywhere. I wish I could be more organized about things and just put everything in one notebook that was always with me. But it just never seems to work out like that. I have no consistent system, just a lot of paper and pens everywhere. It’s probably a good thing I do have a good memory, as I need it to remember where on Earth I left the note I currently need to remind me about whatever I didn’t want to forget in the first place. Otherwise I have to leave myself notes on how to find my other notes. It could get ugly very quickly.
I was looking through my phone notes just a few minutes ago, to see if that’s where I had jotted down my notes for todays recipe. It was not. I did realize it was high time to clean out my phone notes, as many of them made no sense to me anymore…
1. A list of cute things the kids say that I don’t want to forget. 2. Part of a post you’ll probably see soon, topic: amazing chocolate cake/tort. The third is an idea for a children’s book. I have no desire to write children’s books. 3. Lunch bowl recipe. 4. I think this is where I parked my car once? 5. Motivational thought from a book. 6. ??? 7. Great blog title right? 8. Cookbook ideas. 9. ???? Aaaand it just goes downhill from there. (And scrolls down quite a ways from there too!)
After somewhat clearing out my phone list and realizing the recipe for the olive tapenade wasn’t in the phone; I started searching through all my legal pads, and notebooks. Same situation as the phone, but worse… And no recipe there either. I was getting frustrated because I mostly remembered my recipe off the top of my head. It’s not exactly complicated this time; but just couldn’t remember how much basil had tasted ideal. (The basil is important people!) I was starting to think I should just give up and make the tapenade again from memory and taste test until I got the basil right. Then I realized it was already sitting right next to me at the computer. Felt like a dope, but hey, we’ll call it a score! And now here I am complaining to you about my note taking habits.
Oooh, I did go on about that for a while didn’t I? Cough, cough, ahem. Sorry. Let’s actually talk about that tapenade now.
So. Olives! Yum. That’s all you need to know.
J/K. Actually, tapenade is a traditional a Provençal recipe consisting of puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. And as you can imagine, if you like olives totally great. And FYI, if your not a fan of anchovies, tapenade is perfectly lovely without them, albeit a little less traditional. There are pretty much endless variations on tapenade so you can definitely adjust it to work of you. (If fact my recipe doesn’t contain anchovies, I’m not a hater, but not a giant fan either.)
Tapenade is lovely baked on fish or chicken, or as a sandwich spread, but also makes for a terrific appetizer if served with crusty bread or crackers. You can put it in a bowl and plop it on the table with the bread. Or you can spread it on your bread, top with a little bit of grated cheese, and bake it.. Either way tapenade for the appetizer win! Tapenade also has the advantage of being insanely easy and quick to make, and really requires few ingredients. Plus, it’s a great way to jazz up those inexpensive olives from a can. Kinda can’t go wrong here. So without further adieu, the recipe!
Simple Olive Tapenade– Yields about 2 and 1/2 cups (depending on how fine you chop).
- 6 oz can pitted black olives, not brined
- 6 oz can pitted green olives, not brined
- 2.5 oz jar whole clove garlic in brine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon pureed basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt to taste**
1. Drain the canned olives, and the whole clove garlic. Reserve a splash of the juice from each can, and the brine from the garlic in a medium sized bowl. Chop the olives and garlic into fine pieces. Add to the bowl.
2. Add the lemon juice, basil, and olive oil. Mix well. Add sea salt to taste.
3. Keep chilled in an airtight container until ready to use. Serve with crusty bread or crackers. Use as a sandwich spread, or cooking “sauce” for poultry or fish.
** If you do use olives that have already been brined omit the sea salt.