The Changing Seasons – May 2018

 

It´s time again for the wonderful challenge The Changing Seasons, invented by Max from Cardinal Guzman and now hosted by my dear friend Su from Zimmerbitch.

 

May started with excellent book karma at my local library and the only downside was that I was afraid I might not get through all the books before I had to return them! Luckily I´m nearly halfway through (Jojo Moyes “Still Me” – excellent!, Lucinda Riley “The Pearl Sister” – so far my favorite in her Seven Sisters series, maybe because the main character is an artist ;), James Patterson “Fifty Fifty” – suspenseful as usual, Preston&Child “The Obsidian Chamber” – I just love their Pendergast novels and this one is no exception) and I was able to extend the rest for another four weeks.

Do you also tend to borrow more books than you can possibly read in the allotted time?

books

Two armful of books borrowed from my local library (May 2018)

 

Then Mother´s Day was in Germany (it´s always on the second Sunday in May), and because my mum asked very nicely for them, I of course couldn’t deny her wish and  made my homemade gnocchi for her. (I only make them a couple of times a year since they really take a lot of effort and time.)

Here are some pictures:

making gnocchi

Me making dents with a fork in the gnocchi so they can soak up more sauce. (May 2018)

Gnocchi

Homemade gnocchi ready to be cooked in boiling water (May 2018)

Gnocchi with tomato sauce

Dinner is ready! Gnocchi with tomato sauce, freshly grated Parmesan and homegrown basil leaves. (May 2018)

 

I´m happy to report all bellies were cram-ful that day – and the next since I always make more to have some left overs. 😉

 

And what always astonishes me most in this season of Spring and early Summer is how fast all my plants grow – take my basil for instance:

 

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Basil seedling at the beginning of the month (May 2018)

 

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Basil at the end of the month (May 2018)

 

Isn´t this just amazing?! 😀 And of course, it tastes so much better then the stuff you can buy at the supermarket. 😉

And then there´s the lush green out of doors too! Do you also love the intricate patterns of rolled up fern leaves?

 

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Fern (May 2018)

 

And also since today´s prompt for the May 2018 Art Challenge: Smile Makers! is “Drinks” I´m adding this quick water color of one of my favorite summer drinks, the Mojito:

 

Mojito

Mojito (water color on paper; May 2018)

 

Which one is yours?

 

And here are the guidelines for The Changing Season if you’re interested in participating:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su´s original monthly post, she can update it with links to yours.

77 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – May 2018

  1. Sarah! My favorite writers in that genre are Preston&Child too! And my herbs and vegetables flourish abundantly too, woop woop (posted an update recently). Maybe a lot of work, but besides home grown vegetables and herbs, home made pasta tastes better also, wouldn’t you agree?
    XxX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, homemade pasta really tastes better but the time it takes to prepare it… well, let´s just say I don´t have it most days. 😉
      And yay! to your herbs also growing like wild! 🙂 Have a wonderful Tuesday, Patty! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Sarah, you can make gnocchi! I love it but it takes so long and I have no patience. What a lovely gift for your mother. The mojito sounds nice right now – the temperature is in the high 90s. Phew!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very nice post that includes many common interests such as book, artwork, plant, photography and homemade gnocchi. I agree with Darren. This drawing would be great on a tee! Thanks for introducing me to this interesting second version of The Changing Seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. my favorite drink is freshly pressed fruit juice, orange juice, or exotic fruits … May is a beautiful month thanks for the lovely water color and I hope your June will be great !!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a lovely stack of books for sure, Sarah. I’ve always been overly ambitious as far as books are concerned, and it is tough now that I don’t get to read much anymore. I have a few waiting, just in case. Your plant photos are outstanding! I just love that fern and its leaves! I’ve never had a Mojito before, but I can almost taste the limes in your beautiful drawing. I hope you are enjoying beautiful outdoor spring reading weather, my friend. 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Lana! Since then the pile has changed a bit and new ones have taken the place of the ones I’ve already read. 😉 Sometimes I wonder how it would be if I just bought books instead of borrowing them, maybe my reading would be much slower. 😂
      And it’s already as hot as summer around here so Mojitos and the like are an essential refreshment. 😉
      Wish you a beautiful spring and Happy Reading dear friend! Lots of love! Xoxo 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve just started growing my own basil from seeds this year (a gardening gift from my daughter-in-law). Do I need to thin them out, or can I just let them grow as they are coming up? They look a lot like the ones in your first photo. And lovely painting of the mojito! Makes me want one…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Ann! How lovely your daughter-in-law gifted you with basil seeds! If you put the seeds into a big enough pot there’s no thinning required. They’re the most happy with lots of sunshine and need to be watered generously when it gets hot. Let me know how they’re doing in a month’s time. 😉
      And I feel a little guilty for making you all thirsty! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a lovely post my friend. We have a lot in common you and I. Even our taste in books is similar😄.
    Your basil looks awesome. As does the Gnocchi.
    I love the mojito painting. Such a lovely fresh green. I could see that working as a motif printed on an apron or even a t-shirt.
    Ferns are brilliant. One day I will find courage to draw one😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, my friend! Taste in books do say a lot about people, don´t you think? Glad ours is similar. 🙂
      I love your idea of using this water color for a print on an apron or t-shirt!! Maybe I should start looking into that side of things and walk around making adverts for myself. 😉
      I so hope you will find the courage one day to draw a fern because I just know that it will be brilliant!!!
      Have a happy day, Darren! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those gnocchi look fabulous and sound delicious. I make a tray of gnocchi and use it as a roulade rolled around thick tomato sauce and baked in the oven. Cheese on top is optional and more sauce to pour over if you want it. You get the lovely textures without the intense labour of making all those little bites. Your basil looks so happy and that mojito is begging to be sipped. I also love watching the ferns unfurl in the woods. They look like little aliens when they first appear, I think. Happy Tuesday to you dear Sarah …. I hope the sun is shining and all is bright and joyful in your world xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Fiona! Your idea with the gnocchi roulade sounds great – would you mind shooting a pic for me next time you do it? Would love to see it! Well, and eat it of course. 😉
      And I think exactly the same about ferns!!
      Wishing you a very Happy Thursday and an amazing weekend to come! Lots of love! xxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will certainly do that. In fact I have my stepson staying and he is a massive fan of gnocchi and I have never made him the roulade so I will do it next weekend. We are in Baltimore at the moment and Washington DC for the weekend til Tuesday (any messages for The Whitehouse resident 😉) so I’m looking forward to taking some snaps of iconic buildings and going to the places that our friend Gary has recommended to me. Baltimore, by the way is called ‘Charm Town’ and it really is …. I am totally in love with it because the people are just adorable xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, goodie! I look forward to your pics them – and your stepson will be looking forward to have the honor to actually eat them! 😉
        Have a wonderful time in Baltimore and Washington DC – my fingers get itchy just thinking of all the photographs one can take there! I count on you to share them on WordPress. 😉 xxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 2 people

      • I do need to pull my finger out and start writing and sharing properly again. I fully intended to do a piece yesterday and then got hijacked by the news that WordPress has stopped it’s challenges (a big mistake, I think) and writing to them instead 😟 But I also decided that Friday’s should be devoted to something French and Monday’s to something from this great Melting Pot. Now I just have to do it 😉 xxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know that this news has had a huge effect on the WP community, and although I´ve never shared in any of these challenges, I enjoyed reading all the entries by my friends here.
        And I love the alliteration of a French Friday and Melting-Pot Monday a lot. 😉 Sending you huge boosts of energy to write these lovely posts! xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you – the energy is well-received …. in fact it was so huge that it knocked me right of my feet 😂. Everything changes, nothing stays the same and I believe that the WordPress community will a) be absolutely fine and b) will make something of their own that works for them. But I did say my little piece on a forum because the Photo challenge has been good to me and I have met some wonderful people as a direct result. Onwards and always upwards as ever! Xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol! Glad it worked! 😄
        And I’m also sure something new will come up – people are inventive and someone will start a lovely new challenge with daily or weekly prompts. 😊 xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s lovely that you spoil your mother on her day. My daughter does the same but we go out. She doesn’t cook much unless it’s in my kitchen. The gnocchi look scrumptious! I would have to have it with pesto as tomato sauce is no longer friendly to me. ;( The water color of your drink was so real I’m thinking of making one later today. Beautiful. I rarely drink anymore unless with company. I love lavender lemonade with a splash of Limoncello. Right now it’s a bit chilly so it would have to be what I found at our local German restaurant called a cozy kickback made with hot chocolate, chili infused Kahlua with a sprinkle of chili on top then whip cream. It will warm you up quickly. As for borrowing books, I don’t anymore. I borrowed audio books and couldn’t find time to listen to them in 4 weeks so I copied them to my laptop to listen to next time I’m sitting at the sewing machine. I’ve never been a fast reader but I’m always reading. Mostly blogs. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Marlene! I actually wanted to invite her for dinner in a fancy restaurant, but my mum declined the offer – would have been much less work if she hadn’t though! 😂
      Your lavender lemonade with a splash of Limoncello sounds utterly refreshing! And that Cozy Kickback hot chocolate drink at your local German Restaurant sounds sooo awesome – if it weren’t that hot right now, I would want one!
      I do the same with audiobooks I borrow. 🙂 I love listening to them whilst painting and drawing, or before I go to sleep and my eyes are already to heavy to read but my mind´s still too wind up to fall asleep.
      Have a beautiful and wonder filled week too Marlene! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My goodness, you are one busy person! First, I couldn’t read that many books in 4 weeks – I am sadly a very slow reader, and rarely even get to 50 books a year, despite that I am always reading something. But I’m also a book buyer, so about 6 more are on their way to my house – yikes!

    Your gnocchi look so perfect and sound delicious – I’m drooling over here, Sarah, absolutely drooling. What a wonderful gift for your mom, or anyone.

    And then your mojito. I have to admit I’ve never tasted one. I don’t care for beer or wine and generally stick to water and tea. But that is one pretty drink. I think spring is getting to you in a really good way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Shari! I wish I could have sent you some gnocchi, but by the time they would have reached you it would have been a disaster! My mum usually isn´t much of a pasta fan but gnocchi she has a passion for – maybe because they´re made of potatoes!

      I actually used to be a much faster reader a couple of years ago and used to speed-read when I was at uni. Must be getting old. 😉

      I don´t care much for alcoholic beverages myself, wine is too acidic for my stomach, and beer…well, I prefer a coke or some other kind of lemonade then. Mostly it´s just plain water or tea. 🙂
      But the Mojito is a rare treat I do like sometimes, probably because it just makes me think of Brasil or Cuba, places I hope to visit someday. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Your gnocchi look wonderful Sarah (I was practically salivating at the middle shot). What a lovely treat for mother’s day. And yay for fresh basil; yours looks so healthy and vibrant. I grow it around the tomatoes in my garden but it tends to get woody very quickly (or perhaps I just lose sight of it and forget it’s there) but when I do remember, it does tend to be my “go-to” herb. Luckily pesto keeps pretty well in the fridge.

    I love your watercolour; you make a mojito look so appealing. I have had a couple in the past, but neither was particularly wonderful. I think there probably wasn’t enough rum or lime in them (they tasted a bit like minty water). 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe! I´m now patting my own shoulder for having made you salivate because of my gnocchi! 😉 Thanks so much, Su! And if I might say so myself – they actually taste even better than they look: velvety outside with just the right bite inside. 😉 The downside is, I will never be able again to buy any gnocchi, they´re just too gross for my taste now!
      I make my own Mojitos most of the time, I don´t really like it when there´s too much rum. I´ve actually all the ingredients at home but I´m too lazy to make it – lol! I drink gallons of water instead, always hoping it will cool me down – which it doesn’t!
      Just heard a slight rumble of thunder in the distance – maybe it will bring cooler temperatures!!
      Have a beautiful day! xxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally get what you say about not being able to eat bought products when you’ve made your own! T made gnocchi recently and it was really good, it so time-consuming. He doesn’t cook very often, and does sometimes choose to make something fiddly. The results are great. If only he did it more.
        I think water might be better in the heat you are having — however appealing Mojitos are. Actually, putting lime, mint (and I reckon cucumber) slices into cold water would taste really good. xxxxxx 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do actually put sometimes various fruits and herbs into a carafe with water like lemon and ginger and/peppermint. Think I will give rosemary also a try.
        Maybe you can find a way to make T cook more often. 😉 xxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! Yes, we had a wonderful day and sharing this posts actually makes me want to eat gnocchi again – if only they weren’t so time consuming to make! LOL! 🙂
      Have a beautiful and creative day! ❤

      Like

  12. I can identify with your armful of books to read, Sarah and you reminded me about the latest one about Laura Clark – I can’t wait to read that one and this is a must for my summer reads … Her books are all gems! I agree, the plants grow so fast and England is a lush rich green at the moment, with wonderful vibrant flowers. Your gnocchi’s look a treat and what a special Mother’s Day treat for your Mum. Finally the striking chilled drink … so real I want to stretch out and take a refreshing sip! Hugs, my friend! Xx 😀 🍸 📖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Annika! Us bibliophiles have to stick together, right? 😉
      I can imagine how lush England is at the moment, though the last time I was there, there was a draught and all those lovely green lawn in and around Windsor were brown. We actually are suffering from too little rain in the last months and I´m getting anxious because of our harvests – prices are going to be very high when they have to use groundwater to water the fields. 😦
      Have a beautiful day, my friend! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 3 people

  13. You’ve had such a vibrant May! Beautiful painting of the Mojito..it’s making me thirsty;)
    I have to say, your pillowly soft gnocchi steals the show here! They look delicious and so delightful, your mom must have been thrilled:-)
    Have a delicious, creative June Sarah!:)
    Hugs and love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Divya! It’s really quite hot around here and it was a challenge to only paint a Mojito instead of preparing one. 😉
      And thank you for your compliment about my gnocchi – coming from you it means sooo much!
      Have a wonderful and delicious June too! Hugs&love! 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I can relate to checking out almost too many books at the library, Sarah, and James Patterson is a favorite – a little graphic sometimes, but an amazing author. You are a wonderful daughter, making your mom’s Mother’s Day so special with that delicious meal. Yum! And the home grown basil looks great. I can almost smell it. 🙂 It’s a favorite, and we also have a basil shrub in our backyard. Your Mojito painting is lovely and looks so refreshing. A Mojito would’ve been perfect for yesterday, since it was in the 90’s here. It looks like you had a wonderful month of May. Sending hugs for an amazing day and week ahead. 💗🍹🥘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lauren! I can truly say I’m in love with basil – and since I really love pasta I often joke that I’m Italian though I’m not. 😉 We’re having a little heat wave at the moment too and I can tell you it wasn’t easy to just paint a mojito instead of preparing one. 😉 Hugs and much love back to you! Have an amazing day and week too! 😄💖🍹

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aww – thank you, Jill! Basil is wonderful, isn’t it? Tastes amazing and everything looks so much nicer with a few leaves. The mojito is mainly made with lime and peppermint, a combination I find very refreshing during a summer heat – which we currently experience around here. 😉
      Have a lovely day, Jill! 💕

      Like

  15. Sarah, what a happy mum your mother must have been on Mother’s Day.
    Your basil looks very happy. My favourite basil dish is pesto made from basil, pine nuts and garlic sauteed in olive oil, then blended together. Yum, yum. Lovely photos, lovely painting. A very productive May all round for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Tracy! We had a lovely day together and luckily she thinks that alone is the best present (but I did get her a beautiful pair of earrings and her favourite tea that has to be imported from England anyway too). 😊
      Oh! I also love pesto and actually plan to harvest my basil next weekend for it! Do you also use fresh garlic? I find it much easier on the breath if you know what I mean. 😉 And it also tends to make me less thirsty afterwards.

      Liked by 1 person

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