Yesterday, I had an amazing encounter with a neighbor I had never met before. As I was walking back home from the mailbox, I was greeted by a sweet elderly lady (I would say in her 80’s). She was doing some yard work and we started chatting. After a long chat, she asked me to wait while she went back to her house. She came back, five minutes later with two cold mugs of perfectly refreshing southern iced tea. I felt like I was in a movie. She was so sweet and had so much she wanted to talk about. A little while later, she invited me to her house to show me around and share some vegetables offered to her by another neighbor. She could never eat it all, she said, and needed to share the goods. As I mentioned my husband’s motorcycle, she pulled out a photograph of herself, taken two years ago, sitting on a motorcycle. She said she never really rode one but her daughter dared her to sit on one and she just couldn’t resist. She told me to look at the inscription in the back…
Since my philosophy has always been to stay young at heart, I knew we were meant to meet each other. After a long conversation, good laughter, and a full tour of her lovely home (she has lived there for over 60 years!), I walked back home with promises to stay in touch and a bag full of tomatoes and yellow squash.
So this is the event that inspired tonight’s meal. I really wanted to use the tomatoes and squash and I wanted to make something as bright and colorful as my lovely new friend.
- 1 chicken breast, diced (optional: I had it and didn’t want to waste it but it would have been just as good without it)
- 2 yellow squash, diced
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup of pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Sea salt, ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil (I wanted a little variety but olive oil would have been nice too)
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- Pasta, cooked and drained
- Swiss cheese, cut into small chunks/cubes (All I had but mozzarella would have been even better)
- Put the oil in a large and deep cooking pan and start cooking the chicken.
- Once the chicken isn’t pink anymore, add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are starting to be translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and squash. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the olives, basil and cooked pasta. Mix well, then add the cheese.
The pasta turned out really good and I have a feeling it could be just as cold if it was served cold. I might even give that a try with my leftovers tomorrow. 🙂