1. Meet Henri. The brooding, self-important, contemplative, endearing little Frenchman. Oh, and he’s a cat. Thanks to Lunar Euphoria for posting this!
I have a lot of favorite meals. Meals that are memorable because they were eaten in a lovely restaurant or with good friends or in celebration of a happy occasion. In these cases I often don’t remember specifically what I ate, only as the years pass having a fond recollection in a generic way that the food was delicious.
Then there is that once-in-a-lifetime meal. The meal that I feel sure I will recall on my deathbed. The meal that has ruined me for all others like it. The meal that has each bite imprinted on my taste buds. And of course it was the simplest of dishes.
Once upon a time, in a little town in the Liguria region on the Italian Riviera there was a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean. (Doesn’t this sound like a delightful fairy tale?) It looked something like this:
I stopped for dinner at a cafe with one thing on the menu: gnocchi with pesto. Pesto originated in Genoa, a hop, skip and a jump from Monterosso. There are many variations on the theme, but purists consider pesto to be just five ingredients: basil, olive oil, Parmesan, garlic and pine nuts. This would lead you to believe that pesto is pesto is pesto. How different could it be? In that case, I would say that you have not had the good fortune to eat pesto in Liguria. The aroma of the basil and garlic, the sweetness of the olive oil, the nutty Parmesan — each in the perfect ratio and softly coating the gnocchi. And, oh, the gnocchi. Little pillows of potato dumplings so light they almost deflated when I bit into them. All of that while sitting at a table on the small terrace with a view the blue-green water and feeling the gentle salty breeze. Hard to imagine another meal pushing this one out of the number one slot of all time.
What was your most memorable meal?
3. Don’t do anything. This round up of best advice has been circulating on LinkedIn from more than 70 notable business people from start-up entrepreneurs to CEOs. Of course, there is no shortage of advice on the web (or anywhere else for that matter). So when I started thinking about the most reliable advice I’ve received, it seemed more appropriate to adopt something my mom has always said: if you’re really not sure what to do in a situation, don’t do anything. Meaning, don’t rush into a decision because you feel pressured. Time and again, I’ve found that to be true. There aren’t many major choices in my life that must be made instantly, and usually, if I’m unsure, stepping back for even a few minutes can give me the right amount of perspective to help me make a decision I’m comfortable with.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
4. Kiva update. I’m happy to report that Ana from Mozambique is repaying her loan on time and Melissa Lizeth, who was behind schedule for a while, has now fully repaid her loan. That gave me enough funds in my account to make a new loan.
This time, Liza from Northern Mindanao, Philippines, requested a loan to purchase supplies for the general store she has owned for six years. She is planning to purchase items such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, salt and vinegar. Her goal is to expand her business soon. She is 56 years old, married with three children. Right now she earns about USD $75 per month on sales from the store. (The average annual salary in the Philippines is USD $1175.)
For those of you not familiar, Kiva is a non-profit that connects lenders and borrowers around the world to help alleviate poverty. Through their site, you can find someone in need of a micro-loan and send a donation to fund their dreams. If you’re considering trying out Kiva and you use this link, I’ll get $25 in my basket to make another loan for free. Or you can visit the Kiva main page for more info.
5. The story of my life…
Have a great weekend, everyone!