The days have dragged on while the months have seemed to fly by this spring and summer. Inertia has definitely set in.

So this past week, I tried my darnedest to be more productive. That meant spending time tending to my living space, especially my little herb garden.

On Saturday, I carefully pruned my basil and chives but gave my oregano, thyme and mint quite a good haircut. Basil is the main ingredient for pesto, along with pecans (or other nuts) garlic and olive oil. So, while the basil went into pesto, the oregano and thyme went into the dehydrator. On Sunday, I stored my dried herbs in little containers to use later.

I Eat La: Recipes for Chicken Pasta with Fresh Pesto, Spiced Pear Crumble

With the pesto, I made a simple chicken pesto pasta, which can be whipped up in a flash. The recipe is designed to be frozen and thawed later for a fast meal with fresh flavor. You can certainly skip the freezer prep steps and make it right away. With some folks still out of place for a while, you could make a few of these kits to help restock your friends’ freezers or help them feed their out-of-town guests.

I also got the chance to make an early morning dash through the farmers market over the weekend. I was tickled to find Asian pears as I scurried through the aisle. I used a few of them in this warm and spicy pear crumble. A bowlful of tender, spiced pears mixed with crunchy pecans gave me a touch of fall fever, further lifting my spirits.

It’s easy to slip into a comfortable rut when things seem so out of our control. I’m finding it's good to get busy, and comfort food always helps.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at