tobermory's Diaryland Diary

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Pick a peck of pesto

So here I am again with another lame stab at an entry. I had all the best intentions of hitting the gym yesterday, but I got caught up in processing the bumper crop of basil into freezable pesto. The basil was starting to get weedy looking and the seedpods were emerging so it was definitely time to pluck the leaves and pull out the Cuisinart. If you like pesto, it’s pretty easy to make and then you can freeze it and have a little bit of summer left to tide you over during the long winter. In addition to a fantastic pasta sauce it is also nice on toasted bread or in a pasta salad. Here’s my totally inexact recipe:

Wash and dry enough basil leaves to lightly pack the bowl of a Cuisinart (using the in-bowl chopping blade).
Add:
A hearty pinch of sea salt
A handful of pine nuts
A heaping teaspoon of chopped garlic – I used fresh but in a pinch I’ve used the chopped stuff from a jar and it seems to be fine and even a little less sharp tasting
About ¼ - 1/3 cup of olive oil (extra virgin tastes best)
Grind away

If you plan on eating it right away add about ¼ cup of grated parmesan (don’t use the Kraft krap – grate your own from a wedge). If you want to freeze it leave out the parmesan as it gets gooey in the freezer – just add it when you defrost the pesto base.

In addition to the batch we ate for dinner, I froze about 9 containers that should each provide enough sauce for Steve and I to use for a meal. There are still loads of basil in the garden so I’m going to make some more over the weekend. By then the tomatoes should be ripening up nicely and I can take a loaf of bread, some tomatoes, a wedge of parmesan, a bag of fancy pasta, and a container of pesto over to Alli (and Mike). Maybe I’ll even bring a bottle of wine – I can put it all in a basket and pretend I’m from Gourmet Meals on Wheels. This way she can have an easy meal to cook without having to go to the store. I imagine that having a baby increases the time needed for ‘quick’ trips to the store by about an hour.

Speaking of ‘babies’ (although baby is all grown up now), my niece went off to college this week. I hope she’s going to cope OK – she’s had a pretty sheltered life so far. I’ve heard that she needs complete darkness and utter silence to get a good night’s sleep. M’kay – THAT’S not going to happen in a college dorm. I need to get her address so I can send her fun care packs. It’s too bad that she’s not obsessed with beauty products because I think a care pack of fun stuff like nail polish, make-up, froufy shampoo and body lotion would be so much more fun to assemble than a care pack with ramen, Pepperidge Farm cookies, and tea (unless the tea was monkey picked oolong from Teavana). Maybe I can quiz Weetabix (so she can quiz her husband) about what a dorkathalon girl would like in her care pack – my niece seems to like Japanese anime and manga, and I know she bought some sort of 3-D dragon sculpture for her dorm wall. I suppose an iTunes gift card would always be welcome and probably a roll of quarters for the laundry room. I guess I’ll call her mom and see how the drop off went and get the little missy’s address – I know this is the e-mail era, but there’s nothing like a little love from home coming in the mail – especially if it’s edible love.

4:17 p.m. - 2006-08-17

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