Saturday, July 30, 2011

Basil dreams

V and I had some errands to run this morning so I made him stop at the farmer's market before we went home.  It has been years since he has been there and he was surprised at how much it has grown.  We stopped in to see J17 at work and chatted with her boss, Nan.  To my delight, Nan gifted us with a HUGE bag of basil.  It seems that for some reason, the basil wasn't selling today and she still had two other bags with only an hour of market to go.
Look at this!!
 That is a LOT of basil!!
So I made pesto...
 Lots of pesto for the freezer... About 4 batches of pesto.  I filled all my ice cube trays...
Used an old freebie "jell-o bean" pan... saved some in the fridge to use soon, froze a larger container for the party... and still had half the bag left.  If you've never made pesto for the freezer- you're missing out!  It is so easy.  I just toss the garlic, basil and pine nuts in the food processor and add just enough olive oil to make a paste.  Into ice cube trays to freeze.  Then pop them out into a freezer bag.  When I need pesto, I just pick out how ever many cubes I want, thaw, add more olive oil and parmesan.  And it's just like fresh!!  Fabulous.
But what to do with still MORE basil.
I hung two huge bunches to dry for in soups and sauces this winter and still I had a third of a bag left.  So, I made some basil butter.  Mmm...  I hadn't tried it yet but saw the recipe and gave it a go.  It is fabulous.   2 sticks of butter, softened, 3 cups packed basil, 2-3 cloves of garlic (I just used one giant clove!), some fresh ground pepper and whirl it all in the food processor. I've got some in the fridge for use and then I made little balls (about a heaping tablespoon) and put them in the freezer for use later.
And yes... I've still got some basil left!  But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
At least we'll have pesto this winter, even if we don't have much else from the garden!  Thanks Nan!!

For another fun thing, this afternoon, J17 and I stopped in at Fae Ridge Farm.  We've seen the sign on our way home for a long time and finally decided to stop.  Unfortunately, the owner wasn't home but there was a wonderful group of women sitting around the tiny little farm shop, knitting and spinning wool.  They were quite welcoming and said that they are there almost every Saturday afternoon and would love to teach us whatever they can.   Talk about fabulous!  And it is only about 3 miles from home.   We will definitely be back.  Especially since we found out that several people there had also been at Miss Effie's last weekend, so there is already a connection.  It should be fun.  Of course, J17's first question was "Can we get a goat?" Um, maybe some other time.

One downer this weekend,  I put in a call to a guy who was advertising wheat straw on Craigslist because I want some for mulch and chicken nests, etc, but he has never called me back.  Bummer.  Of course, it is a crazy weekend here in town with RAGBRAI having a stop over here last night.  I'm still hopeful that I'll hear from him.

Now, I've gotta go and make some caprese salad. Yup, we've got a few tomatoes and picked up some fresh mozzarella this morning.  Hmm.... I just wonder where I will ever find some basil.....

And if you hadn't noticed, the word of the day is FABULOUS!  Could be I'm in a good mood.


  1. Sounds like you had a GREAT day! Love all that pesto. You will be eating it all winter. YUM! :)

  2. Wow! The basil, the friendly knitters, more basil! You so deserved this wonderful day! Oh, I couldn't find where Miss Effies is located on her site. Can you tell me? I'd love to visit there sometime.

  3. Jane- Mmmm...
    Mo- It was a great day. And you've got pesto of your own. Yummy.
    LindaM- Miss Effie's is off the beaten path in Donahue Iowa.

  4. I have a ton of basil, and I definitely need to pencil a day in the schedule to do this! Looks wonderful!

  5. Thanks for the great idea...I was just noticing that I still have SO much dried basil from last year, and have about 8 huge plants out there now that need to come out and was thinking I'd just dry them too, but....I LOVE pesto. And I never thought of freezing it like that. Brilliant!! (That's my word for the day) lol

  6. Super! I just made some pesto a few weeks ago, and hope to do some more soon - the basil at least likes the hot weather. That butter sounds yummy too, I'll have to try that, and maybe with some different herbs too. Tarragon sounds good...

  7. What a wonderful day! I'm quite jealous of all the basil. The pesto looks delicious.


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