Thursday, September 30, 2010
I worked up the motivation to work in the yard the other day. Not for very long, mind you. About 45 minutes in I was tired and needed to rest. Nevertheless I was able to work outside before I passed out from the blazing heat and hunger.
I worked on picking weeds and pulling up the dead stuff from my garden. I grew sunflowers this summer so I had to pull up the stalks. And then I moved over to my garden where I proceeded to pull everything up. I am tired of growing jalepeno peppers; we never use them. The yellow bell peppers needed to be redone, although I've been told that peppers are better the older the plant, I still wanted to redo them. And lastly, I pulled up all the basil. But I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Basil is an amazing grower, and I love that it grows with basically no help from me. So, with a little hesitation, I pulled it all up.
But I really didn't want to throw it away. So the task quickly became what in the world to do with all that basil! I did give some of it away, but I wanted to keep some so as to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
First, obviously, I made pesto. I make mine with walnuts because pine nuts, at $16 a pound, are no where near the budget. So, I made a big tub of pesto to keep in the fridge, and topped it with olive oil. Apparently, this is the trick to keep the pesto from discoloring! I found that when I was looking for ways to preserve basil.
Secondly, I chopped a bunch of basil, and then put them in ice cube trays and covered with water to freeze. I'll be using these cubes for soups and sauces. As I was chopping endlessly I realized that this is not my first time using a frozen herb. I have bought and used the frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe's! When I go to use the basil I will set it over a slotted spoon over a bowl and allow the water to drain away, if necessary. If I'm putting the basil in a tomato sauce the melted ice won't matter a bit!
Thirdly I made a "paste" with basil and oil and filled one more ice cube tray. This was a suggestion on one of the sites I found. Not really sure how I'll use it except in soups or sauces!
Once frozen I put them in ziploc bags and stored them in the freezer. I hope to have fresh-ish basil for the rest of the year. And I'll probably replant the basil next Spring. It is a good herb, I just won't plant as many next time!
Posted by Jessie at 9:56 AM