Sunday, October 2, 2011

Harvesting: Part I

A chill is in the air. We had to turn on the heater today. I had to put socks on, on the weekend. The weekend.  This also means we are getting to the end of fresh produce and herbs. Farmer's markets are getting a little more sparse (except for the crepe stand, that never goes out of season!), and I need to start thinking about putting up my herbs for the winter. Putting up? Storing? Final Harvest? Note to self: Final Harvest would make a good title for a campy apocalyptic movie. 

My tomatoes and dill have both been gone for awhile, my fancy lettuce is winding down. My lavender never grew, I think that I should have sprouted them inside first before planting them outside. Lesson learned. I am left with basil, rosemary, thyme, and chives. Whenever it stops raining I am planning on drying the last three (rosemary, thyme, and chives), but for the basil I have pesto on the brain. 

Basil has a higher moisture level than the other herbs, so while it is possible to dry it, it is a little harder, plus I had pesto on the brain. You can also freezer basil, but the idea of having a stockpile of fresh pesto all winter hanging out in my freezer. Brilliant. Pesto, pesto, pesto. 

I got less basil from my plants than I thought I would.  Just enough to make one normal size batch of pesto, instead of a super batch like I was hoping. 
Once again, I am cooking late at night, forgive the shadows.
Does anyone else get a huge sense of guilt from using a food processor for making pesto? I love cooking foods that have long traditions behind them. I like to make them the "traditional" way once, and after that I feel like that I can make modern day convenient tweaks. But pesto I have never made the traditional way, cutting everything by hand, like adorable little Italian grandmothers do. I really, really, really want a mortal and pestle, but I am trying to trim down my budget, and I guess that kitchen gadgets are wants, not needs. And a good mortar and pestle are not cheap.  Look at me being responsible, through gritted teeth. 

After saving a little bit of the fresh pesto for a little pesto pizza, I spooned the rest into  oiled ice cube trays and froze them for a couple hours before breaking them from the molds and placing in a Ziploc bag.

The definition of the happiness now includes have single serving size pesto popsicles in the freezer all winter long, just waiting for lazy pasta dinners.


  1. My most recent blog post is about the pesto I made this summer. I must have had pesto on the brain too. I had to use walnuts in place of pine nuts because I didn't have any pine nuts. It turned out pretty yummy! Great minds must think alike!

  2. Great minds indeed! p.s. I am totally blog stalking you now.