Friday, July 27, 2012

Green Gold

Today I found it rather hot outside but a few things needed to be done in the heat whether I liked it or not.  For one thing, Sweetz came in to tell me that the fixture on the rain barrel had about snapped loose.  So, off we went to figure out how to save the water and also to keep 55 gallons from leaking next to the house.  Yep, that creates all kinds of trouble. 

I grabbed an old garbage can which fortunately had no leaks and captured most of the water.  When the water level was reaching the top, we grabbed several 5-gallon buckets and finally was able to save most of the water.  The remainder was spewing out like a water fountain and it was impossible to corral it into the containers even though I made a heroic effort to divert as much as I could with my hand. 

We decided it was a great time to water a few things, like some flower beds and some of my herbs. We both mentioned we weren't quite sure at that point whether the rain barrel was worth the effort.  Of course, if the barrel was made correctly, the fixture would have endured more than one year's use!

At that point, I was wet and dirty, so I decided to snip my basil and make some pesto to freeze.  That is the best method I've tried to keep the savory flavor of the basil throughout the winter.  Drying, whether in the dehydrator, oven, microwave, counter, bags, etc., just doesn't cut it.  Most of the flavor is not captured in the drying process and I am usually left with what resembles old dried brown leaves.  Definitely not something I relish sprinkling in my food. 

I spent a bit of time cleaning the basil clippings which were then allowed to air dry.  The leaves were swirled in the food processor to a crumbled green mess which I kept together with some EVOO.  Talk about summer gold.  After I patted the mixture down flat in the bottom of a baking pan, I placed it in the freezer.  After that's frozen I will cut or break it into smaller pieces which I will place in a labeled baggie to use in winter cooking. 

The kitchen with the basil mess has been cleaned but there is still a strong basil smell. It will take a bit of time for the air to clear, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying this heady aroma. And I have a green thumb!

I also pulled the last of the white onions. They were nice and dry and practically sitting on the top of the dirt. I made a salad for lunch today and used one scallion, still quite a few left. Sure had a great flavor for this time of year. Sweetz started a new crop of beets a few weeks ago so I had to check them out. I'd say we could easily harvest a pot of them and thin the row at the same time. Sounds like a plan to me! 

Mom called and said she arrived back home and bought some peaches and nectarines for us on their drive home.  Now, that sounds like some good eating!

And she noticed I had done some pruning on her backyard shrubs while she was gone. But she didn't notice she had her first two ripe tomatoes on her plants.

MainMan is doing fine today.  I must admit it was hard to keep him down yesterday and today he is already back to his usual high-energy level. 

It's time for supper - what to fix?  What to fix? 

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