Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer Harvest

Summer. The time when people fail to check in. Out enjoying the weather, the email drops almost to nothing, blogs go without posting. Recently, I've come to see that as a blessing and not as some sort of abandonment issue.
This summer, instead of traveling, I've decided to stay, save money and focus on domestic things (like reading, which I admittedly haven't done much of....still working on proofreads). But I also managed to get up early every day and water my basil farm, and here are the results....
I got an early start this year because of my miniature 50 dollar two-by-four-and-plastic greenhouse, but ran head on into soil leaching, caterpillars, and even a self-imposed drought (I was afraid to overwater again and leach the soil). Finally, however, thanks to a greenthumb friend and a 'compost tea' that I make on the roof from kitchen scraps, you can see the result; big meaty green leaves the size of a baby fist.

I especially love the dark, emerald green color of the basil oil as it is extracted into the olive oil, emulsified by the high speeds of the blender knives. There is something heavenly about the smell of this fresh basil oil, twenty times more intoxicating than the smell of freshly mown grass, or even of jasmine perfume wafting on a summer night...

sinkful of basil leaves, fresh
XXX virgin olive oil, enough to keep the blender from clogging
fresh peeled garlic, 10 cloves
pine nuts, handful
walnuts, a baby's fist (optional)
parmesan or romano cheese, 4~5 ounces.

With any luck, I'll be able to get a bumper crop in August before I leave to God knows where....