Monday, July 19, 2010

Hot Days of Summer

Well, I'm feeling sheepish and ashamed for not being a better blogger. Somehow life takes over and I spend too much time doing worthless stuff and wishing I'd spent my time better. Not to say I'm not doing important things a lot. Just that I could do better.

This is my entry for now. It probably wouldn't do anyone much good at this point, but then again, in lots of places there is time to plant a late garden. This is the first success I've had with basil. It grew and grew and some of the plants I put in the ground were on their deathbed before I left on a trip. I thought they'd be dead when I got home.

So, here is the tip. Although I've heard that herbs don't need lots of rich soil, our soil is really terrible. We found a mushroom growing company that sells their mushroom compost that has already been used. We bought a huge trailer load of it, and for the first time, out garden has grown. Any really good compost would work, but you need lots of it for bad soil. I'm not sure, but I think the more compost, the better, even if your soil is good. The little plants that were about to keel over, caught up with the great big plants I bought at Lowe's and they are all producing like crazy. The key to getting them to bush out and produce is to pinch back the centers and it will make them branch out. As they get bigger and bigger, harvesting them will only make them grow more. I am happy about my basil.

On the other hand, why are my mums blooming now instead of the fall? I guess not all of them are, but on the second pic you can see the mound that has bloomed and on the first , if you can look past the marigolds, you can see just an inkling of the bush that is starting to bud and bloom. This is also the first year I had some mums come back and grow HUGE. I love them. I swear it's the mushroom compost. Ask around if you have trouble growing stuff. I just know that I always want a basil supply for fresh pesto, and there is NO WHERE to buy as much as I'd need, unless I was willing to buy about 30 little bags at 3 dollars each for one batch of pesto.

Pesto recipe anyone? This one is great, doesn't need those expensive pine nuts and tastes just as good in my opinion. This recipe came from Lucy, a couple of years ago, and I have used it ever since.

Walnut Pesto

2 cups of packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend well in food processor. Use 2 T. to 1/2 cup on pasta.

Well, actually, I use lots more. Like that's the amount I use on just my plate. I even eat a couple of spoonfuls of it straight.

This is the deal. My husband, who has the taste buds of a child (I understand that is a problem with lots of men) doesn't like different new flavors he doesn't know and understand. He eats this pesto and loves it. Ah, miracles.

1 comment:

  1. Your Basil looks fabulous. I think a Chicken ate all of mine just after I planted them so No basil this year! Bummer.