The best thing about growing basil, beside the fact that bugs and chickens don't seem to care for it so I actually get to eat it myself, is getting to make basil pesto. Basil grows big and fast, like a weed, and to make pesto I don't even have to turn the stove on. This is my kind of food preservation!
The past few years I've been storing it in small jars in the freezer, but a friend of mine says she likes to make it in ice cube trays so she can just pull a cube out of the freezer when she needs it without worrying about using up a whole jar. That's a problem? Instead of using ice cube trays, mom tried freezing the pesto by plopping scoops on a plate and putting it in the freezer. The little frozen plops can be picked off the plate and stored in a freezer bag. Introducing us the the ease of the now loved - pesto plop! The plops in the photo above were made with mom's melon ball scoop.
I tried my hand and some plops this weekend, and they did not turn out as pretty. Actually, when Brandon saw them he said "something looks weird about these cookies." Maybe it was the green color? If I hadn't been sure he would notice that they were frozen, I would have encouraged him to take a bite, just to watch his reaction.
I don't usually spring for pine nuts, even though they make a milder tasting pesto. This year I tried a batch of pesto with walnuts and garlic, and a batch with pecans. Olive oil, walnuts, green leafy plants, and garlic - healthy, right? Well, there's also cheese, but I embrace dairy too.
Speaking of healthy, I've been turning healthy fresh fruit into sugary jam! Actually, I made the elderberry jam with honey, and used the kind of pectin that doesn't require as much sugar to set up, so this elderberry jam should be one of the least sugary jams I've ever made. I hope it's not the least loved.
I didn't have enough elderberries left after jam making to make wine, so I covered the extra berries with some vodka, to make an infusion. Elderberries have more vitamin C than oranges, so elderberry shots may be just what the doctor ordered, eh?