It’s the fault of the weather. Of course it is. Being English I can blame everything on the weather. Today is cool – well downright chilly if we’re honest – and we went outside to do some much needed tidying up before it gets too cold even to think about it. I noticed the basil was looking somewhat disheveled and cut off the flowers and then decided to make a last batch of pesto.
I think I am congenitally incapable of following a recipe exactly; I always seem to be adding a bit here or omitting a bit there. Take pesto, the recipe calls for pine nuts: have you seen the price of pine nuts recently? I substitute pumpkin or sunflower seeds and haven’t had any complaints so far. It does give a more “country” texture but the taste seems to be acceptable. The recipe also calls for “3 medium garlic cloves, chopped”. How do I know that what I call medium is the same as the recipe-writer? Anyway, we like garlic so I usually make it four or five. I also add more olive oil because my blender is like me, past its best, and needs all the help it can get. Today I gaily tossed everything in the blender jar, turned it on and watched it working its magic. Then I lifted the glass jug off the base and … that’s when the day turned decidedly blue! The blender had not been properly fitted by the last person to use it! There are only two of us who use it – and it wasn’t either of us, of course, so the fairies have been busy again.
What did we do before paper towels became a necessity in every kitchen? Of course, that’s why our mothers carefully cut up old clothes for rags! My kitchen counter became a sea of green slime, half digested garlic, half chewed basil leaves, a small ocean of olive oil, all garnished with half chopped seeds and clumps of parmesan! It took a while of ever-expanding vocabulary and several bowls of hot soapy water before I could start all over again.
How fortunate that I hadn’t completely stripped the basil plants!