Soon fall arrived and the cooler temperatures began to take their toll on the joyous garden. After a long fought battle, we gave the vegetable plants back to the Earth in hopes of even better soil for the next year. The herbs we kept around a little longer. Because they were on the patio in boxes, we could pull them away from the weather. Eventually, their time also came. We harvested what was left to freeze and use throughout the winter. I knew it was going to be a long cold winter without my fresh herbs.
A few weeks prior to the burial of the vegetable plants we harvested all of the basil leaves (we had 25 to 30 plants) to make pesto. Mmmm… pesto.
Fresh pesto is soooo good. In fact, it is joyous.
I have mentioned in the past my love of basil, so I am sure this comes as no surprise. We purchased pine nuts in bulk online, as they tend to be pretty pricey, but other than that pesto is relatively easy and inexpensive to make. Our harvest resulted in about 10 serving size containers of green pasty goodness. (I did read that it is better to add the grated parmesan after thawing the pesto, so we did not add it in to what we made.)
Throughout the winter we have used the frozen pesto for a number of dishes, my favorite being pesto shrimp pasta. Shrimp sautéed in butter and pesto is ah-ma-zing. Seriously. I will have to post that recipe soon.
There has definitely been less joy in the backyard and in the cooking since the veggies and herbs went away. Plenty of joy in other places. We are newlyweds, after all.
But never fear! Spring is on its way back and we have already started our seedlings for this season. More to come on that, it has been a tomato massacre around here for some reason.
A new saga awaits! A fresh tale of gardening joy and sorrow has already started in 2010. This year will be bigger and better than before. I will try my best to bring you the saga as it unfolds, instead of after the final chapter. (Although – I am already a bit behind. But I have started playing catch up.)