Considering how I felt when I woke up this morning (the crud has developed into a cough), I'm actually very proud of how much I've accomplished today.
I made plum jam. My first time making jam since cooking class in junior high school. Most of it is going into the freezer, to be used throughout the winter. I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm actually feeling confident enough to attempt making my own marmalade. In a few weeks, maybe after Thanksgiving (first weekend in October for those of us north of the 49th parallel).
|All my beautiful basil|
I figure I spent $8 for the plants. I used probably $30 worth over the summer. A cup of pesto at the grocery store costs about $4, multiplied by three is $12. Dried basil in the amount that I have now is probably worth about $3. Plus another $15 worth in fresh that is making a nice bouquet on my kitchen table right now. So that's $8 spent, and $60 worth of product. Not a bad return on investment. If I could actually make growing from seeds work for me, I would be able to save even more.
|Dried basil, done in the oven (200F, on convection setting)|
for an hour
I think I have enough pesto to do me until February or March. Jam will probably last until Christmas, as will the thyme. The dried basil will last me until the end of November. No where near the end of winter of course, but still I'm proud of my work today.
Now I need to stop procrastinating on cleaning the hobbit-hole. The only cleaning I did today was a load of towels (which still need to go into the dryer).
Here's the pesto recipe. It's pretty basic. I use almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts simply for cost. Pine nuts are three times the price of almonds.
|I cheated a little and bought the peeled garlic, lemon juice, and |
4 cups fresh basil leaves, washed
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
In your food processor, combine the basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, the almonds, and the garlic. I finely chop or grate the garlic, because I don't like biting into big chunks of raw garlic. Process on low for a about half a minute, until a thick paste forms. Add the salt and pepper, lemon juice, and the parmesan. Run the food processor for another half a minute or so, while drizzling in the remaining olive oil. Taste the pesto and adjust seasonings if needed.
|The finished product|
Let me know if you make it, and how it turns out.
Ok, now I REALLY need to go start making supper.