Freeze Warning?! Ack!

1 Nov

Double “Ack” for not blogging all summer and most of the fall!  Lots to look back on in the coming weeks…

For now, current events.  Western Colorado had a freeze warning a week ago; the same day as the 1A-2A-3A State Marching Band Competition.  What’s the connection?  As a band parent, I was organizing the catering for the judges, and was at Stocker Stadium all day.  I got home after 8pm–well after dark.  Dutifully, I grabbed a flashlight, a basket and my garden snippers and trudged out to the garden.  I snipped off all the basil by the light of the flashlight held in my mouth.  I couldn’t let my beautiful spicy little babies get frosted!   Basil safely deposited in the house, I set out to get the old bed sheets to cover the tomatoes, hoping for an extra day or two for them.

But no.  The freeze got everything.  Michael and I stripped the garden of all tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, squash, carrots and potatoes and deposited them next to the basil on the kitchen island.  Wow!  So much produce….so much work yet to be done…waaah!  Potatoes washed, dried and stored.  Carrots blanched and frozen.  Butternut squash stored.  Up next–basil pesto.

Basil Pesto is easy to make and freezes well.  Two things that make this easier still:  my Hamilton Beach “Big Mouth” food processor and one of these garlic peeling tube thingies:

    Seriously, these thingies work like magic, peeling lots of garlic easily in a flash!  The garlic clove goes in the tube, you roll it on the counter with a little pressure and shake out a perfectly peeled clove of garlic!  I’m tellin’ ya–if you don’t have one, run right out and get one!

So.  The pesto.  The recipe is easily doubled, and will still fit in the bowl of the food processor.

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil

4 cloves garlic–peeled (with the thingie!)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup freshly grated parmesan

1/3 cup pine (or other) nuts

Place garlic and basil in processor and rough chop.  Add cheese and nuts.  With machine running, drizzle in olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy right then, or store in 1/2 cup amounts in snack-size ziplocs.  Place those in a gallon freezer bag and feeze for up to a year!

Yummy!  A single recipe makes one cup of pesto.  End of story?  Not quite.  Parsley is one of the few still-green things in the garden.  I picked what was there, and today I made parsley-walnut pesto!  Same recipe, parsley for the basil (snip off all the stems), walnuts instead of pine nuts. 

Up next?  I bought a half bushel of roasted green chilis today, so probably a morning of peeling, seeding and freezing them.  Then I’m thinking on to the tomatillos for the second batch of tomatillo salsa for this season…none of this will happen before my second cuppa, though.  : )

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