Sunday, July 17, 2011

Basil time

I have about ten basil bushes and I realized that some of them started flowering.  Oops!  I did a little youtubing of basil harvesting videos and they taught me how to pinch off the flowers so the plant doesn't stop producing basil leaves.  Then it showed how to pinch off stems that are getting long to promote branching.  I think if I do this regularly, I should have a constant supply of basil from now until September.  While "pruning" them, I gathered enough for a batch of pesto.  I usually buy pine nuts for my pesto, but realized it was getting too expensive so I switched to roasted soy nuts.  These taste good, but are a bit drier than I'm used to.  Maybe some more oil would help for next time. I also roasted my garlic to avoid killer garlic breath.  I'm super stoked about using my own basil because in the past, I've spent $5 on basil at the store for one batch. 

Too bad there's no tomatoes ripe yet, or I could start doing capreses.  I will be patient, though!

My tomato bushes are infested with red aphids and despite my best efforts to power blast them off my plants with the hose and squish them with my gloves, they continue to reproduce.  I'm hoping that the last 4 days of 90+ degree weather has weighed on their population and they will die off naturally soon.

This week from the CSA I finally got something besides greens!  I got baby salad greens, spinach, butter lettuce, kale, rhubarb, broccoli, baby beets, snow peas, and a bonus 1/2 doz eggs. Note that your eggs can be low in cholesterol if your chickens are properly fed.  It's so worth splurging for the nice eggs. 

I made some peach rhubarb jam that is quite good and I started eating "Italian salads" where I use any lettuce, put shredded Italian cheeses on top, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and Italian dressing.  It's helping me get through things more quickly because it is so tasty.  I have also been doing quinoa stir fries.  Whatever  veggies I have around, plus CSA veggies like pea pods, spinach, broccoli, and green onions, and even my own podless peas from my own garden.  As soon as I get a moment where it's not more than 80 degrees in my place, I plan on making some glazed baby beets and kale chips.

This coming week I'll get rhubarb, kohlrabi, spinach, green onions, lettuce, green garlic stems, broccoli, cylindra beets, and snow peas.  I'm going to have to be very diligent these next few days to put a dent in last week's veggies since I'm all by my lonesome and still have more greens left than I care to admit.  

Any kohlrabi suggestions?  I've got a recipe for hash-brown style kohlrabi and another for kohlrabi coleslaw, both of which sound right up my alley.   I might have to dive into the recipe books first, though. 

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