Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Update: Basil Pesto, Parades and Turkey-Leg Babies

Finally, finally, I'm through the cherry tomatoes.

Though our crop of heirloom tomatoes (slicers, beefsteaks, pastes and more) was a crushing blow, the remaining three cherry tomato plants were pleasantly prolific. I picked one last small handful, yesterday, and in the last month I've made enough sun-dried (well, dehydrator-dried) tomatoes to last a year or two. So, that's nice.

Herbs! That's what's on today's docket.
I clipped copious amounts of Rosemary, yesterday, and set it to dry.
It's my very favorite herb, and I know I'll have run out by February.
It's nice to have a stock of home-grown stuff to enjoy, for a while.

Oregano, thyme and bushes of basil demand attention.
I'm making as much Basil Pesto as possible, and will freeze the leftover leaves in oil cubes.

Garden-Fresh Basil Pesto with Sunflower Seeds
5-6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
2 1/2 cups basil leaves, blanched and dried (So tedious, I know!)
3/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Using a food processor, roughly chop the garlic cloves.
Add the sunflower seeds, pulse a few times to chop and mix.
Add cheese, keep on pulsing!
Add basil, mix until well processed.
SLOWLY Add olive oil while mixing, until pesto is well-blended.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 cups of pesto - a meal requires about 1/2 cup, so freeze the rest!

With the promise of beautiful fall weather, the fall garden is taking off! I'm harvesting broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, swiss chard, peppers, more swiss chard, romaine and red lettuces, green beans (which I'm letting dry), and the aforementioned herbs. A little crop of carrots is growing well, along with more lettuce, kale, spinach, radishes, ... and parsnips, if I ever get the seeds in the ground.

I've had a lot of trouble growing spinach, in the past month. It seems I got a bum packet of Winter Giant Spinach from Annie's Heirloom Seeds. After waiting for it to germinate for weeks, I contacted the company. Great customer service! They quickly sent me a new package, and I'm pleased to announce that I have spinach seedlings popping up through the soil. Success!

Outside of the garden, life is good. MSU Football is back, and the husband scored a sweet gig that gets him into the games for free, so he's happy. And, he's busy! This Friday is the MSU Homecoming Parade. He was invited to once again LEAD THE PARADE -- so that's neat! I'll share some photos of his alter-ego, Spartan Recycling Man, as he rides in the bucket of the MSU Recycling Center's biggest (and noisiest) truck.

Spartan Recycling Man!

We're in the final stretch of pregnancy, and I wish I could write a delivery date on the calendar. I'm a planner, to say the least. All our ducks are in a row, though. The official due-date for Little Miss Barton is September 29th, but with my luck, I'm guessing she'll be an October baby.

The waiting has resulted in numerous Etsy purchases.
Here's the latest acquisition:
From PoshPipsqueak

So. Cute.
Adorable baby clothes have affected me is ways I never expected.
Suddenly, doing laundry is more enjoyable. We'll see how long THAT lasts, though.
Etsy is a hell of a drug. So many lovely toys, cute little baby things, and wonderful gifts. I can only imagine what desperate measures I'll resort to in the coming weeks...

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