This time of year, the harvest season comes at us hard and fast and even though I don't (yet) have an over burgeoning vegetable garden, our friends and neighbors have been keeping us very busy with theirs. I'm not complaining, on the contrary I love it, welcome it...beg for it even, and am so happy when they share the bounty. Very happy, believe me! It's just that, when you're not expecting it, it can leave you stopped dead in your tracks because you have to move fast. Everything I've been sewing and gluing and painting has gone into a temporary holding pattern while I tend to all living things with a short shelf life. Like the wonderful basil. I spent all day yesterday making my little pesto packets. But first there was a quick trip back to the market for fresh pignoli (pine nuts) and grated Parmesan cheese. And instead of peeling and chopping lots of tiny garlic cloves, I bought elephant garlic instead, which is huge. It's milder too, and that's nice since this goes in, and is eaten, mostly uncooked. Just setting everything up and doing the prep work took half the morning, but the trusty food processor made the rest go fast. And the time I'm saving in the long run, really makes up for a few hours of work. I ended up making about half-a-dozen batches. Which worked out to 24 packets, each with (more or less) 3 heaping tablespoonfuls in each snack bag. Enough to last through the winter and beyond. Pesto freezes well and it's really simple to use this way. Just grab a packet and peel back the plastic while it's still frozen. Nothing sticks so nothing is wasted. Sometimes I just need a small amount to mix with goat cheese or butter to spread on bread, so I just break off a little piece and toss the rest back in the freezer. Super easy when I want to make a quick pasta dish too.
And...look who's back. He showed up late yesterday afternoon out of the blue. Naturally we all have mixed emotions about this little fellow. Ginger ran outside and threw her arms around him. I noticed that he seemed quite chatty. Read: "please feed me". I figured he'd trot on home after we went inside for the night, but there he was sitting at the back door this morning hungrier than ever, looking pitiful and thin. So. I fed him. And you know what that means. It means he's NEVER leaving! But I can't think about that right now. And all the implications. Must move on to the apples that are waiting. Making applesauce today. With children helpers. Enough said.