Sunday, April 15, 2012

I LOVE my garden!

It's been sooo many years since I have been able to have a vegetable garden.  But I bought a house last Spring and moved in on Memorial Day weekend.  Really too late to start a garden and luckily, I didn't since last summer was one of the hottest on record and everyone's gardens burnt up.  It was such a sad sight to see.  This year, though, promises a wonderful growing season.  You can tell how excited people are to put vegetables in to make up for last year's dismal showing.  I, for one, am especially happy!  My first garden in years!  I eagerly bought tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash, and herb plants.I bought seeds for beets, Italian parsley, arugula, radishes and carrots.  I was intent that I would do raised beds and put down weed control fabric underneath so that I wouldn't have to battle the Bermuda grass (because it will win!) but only the airborne weeds.  So as the story unfolds...I found the coolest raised bed kits at Sam's.  They looked great but then when we got them out of the box...we found that they were like Lincoln Logs so just fit together with nails, screws, hammering, etc.  It was amazing.  We did have to put in A LOT of soil but all sweet boyfriend (couldn't have done it without him) and I spent no more than 2 and a half hours from start to finish.  And, that was with two stops when it was pouring rain.  Frankly, I couldn't have picked a better weekend to plant.  Since then, temperatures have been cool and it has been rainy.  My little garden is super happy and my cooking class students and catering clients will soon be reaping the benefits of our labors! 
Yes, that is basil that you see in those to grow it and other herbs in can also see rosemary, oregano and sage coming up. 
Here's a recipe for pesto to keep you interested. 
Fresh Basil Pesto
Makes about 2 cups

3 large garlic cloves
½ cup nuts (pecans, walnuts or pinenuts)
2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, add all ingredients except the Parm and olive oil and process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.
Pour mixture into a bowl and blend in grated Parm until well combined.
Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays for use at a late time, like winter.
Also...mess with the ingredients to find your favorite combinations. 

And, of course, I will keep you posted on the garden's does photograph well, don't you think?

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