Monday, September 15, 2008


We've made the last trip to Farmers Market for the summer. Jupiter actually calls it the supermarket, which I think is funny. Last Saturday, we found the Bags of Basil. At the end of summer, some farmers will sell basil in a larger amount than a little sprig of it. It took some searching, and I thought it was going to be yet another week, but then I saw a huge paper bag at Snell's stand. They wanted $18 for that, and it was a little too much basil for what I needed. Then at one of the organic stands we found a plastic bag for $3. So we got one of those, and went to look at the ducks. While Jupiter was making friends with ducks (Mom, is that duck poop?) I was srounging through my pockets for change, but could only come up with $2.50. So we hiked back to the car so I could get 50 more cents, and then found another organic stand offering up basil leaves for $1 a bag. So we got two of those, and came home with a dollar. The car smelled like basil. It's just such a yummy summery smell. Probably if they had one of those pine tree air freshners in a basil scent, I would buy one.

Yesterday, I made pesto. Pesto is very expensive to buy. It's not that cheap to make, but more cost effective than buying it in jars. And a little goes a long way, so I freeze it in the little small size gladware containers and during a raging blizzard in February, when I long for summer, I take out one of the little containers, thaw it in the microwave for about two minutes, and toss it with some hot penne or spaghetti, just so I can smell the basil. And once in awhile, I try to make a bootleg copy of Ricetta's Bolto pizza. Use basil pesto instead of tomato sauce, top with cooked chicken, red onion, fontina cheese and some tomatoes. Not as good as Ricetta's..must be the brick oven magic, but still a fresh change from regular pizza. Especially if you're having pizza every Sunday night, which is our new routine.

Speaking of routine, I'm trying a new budget/planning thing. Last week at work I printed out an Outlook calendar and made a meal plan until the end of September. Theoretically this meant I could go buy almost all the food, short of perishables, milk, and fruit, on the non-mortgage payday. It's a little weird trying to plan that far ahead. Usually I look in the fridge and cook what I feel like eating. And Jupiter is sometimes picky. Actually, not so much picky as stubborn. Sunday I made the mexican pizza with the cornmeal crust (the cornmeal crust was very good, btw) but Jupiter refused to eat it because it had corn on it. Oh, and she didn't want tomatoes. I know that was a stubborn deal, because when it's her idea she'll eat a tomato fresh out of the garden, complete with dirt. But even now, while posting this, I have rice in the steamer for tomorrow's fried rice. One thing Stubbon Jupiter does love is Fried Rice. The hard part is remembering to cook the rice the night before so it will be properly chilled before being fried. Making the fried rice itself, once the rice has been cooked, is a quick 15 minutes or so. And it's something I know she will eat, so it's a double bonus. We'll see how the plan goes. I tried it once before and it only lasted a week or so. If at first you don't succeed....

Classic Basil Pesto (The Best 125 Meatless Pasta Dishes)

2 cups fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
6 medium cloves garlic
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesean cheese

Wash and dry the basil. Discard stems. In a food processor or blender puree basil with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the pine nuts, garlic, and parmesean until thick and well blended. With the machine running, add the remaining olive oil in a thin stream to form a smooth paste.

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