The second graders all brought home trees for Project Plant It. We planted it in a temporary container so we can take it with us when we move this summer!
We’ve hated the front bushes ever since we moved in and we finally got rid of them! Everything else was old and overgrown, too, so we convinced our landlord to buy the new stuff if we removed the old and planted the new stuff. He was game…and especially thrilled about the end-of-season prices…so we now have a full front yard of sod and way too many trees and grasses (but we don’t care because we’ll be long gone by the time they get overgrown).
Our bushes have been needing a major trim for quite some time but Tom has just been too busy. He promised me when his night class was over he’d take care of them. Well, he finished his class Tuesday night, so tonight he started trimming them. Katie and I were two doors down hanging with the neighbors. And then I turned around…and saw one entire overgrown bush completely GONE! He said once he started trimming it, all that was left was twigs! And we’ve never liked it, so he just pulled the whole thing out! (We would love to pull out the other ones as well but that’s a lot of work and a lot of expense to fill the space again.) Owen even helped clean up to earn some spending money.
Here’s a before picture (from an old blog post):
The boys and their tools. (Tom just let Owen hold the saw—he didn’t actually get to use it.)
We had frost and freeze warnings so I picked ALL of the remaining basil—which ended up to be about eight cups! I made two double batches of pesto for the freezer…then wondered what the hell to do with the rest of it!
I searched my recipes in Evernote…and ended up with Basil Salt! It’s just equal parts basil and kosher salt, ground and then dried in the oven.
The kitchen smelled wonderful!!!
I picked tomatoes today.
Then added them to what we had left from previous days (on the right). Holy wah.
I had to do something with them before vacation…so I did my first crock pot tomato sauce! With our basil, too!
Then blended the crap out of it with the stick blender because I didn’t skin the tomatoes…and it’s really tasty!
I’ve been woefully neglecting my basil plants…and today I finally got around to harvesting what was left of the wildly overgrown mess. And it was pathetic. By the time I picked around the caterpillar-eaten leaves and the brown leaves…I didn’t even get a full food-processor’s worth. Last year I gave a ton away plus filled a bunch of containers and ziplocked muffin-tin pucks for my freezer. This year? Barely enough for a few meals.
Last year? I think I made at least THREE full Cuisinarts full. This year? Barely 1/4 of one.
With all the rain we had while we were gone (we’ve heard 9″), our garden went batshit crazy. The tomatoes overgrew everything and cut off the basil (you can’t even see it). Tom had to cut it back with the weed eater…and it still needs to be thinned out by hand.
The rabbits had a field day with things that hung outside the container (who knew they liked basil?). And the leaf lettuce got so big it’s now completely useless—and I don’t think I’m going to be planting any more.
I have basil coming out of my ears, so I’m making pesto like a madwoman. (If you come to visit, you might get some sent home with you out of the freezer!) This was the triple batch I made today…soooo pretty!
And I don’t even use a recipe anymore. I just toss in some garlic. Roast some pecans and toss some in. Fill the food processor with basil. Add salt and pepper and olive oil. Voilá! Since I’m freezing it, I don’t add the parmesan until it comes out and I’m ready to serve it.
I also got radishes, lettuce, green onions (which were the size of shallots), and basil to plant!
I have fed the boy breakfast and lunch.
I have made hard-boiled eggs.
I have watered the herbs.
I have baked potatoes for a new potato salad recipe.
I am frying bacon for that same recipe, plus for our BLT pizza tonight.
I have gone grocery shopping.
I have (well, we have) been to the farmer’s market.
I have filled Owen’s pool and splashed with him.
I have pretty much burnt the last batch of bacon. >:XX
I am done. DONE! My back is killing me. Tomorrow will honestly be a day of rest (or so I hope).