At one time, basil represented hate, but later it was thought to represent love.
During the Victorian era, it represented good wishes.
Basil is one of my most cherished herbs, and every year, it is prominent in my garden. But this year, since I was in the middle of moving out of state, I didn’t have a garden. Both of my daughters knew I’d miss my favorite plants, so they both started growing basil, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, flowers and herbs for a cabin garden. Today was the first day I had enough basil to harvest and make pesto!
Pesto, from the Italian word pester, means to crush or pound. You could use a mortar and pestle, but a food processor will make your job much easier!
Prepare your favorite pasta - angel hair, linguini, etc. - and have it ready so you can put the sauce on top and eat it immediately!
Pesto will turn a dark green when exposed to the air, so if you have extra, top it with a spoonful of olive oil spread over the top and cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to keep any air from reaching the pesto.
4 - 5 peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh, tender basil leaves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
I/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Drop the garlic cloves and pine nuts into a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Add the fresh basil and cheese and continue to blend until pulverized.
Scrape down the sides to be certain everything is blended.
In a steady stream, slowly pour the olive oil into the food processor tube.
Add salt to taste - you won’t need much because of the parmesan cheese.
Pour on prepared pasta and serve immediately.
The Calendula symbolizes joy and protection. Wishing you both!
In January, my intention was to post an herbal collage every week, but my life changed dramatically and “life got in the way”, as the saying goes.
Zippy, my precious 17 year old puggle, passed over the rainbow bridge in mid April. Loving and supporting him through the transition was difficult. His no longer being by my side was even more difficult. Many of you sent me warm condolences and they were greatly appreciated.
Preparing to sell the house in Maryland, a greatly needed escape with a dear friend to Cape Cod, and finding, purchasing and setting up a home, limited my time in the garden, art room and on line.
Several things played into my deciding to sell my house and move back to central PA - most of all my two lovely daughters and my new son (in-law)! Moving closer to them has brought me great joy.!
Since the calendula represents joy, it seems a perfect segue back to my illustrations, collages, gardening and herbal experience and research! It also symbolizes protection. I wish each of you good health and a feeling of safety and calm in these challenging times!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!