Friday, June 17, 2011


School is out and summer has begun.  This is the first year in several years that Parker will not be going to summer camp…she's super bummed, but I'm trying to make her summer the best summer ever (as though I can top wilderness camp in Vermont on an idyllic lake with a bunch of giggling girls).  I've changed my schedule to be working from 6am-1pm daily, opening up the rest of the day for making and doing and swimming and playing.  We're also planning to do a bit of traveling, visiting of friends and seeing the ocean!  This was our first week of the new schedule and we've done quite a lot already!  Swimming, relaxing by the lake, renting those dorky water bicycles (they were super fun!), cooking, planting a garden, biking (on land with real bikes…not dorky), more swimming..more cooking.  

Parker has planted a pretty impressive container garden and her basil plants have been growing like crazy, giving us an abundance of flavor to add to every meal.  A few days ago we made pesto.  We followed Alice's recipe and method of using a mortar and pestle rather than a food processor (my mom gave me this one a few years ago)…it was a satisfying way to make pesto.  Parker loved it and has made us a few fantastic dinners with it (fresh locally made pasta from our farm share, with her pesto and grilled chicken and shiitake mushrooms..yum…and grilled goat cheese and pesto sandwiches for lunch the next day..double yum).  If you have hearty basil plants, you should make some pesto, too.  We did not have any pine nuts (read: i didn't want to shell out six bucks for a tablespoon of those little things) so we just left them out and added a bit more garlic.  It's really quite simple: 

Mash a garlic clove or three with your mortar&pestle
add parmasean to make a paste 
mash a cup of basil leaves until they form a paste 
add the garlic mixture back in 
mash some more 
add your favorite olive oil a little at a time, mixing well and viola! Handmade pesto!


  1. Delicious looking! and fyi, pine nuts are waaaaay cheaper in bulk from either the Pittsburgh Food Co-op or Whole Foods. And they freeze well!

  2. i know, two places i rarely get to as they're on the complete opposite side of the city from me...when will someone open another co-op on the west side of the city??!! we need one!

  3. Super yum! I'll add some of my garlic tops and whip some up!

  4. You could always use walnuts instead of the pine nuts.
    Love the newest bags and the latest photography!!!
    Happy weekend to you and the family. -Melanie

  5. Pine nuts (aka pinon) are great...but don't leave out walnuts, cashews, etc.
    All are good.
    Southern Living has some great recipes for pesto from this last months magazine.

  6. yay, i just found your blog and it's every bit as lovely as the letter bag i bought from you half a year ago. my bag has seriously not left my side since i got it in the mail. :) as for pesto, i always leave out the nuts because my partner has a nut allergy -- but as i discovered, that's actually the french way ( happy summer!


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