Thursday, September 15, 2011


The furnace came on this morning. The temperature outside was a chilly 42 and there is the possibility that we will get frost tonight. Now you know why Michigan girls have a fickle love for Autumn. It's beautiful while it lasts, but the cold comes all too soon. I'm not ready to give up my flowers, the hostas, or the sweet tomatoes that are ripening in the garden.  I was determined that I wouldn't lose my basil.  It's like green gold and the crop was especially lovely this year.  I have already cut it twice and made pesto.  Earl harvested the rest tonight and I got it whizzed up in the food processor and ready for the freezer. It freezes like a dream. You know the wonderful spicy smell of fresh cut basil? That is exactly what this pesto smells and tastes like in the dead of winter, thawed and tossed with hot pasta or piled on a burger or sandwich. 
I got the recipe from a little book called "In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprahs Favorite Recipes." It's the only recipe I use from that book but it was worth the price.  Easy as pie and very few ingredients, oh, and no oil. I like my pesto oil free, but if you want to add oil do it, it won't hurt it a bit. Here's the recipe:

Rosie Daley's Pesto
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts (or you can use walnuts, just as good)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-5 cloves garlic (I like 2 cloves)

Whiz everything up in your blender or food processor until smooth.
That's it. I freeze it in 1/2 cup plastic containers, just the right amount for a batch of pasta.
We cut most of the zinnias too, I won't leave them out in the cold.
What are you harvesting right now?


  1. You must live right down the street. We were 42 this morning as well outside the Windy City. I too, picked my Zinnias before the first frost. Great pictures and great color. Guess I better make my Pesto now, too.

  2. I made pesto a few weeks ago and my recipe comes from Giada and has olive oil.

    We have harvested all of our tomatoes and are ready to pick the green ones and hope they will ripen. We are getting ready to harvest the butternut squash in the next week. I have a fall crop of yellow beans and peas that are growing but have not blossomed yet. We usually don't have out first frost until sometime in October, so I hope I will be able to have the yellow beans and peas.


  3. Great recipe Im saving it thanks! btw Your photos are so vibrant I really enjoyed them.

  4. We love our pesto-especially for brushetta!
    The zinnias are gorgeous too.
    I'm afraid summer has been over for a while here, but I'm expecting an Indian summer real soon!

  5. Interesting to make it without oil. I shall try that.
    At the moment we are picking the last of a huge Tomato crop, nearly over!

  6. mmm pesto is my favourite - i love it with pasta, potatoes, mushrooms, in paninis!!

    I buy a veggie version though as parmesan and the other cheese often used isn't veggie :(

  7. 42 degrees?????? What planet do you live on? MWAHAHAHA! I can't wait for chillier weather.

    Some of the other recipes in that book are pretty good. For real.

  8. Your zinnias are just beautiful! What brilliant colors. :o)
    I am about to harvest (most likely for the last time) our basil. And like you, it is going to be a delicious pesto taste in the colder months. :o)
    Now I understand what you mean about the chill of winter coming so quickly. Wow. You barely blink and it is there. We are finally going to have a high of 84* today. It is slowly starting to cool down.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    love ya, Trish
    ps. I like your storage of your pesto.

  9. All that basil looks so pretty. And it made me hungry for some pesto. I love Caprese Salad.
    It was cold here in Indiana, but not that cold! I'm not ready for winter!

  10. Looks great! My hubby planed ALOT of basil this summer. We have it in just about everything. Love the smell of fresh basil! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. I know what you mean. I love Fall in Juneau but it comes too quickly and leaves too quickly leaving us with winter. I love watching the natural dying of my flowers and shrubs, as they turn their golden colors. We have green tomatoes left, but the rain has turned my herbs to mush and all my lettuces have bolted. The squirrels got my apples!

  12. I am convinced you are the woman in Proverbs 31. All the wonderful things you make. I have never even thought of making pesto. I know very little about growing herbs. Can they be grown indoors during the winter? Did you not go back to work this school year?

  13. Beautiful photo of your bounties.:)

    As you know, I haven't been able to raise a thing this year..maybe next.

    Thanks for the awesome recipe...:)

  14. The air has turned quite chilly here too and I have yet to turn on the furnace...but I think it will happen sooner than later! I was north of the city at a cottage this week and despite the fact that it was really cold at night and in the morning I didn't feel it like I do in this house. Not sure why that is...but I've already started wearing bed socks!

  15. I use the fried chicken recipe in that book! My basil is still going. It'll be o.k. until we get our first frost which won't be for months (hopefully)!


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