"What are you doing, Mommy?"
"I'm harvesting the basil."
That was it. My boys weren't at all interested in the process and ran off to do something, anything more fun than harvesting basil.
We've been growing basil for a long time, and we always freeze basil cubes and make large batches of pesto to bring out in the winter. The boys have helped in the past, but for some reason this time around I couldn't capture their attention; that is, until I brought out the hose. I figure if I'm going to rinse off all that basil—and there was a lot because I was cutting down the plants—doing it outside would make the job easier and the water could go back to the garden. Win win in my book.
So I had the hose out and started showering the stems and pulling off the leaves, which went into a large colander at my feet. Instantly the boys were back, wanting to use the hose.
And that's when the water fight broke out.
It started with just a few little flicks of water in their direction when they tried to grab the hose, then I started aiming for their feet. They wanted to play in the water, but I had a conference call coming up and needed to finish the task at hand, so we struck a deal. They had to help me clean up all the leftover stems and bad leaves, and if they did then I would squirt them. I kept rinsing basil and would occasionally squirt the boys, and it was good fun. They had a ball and got dripping wet, soaked through and through, and I got the basil harvested.
This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the dishes we create from foods we've grown, raised, foraged, or hunted ourselves. We're celebrating the first anniversary of Grow Your Own, and we hope you will join us! Just post about a dish you made using your homegrown foods by August 30. I'm hosting this anniversary event, and you can send entries to me. For more information on how to participate, visit the Grow Your Own page.
How to Freeze Basil
- basil leaves
- extra virgin olive oil
- Put basil leaves in a large bowl or bucket and cover with water. Allow to rest for about 15 minutes, then drain in the colander and rinse again.
- Process in batches, about 3 packed cups of basil at a time. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the basil while processing. If it seems dry, add 1 tablespoon.
- Transfer processed basil to the ice cube trays, pressing the chopped leaves down. Freeze until solid, about 8 hours, then remove and put in the large plastic freezer bag. Will keep for up to 6 months.