Friday, July 8, 2016

Pesto Power, is it Magic?

 A bit of a departure today. The doll project is coming along nicely, more on that next post. But it's summer. I want to talk about one of my favorite summer kitchen activities, making "Pesto Pucks". That's what I call them as they resemble green hockey pucks once made & frozen. My goal each summer is to make enough to have pesto every time I need it until the next summer. I made it this past year and if the current harvest schedule keeps up I'll surpass needed production this year by lots of pucks. I always give a fair amount away to worthy recipients. Family & friends who love to cook. Keep reading to the bottom to find out about the magic. You can just skip to it.I won't be offended.

The basic recipe I use is from an old copy of he "Moosewood Cookbook" a true classic by Molly Katzen I  have had for decades. The 40th anniversary issue is out.  Lots of markers & food stains in this one. A show of hands who has a copy of this? The fact that she infuses lots of her art into her books strikes a special cord with me.

I love the hand written recipes in the original & all her little drawings. Like all recipes I monkey with the ingredients and amounts. I don't use any parsley and I don't use as much oil. All oil no butter. Oh yeah, I use pine nuts I've pan roasted if I have them rather than almonds. Both work fine.

The smell of these as the get toasty is wonderful!

Cook's Illustrated had a review of Olive Oils awhile back. I've ditched the large bottle of generic oil for this I can get at our local Meijer which was rated at the top of the list.

I find smashing cloves of garlic very satisfying. Maybe there is a deeper meaning there somewhere.

Here is a funny thing about this process. Every time I am snipping leaves into the food processor and I come across a creature, slug, bug, anything moving, I am reminded of the movie "Medicine Man".

  Sean Connery with a pony tail. What's not to love? But I'm getting side tracked. In the course of the story where he is a researcher in the Amazon they discover a cure for cancer. Spoiler alert! Come to find out it's about the ants that were in the sugar they used in their solution with the plants they were sure held the key. Didn't get great reviews, but I liked it. Anyway, I have this wild suspicion that my pesto is magic and it has to do with the creatures that have resided in my pots of basil. Now you know how truly weird I can be.

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