I took advantage of Labor Day weekend to spend some time in the kitchen. I continued on the crazy jam making – this really should be called the summer of jam. This weekend I made:
- Fig & Orange Spice Preserves
- Clementine Peach Jam
- Strawberry Vanilla Jam
If you know me, there is a very good chance you will get jam for Christmas, hostess gift, birthday gift … well, except for the Fig, I was multi-tasking and turned my back and it cooked just a hair too long and resembles fig mortar, actually, I think mortar is softer, It works okay if you reheat it and add water, but that does not really “gift.”
I also made a bunch of pesto, using basil from my herb garden. I froze about 2 cups in 1/4 cup amounts which will be great to use in the middle of winter on pasta, or pizza, even stirred into soup.
It was a classic pesto with one small twist … lemon olive oil. My cousin gave me a wonderful bottle of olive oil for graduation and it has a great lemon flavor. I’ve made pesto with it before and it was great with a surprisingly strong lemon flavor. I used a blend of lemon olive oil with regular for this since it was going to be used at some unknown point in the future.
A note about the olive oil. I have a horrible habit of buying wonderful “special” things like this and rationing them to a point that they aren’t good anymore. Strangely, I don’t do this with other things – give me some nice bath items, I’ll use it, the china I received from my grandmother and aunt, I use them – olive oil, oh no, balsamic vinegar hauled from Italy, oh no, wine from France, oh no! So, when I received this, I vowed to use it, and I am glad I did.
Classic Backyard Pesto
- Basil – About 4 packed cups
- Pine nuts – Lightly toasted about 1/2 cup
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Parmesan cheese – about 1/2 -3/4 of cup
- Olive oil – about 2/3 of cup
Blend first 4 ingredients in a food processor and then gradually add olive oil until smooth. Use within a few days or freeze.