Capturing a Last Bit of Summer

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.


About cookbooksandceilithe

For the past two years, I've been working more than full-time while getting my MBA. Now, that graduation has come and gone, I want to indulge in two of passions - cooking and entertaining.
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