My summer garden is officially done for the year. Finished. Toast. See ya. Bye. All due to our very first fall frost of the season… However, I would like to point out that I gathered all that was edible the night before the inevitable freezing temperatures hit. I always pay close attention to the local weather forecast, my outdoor digital thermometer and the sky. The frost lasted only about 15 minutes on Sunday morning but by then my basil plants were stripped, tomatoes were harvested and the last of the red bell peppers were gathered in my bucket. The only things that the frost was able to take were the fruitless plants that remained. Now those wilted plants safely reside in my compost bin to be used as a soil amendment for my brand new garden next spring.
I am always sad to see my summer garden leave for the year. However, I look at it this way. I have learned many horticultural lessons that I can apply in the following growing season. Not to mention, I can begin planning my new garden canvas… I make it a point to make every year in my teensy little garden better than the last.
I just love fresh picked sweet basil. I use it in my kitchen all the time. I like to grow basil in my garden rather than buy it at the store for I make sure that it is organic and pesticide free. This year I almost grew too much. Almost…
Basil is so amazingly fragrant and has such bright beautiful green leaves. Basil is used in a variety of Italian dishes and many dishes in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The variety shown above is sweet basil. I was so fortunate that my sweet basil plants grew like a weeds this year. On the other hand, I had limited luck with my Thai and purple basil this year. I’m not one to give up that easily, so I will try again next year. Maybe by planting them in a different location or in a large pot.
Basil Flavor Bombs… This is what to make when you have a boat load of fresh basil to deal with all at one time. Basically, they are easy to make frozen basil cubes that you can add to soups, stews, or sauces throughout the winter season. It saves money, tastes fabulous and is less wasteful. I got this amazingly delicious recipe from Hannah at Rise and Shine. Thank you Hannah! Be sure to stop by her site, say hello and check out some other wonderful recipes for preserving herbs in oi! Enjoy! Tessa
- several or just a few cups of packed fresh picked basil (washed, dried, stems removed)
- olive oil (as needed)
- salt (to taste)
Add basil leaves to a food processor. Pulse while adding olive oil. Add oil until the basil turns to a thick paste. Pulse until nearly pureed. Scrap inside of food processor with a spatula. Add salt, pulse lightly and spoon into ice cube trays. Cover with plastic wrap and toss into the freezer. Once frozen, remove from ice cube trays and toss into a Ziploc plastic bag or tightly covered container. Freeze again. Each cube makes about a 2 tablespoon sized flavor bomb. Keep frozen.
Note: When using the frozen basil cubes be sure to add them near completion of your dish. You want retain as much of the bright basil flavor as possible.