Thursday, 11 April 2013

Now you're talking....

by Simone McPherson

THE LAST OF THE BASIL AS IT GOES TO SEED
Today as I looked outside through the kitchen window I thought “I need to pull out the last of the Basil before it all goes to seed”.   
 
ONE TUB DONE ANOTHER THREE TO GO
So the morning was filled with cleaning out the planters – and getting them ready for the winter months ahead.
 
ALL THE LEAVES PULLED OFF AND READY FOR THE FOOD PROCESSOR

The making of “Pesto” was on the agenda for the afternoon.  The Basil plants have been such a wonderful addition to the garden......

........ with the amount of pesto that I have made since originally planting six little seedlings way back in September 2012 it's amazing!

JARS READY TO GO
 I have since made six batches – with one batch = 4x500gm jars.....  

THE SILVER BEET AND THE ITALIAN PARSLEY
.............I have also mixed a percentage of both the Italian Parsley and the Silver-beet that was planted at the same time, into my original Pesto mixture – with Extra Virgin Olive oil, cloves of garlic, a pinch of chilli flakes and of course the Parmesan cheese and the outcome – though a little varied each time has been a sensation...... 

I use Pesto in just about everything that we eat for example have you tried....?
  • Pesto mixed in with some Greek style yogurt for a lovely salad dressing or a dip with vegetables
  • Pesto mixed with some new steamed potatoes? ...Yum
  • On toast with a lovely sliced tomato?
  • Tossed through your favourite pasta "al dente"? ..... delicious
  • or what about an ordinary toasted chicken, cheese and pesto sandwich? now how could you go wrong with that?
  • then there is the way El Ranchero enjoys it, strait out of the jar with celery and lots of it!
So as you can see the variations are many and I am sure you would have some ideas up your sleeve too ............
 
IN THE BACK OF THE QUAD

.......I took a jar over to our neighbour along with some Silver-beet from our little salad garden ...

THAT'S "THE BLACK DOG" WITH "G" OUR NEIGHBOUR

KELLY'S PUPPIES .... SO TINY .... SO ADORABLE

…….. and to view the new tiny little puppies that his pet dog - "Kelly" - had.  The puppies were so adorable and so small too..... Jack-russell cross he tells me.

That afternoon I also made some of my cream cheese out of some extra yogurt I had in the fridge. It's very easy to make and very delicious too, especially if you enjoy the tangy-ness of yogurt as I do.  I thought I would share the procedure with you and it starts something like this ..............

 
Start  with your favourite plain yogurt - low fat or full cream it's your choice ....

 ....you will need a muslin cloth or something similar, a bowl to sit the cloth in, another large bowl to collect the whey ......

..... scoop as much as you want of the yogurt into the muslin lined bowl .....

 ..... I always go a little over what ever size bowl I am using as the yogurt will shrink in size ....... looking something like this

...then tie up your muslin onto something that you can hang the yogurt filled muslin from .... I've used a wooden spoon and two empty milk bottles .... you can now discard the bowl that you had the muslin and yogurt in and get your other bowl ready to catch the whey .... and I have this draining overnight ..... with a temperature of between .... 24 & 14 degrees Celsius .... if you have a warmer overnight temperature I would recommend half the draining time .... as you may spoil the yogurt ....... then the next day ......

....... you should end up with something half the size to what you originally started with and looking something like this ..... and "wha laa" ..... there is your yogurt cream cheese! ....... now the fun begins ..... how to eat this beautiful morsel? 

Now don't forget that; all that whey that you have collected is full of - "goodness plus" - don't discard it ... I use it in stews, soups and even a tablespoon in a glass of water will do wonders for your body and your skin each morning - the whey will keep in the fridge in a jar for a month or so .......

 ......and as for the cream cheese?  well where would you like me to start? ...... 

.....how about dribbling some of your locally produced honey, over the cream cheese in a bowl - divine! - or what about on toast with your favourite jam or marmalade? delicious-ness! - made into your favourite cream cheese dip - have it plainly with a hard boiled egg, lots of pepper and salt with the cream cheese on the side just lovely! - or what about mixing it with that lovely pesto that you made the other day? Now your talking! .... 

.........I'm off to have some right now! ..... Yummm!