In the early spring a work relationship drastically changed. A project I fully supported was not to be and I chose to deal with it and make the best of the situation.
There were a few challenges I wanted to accomplish this growing season, no matter what my work situation was, and most of them included sowing, growing, harvesting, preparing, and preserving plenty of plants and flowers. Being connected to the food I wanted to eat and prepare is integral to my career goals but also personal; I want to rely less and less on imported foods during the winter months.
I'm fortunate to have some very supportive people in my life. They understand the needs to experiment, want me to to be healthy, and want to see me be successful in business ventures. I researched, I sourced, I bought seeds. Lots of seeds. And I prepared garden beds. Then another. Then another.
With three gardens to take care of, it's easy to see where the past four months have gone. I just look at all the produce in my fridge and short tan lines for reminders.
The gardens and flower pots are bursting with greenery. What's a girl to do with all this mint, basil, sage, and cilantro? Make simple purees then later use the purees in everything from mayonnaise and vinaigrettes to semifreddos and dessert sauces.
Pro-tip: to preserve the bright green colour in purees and pestos, simply blanch and refresh the leaves before processing into a smooth paste. How do you do that? Remove the leaves from the stems and rinse to remove any sand or grit. Place leaves in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes to soften slightly. Immediately place the blanched leaves in to a bowl of ice water to "shock" and "refresh". Once cool, strain, and press out as much water as possible.
Roughly chop the herbs before placing into a food processor (or Magic Bullet!) and puree using a few tablespoons of liquid. Your choice of liquid can be anything from water, olive oil, grapeseed oil, to simple syrups, or vodka.
Depending on how much puree you have, store in a tightly lidded jar in the fridge up to a week or longer in the freezer. You could also spoon the puree into ice cube trays - storing in bags once solid for use in stews or pasta sauces as needed.
If you prefer, you can keep the purees or pestos relatively simple. I added sage puree to creamed butter along with some sheepsmilk cheddar cheese...because I like cheese. And butter. And corn. And grilling.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.