One of the things I love about living in the Okanagan valley is the absolute abundance of produce growing here, another thing I love about living here is the community of people we have in our lives. Last week a dear friend asked me if I wanted to join her to make pesto since they had been given the opportunity to pick loads of basil for free. Well, of course I couldn't resist. We rode our bikes to the Farmers Market to get some garlic and other goodies and then back to her place for a few hours of making pesto. Once there she showed me how much basil they had picked - there were two large Rubbermaid bins, a shopping bin and two large fridge crispers full. Yikes! I'd never seen so much basil in my life.
(our dueling food processors!)
We washed, stemmed, processed, ran short on ingredients (several times) and made our way through the crispers full as well as most of the two big bins. It took us many more hours than we had thought but the time whizzed by because we were enjoying ourselves so much. I love doing this kind of project with friends and having time to talk and catch up while getting something done.
I ended up going home with 4 quart jars, 1 plastic container and 1 good size bowl filled with pesto. Jacqueline managed to fill a freezer with yogurt containers of pesto. Once I got home I also put my pesto into plastic containers to freeze and then popped them out of the containers into a plastic freezer bag. Needless to say we've been enjoying pesto everything since then - pesto pizza, pesto potatoes, pesto pasta, pesto on bread, pesto on green beans...
The freezer has been in constant use as it is also blueberry, cherry and apricot season here and I'm getting it stocked with our year supply of smoothie ingredients. Apricots are very easy to come by here and I've seen several trees going unpicked around town. I was pleased to be offered some apricots from the tree where my garden is.
Apricots have never been my favourite fruit (the ones on our old tree were just OK in flavour) but this variety has incredible flavour and colour. I hope to find out what kind it is so I can plant the same kind when we get our property. They're delicious fresh and make a great addition to berry smoothies.