Thursday, August 6, 2009


The basil on my patio has gotten out of control (the picture above is from several weeks before the overgrowth) and some of my tomatoes are vine ripened. This was a good excuse for me to buy a food processor. Actually, I haven't needed much of an excuse to buy a new kitchen doodad as of late (please see the imminent post on the Titan Peeler... and no I didn't make wood shavings from a table leg for dinner). I've always resisted buying a food processor because I have a really good hand blender which is pretty good to make smoothies and soups and is so much easier to clean than a blender/food processor. But I figured since I had so much basil and someday I'm going to want to try to make baby food to convince myself that this will prevent my kid from wanting to eat McDonald's everyday, I should finally break down and get one. This Cuisinart one was very well reviewed and was under 40 dollars. It holds 24 oz, which sounds pretty small, but the plethora of basil I had fit in there just fine and since my kitchen is pretty small it doesn't take up much space in a cupboard, which is key.

Here is one of my breakfasts this week which did not involve the food processor but had some basil and some tomatoes. It looks like a lot of food for a little person like me, but if I don't eat this much before I go to work I get grumpy and hungry by 10:30.

Here is the basil-nanza being washed, then sitting in my new kitchen toy with some olive oil and going into some ice cube trays for use in pesto, dressings, marinades, sauces etc. I figure since it's frozen I won't get really sick of eating basil-y meals in the next couple of weeks because I can spread the consumption out over a few months!


nooschi said...

I LOVE basil. Was it easy to grow? I was told that it was hard, but it doesn't look too bad from your post. Then again, it is easy to look and comment than to actually do the work.

Jenny T. said...

Hi Nooschi,

I've always found basil fairly easy to grow. I've never gotten any pests on them unlike some of my other plants. I am fairly vigilant about watering it every 2 or 3 days and they like to be spritzed every once in a while if it's really hot out, but then again it was almost 100 degrees on my patio this afternoon!

I've done it two ways:

1) when I lived in an apartment with no outdoor space, I bought one of those fresh basil plants from the grocery store. It's the ones that make it look like it's for single use only, but if there are roots you can go ahead and transplant it into a bigger pot with fresh potting soil and grow away. I just put the pot in a sunny window and whenever I needed a little I'd just pinch some off. After awhile, the leaves started to be less green and more yellow -- I think because I wasn't fertilizing it regularly and the soil was getting depleted of nitrogen. Then I moved and abandoned it in the move, but I think it lasted for about a year or so, which is pretty good considering I bought it for about 4 bucks or so.

2) now that I have outdoor space I started this batch from seeds indoors sometime in April under a grow light and then moved it outside when there was no more frost. I'm sure you could just do it anywhere in the house because when you start from seeds you don't need light until you get the first set of "true leaves". Then just transfer it to a sunny window. I used peat pellets -- you can get these at any garden store or home depot. There are kits that come with a little plastic dome that keeps it humid and cozy in there for them. This is what they looked like at the beginning in their peat pellets (see last picture):

If you're really adventurous there are so many varieties of basil that you can grow, but I only have this one kind which I believe is the Italian variety.

Happy growing!