Ooof… it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I got all caught up in this whole moving thing and am just now brushing the cardboard dust off and peering out to say a quick ‘hey’. There’s been a lot of wonky stuff happening, the universe is hammering some curve balls in my direction. But it’s all good, I’m ducking some, catching a few others. Trying to do that whole “go with the flow” thing. It’s working out okay.
And because I have no energy left for effective segway, I have a story.
This summer we planted a garden at my moms. It was a sad little garden, but what seemed to fair well were the 25 basil plants we stuck out there. This past weekend, after a loooooooong drive to the airport, I stopped in on my way home and shopping bag in hand I collected the major ingredient for the pesto I was planning on making.
Half way through my harvesting, I happened upon the most peculiar little spider. It had a bright yellow triangle shaped shell like abdomen and two big spikes shooting out back two points of the triangle with a couple smaller spikes midway up the abdomen. I tried like the dickens to get a decent shot of it, but the aside from it being camera shy, my iPhone and my moms camera were not cutting it. Lesson in bringing my camera everywhere with me… check.
Anyhow, after I showed it to the kids, I continued picking my basil and we went home. The basil lived in the fridge for a couple days until I got the gumption to make pesto. It was to be a first time for me, inspired by Bub’s desire to eat whole fresh leaves of basil last time I brought some home from moms.
Wednesday night I pulled the bag out of the fridge and set it on the counter. I brought the kids up for baths and bedtime activities and when I returned to the kitchen to start the process of washing and preparing the basil, I found this:
Clearly a little spider friend decided to hitch a ride on some basil leaves. The one I saw in the garden was bigger than this gal. Oh, she is a gal. She’s actually an Arrowhead Micrathena and only the chics have those cool spikes. That’s my kind of spider.
Now, the ex would have run screaming from the house refusing to come back in until it was dead, maybe not ever. I, on the other hand, thought it was dead and peered at it. Closely. I blew on it a little and it moved a tad, so slightly I wasn’t sure it was really movement. Apparently three days in a fridge makes spiders a bit logey. Huh. Long story short, definitely alive, definitely caught it into a jar and covered it with cheesecloth and a rubber band, definitely brought to Bean’s preschool so they could check it out. The kids both approved and thought it was pretty cool. I specifically wanted them to see it up close in a low anxiety way to combat some of the ex’s ‘spider freak out paranoia’ that runs rampant over in those parts. They didn’t even flinch… happy momma.
So last night I made pesto, without the spiders, and my sister and Bub agreed it was delish. Bean and Banana… well… they liked their chicken.
This is the recipe I used. It made 2 cups of vegan pesto (at least I hope it was vegan and there weren’t any more stowaways. Gulp.) I like it the way it is, but next time I might try a bit of nutritional yeast for some more cheesiness, or even soaking the cashews so it’s a bit creamier. I love experimenting.
Vegan (I hope) Pesto
8 cups basil
10 Tbsp olive oil (could have used about 2 more,at least)
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup raw cashews, lightly toasted
salt and pepper to taste
I had to split it into two batches to fit it in the food processor. I tossed a cup of the finished product with some rice pasta and served with bone in chicken breasts. When I cook bone in breasts/thighs I generously salt the skins and check for doneness by temperature. Perfectly juicy every. single. time.
Sorry, no pesto pics, every last bite is gone gone gone. And it was a bit brown. I think because it needed more oil. I look forward to trying again, sans spiders next time.