A Day of Many Miles

Today was the day for my monthly pedicure.  After that, I had an agenda for myself.  After my pedicure, I set off on an epic journey to the far side of Portland to drop off my camera for repair.  I drove and drove and drove and drove until I was as far on the other side of town as I could get and still be within the actual City of Portland.  Whew.  It's been a long time since I've been in that part of town.  Along the way I was thrilled to have a bald eagle fly right in front of my car.  It was the best part of a long day.

That's not the one I saw today.  I was driving.  S/he was flying.  This is one I saw down in Klamath Falls a couple of years ago.

Anyway, after all that driving, it took about five minutes to drop off the camera, and I figured as long as I'd come so far, I might as well stop off at a new-to-me quilt shop.

That was all fine and dandy, and I called ahead to make sure they were open.  They were.  I neglected, however, to double check the address, and ended up driving about 15 minutes out of my way only to find that the quilt shop had moved in January.  The woman on the phone couldn't have been nicer, and she gave me directions to her new location.  It was tempting to bag the whole thing, but I decided to go ahead anyway.  I was glad I did because it was a really good one.  I'll tell you more about it in a separate post...probably tomorrow, because I'm tired.

After visiting the quilt shop it was getting late in the day, and I still needed to go to the grocery store.  I thought hard about what I might have at home to make a meal from, and couldn't really come up with anything that wasn't going to require at least a short shop at the market.  It seemed to me that I might as well do all the shopping if I was going to have to stop anyway.  Besides, after such a long day, I really wanted to stay home tomorrow.  So I put on my big girl panties and did the grocery shopping before heading home to make dinner.  I had a few minutes to put my feet up, but then I got right to it making some pesto.

Honestly, my measly little basil plants that I planted from seeds back in February have grown into virtual trees.  Today I harvested five cups worth of leaves, and I don't think I even took one tenth of what is available.  Obviously, I need to get cooking on all things basil.  Today's project was pesto...tomorrow, the basil world.  And this week's menu is lousy with pesto.  For tonight, I made Ina Garten's Pesto Pea Salad, which is quick and delicious once you have the pesto made.  Later on in the week, I'm going to make Giada De Laurentiis' Salmon with Puff Pastry and Pesto.  But my absolute favorite way to eat pesto is just to slather it on a slice of toasted baguette with a slice of prosciutto draped over the top.  Mmmmmmmmm.

So, want to know how I make the pesto?  I adapted Ina Garten's recipe.  She used a lot more olive oil, and I like it better with about 2/3 the amount she used.  So here are five cups of my beautiful basil leaves, harvested from my greenhouse.  Heavenly.

Mine is all grown organically, and so I could pick the leaves off the plant and eat them straight (as I've been known to do), but I generally like to wash off the dust and teensy spiders that seem to inhabit the greenhouse.

So you start with the steel blade of your food processor and add 1/4 cup of roughly chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup of pignolis (pine nuts), and nine cloves of garlic.  Yes, nine.  (Not for wimps.)  Then you chop that up for about 30 seconds until it makes a sort of paste.  You'll want to scrape it off the sides of the bowl following that step.

Then, toss in your five cups of basil leaves, along with one teaspoon of kosher salt and one teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Then puree that while pouring one cup of extra-virgin olive oil slowly through the feed tube of your food processor.

Once it is pureed and smooth, dump in one cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and then give it another whirl until it's smooth.

Yum.  You can put it in a plastic container and store it in your refrigerator or freezer.  Put some plastic wrap down snug over the top of the pesto to keep it from turning dark.  Ina Garten suggests a thin layer of olive oil for this, but again, I didn't want to add any more oil to this recipe.

So here's my adaptation of Ina's recipe:

Basil Pesto

Adapted from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves -- packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor
fitted with a steel blade.  Process for 30 seconds.  Add the basil leaves,
salt, and pepper.  With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil
into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely
pureed.  Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.  Serve, or store the
pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top
(to prevent browning).

And I'll be linking this post to Fresh Foods Wednesday:

Gee, is it really still Wednesday?  I feel as if a week just passed me by, and here it is the same day it was when I woke up this morning.

So here's the last thing I have to tell you for today.  I've had a yen to get started on this embroidered quilt from my to-do list.  Maybe you've seen it.  It's called Vintage Tin from Crabapple Hill Studio.  I'm making it for my son Erik who works as an assistant service manager at an auto dealership.  It's really just an excuse, but I think Erik will like it.  

Anyway, I realized I needed some embroidery floss, but in checking through my stash, I realized I needed some more fabrics in these colors.  I kind of like the way this one looks.  There are kits available at a hefty price tag, but I can't bring myself to pay for that.  Besides, I kind of like shopping for the fabrics myself.  So, I've been gradually collecting fabrics for the borders and sashings and the flying geese.  Also, I needed something for the embroidery background since none of the pieces I had were going to be large enough.  Here's what I've come up with:

The kits were from the Inkwell line by Meg Hawley.  I was able to find 15 fat quarters from an Etsy shop.  The three fabrics at the bottom were some I found on Fabric.com.  So now that I've collected all of that, I think I can get started on this.  I probably won't start on it right away, but within a month or so, I expect to.  Also, while I was at the quilt shop today, I learned a nifty new way to transfer those embroidery designs.  I can't wait to try it.

So that's about it from this tired dog.  I'm so glad I did my grocery shopping, and I can just stay home tomorrow.  A tree guy is coming to look at one of our big trees that seems to have come down with a serious case of diplodia tip blight.  Impressive, eh?  Actually, our tree and shrub service diagnosed it.  They could be wrong.  I'm having a certified arborist come take a look at it tomorrow and do whatever needs to be done to save the tree and prevent it from infecting our other trees.  Oy.  It's always something.  And it's been a bit of a chore tracking down the right person.  Let's hope it's this guy.

If you were as busy as I was today, then I'm wishing for you a relaxing evening.  And speaking of relaxing, I think I'll just get to it right now.  Be on the look out for my post about the quilt shop I visited today.  As I said, it was a good one.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sheila said...

Been wanting to do "Vintage Tin" for a long time also. Finally broke down and ordered the pattern. Gotta start shopping for the background fabric this weekend. Not looking forward to transferring the pattern, would love to hear your nifty new way :) Take care and have a great week.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have my pattern, too - and all the fabric is on the stash shelf or in the tubs so I don't need to shop - just need to pick up the number of floss skeins which I may just order thru DMC. I'm curious about the transfer trick too. Although I do have a very big light box.

Mary Kunna said...

I have the Vintage Tin Pattern also. After I finish the Frog Work pattern I'm working on I want to start that one. So many projects, so little time ;-)

quiltzyx said...

Quite a driving day for such a homebody as you! I'll bet you're glad you made yourself do the grocery shopping. I know once I force myself to the store, I'm always glad later. (I need to go now, I had to have ramen for dinner.)
Vintage Tin looks cool, I don't think I've seen that before. I like the fabrics you've picked for it. :)
I worked this morning, then looked after the ceramics shop while Mary Ann took Elvis for his rabies shot & cut & sewed 7 flannel napkins (that just need the top stitching now). Read & had a short nap when I got home.

Lyndsey said...

I thought I had a busy day yesterday but reading your post has quite worn me out.. I think I need to sit down with a cup of tea for a little while. Great decision to do the grocery shopping and not have it hanging over you for today. The vintage tin pattern looks fun and I love your fabric choices. Please say your tip for pattern transfer is using something like fabric solvy as I am tempted to buy some but want to know if it really works as well as they say.

gpc said...

What a productive day! Maybe that will be my inspiration to get some things off MY to do list, which is growing by the minute while I sit on my fluffy butt. LOVE pesto -- my basil is stunted by our cool and very wet weather, but we are expecting sunshine today and tomorrow so maybe it will still bounce back. Love the stuff! It's great on chicken and fish, too, and I always toss a big spoonful into my bean soups. Yum.

Quilting Babcia said...

It must have been eagle's day out, since DH reported having one fly right in front of the truck on his way home. We've seen more this year than anytime since we've been in Oregon. Your pesto looks heavenly. I need to take lessons on growing basil - yours is gorgeous - ours pathetic.

Diane Wild said...

What's the difference between regular salt and kosher salt? I have two kinds of basil but have never made pesto and I don't think I've actually eaten any. Maybe I'll try your recipe.

WoolenSails said...

Those fabrics you picked out are going to be perfect for that quilt, can't wait to see how it comes out.


Patrica said...

I have a large pattern from this designer that I want to start on too. The one with crows on a branch going across the top I can't remember the name right now. I learned a neat transfer trick recently and blogged about it here http://dogwoodlanerambles.blogspot.com/2013/05/this-is-neat-trick.html I'm super curious to see what your trick is. Anything to make that chore go faster. Love your fabrics it's going to be a wonderful project.

Harriett said...

I've started one block on vintage tin. Will look forward to your new way to transfer the drawing

Dar said...

Just saw your post of yesterday. Yum, your pesto looks good! I have 1 basil plant and love it fresh and on top of homemade veggie pizzas, but have not acquired a big taste for pesto yet.

Like your new embroidery colors and fabrics. Your son will surely love it too.

Hope you are resting today. Thanks for sharing your day.

Kate said...

I always hate days with lots of errands in them, but at least you got to make a stop at a quilt shop. That always takes the sting out of days with lots of errands. Love the fabrics you've picked for the Vintage Tin project.

Julianne said...

Oh Yummo! I love Pesto, its so good! Have you ever froze it in ice cube trays, you can just pop them out when you need them.

Also, I have been meaning to ask if you live near Sisters, OR and are going to the quilt show? I am!