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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hey Pesto! A job swap.

Now you know I am usually the gardener and animal wrangler around here.  The Cook does all the, that.  Anyway we made a deal today that if she did a job that needed doing outside,  then I would cook dinner.

I made a quick trip out to the veggie garden for some tomatoes and the potager for basil, thyme and parsley.  I cooked up some spaghetti and tossed it all together with some pesto the Cook had prepared earlier (recipe below).  I sprinkled a little parmesan and ta da.....

It tasted like Summer!

The interesting thing about the pesto is that we have found that it freezes quite well.  
The Cook puts enough for a serving into some plastic wrap.  
Last year we had pesto right into Winter.


  • 2 cups of torn basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Well if you are a traditionalist you would use a mortar and pestle but a blender/food processor works well too.
Start with the basil and garlic and blend till combined.  Add pine nuts, then gradually add oil and pulse to form a paste.  You can leave it a little chunky or make it smoother if you prefer.  Stir in parmesan and season.  It is best to leave it for a few hours for the flavours develop.

The recipe says to store in an airtight container with a little olive oil on top before sealing the lid.  It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days...or you can freeze it!

And, you are asking, what did The Cook do?

She donned a pair of chaps, a jaunty helmet, a face mask and some ear muffs....... and she cut up a couple of trees in the front yard that fell down in June.

 This, my friends, is all the more astounding because she won't even use the electric knife in the kitchen. 

But then I suppose she hasn't done an electric knife course at the Community House.



  1. Oh goodness Hazel, that gave me a giggle, the cook won't use an electric knife but willingly wields a chainsaw?

    Love the get up of the cook, and Hazel, any time you'd like to cook me dinner (or brunch, where's my jam!?) I'm there!

  2. Well, I fully understand the electric knife thing. Wouldn't touch one - whatever for? Sharpen your knives, and Bob's your uncle!

    I am great friends with our chainsaw, too. Vrrrmmmm...vrrrmmmmm.... :)

  3. Oh yum good reminder to me to use up my basil!

  4. DELICIOUS! I don blame the cook for not using an electric knife, either. Although I am also hesitant about using the chainsaw, as well.

    I must go out and harvest our basil and turn it into a little bit of summer that we can store in the freezer and still be enjoying in winter.

  5. Greetings from Southern California :-)

    I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You, ~Ron

  6. I love a bit of chainsawing....I've even had occasion to chainsaw on the garage roof!

  7. So who exactly was it who drew the short straw...?

  8. Us Aussie girls love a bit of boys' work, it's very empowering! Go Hazel!!

  9. HA HA!! Love the outfit The Cook is wearing. I'll keep my electric knife thank you very much :) Your dinner looks amazingly yummy!! Way to go Hazel!!

  10. I think I'll go and rustle up some pesto proto.

  11. We love pesto - yum - book marking that recipe - got pesto in the freezer here but sadly only fresh shop bought on offer - does freeze really well!

    Giggled at the chainsaw thing - I'll tackle a tree with a chainsaw but I won't call the garage about the car - :)- too scary!

  12. Nice recipe Hazel! The Cook may use the chain saw in the kitchen now. :)

  13. That pasta looks yum and the Cook looks pretty confident with the chainsaw. Better watch out Hazel that there's not a permanent role reversal.

  14. Hmmm! Wonder who drew the short straw that day then. Although it looks like a good way to release a bit of frustration!

  15. Needed some motivation to pick the basil that was doing very well in our patch so thanks for posting the pesto receipe.....and go the cook - very professional looking!


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