Going home tonight, so I'm up earlier than some days to maximize my time. JE takes JA and LE with her to Target while LC naps. I'm in charge when he wakes up, but he snoozes through the morning while I read and make a few phone calls.
Still looking at the two bunches of fresh basil, gathered into two vases of water like lovely aromatic flowers, from Saturday's market--today is pesto making day. I always use The Silver Palate recipe and so does JE. We wing it a bit today--utilizing what we have. So, we cut down a bit on the olive oil, cheese, and because pine nuts cost so much we settle for 1/2 cup per recipe instead of a full cup.
The way I figure it, pesto was created as a way to preserve fresh basil because drying it destroys the flavor and freezing it is almost as bad. Pesto freezes well, and is unbeatable with any shape of pasta. Toss a couple of tablespoons with hot pasta, stir in a few julienned sun-dried tomatoes, and top with some toasted pine nuts. Heaven!
The pesto is just too beautiful! Sometimes I really understand how satisfying preserving food is. Our moms and grandmas "canned" throughout harvest season--tomatoes, tomato juice, green beans, apple sauce, etc. And, CA's parents were master "freezers." The corn tasted fresh all winter long; the lima beans,too. Never loved their take on broccoli, but it was always great to have a freezer full of vegetables.
Have to get my baby holding in today. LC is starting to smile more and more. So, so sweet. I'm gonna miss this squishy little guy.
JA and LE decide they want to play soccer with the "blue" soccer ball. In JA's world everything is always better if it's blue. We kick the ball around for awhile before LE wanders off to climb, so JA and I switch to t-ball. His form needs some work, but can he whack that ball! He actually hits one over the fence. Later JA tells his mommy that he's pretending that he is the only one who lives with her in Omaha--daddy, LE, and LC live in Chicago. He swings on the rope, and when he's one direction he's in Chicago and in the other direction he's in Omaha. Back and forth.
I decide to defrost the Al Capone beef roast I brought from Caputo's earlier this summer, and not wanting to waste H+DS's last tomato, I toss together a salad of Romaine, tomato, carrot, bell pepper, bacon, and red onion. Every time I use raw onion now I slice it and soak it for a bit in iced water first. It mellows the flavor and ups the crunch factor.
My flight is on time, I have an aisle seat, and no one else in the window seat. I have a bit of time to read and before long we're landing at O'Hare. CA has timed it right, so we're soon on our way and happy to be together. We do stop at Whole Foods for a 5" coconut layer birthday cake, and then on to Portillo's for the best jumbo beef frank--Vienna beef. Best Kosher used to be the best, but they disappeared--Costco used to serve Best Kosher so they had the best hot dog. RvH and I would have the $1.50 hot dog lunch at Costco at least once a month. After Best Kosher disappeared, Costco served Hebrew National for awhile and then switched to their own brand. Now their dogs are too mushy. At the grocery store, we only buy Hebrew National. For whatever reason I've never found the grocery store version of Vienna Beef comes close to the ballpark Vienna's, or for sure not Portillo's.
I'm a hot dog connoisseur.
Home looks and feels great. As does my wonderfully comfortable new bed. I'll be up early tomorrow. It'll be my birthday. 62 candles. Time is running out;can't waste a minute.
Told JA how many years I am, and he asked, "Are you going to die soon, grandma?"
Missing you already Wucy, Jonah, and Levi...