Monday, September 27, 2010

Baby Basil and Patch-Happy Knitting

I have been as scattered as the basil plants in my garden! September has been a whirlwind with my writing projects, committees I'm on, my family's busy schedule, homecoming! and I even walked/ran in my first 5k! But I've been having fun, not a dull moment. And if there is a dull moment, lately, I tend to pour some potting soil into a pot, and plant basil seeds.

My goal: get some basil plants going that I can bring in on the greenhouse and use this winter--even if I'm just throwing together some turkey, tomato and basil pasta, one of our favorite quick meals.

I planted the latest pots of basil a couple of weeks ago. I throw a ton of seeds into one big pot. When the basil is showing a few leaves, I separate out some of the hearty seedlings into separate pots. It was a sunny day when I did this, and, as always, gardening is totally therapeutic for me. So when I had several little pots planted, I weeded out the more frail plants, and planted several seedlings back into the big pot. 

Basil loves warm weather. So when it dips below 50 degrees, the plants could easily turn black - not good! Keep your basil warm on a sunporch, or in a sunny window. In the garden, basil is the companion of tomatoes, just like in the kitchen. That's why, all summer long, I scattered seeds all around the tomato plants--and they are still producing hearty basils. I'm not looking forward to seeing them go!

Saturday morning, I got up early (for my first 5k!) and wandered out to the garden to find the most crisp, green, gorgeous showing of basil, everywhere. 

It's getting cooler now, and I'm going to start going crazy with the last weeks of my basil bouquets. When it comes to cooking, beyond pesto, there are plenty of dishes that welcome a sprinkle of fresh-snipped basil--especially pastas and breads. Basil, however, does not like to be cooked into a dish--garnish freely after it comes off the stove or out of the oven. That sprinkle of fresh basil brings such an aromatic fresh flavor to dishes--no wonder Italian sailors, long ago, created pesto with basil to keep their diets green! I'm going to keep nurturing my seedlings along, and see if I can get some hearty plants to help me sail through the cold months.

In the meantime, I'm also nurturing along my simple little patch-happy knitting project. I just wanted to sew together some patches for a cute little wall hanging. No big deal, right? So what is hanging me up on this? I can only hope I'll finish it soon. (My cats keep batting the patches around--is this a hint?) My daughter and I had a nice movie-and-knitting session yesterday, but I found myself wanting to work on my lap blanket, which I started last year with soft, baby blanket yarn. I just hope as we wind up September, I'll be a little more focused in October! I'm also working on scripts, and bringing the novel back out. Here we go!

Eat, write, dream, and stitch happy this fall!

1 comment:

  1. Sandy, Thanks for the hints on keeping basil a little longer in the year. I'm hoping to keep a lavendar plant going during the cold Wisconsin winter. I'll bring it in to go dormant, but hopefully not freeze. I love herbs, they speak to my soul. Thanks for stopping by my blog.