You shake off the beetles, wormy things, spiders and such. Come inside and pinch off the leaves until you have about 4 cups of them. Then you rinse them well and drain them in a colander with paper towels in it.
Then you take a DEEP breath. Breath in the wonderful fragrance. Oh, that aroma...
Then put them in the refrigerator for a few hours... or overnight. You want them fairly dry...not full of water.
Now you get out the old blender,or a food processor, which I don't have.
A processor would probably be easier.
Collect some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and a lot'a garlic...
basil. Cut with scissors. Use only the leaves. This adds good flavor and fills in if you're a little short on the basil.
And take another DEEP breath. Oh, doesn't that smell divine.
Don't add any salt or pepper. I do that when I use the Pesto, later on, for pasta or chicken, or ...yum... sliced pieces of toasted sourdough french bread. I also add about a half teaspoon of lemon juice to the batch. This keeps the color light and lovely.
Any pretty jar will do if it has a good tight lid.
Take one last DEEP breath...
Load the jars with the Pesto mixture, leaving about an inch for expansion in the freezer and seal them up.
They don't have to be processed if you are freezing them.
I doubled the recipe and got three full bottles and a forth one about 3/4 filled.
Now they are in the freezer and ready for winter gifts ....or winter dinners.
If they are gifts, you can cut 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" squares of fabric from your shelf of "What will I do with all this fabric I bought because it was so pretty and never use." stash and use pinking shears to cut them out. Cover the lids and tie them with a pretty ribbon or twine.
Just remember that a gift you make means more than anything you could buy.
A bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and you, PESTO, beside me... in a basket. Oh yes!
I could make a meal of just this... No wonder I never lose weight.
Oh, wait a minute. This is suppose to be a gift isn't it?
So.. let's put it all in a basket and give it to someone.
It does a person good to plant their own food, even if it's only tomatoes and basil...
ONLY TOMATOES AND BASIL?
Why would I say "only"? They are the mainstay of our summer diet. Our passion in the Winter.
My Italian grandmother always said "Pomodori e basilico...Ciò è così buona "(This is so good.). It's true! My grandmother would do all this in very small batches with a mortar and pestle but I think she would have loved a processor.
Remember... anyone can plant a small garden... in pots. You do need a sunny place.
Uncle Sam thinks so...
basil, parsley and tomatoes all grow in pots near the house.
It's just easier that way.
Now, take a DEEP breath and continue on....