I’ve been keeping a close eye on the garden for the first signs of life. We have a winner! Rhubarb is sending up shoots of tightly curled leaves. Those other leaves are some sort of weed. They are suffering the effect of temperatures in the mid-20s last night. The rhubarb was not harmed.
I also defrosted the extra freezer downstairs this week. There were three containers of frozen rhubarb pieces from the crop last year. Looks like I need to make another pie. Last weekend I made a pie from some of last year’s frozen rhubarb. I added blueberries, red raspberries, and blackberries.
Angie at Fiesta Friday found out and wondered why I didn’t share it with the others at her blog. “Too busy”, I told her. Lucky for me, I took a picture of it. My cousin said it looked very patriotic with the red, white, and blue colors. Those stripes were from the leftover dough trimmed off the rim of the baking dish. It wouldn’t win any prizes at the state fair for looks. But, it tasted marvelous. It only took Melanie and I three days to eat it.
If you are curious about my techniques for harvesting, cutting, freezing, and ultimately, what recipe I use, go to this previous post. All the details are there. Here is the printable recipe form.
I have a small garden plot next to the house where I raise tomatoes, pole beans, rhubarb, zinnias, peppers, and most important, basil. I let the basil get a little out of control and noticed it was flowering a lot. One sunny day, some winged visitors were there enjoying the basil flowers and the warm sun. I took a few pictures. I couldn’t identify them and later forgot about them. In browsing through those pictures, I came across this one from that day.
At the time, my uneducated guess was that it was a Monarch or Viceroy. They can be confusing since they look a lot alike. I found two good pictures of the Monarch and Viceroy species. Can you see the difference in their markings. Notice the line across the rear part of the wings on the Viceroy. The creature in my photograph above is clearly not either. What is it? If you know, please comment below.
Now for the tasty stuff. The reason we raise basil is, of course, to make pesto. What wonderful stuff. We tried several different versions of the recipe. Some ingredients were different in each. Finally, we settled on our own version that is simple and uses walnuts. If you want to try it yourself, try our recipe.
I think you will be glad you did. We reach into the freezer any time and pull out frozen basil cups for all kinds of uses. One of our favorites is pesto pizza. What a treat!
I like rhubarb pie. I like to add strawberries to my rhubarb pie. I like ice cream with a piece of still-warm pie. And, this is the time of year when the rhubarb and strawberries are fresh from the garden. It doesn’t get much better. I just finished making a pie using Melanie in IA’s recipe from her Gramma Brown. It turns out a superb and always reliably delicious custard pie. Earlier in the day I went to the raspberry bushes along the tree line at the back yard and picked a quart of black raspberries. Some of them are in the pie, too. Doesn’t it look good?